Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Tour of a 2 Bedroom Apartment at the Garden Hotel In Guangzhou

I know as I was trying to plan travel for our trip to China, I scoured the internet to find apartment pictures for The Garden Hotel in Guangzhou. I did find a few on a friend's blog and a couple others, so I could get an idea of what one looked like and could decide if it would be what would best meet our needs for the trip. Before we left to come home I took several pictures so I thought I would do a post just on the apartment itself so others could take a look before they take their journey as well.

I opted for a 2 bedroom apartment at the Garden Hotel. They are in the East Wing and have there own set of elevators. There is almost always someone at the desk to call the elevator and enter your floor. If there is not, you do need your room key in order to access the apartment floors.

Just as an FYI. The apartments are not as glamorous as the hotel rooms. There is smoking allowed in all apartments. We were on the 14th floor and the smell of smoke hit us as soon as we stepped off of the elevator. Some days it was really bad, while others it was present but just slightly noticable. Note that there is a main entrance door for the aprtment, but also each bedroom has its own entrance door to the hallway.

The first bedroom had 2 double beds(China size which means slightly wider than twin beds in the US) There is a ton of storage, along with a TV and desk.
 This chest of drawers took up an entire wall in the bedroom. Lots of storage room here!
 There was also a dresser under the TV with more drawer storage space.
 There were 2 closets. One did have a safe and the other had the ironing board. There were a good number of hangers as well.
 This bathroom had a tub/shower combo. The showerhead could be used as a hand held. The toilet in this bathroom had a bidet seat. There was also a sink area with large vanity area and a medicine cabinet and doors underneath the sink area for storage. (See pictures of second bathroom)

                                      The living room was in between the 2 bedrooms. There was a small couch, arm chair, coffee table, end table and a large cabinet with the TV on top. There was also a dining room table and 4 chairs. There were extra leafs for the table behind the couch if you needed to make the table larger.
 As you walked into the aprtment there was a pantry/glass front cabinet and the refridgerator on the left with the kitchen on the right and the living room straight ahead.
The fridge was big with a freezer. I made my own ice with bottled water :) Yes, they do put the mini bar stuff in it. All the stuff on top is what was in the fridge when we arrived. We shopped for our own since the prices for their mini bar stuff was pretty steep.
 The kitchen had a cook top, hot pot and a microwave., That is a dishwasher under the stove top. We did not use it as I wasn't sure how it worked. The sink is to the right of the green dish soap bottle.
This is the washer dryer combo. It won't do huge loads and takes about 3 hours to wash and dry, but i did not have to send out laundry at all this trip. We had it constantly going when we were there. You do need to get the clothes out once dry as if they sit in there overnight they will be damp due to the humidity that comes back in. There were instructions on use in the drawer to the left of the washer. The  housekeeper also showed us how to use it.
 You do need to use low suds detergent. I brought the instructions with me when I went shopping at Aeon. I handed it to the ladies in the laundry aisle and pointed at low suds. They read the Chinese version and handed me this bottle. It worked well for us!
The second bedroom had a king bed(I think that was the size) I somehow did not get a picture of it and I stayed in the other room. There was a desk and TV as well as a chest of drawers. A good amount of storage in this room too. There was a perfect space next to the chest to park Bobby's wheelchair folded. It was the right amount of space between the chest and the start of the wall to the closets.
 This bedroom also had 2 closets. No safe in here but it did have an ironing board and plenty of hangers.
 The bathroom for this bedroom was also a full bathroom. Same sink and vanity area with storage underneath the vanity and in the medicine cabinet. It had just a regular toilet (sorry folks, no bidet seat in here!)
 The tub shower combo was the same as the other bathroom with the handheld shower option as well. Water pressure in both bathrooms was pretty good.

