Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Maybe I'll Look Back at this and Laugh One Day

Flight #1: Balance vs. Layover

So much for not sleeping much that night but it’s probably a blessing in disguise… I would need the energy later. I arrive at the airport at 4:45ish AM to check in. No line. No wait. I was concerned about getting one boarding pass… I coulda swore last year I had one per flight and after talking to my friend flying the same day (he was already through security) he had one per flight… but was flying Delta. I went through security at approximately 5:35ish AM. My gate was all the way at the end which required walking out to the plane. Kinda cool.

Somehow boarding the plan I sat in seat 8…. I’m in 7. I thought I was paying attention to numbering. The person sitting next to me looked like my sister’s gymnastic coach, Coach Tony. He was nice. He was going to Arkansas for work… he didn’t know why. Good luck to him.

We sat there still doing I guess predeparture stuff, running a few minutes late but we eventually started moving and I braved myself for flight. I still have flight anxiety… I don’t mind planes, but I prefer my two feet on the ground. So we move… and sit… and sit… and I’m thinking “any minute” and then that turned to thoughts of Jon and Kate + 8 when they were going to Utah and they went past their closed airport. A guy that went with me to Japan last year, if he was there, would be saying “Let’s sit here longer. I really want to miss my flight. Why not turn off the AC, too?”

Then the captain speaks… we have a balance problem. I ask my neighbor what is that… he says we are overweight. Great. So we go and park again and one stand by passenger had to leave. Seriously? Was that all? Neighbor laughed at me talking to myself “Please let me make my flight.” Either way I started saying goodbye to my layover, to my breakfast, to my potty break… I knew it was gonna be GIRI-GIRI! Just barely going to make it!

50 minutes later we take off. My layover is an hour. Luckily Memphis is central time, not eastern like I was thinking. Otherwise, unhappy Amber. We land with 20 minutes to spare for my flight. We land at the “A” gates… my next flight? “B” gates. B 34. So I walk…. And walk faster… and get on the moving side walk and stumble… and walk… and call my mom while speed walking. My feet hurt.

I’m sitting on flight #2 now. I made it. 10 minutes late for takeoff. I think my next layover is about an hour. I haven’t eaten breakfast. I need to pee. Flight time is 1:22 (captain just said). Then to Tokyo. Hopefully this flight is less stressful than the last.

Flight #2: A little shut-eye

I think the guy that was sitting next to me was religious and did not like the fact that I was reading Harry Potter. He started reading his Bible and praying. I dunno if he was afraid I was going to bring down the plane with my Harry Potter love (it’s so devilish I know I know!). Maybe he just had anxiety. He didn’t talk much. There was this cute little girl sitting behind me who would sing songs and speak Spanish (Dora the Explorer anyone?) She was singing Happy Birthday when her mom started singing the Barney song and she goes “Hey you interrupt me. I haven’t finished Happy Birthday!” and started over LOL! Super cute kid. She had to be 2 or 3.

That flight was pretty turbulent. I slept…. Well, attempted. Never really reached full sleep. The turbulence woke me up… eventually though I got use to it and it was the smooth riding that would wake me up. Kinda like a baby when you rock them to sleep, and then you stop and they wake up. Yep.

That flight took off about 30 minutes late but I had I think over an hour layover. I never used the bathroom. I got comfortable and decided to just use the bathroom at the next airport.

And I did when arrive and I had 40 minutes til my flight (why do I keep losing layover time??). That was my first stop. Then off to my gate A50. Of course I started at A1. So I’m walking using the sidewalks, talking to family, and wanting food next. I still at this point haven’t eaten anything and my last drink was on my first flight. Sorry I do not care for your peanuts or spice cookies, Northwest/Delta Airlines!

So I walk past McDs, find my gate. There’s no one there so I figured it’s still 30 minutes before my flight… just no one there yet (Yeah, mighty blonde of me now that I think back). Let’s go find food! So I walk a little ways realizing there no food places close, and decide to just eat my food in my bag at the gate. Then I hear me being paged to my gate. So I walk back and they’re like “Burns, Amber Burns?” and I’m like “Yeah???” Ok, so these international flights load 30 minutes before takeoff. I didn’t know that. They were waiting for me, that guy up there and I think someone else. Or maybe I was the last person ^.^; Woops.

So did anyone notice reading this blog that all my layovers disappeared??? GRR!

Flight #3: Here’s your complimentary drink

WITH MY COMPLIMENTARY ICE CUBE! Yeah, singular! I got a Pepsi because I’m kinda shakey considering I STILL HAVEN’T EATEN! Well, no real food at least. Just one bag of teddy cookies and a few Pringles. So I thought the sugar in the Pepsi would help. And I got ONE ICE CUBE! GRRR. Thanks. Whatever.

