Our final hours in China...

Wednesday morning, we got up and had a leisurely breakfast.  We had several hours to finish packing (which seemed like a monumental task) and get ready to catch our ride to Hong Kong.

Jenna took pics at breakfast...

There was a gorgeous courtyard outside our hotel and it was our view at breakfast the entire time we were in the Garden Hotel.  So, after breakfast, we went out and got some shots since we had time to spare.

And probably my favorite...
At 3:30, we met downstairs and reviewed our paperwork one more time and then it was a very NICE van ride to Hong Kong.  The ride took about 3 hours and again, Kylie was good the entire time.  Hong Kong is an interesting place.  Even though they are part of China, they are run by an entirely different government.  They drive on the opposite side of the road, cars steering wheels are on the opposite side, they use different money and when you get to the border, you are shot with a thermo gun to see if you have a fever (we didn't, thank goodness) and then you have to get out of the car and go into this big rest-stop type area for your passport/visas to be reviewed.

We checked into our hotel and had just enough time to feed Kylie, Skype with our boys and get ourselves ready for the next morning.  We ordered room service for dinner and then went to bed so we'd be sure not to miss our alarm and airport shuttle the next morning.

We skipped breakfast the next morning in the interest of time and thinking we'd grab something at the airport.  We got the shuttle, but when we got to the airport, there was a super long line to check in.  By the time we checked in, we had about 1 hour before the flight left, and they were going to begin boarding in about 20 minutes.  We had a LONG commute in the airport to get where we needed to go and we were carrying Kylie, plus about 2 carry ons each.  We made it to our gate, but they were already boarding.

I went up to the lady and because we had a baby and lots of stuff, they let us cut line and get settled which was a GOD SEND.  I seriously wanted to kiss that airline staff person.  The flight from Hong Kong to Chicago was pretty good.  I felt like I was going home.  The food was more American, the flight attendants were more attentive and the announcements were in English first, then Mandarin. 

Kylie was WONDERFUL.  She played, slept and was fussy for just a tiny bit.  Our wheels touched down in Chicago at 12:07pm on Thursday, March 29.  That is the moment our Kylie became a US Citizen!

We had to go through customs and immigrations with the big top secret brown, sealed envelope of Kylie's paperwork.  The minute we stepped through the door at customs, the sweetest site ever met my eyes...I wish I had gotten a photo but it was the LAST thing on my mind...
So this photo will have to do.  I was SO. SO. SO. happy to see Steve and Katie standing there waiting on us.  The best decision I made about this whole trip was having Steve meet us in Chicago.  There just aren't words to describe how happy I was to see him there.  No.  Words.

And Kylie took right up with him.  No fear.  Just pure infatuation on both their parts.

Our flight departing Chicago was on time and we landed about 6:10ish in Nashville...but those are some special pictures....my friend Samantha Byers documented our homecoming in Nashville and it deserves a post of it's own...and there were others there with their cameras....so here's a sneak peek...

Ah yes. 



Julie said...

Loved reading the part about Steve!

And we ran out of time at the airport too. I did not expect check-in to take so long!

Julie said...

LOVED reading the part about Steve.

And our check-in took forever too. So much for all those snacks I was going to stock up on!