Friday, July 3, 2009

China - Day 8

Yesterday was day eight which was the conclusion of our trip to China. We woke up thinking, "we are going back home to the US today!" While I took a shower and got ready for the day, Rob was able to get all the bags up on the bed and sorted which clothes were clean and dirty. He then started placing all of the items that we had purchased with in the different bags. That way the clothes would go on top to help protect anything from getting broke. About 8am we went downstairs to check out and got into a taxi and headed to the airport. One last crazy nerve-wrecking taxi ride. We were able to see Beijing at "rush-hour". Definitely not something that i would want to see on an everyday basis. Once on the motorway we got into a traffic jam. I noticed that the Chinese think that the Emergency Lane is a good and valid lane to use where there is a backup. So crazy!!! We made it to the airport all in one piece. I was happy to be getting out of the taxi though. I think it will be awhile before I ever get back into any type of taxi!!

Once at the airport and all checked in, we headed towards security. In Europe and Asia people do not have to take off their shoes while going through security. Once through security...we headed over to find food...for an early lunch. We ended up eating at another Pizza Hut only because it was that or some type of chinese place. After lunch we headed clear down to our gate. It must have been on the opposite side from where lunch was. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 1:05 and so you would think that we would be boarding around noon since it was an international flight. well noon came and went and no boarding information announced. Rob and I went ahead and got in line for the shuttle bus as the plane was not there at the gate. finally around 1240pm they started the boarding process. In China, they do not board by rows or zones like the US. Instead everyone lines up in one large line and then pushes each other to get onto the shuttle bus to head out to the plane. after cramming close to 100 people onto this shuttle bus we headed out to the airplane. We got off the bus and then were ordered by officials to get back onto the bus. Rob and I looked at each other and said, "now what is going on?" I kept seeing a ticket agent talk to the flight crew along with a couple other people, plus talk on a cell phone. After probably 10 minutes I looked at Rob and said, "this is taking too long...i have a feeling they are going to take us back to the gate." sure enough i was correct. I noticed that there some technicians working on one area of the wing. Once back at the gate, rob went and got a couple of seats for us as there were not too many available. We were not told why we were back at the gate but the new departure time was 2:30pm. so about 2:15 or so people once again started to line up. rob and i sat tight as there were no shuttle buses arriving yet. 2:30 came and went as well with no shuttle buses. finally around 245 the buses started to appear. we didn't jump up too soon as the line was not moving very fast. why give up comfertable seats if the ticket agents were going to change their minds again. finally we decided that the line was moving fast enough that we probably should get in line. once again on the bus and we were hoping that things were fixed and that we would be leaving. we ended up leaving around 4:30pm. rob did the calculations in his head...and said that we would be arriving at JFK around 5:30pm. For those of you who know JFK...trying to leave the airport at this time is foolish as it is smack dab in the middle if Manhattan/Long Island Rush hour. So we planned to take our time getting off the plane and through customs.

The flight seemed as if it was never going to end. taking off...the cabin had a pretty good vibration which did go away after a couple of minutes. this didn't make me feel any better. i already have some flight anxiety....and this just added to it. i made myself eat both meals that were served on the flight and did sleep for awhile. our flight was 13 hours long. we flew over the north pole. i took a few pictures. hard to see though as we sat on the wing. Getting through Customs was pretty much a breeze. there was a little bit of a wait...but it maybe took us a total of 30 minutes to get through which includes getting our bags. We decided that it was still too early to leave the airport due to traffic and so we found dinner at the terminal food court. not that i really wanted mcdonald's...but it was either that or a place that thought they could make chinese food. so we picked the lesser of the two evils. haha. when we left we did hit some traffic...but not as much as if we would have left at 530 or so. we made it home at about 6pm.

it was nice to be home. all i wanted to do was just sit and do absolutely nothing. i called my mom and sister-in-law once i was home to tell them that i was home and did not die on the airplane even though i thought i was going to die at times. When people ask me if i had fun...i tell them that it was an experience that I will never forget!!

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