There are carvings all over the structure, and the government re-paints many of the carvings once a year. The colors and intricacy are absolutely amazing!
The current structure is owned by the government and serves as a museum of sorts. In each room are various artifacts on display, such as jade and ivory carvings, embroidery, and porcelain. Also on display are rooms of the original Chen family and the furniture and arrangements used...kitchen, living room, bedroom. Can you believe they used hollow porcelain blocks as pillows? (They would put important items inside the pillow for safekeeping while they slept.)
Our guide took us to a couple of reputable shops, and I was able to purchase a jade pendant for Gladys, as well as a trinket of her choice for each of the other Gs. We also ordered a chop to be carved for Gladdie. A chop consists of a piece of marble with the person's zodiac animal on the top (Gladdie's is the Ox). On the bottom is carved the person's name. The idea is that the person dips the chop in ink and stamps it on a document as a kind of "signature."
We spent a little over an hour there, and then back to the hotel. We actually experienced some Guangzhou rain for the first time ever, we think. It is so pleasant, this trip, to be here when it's not blazing hot! The heat AND humidity tend to zap the energy right out of you.
We took a walk to the grocery store, Aeon, and got the girls each a water bottle on a string. Every place we've gone so far the girls drink us out of every water we bring (we cannot drink tap water here, so bottled water it is). So we decided to get them each their own. We'll fill them with water before we leave, then they're in charge of carrying their own water. When it's gone, it's gone! Simon and I high-fived ourselves over this brilliant plan.
We ventured out for dinner at a yummy Thai place called Cow and Bridge. The girls ate chicken and pork fried rice, and Simon and I ate spicy pork lettuce wraps. My most favorite meal. Yum-o!
It was raining on the way home, and little Missy had to go potty, so the girls and I ran back to the hotel while Simon went to 7 Eleven to get (faux) ice cream cones for dessert.
|Beautiful Garden Lobby|
|It takes all of us to keep Gladdie in line... seriously.|
|Family outing to Aeon store|
The last few days, we have gently, and subtly, been trying to begin teaching Gladdie what it's like in the Miller family. We remind her to say "thank you" after someone does something for her or gives something to her. We are trying to get her to say "please" rather than pointing and screaming when she wants something . We show her how to fold her hands to pray before meals. (It is hilarious what she does. She folds her hands together and then pressing them together as tightly as she can.) Today, she was the one who reminded us to pray at lunch. We tell her "God bless you!" when she sneezes. We say "I'm sorry" when we do something on accident. All these little things that take time, energy, and doing over and over...we've already begun them.
I guess, in a way, you could call it the Miller Clan Academy.