Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Hong Kong trip-travel

I've been recording my experience in Hong Kong, but between adjusting to the time zone and the new addition and wanting to make sure I don't miss any pictures or details, It has been slow going. I'll get it all up here though!

Somewhere over Canada I think

 Eric and the kids dropped me off at the airport a couple of hours before my flight. I was prepared for long lines and a stressful trip through security, until I got there and realized travelling without kids makes it a piece of cake! The lines were short, and I was at the gate in no time. I felt a little silly pushing a stroller with no kid in sight, and everyone at security wanted to know where my child was, but I got lots of congratulations when I told them that my child is in Hong Kong :)

I left the morning after the Malaysian plane disappeared, and it seemed like it was being covered on every tv in the airport...which added a bit if stress to the fact that I was already flying by myself for the first time, and flying to Asia for the first time. I hoped it meant that the pilots would be paying even more attention that day. I grabbed some breakfast and ate it while eavesdropping on a young man (a phrase that makes me feel old!) in a military uniform who was saying goodbye to his mom, sister, and girlfriend before being gone for a few months. Then, since I would be spending 18+ hours on planes, I took my empty stroller and did laps up and down the hall, ignoring all of the tv coverage of the missing plane.

The first plane ride was short, just to Chicago. My layover in Chicago was short, but I wasn't too far apart could the gates be? Well, if the people in Detroit thought I looked silly walking with an empty stroller, they should have seen me in Chicago! I got off the plane (where I was sitting in the back, so I was one of the last people off) and asked the lady at the desk where the next gate was, and she told me how to get to the shuttle, then looked at my ticket again and said "although running might get you there faster..." Rather than standing around and hoping the shuttle got me there, I decided to put my carry-on in the stroller and run. Through one side of the airport, down an escalator, through a multicolored tunnel, up another escalator, and through the other side of the airport to an empty gate. I was the last one on the plane, and got to walk past everyone already seated on the plane to my row, and make the 2 guys get up so I could climb over their stuff to my window seat. I was hot and sweaty and out of breath, but I was on the plane! I had done everything I needed to do for the next 16 hours.

The second plane ride was one of the things I had been dreading about the trip. 16 hours on a plane! My carry-on was packed with magazines and snacks, but thanks to technology, most of the trip was spent watching the on-demand personal tv attached to the back of every seat. I don't know how people did it before that feature! They did the drink service, then served dinner, and then simulated night by turning all the lights off. The plane flew up through Canada and then down through Russia, which meant flying over a lot of barren, cracked land, which was kind of cool.

I didn't sleep much, with my back it is hard to lean against something and sleep comfortably, but I wasn't too worried about it because I'd be arriving in Hong Kong in the evening, so I'd get a full night's sleep when I got there.

The long flight really wasn't too bad-there was a halfway point where I felt like we'd been flying forever and the minutes were just inching by and I was counting the rest of the flight by the number of 22 minute sitcoms I could watch. I did get to watch Frozen, which was fun, and cute enough to order for Journey's birthday.

Finally I got to Hong Kong and made the long trek to customs, then to the place I needed to check in for my hotel shuttle. There was about a half hour wait before the bus came, so I sat down and just took in the new sights and smells of an airport on the other side of the world.

 The bus ride was about 30 minutes, and even though it was dark out, the city was all lit up and there was lots to look at. I finally arrived at the hotel, checked in, and a bellboy took my luggage up to the room for me. I settled in, made some tea, and attempted to sleep-I would meet my baby in 12 hours!

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