We spent the day traveling to Gz yesterday. Frankly speaking, it was kind of a hot mess. This happens once every trip I ever take - one day is just plain messy.
It started with our guide not getting a large enough car for the transport to the airport. She wasn't the one who picked us up on from the airport Sunday (she just sent a driver) so she wasn't aware of how far the car was loaded then, even without her. When I saw the car yesterday , I asked if there was a second car coming. When she said no I told her that car would only work if she stayed back. Probably not my nicest moment. let me back up though....
At that point , I was annoyed with the whole situation bc we paid the travel company $900 and all we received for that $900 were 2 airport transfer (1 way was literally a cab ride bc she didn't pick us up) and 3 hours of her time / van time to go to the appointments on Monday. No touring, no shopping. We were on our own the rest of the week. Even a Walmart trip was going to cost us more $$. At $150/hr I figured we were better off sending one adult to the grocery in a cab!! Meanwhile, all the other American families traveling with us paid the same amount (apparently the $900 is a flat fee in that province) and had at least a grocery trip and had a morning of touring on one if those days off. I would have turned the touring down anyway but I was still annoyed. All that said, the guide was super nice but I can tell you we didn't get $900 of service, even if we had been in NYC at the ritz it wouldn't have been that much.
Ok, so Back to yesterday and the car situation...Matt finally unpacks the entire car and has to jam luggage up by ourfeet in order to make is all fit. So, for the 40 min ride to the airport , it's Matt and I in the back with a shit ton of luggage and our 4 kids on our laps while our guide rode in the front seat with plenty of leg room. Nice.
Then when we got to the airport our guide tried to tell us that the airline was making us check both double strollers. I knew this wasn't the case bc on the way to nanchang, while in the same airport and on the sane airline, we had used both strollers! I finally convinced them to allow the umbrella double to come with us and we checked big Bob the double stroller.
We said goodbye to the guide and eventually gate checked the stroller and took the 1.5 he flight to GZ. Unfortunately, while deboarding the plane, we realize they have sent the stroller to the luggage claim area! The Chinese just don't seem to see the value in the stroller the same was as Americans do. We know the point of the stroller is to get you and your kids through an airport without loosing anyone so a luggage check does no one ant good! I know we are Americans are lazy but I also think the 1 kid thing plays in to the cultural difference. Anyway , We made the best of the no stroller situation though (pics below!).
Our guide in GZ, lily, is great! She picked us up herself , quickly grabbed one stroller from us , she had gifts for outlr kids, she called a laundry service for us and had them pick up our dirty suitcase and deliver clean laundry 12 hours later AND she offered to take me, Emma, jake to the airport on Tuesday when we fly to beijing (Matt doesn't leave Gz for kunming until Wednesday). So she has been our bright light!
Unfortunately, when we checked into our hotel - a holiday inn- here in Gz, it was evident that our 'executive level' rooms had been smoked in. Our room was just noticeable but the girls room was like clam bake had just occurred. I can't really say I am surprised ..in china everything says non smoking but then you will find ashtrays all over. Anyway, apparently there are no other rooms left so we have to switch hotels tomorrow. And tonight we had to all sleep in one hotel room. To add insult to injury I had booked an advance rate that required a two night stay so we are now paying more for all of us to stay on a semi stinky hotel room with one bed. Luckily our awesome guide is all over it for us and I trust tomorrow night will be better.
So..our day was not perfect . Our kids were amazing...it was the adults that were the problem, lol. We actually had a ton iof fun in the airport , pics below!!