We went to bed that night around nine (though Mom had dozed through the afternoon) and I slept well for the most part. I woke up because Mom had switched the light on to do some reading. I actually thought it was seven or something because of that, but when I took time to look at the clock, it read 3:00 AM. Finally, Mom turned the light out and told me to try and get some sleep- even though it was afternoon back in Xi'an. At five, I announced I couldn't do it so we admitted defeat for sleep that night.
Mom and I had breakfast together and settled down to some TV and Nintendo until Dad's arriving time. Mom bet me he wouldn't come on time, but we headed down to the lobby and about ten minutes later, he showed up. Wow!
We were to spend Easter in Vancouver with my Uncle, Aunt and cousin, Emily. Dad and Uncle Ian showed up to take us back to the city with them. I guess that was where our adventure truly ended, but not our journey!
We had our big reunion after- in a coffee shop actually!- and Mom and I showed everyone our pics of all the kids and of Starfish and our adventure. The girls were thrilled by the pandas and instantly insisted that they would like Lily the best. For some time after, thinking about her gave me a little heartache.
Emily is laid-back, I'd guess you'd say. She was interested about our journey and everything we'd been through and accomplished while in China, but she was mostly quiet about it. A trait you come to like. :)
It was Good Friday when we returned to our family so Dad went off to Mass and the girls went off with Auntie Rosemary to do some shopping and get some fresh air. Mom and I- traveling buddies as Mom called us- went off by ourselves to just walk a little and get a whiff of clean, Canadian air. Nice to be home, but at the same time I do miss the children.
We went to a bookstore, then looked in a few shops- Mom's desire, not mine- and had a bite to eat. Then we walked through some neighbourhoods and headed back.
We had a really good dessert that night. We had chocolate volcano cakes. For those who don't know what they are, they are brownie-like cakes that have chocolate liquid inside so when you bite into them, chocolate pours out. Hmmm!
On Holy Saturday, we went downtown to get some cupcakes from a cupcake store called Cupcakes (lol!). We took a water taxi and walked some ways on a beach. It was wonderful to be able to see the sea again and smell the salty, but fresh air. Mom took some pictures so we could send them to Brittany. I miss her as well as the kids. I wonder if we'll ever see any of them again.....
We arrived at the cupcake store and took our pick. I had Mint Conditioner- same as Beth. Grace had this caramel one that had caramel in the middle of the cake. Emily got one she explained to be peanut butter. It looked good!
We headed to Starbucks and ate our cupcakes while the adults got drinks and talked. When we went to get water, some people took our seats so we had to switch from window ledges to tables. There, we got wrapped up in conversation for about two hours. We went home after that. The girls raced each other to the house and there, they argued about which route was fastest.
That evening, we watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which is about aliens coming down to earth to experiment with people, etc.... We had brownie sundaes with peanut butter chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. Yum! The movie went until about ten when we went to bed.
Lately, I have been going to bed very late and waking up very late. I don't know what's going to happen when school starts again next week. :P :o
In Vancouver, we always find our goodies in the morning. In Victoria, we always find it after church. So we went on an egg hunt and found our baskets all under the kitchen table. They were filled with chocolate and chocolate eggs. We sat at the table and ate a couple eggs while we waited for breakfast.
The church is always so beautifully decorated, especially in Vancouver. There were flowers all over the alter and a little fake brook with rocks and reeds all around it. The candles were all lit and all the statues were uncovered (for those who don't know, the statues around a church are covered during Lent and Good Friday).
The mass was very joyful- though the girls said it was tiring of course ::)- but we weren't very happy to find out that we had to walk home.
It was cold that day and we were in our Easter clothes, dresses and skirts, plus our sweaters were quite thin. The girls and I were huddling for warmth all the way home, lol.
We had a big brunch that day made by Auntie Rosemary. There was a fruit salad, croissants, sandwiches covered in melted cheese, scrambled eggs and other assorted goodies. Grace and I had a couple of croissants each. They were good!
My family and I also left that day. At two-ish, we said our good-byes to Auntie Rosemary, Uncle Ian, Emily and some visitors they had for Easter brunch. Then, we drove off to catch the ferry. I knew that I was now going home. I was going to see Lily and Smudge again.(our cats). But I also thought this. I was returning to a Lily, but I was also leaving a Lily behind. I am scared to admit it, but I think the memories and images of Lily are slowly fading from my mind, becoming less fluorescent and clear- fading to memory. The ferry ride was short- or maybe it's because the plane ride was so long....
The moment we pulled into our driveway, I snatched up my share of bags and bolted for the door. Smudge leapt away from the threshold the moment I burst in and, from the stairs, Lily flinched at the sudden entrance. Grace came in close behind me and immediately, ran up the stairs in pursuit of the cats.
I dropped my bags at the bottom of the stairs and went upstairs two steps at a time. Grace had Lily and she gave her to me. To tell the truth, I couldn't believe how soft her fur was or how cute her face was.
Truly, I think this marks the very end of our trip. I'm back home and reunited with Lily and my family. But I still have a part of the foster home in me- even a bit of the orphanage. And especially a part of Lily.... and Patrick. Someone told my Dad that Patrick will live on through me and I believe that. I believe he will live on as long as I keep him in my memory and prayers. I guess that alone is how you keep a bit of someone alive. Same with my Lily.
Thanks for following along everyone. Stay tuned for Return to China 2009 when it will be Grace's turn. I will be jealous but happy for her!!!