Let's just be real...

OK... Let's just be "real"!  This adoption trip was.... ummm... how to put this... really hard!!!  Ellie grieved deeply for her foster mama, which meant many, many tears were shed in our hotel room... and no... Ellie wasn't the only one crying!!!  Let's just say that they don't make bath mats thick enough in Chinese Hotel bathrooms for this Mom!  I am so glad that Sarah was along for the trip, as she brought much comic relief to what was a very tense time for all of us!  

Have you ever tried to blog when you really don't have anything "nice" or poetic to say?  We found this unusually hard, so decided to post funny travel tips that Sarah picked up along the way!  They were so popular among our followers that I think they might be worth sharing again!  Enjoy!...

Following are Sarah’s Top Ten Survival Tips if you ever find yourself in China…

#10- If you have blonde hair and blue eyes, be prepared for lots and lots of staring! EVERYONE WILL STARE! Let’s just say I have a whole new respect for famous people…but I would never want to be one! Don’t be surprised if people want to take their picture with you….just a little heads up!

#9- If you are holding an adopted baby (or two), people will stare just as much, if not more. The best way to handle this is by simply smiling….even if their not smiling back at you, just kill them with kindness

#8- If you’re carrying a guitar, everyone will assume you are an American rock star and interrogate you about American music. This is alright, just as long as you make sure your dad doesn’t lie to the hotel and tell them you actually ARE a famous singer… but that’s a whole different story

#7- If you like oldies like the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, you’ll feel right at home….Backstreet’s back, Alright!

#6- Beware if you are traveling to the Hunan Province (the spicy capital of China)…even KFC soaks their chicken in Tabasco sauce. Have a few bottles of water prepared in advance!

#5- It may be a good idea to bring an extra mattress or two, unless you particularly enjoy sleeping on a slab of concrete -which may cause severe bruising of the hips!…But if you happen to forget yours, don’t fret! There are TONS of places to get a cheap message if necessary.

#4- Never assume that just because the Lay’s chip bag happens to be green, it is sour cream and onion flavored… China is abundant in interesting flavors we don’t have the pleasure to enjoy in America (…like Mexican Tomato Chicken….mmmm good!). Good thing Kate will eat anything!

#3- I strongly recommend bringing extra snacks with you to China as to avoid the meat section of the food market, unless you #1- enjoy eating chicken, eggs, and rice for EVERY meal, of EVERY day, your ENTIRE trip!...or #2- you like the raw stench of dead, hanging animals. Yummy!

#2- China is the land of merging traffic! If you stick a limb outside of your vehicle (by more than one inch), be prepared to lose it! And please do NOT attempt to cross the street without an experienced Chinese guide or a very good life insurance policy!...and don’t be fooled, the bikes are just as dangerous as cars (especially when large home appliances are stacked and strapped to the back…you would be surprised how much one man’s thighs can handle!)

And finally…

#1- When you find yourself in need of a public facility while in China, a copy of my soon-to-be-released book, Sarah’s Seven Secrets to Surviving Squatty Potties, would be most helpful. Be sure to pick it up at your local bookstore before traveling!

Sarah’s Travel Tip of the Day-
Don’t order food without a translator…or you might just end up with “pickled” FUNGUS! Doesn’t that sound delicious?...

Kate says “pee-yew” to fungus

Sarah’s Tip of the Day-
Beware before considering the purchase of a used bicycle in China...You just never know what it’s been through!..


Sarah’s Tip of the Day-When climbing into a taxi cab in China, there are a few things you might want to check for:
1. Air conditioning (especially when its 95 degrees and bumper to bumper traffic)
2. A driver that understands at least a little bit of English
3. A driver that KNOWS where he’s going (and where he’s going is where you actually want to go!)
4. A driver who follows basic traffic laws (like going the RIGHT way on a one way street). This should help prevent your taxi from being pulled over by the authorities
5. An honest driver (one that will TELL you when he’s lost… instead of allowing you to believe that he knows exactly where he is, only to see him asking directions from the cop that just ticketed him!)

See Travel Tip #10

See Travel Tip #4

See Travel Tip #2

Sarah’s Travel Tip of the Day-
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever (not enough evers) enter a Chinese photo shop without the intention of actually dressing in TRADITIONAL Chinese outfits….hats (or boxes) and all. This is a very important tip. You think I’m kidding….just look what happened to me!

Yes, this could really
happen to YOU!
 Travel Tip #1

Sarah’s Tip of the Day-
When booking airline tickets, the safest bet is to request the seat directly in front of the emergency exit row…this will help prevent little kids kicking the back of your seat, jabbing your heals and banging your head with umbrellas, etc. (you get the picture!)

Looks can be deceiving!...Grr!

Sarah’s Tip of the Day-
Potty trips are advised before cheer practice in the pool…

NO, it’s not really as it appears...but you never know!

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