Sunday, December 29, 2013

On my way to China

I left for Thailand on November 23, after watching A play basketball.  It was a bitter sweet departure - I would miss my kiddos AND I would miss the football game that afternoon.  THE football game.  The last one of Jake's senior year.  I hadn't thought that one through.  So as I pulled away from the elementary parking lot, I gazed over Riley Field and felt a HUGE twinge of regret.  Amazingly enough I was not the least bit nervous about the ridiculous amount of travel ahead of me.  Or the 15 hour plane ride over water.  I must have been REALLY sad about the football game for me not to stress about the ride over water.

At any rate, mom drove me to KC as I left my kiddos behind and we stopped in Lees Summit to eat at Panda Express.  I grabbed a few last minute gifts for Hayley to give to her supervisor and her housemate, Dream. 

You know it is going to be quite an experience when it gets exciting right from the start.  Mom dropped me off at the airport and I went in to check my bag and get my boarding pass.  I then realized I forgot my camera.  I called her and she came right back.  So I tried again.  Then I texted her.  "Don't go far.  I may not be going."

As I was getting my boarding pass, the electronic check-in kept saying I needed a visa for China.  The agent told me that due to my amount of time in China, I had to have a visa.  I calmly (on the outside) explained I was only going to be there for a layover.  He really studied my itinerary and realized I was going to be there for 12 hours, not 36 hours.  Apparently the computer saw I was leaving Houston at 11:45 p.m. on the 23rd but not landing in China until the 25th.  It thought I was landing on the 24th I guess, then saw I wasn't leaving for Chiang Mai until the 25th.  After some time, the agent finally realized that and had to override the system.  PHEW.  Seriously, I was starting to think Satan was gonna stop this trip after all.

From that point on, the trip was pretty easy.  I flew to Houston with no problems, had dinner, walked around a lot so I wouldn't fall asleep, and a friend texted me to help me stay awake.  At 11:45 p.m. my plane took off for Beijing, China.  It was a super long trip, but the fabulous news was that I had an aisle seat, so I didn't have to climb over people to get out.  I tried to sleep - I think I only got about 3 hours of sleep - and I watched a couple of movies and TV shows.  It was a great flight.  I watched our flight info and we didn't even go over water except for short periods.  Instead of flying over the Pacific, we flew up to the Arctic circle and back down.  That was interesting!

We landed in China around 4:30 a.m.  I had 12.5 hours of layover ahead of me.  I was freezing, because that airport was cold.  I walked around a lot to stay awake, so I would be ready to sleep when I got to Hayley.  I didn't leave the airport, but I did take pics. 

Drum roll please...China!! (airport only)

Closed Chinese airport

Closed airport

The plane

A Chinese sunrise in the mountains

It cracked me up that Pizza Hut was written in Chinese...

but the waste can was in English.

The place they could come to "pray" to their god

right in the middle of the airport.

I sincerely hope the "hourly hotel" was to take a nap.  But who takes an hourly nap??

My salad and pizza from Pizza Hut.  Definitely interesting options for pizzas, but honestly one of the best PH pizzas I have ever had - no red sauce!!  They used cheese sauce instead!


Not going to lie.  I enjoyed the airport in Beijing.  After a long, but fairly pleasant layover, I was on my way to Chiang Mai, Thailand.  And the rest of the journey began...

No comments:

Post a Comment