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Downtown Fuzhou...
Although we didn't go to any appointments today, we still got to see and do a lot! Our guide, Michael, met us at 8:30 am and we headed out on foot to see some of the city. Michael had never been to Fuzhou before so we brought a map and looked for interesting places to walk to. After visiting a historic temple, we made our way though the downtown area and found a great nature park that had just been built. After some looking around, it was too hot to be outside so we took a cab and were back to the hotel by 10:30 am.
The middle of the day pretty much consisted of playing in our hotel room together and giving Michael a nap, but at 4 pm, we were itching to get out so we loaded up and headed out on foot (this time, just by ourselves). Thanks to google maps, Kevin had scouted out some potential places to go within walking distance. Sure enough, we were able to find our way around and as it turned out, we found a brand-new, old town district (yes, that is an oxymoron). Apparently the local government had redeveloped the historic old town area by building new storefronts and making it a tourist focused, pedestrian-only street. It reminded us a lot of Old Town Sacramento. We stopped in a few stores and bought a ball for Michael, but after a while it got too hot so we continued on our quest to find something air conditioned. (Ya, that sounds wimpy, but at 5:00 pm, the temperature was still 106 degrees after the humidity was factored in, and Michael wasn't too happy about it.)
One block up from the old town district, we found the indoor shopping mall, complete with a full size McDonald's. We have always been eager to find local cuisine while overseas, but the thought of being able to sit in an air conditioned dining room and the chance to get coffee won us over. Surely we must have looked like a living stereo-type: the only Americans in Fuzhou camped out a the local McDonald's.
After cooling off at Mickey D's, we took a different route back to our hotel and stumbled upon a great baby store (probably the local equivalent of Babie's-R-Us). It was a great place to find some toys to help entertain Michael and we also got some great baby books with in Mandarin, English and Pinyin. A few blocks later, we made it back to our hotel and all took cold showers to cool off. Michael had a harder time going to bed tonight, but we are praying that we can get him on a schedule soon so bed time is a naturally occurring event.

REMEMBER: Click on any picture below to view or download a larger version.

The historic Hualin monastary

This is one of the oldest wooden buildings in China

The woodwork was incredible

It was a beautiful place

The entrance to Hot Spring Park in downtown Fuzhou

There were so many manicured gardens

This was a unique fountain with cascading water

Some of the skyscrapers surrounding the park

It kind of feels like we're in a forest!

Some daddy/son bonding time (aka: cooling off)

Michael loves fillin' up on formula!

A temple in Pingshan Park, near our hotel

Some of the new storefronts in the historic district

The biggest surprise was a Starbucks going in there

The street cleaner coming: better get out of the way!

A mom and son enjoying a ride in a rickshaw

This circular people bridge connected all four corners

McDonald's in the shopping mall

Michael's first experience with American food

Entrance to the West Lake park

The lake at night


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