Saturday, March 14, 2009
So here's where the drama starts.
We get there to find out the flight before us, to Houston-Int'l is delayed because the crew got in late, and they have to be off-duty at least 8 hours. So the 6:20-ish flight to Houston didn't get off until 6:45, roughly. So my flight was also behind. We were supposed to be boarding at 6:45 and taking off for Newark at 7:20. I don't think we were even boarding until 7:20. We were taxiing to take off at 7:45. The lady at the Continental desk said I'd have plenty of time to catch my 12:15 flight to Beijing. We'd see.
So I got in the air. Took a little nap. Ate some yummy New York Style Cinnamon Raison Bagel Bite things. We land at a little before noon. I have to get on the bus and go to another bus to get to the C terminal. I get off the bus at gate 70. My flight is gate 75. At gate 72, I get a call from Melanie telling me that they're wanting to close the gate, where am I? So...at gate 73 I start running as best as I can, on the phone. At gate 74, I hang up. Gate 75, I'm fighting for air (exercise induced asthma), hot (in my mom's wool coat), and stressed about missing my flight to Beijing and having to turn around and go home.
Fortunately, I made it. Last to board, we were, but we made it. There were two teens sitting in two of our seats. They'd sat there to sit together because they didn't think anyone was coming. Come on, everyone knows international flights like this are packed. Right? So we get lover boy to go back to his seat, and Melanie and Andrea figure where they want to sit with the girl. After what seemed like forever, we took off. And as we were taking off, we flew by New York City. I saw the Statue of Liberty and what we think was the spot where the Twin Towers was from the sky!
Now, for all the fact my first time flying with Continental was a bit stressful...the entertainment was awesome. There's TVs in the back of the seats where you can watch movies, TV shows, play games, see the map of where you are, all kinds of stuff. I watched The Duchess (with Keira Knightley), an episode of Big Bang Theory that I'd seen before and bits and pieces of a few other things. I can't stay entertained by TV for a long time. I only finished The Duchess by force of will. I read my book some (Silent Tears by Kay Bratt), and I am about half done. I slept some. I played Bookworm on the TV thing. I watched the Arctic Circle go by, as we flew over the North Pole. No Polar Bear sightings, sadly. I must commend the food though. I probably ate as much on that flight as I could have hoped for. I had an Asian-style "steak" (looked more meat-loafy) with rice and a roll and a fortune cookie. Later, they gave us a "Beef Charbroil with American Cheese"...a.k.a. an individually wrapped cheeseburger with a packet of ketchup and, highlight of my flight...
Haagen-Daaz Vanilla Ice Cream. *happy dance*
Later, we had breakfast, with the option of dim sum (a variety of dumplings and potstickers...for those of you who know my dumpling story in Taiyuan when we adopted Reese...that was a no-go) or "eggs". That was all we were told. "Eggs". We had a scrambled egg patty, a sausage patty, some potato weird thing that I didn't eat, fruit that I ate the grapes out of, and the roll. It was yummy.
Sadly, I felt horribly nauseaous on the descent into Beijing. I don't usually get motion sick, but something has been cooky with my stomach as of late. I have never been so happy to hit ground.
We landed at 2 pm China time. Which is 1 AM CST. We got through immigration, customs, and got our baggage. We took a van to our hotel and got settled in. It was hot in the room, but the window opens and it's quite pleasant outside, at 51* F. It's 5 AM at home right now, and I'm not even tired. Either I'm adapting well or the JetLag pills work. Or something.
We went to exchange money and they don't do that here at the hotel. So we had to go about a block away and across the street to China Citic Bank. Oh, and the staff here at the Holiday Inn Express speaks...limited...English. It's kinda sketchy at times. And right now, we're fending for ourselves. So, we exchanged money and came back by the hotel. There's a Carrefour and a 7/11 attached to the hotel, so we stopped by the Carrefour and looked around. Finding nothing we "needed", we went to the 7/11 and stocked up on Cokes, water, chips, and a few other random things. Among those things, I found the suckers Reese came to us with. I was 99% positive it was the same brand, and Beth confirmed it because Zoe came with them, too. So I bought 2 packs of suckers for Reesey. 1 for her to eat and have, and another for Mom to decide to do with as she wishes. Keep, let Reese have them, whatever. It was only like $.40 a pack.
I'm not hungry, but I'm thirsty as heck, so I'm steadily downing a bottle of water and have some Cokes here to take my meds with. Along with a Pringles-Style tube of original Lays. We're gonna go down in the morning and get some more drinks and snacks for our outing tomorrow.
We leave at 8 for the Great Wall at Mutianyu. I'll post about that tomorrow, I hope.
I'm having a great time, but everything makes me think of Reese. I think 'oh Reese would love this' or 'oh, if Reese were here, she could have her hair done by someone who actually has a clue about Asian hair'. And of course, there's the 'Oh! Hello Kitty!" thought. I love Hello Kitty, Reese loves Hello Kitty.
I think that's all the excitement of today.