Sunday, December 18, 2005

Japan: 3am December 18th
San Francisco: 9am December 17th
Hamilton: 1pm December 17th

Location: SanFransisco Airport, Gate 88, en route to Chicago

It's cloudy and rainy here. And I'm a little sleepy. So far, my trip has been a bit of an adventure, both positive and negative.

I woke up early this morning. was it really only this morning? 6am, I was wide awake. I was up and in the shower by 7:30am, when I shaved my legs for the first time read this carefully... 4 months. It feels rather remarkably strange to have smooth legs once again! I figure I don't need the added warmth back in Canada-- the land of heated apartments and heated schools and heated cars. Anyhow. I finished packing my stuff and was left with garbage and leftover stuff all over the room. Melanie came over to collect the things that she agreed to buy, and gladly accepted the contents of my freezer as well. Kenny arrived at 10:20, unexpectedly early. She helped me bring down several loads of garbage and we tracked down the guy who was supposed to buy my couch, kotatsu and Microwave/oven.... half an hour to my departure, we couldn't find his phone number and despite email communication the previous week and a reminder the night before he had still not shown his face. We tracked him down eventually and helped him bring over the couch and microwave, which warmed us up (or tired us out) nicely before we made the trek to the airport with all my luggage.
Somewhere around 12:45 we locked the door to my apartment and dropped the key into the mailbox. Sigh. No more 722-401. We made it to the airport without much hassle. Unfortunately I can't say the same for my check-in process. My bags were pulled aside before I even checked in and the inspector split the zipper on the first pocket he tried to open. It wasn’t opening properly so he just reefed on it and when the zipper split a bit, he just pried the rest open. Thanks. I wasn't happy. He unpacked half of the bag that took me hours to pack, and just shoved the stuff back in and smushed it when it didn't work properly. The next bag went much better; there was no ripping of my zippers. They taped up my first suitcase and sent me on my way.
I was not a happy camper. Just ask Kenny. I spent a few minutes more with her before bidding her farewell for the next 7 months, which was harder than you can imagine. Surprisingly I had no trouble going through security and was delighted to discover that I was seated in the front row of Economy-- meaning I had all the leg room I wanted! I was seated next to a young man from the Bronx who is in the US Military, stationed in Okinawa. Poor guy was just married last year and had two weeks with his wife before he had to ship back out to Okinawa, and hasn't seen her since. He's spending the next 30 days with her. I got my own tv screen that pulled up from my arm rest, and had a million choices of movies. Well, 9, but really, that's not bad.

Japan: 4:39am December 18
SanFransisco: 11:39am December 17
Hamilton: 2:39pm December 17

Location: Flight UA830 en route to Chicago

Throughout the flight, I watched Must Love Dogs, Christmas with the Kranks and Kindergarten Cop. They served us fine and tasty meals, Supper and Breakfast (we ate breakfast at 1am Japan time) plus a few snacks and lots of drinks. On the whole it was a much more comfortable ride than any of my flights with Air Canada have been, although I still have to say that Monarch Air still takes the cake. (well actually they gave us cake… cheese cake…) I managed to doze for an hour to two hours, I don’t really know, which is impressive if you know my lack of ability to sleep on planes (or basically, sleep sitting up). We arrived into Frisco half an hour early, headed through customs and I only had one person in front of me through immigration! That’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten through immigration in a country, only 4 minutes! My bags came through no more scathed than they had been when I sent them away, and I proceeded to re-check them, go through security once more (free and clear yet again! Twice in a row! Let’s see if we can make it a third!) and waited for the boarding of my plane.
I’m now aboard the plane and it’s a little strange to be in a Boeing 747 again, they’re so tiny compared to the Trans-Atlantic and Trans-pacific planes! My flight was half an hour late leaving the gate but they are predicting an arrival as scheduled so that’s wonderful. Then will begin the last stage of my journey.

Japan: 10:35am December 18
Chicago: 7:35pm December 17
Toronto: 8:35pm December 17

Location: UA1110, Over Lake Ontario

I am now onboard flight 1110 en route to Pearson Int Airport. After half an hour of waiting in the Airport and an hour and twenty minutes waiting aboard the plane, we are finally in the air. I should have been to Toronto by now, if we had’ve left on time, but now I shall be half an hour late. Which really isn’t a huge deal, but it seems like it when I’ll finally be *home*.
A really nice guy sat next to me just after I got settled into my seat—He goes to a rather large Christian University in …..I forget already. The Southern States…. Anyhow, he’s a sophomore and is heading back to Edmonton after spending a few days with his girlfriend in Minneapolis. He had a rough day today, he got on his plane to head home at noon, and after they taxied for a bit it was decided that something in the plane was broken. So they sat for an hour and then made everyone get off the plane. They were going to send everyone to Winnipeg in the morning, but he wanted to get moving so he ran around and got a flight to Toronto and is hoping to get a flight straight to Edmonton from there. Poor boy.
Oh, and another girl on the plane was supposed to be on a flight to Toronto this morning but she slept through the boarding, even though she was in the departure area. She didn’t get a flight until this one.
So. Assuming that my flight will be uneventful and that my luggage will arrive safely in Toronto, it will have been a very (long) and successful day.
If you’re reading this right now, assume that I made it home to Hamilton safely.

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