I would sleep, but they said the “m” word. FOOD!!! (ie “meal”). I smell it. It better be good. On a good note I have all 3 of these seats to myself :D On a bad note I have defective headphones. On a good note there is more than 1 movie and yes I have heard of them. On a bad note I’m not interested in them. Looking at the bright side… I’ve got 12 hours to relax. Not so bright I guess… that’s a loooong time! After food I think I will try sleeping (heck, I can lay down!). I guess despite my stress of late flights, no layovers, and sore feet from running to my gates (this trip has been joyful, yes, I know), I have some luck. This might be the last time I get a whole row to myself.

*8 hours later*

4 hours or so left. I’m so freaking hungry. The first meal was chicken in some nasty sauce. Some nasty tasting veggies, and I think mash potatoes but I never figured it. Mystery airplane food. The roll was hard. And two salads… one had what looked like raw shrimp in them. Why can’t they give normal food? Like chicken nuggets and French fries??? So I ate about half my can of chips, watched 3 episodes of America’s Next Top Model (about half way through all the windows were shut on the plane), slept for 2-3 hours using two seats (this is the highlight of my travel. No, seriously, it’s the only thing that has gone right, except the fact that I’m actually making it Tokyo on time), play video games, read a magazine. Now to find something to do for 4 more hours.

We have these controls on the arm rests that controls the light, channel, volume and what not. Well I turned my light on at one point to fill out immigration forms and when I started playing my DS I was going to turn it off. Come to realize mine is no longer working. My light button is jammed (no more sleeping for me >.<). I’m not sure if I did it… the only thing I can think of was when I came back from the bathroom and I knock one of my seatbelt straps between the seat and wall and had stand up and turn around to find it and get it out… I might have sat on it. It was unintentional of course. Another meal came by soon after I noticed and I let the lady know. This meal was a maybe turkey sandwich with all this condiments on it… gah. Grapes and a cookie… that wasn’t an Oreo. The food was better last year. I blame Delta. I gonna fill out a comment card complaining about condiments and sauces being put in/on my food. Put them on the side please!

PS: Kaitlyn, I’ve been creeping open my window to look out and shutting it fast before I disturb anyone! I’m not the only one that does this, not in my area at least… I’m one of very few that has been doing it, but not the only one.

Compared to last year’s flight to Tokyo, this flight is less crowded. It’s nice. A little lonely. But it’s ok I guess ^.^ I dunno if my first flight anxiety was due to be not flying in a while but I’m more comfortable on this flight. I was OK on the second flight too.

Now the question that is haunting and will continue to haunt me for the next 4 hours or so… will my luggage make it Tokyo with me due to all the late flights?? With my luck thus far… nope!

*A little over 3 hours later*

About 40 minutes til we land. Niiiiice. I spent most of my hours napping/resting (not quite sleeping). At one point I realized “Man it’s quiet” like I felt like I was in that movie The Langaleers and everyone disappeared but me. Nope. Majority of the people were sleeping because in the US it’s nighttime! Sucks for you people if you have jet lag :p I won’t!

I actually got a little bit of real food in me. The choice was fried rice or eggs and sausage. I learned my lesson last year about airplane fried rice… so I went the eggs and sausage. At this point I’m so hungry for real food that if it’s edible I’ll eat it. I ate about 1/3 of the egg and all my sausage and the potatoes were nasty. My stomach can’t handle anymore airplane food. When we land… I’m getting food. Well… first I gotta call Shota… then I’m getting food! >.> Wait, I guess I should exchange my money before that…. THEN FOOD! ^.^

Being on the airplane is like riding in a car to me. There are times I want to ask my mom if we can stop for food… then I realize I can’t. I just noticed that. I can freely open my window since the lights are on. Nothing but water still.

I wrap this up with 35 minutes til landing. And about an hour til real food. <3

*9:30 PM*

My luggage made it. Shota picked me up. First thing getting entering I went to the bathroom (found that before the phone) and changed. He found me buy the phone after I stupidly locked the money up and was starting to get it out to call him. He did drive. I picked on him a lot for his driving but it's drivers here in general. Scary. But then again I think I'd get in a wreck in a minute. The way things are here. No wonder the cars have GPS. You can't memorize how to get anywhere!

We ate lunch and then picked up Jun and Kai. Then we came to the hotel, checked in, I checked in with my family, and we went to JoyPolis. At this time I realized I forgot to exchange the rest of my money... luckily I had some yen already! I'll exchange it in the morning. We did the Room of Living Dolls. I joked afterward with Jun which was scarier... that or Shota's driving! LOL. I just got back. I'm good. Tired.