Waiting on the shuttle bus to the airport with just a handful of people so far. I was out of my cabin before 7a.m. Dragged and pushed my luggage to the Lido and had some breakfast. Then went to deck 3 because nobody could hear the announcements with the din in there. Fortunately 3 was the departure deck and a lucky guess because it can be other decks depending on the tides and stuff. I had a hellova time handling my two suitcases; they each wanted to go different ways. Once out of there it was a long walk into the terminal and out the other side and then to find my shuttle.
Yippee i'm on my bus and it's just after 8 now and all i'll have to do is figure out how to get through the airport and to my gate. My flight isn't until 12:55 so i'll have lots of time. Maybe i shouldn't be so confident as i know how things can get messed up and plans can change.
The airport is so big here, huge and beautiful and maybe even easy to find your way around in it if you're young and smart and healthy which doesn't include me, lol. This bacterial infection is causing me to cough and then i worry and then i hyperventilate so it's not that easy.
I was so grateful for Linda and her hubby who were passengers on the ship but i hadn't actually met them before. They and their entourage waited for me at different points making sure i got on the train to another terminal. At one gate something went wrong and i don't know what, maybe i was randomly picked. Whatever, the guy at this point seemed suspicious of me and i was held up for quite a while, answering alot of questions, showing my passport and they even asked for my ships card which luckily i still had in my purse. I was under suspicion for something but you understand and don't ask questions, just stay calm, let them do their job and co-operate and do what they say and soon everything will be ok. I was fingerprinted, photographed and finally let go after the guy in charge took his merry old time checking me out. By then i was so tired of standing and walking i asked about getting wheelchair assist. Don't laugh, remember i've got this stupid bacterial infection and the meds the Dr. had given me yesterday had caused some grief. Needless to say i wasn't going to take those pills on flying day and probably wont even after i get home either because that sceneria was brutal and painful.
My new friends had waited for me! I was surprised and so glad they did and it was totally unexpected. To save the airport employee from having to get somebody to push me in the wheelchair Linda offered to do it. She and her family were so kind and considerate to volunteer to look after me as they did. They pushed me along for a very long way and then at one point i saw that we were coming up to a bookstore and as much as i hated to hold them up still more i did ask if they minded if i ran in to grab a couple of magazines and they graciously said go for it! Off we went again and they were so much fun and a pleasure with their wit and generosity and determination to make sure i got to my flight. They figured out where we needed to go and i'm not sure if i would have been capable of figuring it out on my own because it seemed complicated to me.
We were almost at our gate when Annie came walking towards us from there. She said there was nothing of interest near our gate, not even food nearby and that she was going to the snooze lounge and asked if we wanted to go there too. I said i did but my new friends chose to go a different way and so Annie took over the drivers place of pushing me and off we went. Meanwhile we passed so many interesting things, this airport is not one anyone would get bored in thats for sure! It was quite a long way and into a glass elevator where we went down a floor and there was the snooze lounge nearby. Several people were already snoozing but there were lots of loungers so so we each got one to lay down on and had a little snooze. Annie set her watch for a wake-up call in 20 mins and when it rang we got back on the road, uhhhh, carpet which i liked alot as she pushed me on it. It had an awesome pattern and last year i had taken pics of a different awesome carpet in there that was real cool too. This aiport is amazing and you could spend days admiring it and all it has to offer. You could vacation in there! There's tons of interesting food venues and all sorts of interesting amazing things to look at. There's even a swimming pool and an amusement park, an adult slide to another level, and all sorts of stuff for kids but they wern't on our route.
Soon it was time to get on a beautiful big Cathay Pacific plane and as i walked through the first class section to get to my second class seat i saw Linda and her family sitting in there. They were obviously well to do and the nicest, kindest, most considerate helpful people i've ever met. Shows to go you, you just never know who people are. I am humbled and forever grateful to them for their kindness to me and i hope i can pay it forward somehow, sometime.
