Day 6: Today began with an excellent hotel buffet breakfast in Zhengzhou. We met Celine at 9:00 for the two-hour drive to Luoyang. The first 45 minutes went by quickly as we got out of town and onto the expressway. Then came road construction and we were directed off the highway. It's impossible to describe the harrowing adventure we then began as we traveled for the next three hours on small, sometimes dirt roads, in an attempt to bypass the detour and return to the expressway. We ran into dead ends, stopped to ask directions many times, and braved the perils of driving on roads with all manner of vehicles that essentially follow no observable traffic laws. If we had to list the 10 times in our lives that we have been closest to death on a highway, I'm sure 9, if not 10, of them occurred on this one trip. To sum it up, we had a nice, but crazy driver, no seat belts, two children to hold on to, and roads full of drivers who drove wherever they felt so inclined. A counter to the dangerous side of our journey was the fascinating slice of rural China we were able to observe. Individuals pulling cart loads of bricks were not uncommon sites. It was a wild, dangerous, but also rewarding ride that we all agreed we wouldn't really want to repeat.
After reaching Luoyang much later than anticipated, we checked into the Luoyang Grand Hotel. Numerous complications with room assignments and availabilities brought us to the brink of going to another hotel. Finally we were given two rooms on what had been the closed 17th floor. A whole floor to ourselves turned out quite nice. The rooms are fine but the bathrooms have even more mold issues than our last hotel.
This afternoon our guide took us to another government office to meet with a notary. The paperwork will be completed and returned to us on Thursday, along with Z's passport, thus making the adoption official. After the notary, we went shopping in a local supermarket. It was here that we discovered that we could buy a top of the line motor scooter, complete with numerous accessories, for about $300. If we wanted to go for a low end model, the price was about $150. Wow, what a deal. I wonder about shipping costs……. Jud??? Back to the hotel we returned for a quick dinner. We bought a small, decorated cake and proceeded to celebrate Z's happy forever family day.