This is a picture of our lifesaver this trip! The first night i woke up in the middle of the night having sneezing attacks and completely congested. I felt awful and in the morning I went to the front desk to see about being moved, but they had no other apartments available right then. They brought this air purifier up and put it in the living room. It did help, but I asked the next day for a second one for my bedroom and that did the trick. These also act as dehumidifiers. I estimate that they hold about a gallon or a little more before turning off as full. We emptied each unit in the morning as they would both turn off and be full and then again before going to bed as the same thing happened. That was every single day! So that means about 4 gallons of water was pulled out of the air in the rooms each day we were there. If we had a 3rd unit in the other bedroom, I am guessing it would have pulled about the same amount of moisture out. So if you stay in one of the apartments and have an issue, ask for one or 2 of these. They really did the job for us! I did also diffuse Thieves and Purification essential oils during our stay which helped with any musty odor and cleaning the air.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Journey Home

Super Lu here with the report on the journey home. Thursday morning brought the last of the wonderful buffet breakfast. David had some nervousness as shown by his light eating. He did make sure to get one last chicken sausage! Bobby was elated to find that they had his beloved sicky rice for this last breakfast in China (He later told me that he did not want to leave China because he wanted to eat Mooncakes and sticky rice every day!)

After breakfast the crew headed back up to relax for a bit before having to leave for the airport.

Soon it was time to leave their home of the last 2 weeks. The boys each helped push a suitcase.

One last elevator ride....

It was then off into the van. Today was our favorite driver and van. Bobby loved the stuffed dogs on the dashboard and thought they looked like steamed buns! Today he finally got to touch one and have his picture taken with one!

A few shots taken while on the drive to the airport. So many apartments and the buildings are so close together. Many looked close enough that you could reach out your window and shake your neighbors hand!

We reached the airport and it was time for goodbyes and a couple of pictures. The boys both enjoyed our guide Lucia and she was great with them! She did a great job making sure our crew got to where they needed to be and did a wonderful job showing us some sights.

 The boys also enjoyed our favorite driver. He had driven us around a couple of other times and drove us to the orphanage for the visit and was so great with both boys!

Lucia did acompany our crew inside and made sure that check in went well and then made sure the crew went through the first checkpoint.
 Once at the gate, the crew had to move to the next gate over due to a gate change. Both flights were going to Seoul so there was lots of confusion when the other flight boarded!

Korean Air was great about boarding those who need a little extra help or time first and took immaculate care of Bobby's travel wheelchair on all flights. Once all were boarded, there was a delay due to air traffic which seems to be the norm flying out of Guangzhou. Soon we were off and on our way to Seoul. Goodbye China! (the airplane is facing that way because we had to do a turnaround to fly out of Guangzhou)

The flight had quite a bit of turbulence, but it didn't sem to bother David as he was glued to the game screen!

The crew again spent the night at the Transit Hotel at the airport and had the buffet dinner. It was very soon off to bed for all! This time all slept well as there is only and hour time difference between Seoul and Guangzhou.
It was an early morning wake up and off to board the last leg of the journey home. Once again the food was plentiful and very good. David really enjoyed the Korean dishes with the hot sauce paste!

  David sat like this most of the last few hours of the flight. He kept putting the route map up and trying to move the airplane along faster. It unfortunately didn't work and the flight was still about 14 hours long!
No pictures were allowed entering the airport or in immigration, so the new family had to bid fairwell to Emily at immigration without a goodbye picture. She was off to catch her flight home and the family had to wait to get through immigration for David. It took a bit, but it was smooth and the officer was so friendly. It was then off to get baggage and catch the shuttle to the parking deck. Soon they were on their way home! A quick stop to pick up lunch from McDonalds and they were finally home. Waiting for them was big sister Taylor who had decorated the house and had roses for mom, presents and signs for the boys, Gigi's cupcakes and fresh food in the fridge!

 Neither boy had slept during the flight but everyone managed to stay awake until 7:30 pm. Bobby made sure to tuck me in before heading up to bed!
So the family is now home. Taylor headed back to school on Sunday and so this reporter's job is now done. This was quite the trip and so a rest is in order! Soon I will travel to Cincinnati so I can be with another traveling family as they head to a different country. After that? The schedule is unclear. Here's hoping I can return to the Baird family in time to accompany them on their Disney cruise in early April. There is rumor that a couple of other Disney outfits are waiting for me should I be able to cover the DCL cruise assignment! So for a final time on this China assignment, this is Super Lu signing off!