Before we flew off i found a different thing on the tv that i'd never seen before. I could see the planes wheels on the tarmac so i left it on that channel wondering what that was all about. We took off and i was able to watch our take off from a totally different and better viewpoint than the one you get at a window. The camera is installed under the belly of the plane! It was literally awesome watching this from my aisle seat as immediately we were out over the bay and there were ships everywhere by the dozens, maybe hundreds, freighters, cruiseships, container ships, and all sorts of ships and boats. It was the most beautiful sight i've ever seen. I had wished that i'd grabbed my camera and taken a pic but i was so mezmerized i didn't want to miss a second of seeing what i saw, it was that awesome!
In retrospect i know it wouldn't have been good if i'd taken that picture because my camera has a pop up flash and the sound of it along with that flash of light probably would have scared the passengers so i'm glad i didn't do it. I'm probably the last one standing with that pop up flash and people wouldn't know what the heck had happened. Yeah, i really do need a new camera.....no, not a phone, a camera!
So, on my way to Hong Kong now for a few hours and then i'll get off and get on another plane to LA. I have to collect my luggage in LA and go through the whole process once again before getting on the plane to Vancouver. Yeah, i'm taking the cheap route; the milk run. It's going to be a long day.
It's now 4pm on my watch and not sure if HK will have a different time. I want to keep track of how long this journey takes. Last year i did the same flights and changed my watch to the local times when i was there. Result - no idea how long it actually took to get home.
Well, i lost track of the time and we landed, a lot of drama ensued, too much to go into here. Anyway me and some other passengers just barely made it to our gate in time. So now on American Air and just took off from HK at 7:20p.m to LA. I think it's about 12 hrs to get to LA and i'm already tired of flying but i have a window seat so maybe i can rest my head on it and get some rest. I can't believe i made these stupid arrangements. All the little bits are just too much. I should have spent a couple days in Hong Kong and then also in LA because this routine i'm doing just might do me in. Good grief, if i feel this bad already how the hell am i going to feel after 30 or more hours of it?
I forget what time we actually landed in LA but it was all sunshiny and bright. I realised that i wont know what time it is unless i change my watch to the local time and i'm too tired, coughing and my brain is fried and i can't do the math of how long it all takes.
The good news is i got a great agent at the LA airport and he took care of everything as he got me on two different shuttles and through all the formalities. He was a very hyper man trying to do everything right and his frantic jittery ways reminded me of Steve. He was also very friendly and he asked me things about Canada and he wanted to know if i was pleased that Justin Trudeau was voted back in. I said yes, that i didn't vote for him the first time around but that i thought he was doing a real good job and i was glad that Canadians had overlooked his little gaffoo and forgave him for the mistake he made when he was 20 years younger.
On the little puddle jumper plane now and it's 2 seats, aisle and 2 seats with maybe 30 people onboard and very different than any other plane i've flown on and frightening too. I'd much rather fly in a huge plane any day. My breathing has become alot worse, i can't stop coughing so i'm trying to do breathing excercises and stay calm and not think about it and after awhile i'm ok.
Just after 9p.m. now and less than 2 hours to go. Going to play my game before the battery dies. I forgot to bring the charger with me; it's in my suitcase. When will i remember all these innovations like being able to charge your devices on the plane. I'm thinking maybe there wont be a next time to remember but you know me; i'll forget all the crap and hard parts that happened and just remember all the good times of living on a ship somewhere far away in this big world.
My plane landed safely just after 11 p.m. and i was asked if i wanted handicapped assist and i said yes. I guess they forward that info on from airports. In the past i would always think i can do this, i'm home. Then all the passengers walk so fast i'm left in the dust with no one to follow. I knew there was going to be an elevator or two and theres tons of them and that means i'm gonna get lost. I rode on a little car to checkpoint number one and then a guy with a wheelchair drove me to the baggage claim.
At this point i really needed to go to the loo so i started towards it when i heard "oh, miss, is this your luggage?" and i couldn't believe my eyes; my luggage was there already. I think it must have come on an earlier plane because there was none coming down the chute for the other people on my flight. Another good thing to know about wheelchair assist. So, forgetting about the loo i just latched onto my stuff and then it was just a short walk to where my husband was waiting for me. He took over with the luggage and walked me out to the car and we drove off into the damp Vancouver air and i was on my last leg to home sweet home.
Until next time......
Is the carpet awesome or what