Sunday, June 6, 2010

Actually getting to Vietnam

So... our flight to San Franciso left at 9:30 am on Wednesday the 26th. Then we were supposed to catch a flight to Hong Kong at noonish. From Hong Kong we would have a four hour lay over and then we would arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at around 10:00 pm on Thursday the 27th (We cross the Internation Date Line on our flight to Hong Kong so we lose a day).

We arrive at the Sea-Tac airport and manage to get our 7 checked bags, car seat, stroller, 3 carry-on items and 3 personal items to the check-in counter. Props go our to my dad for hanging out at the curb to watch our bags as Sean ferried them to the counter while I stayed with Terryn. Then we checked-in and everything was fine. We went to our gate and the flight attendants asked if anyone wanted to check any additional bags at no charge. We jumped on this so we wouldn't have to lug more bags around. We ended up checking in 2 additional bags.

Then we boarded and took off. No problems. As we got closer to San Fran we started to get delayed. Air Traffic Control put our plane in a holding pattern. Apparenly Obama was visiting San Fran and no planes were allowed near the runway until he was gone. So after delaying our plane by about an hour, we were finally allowed to land. This gave us about 20 minutes to make our Hong Kong flight. We did assume that they were probably running late due to the President also, but no guarantees in the airport. We booked it off the plane. Sean ran off ahead since I had to wait for our stroller to come off the plane, and then we ran through the terminals to make our Hong Kong flight.

Luckily they were also running late. We ended up boarding like an hour later. Once on the plane we sat there for another hour. Our plane was having some fueling trouble. They found a fix and had to run a test. We had to de-board for the test. So we all deboarded. They ran the test which took about 15 minutes and we reboarded the plane. This all took about another hour. At this point... we sat on the plane for what seemed like forever and then an announcement was made that the crew was going to exceed their allowable work hours for the day... they were trying to get another crew on board, but with no luck. They were going to have to reschedule our flight for the next day. What?!!

So we deboarded again. Then we all had to wait in line forever to get accomadations to stay in San Fran. They booked us a room at the Mariott and off we went after about another hour of waiting. Sean was pretty cranky at this point, but I was trying to play it cool (Talk about a reversal of the norm). After we ate though Sean seemed to chill out. We did get the most sweet night's sleep though. It was actually kind of nice after all the hectic night we'd had trying to pack up and clean for the move. We didn't have any pressing appointments or anything so it wasn't that big of a deal. We were able to move our hotel reservations in HCM too so it was fine. The only problem we faced was that our extra clothes were in the two checked bags we checked at the gate in Seattle. Ooops. I ended up having to wash some clothes in the bathtub.

So the next day we got to the airport, went through security again.... did the whole process again... and got to our gate again. Things went much smoother this time. Now we just had to make it through the ridiculously long flight. The lady that sat behind us had two small kids, both girls. They were actually abut Ella and Alison's age. They loved to play with Terryn and share toys and that made the flight a lot better. She had to borrow some diapers from me because she wasn't planning on the flight taking a whole extra day. Luckily I had some that were the right size and I had enough to share with her. I was glad to help. A lot of the people of the plane, including the flight attendants though Terryn was adorable. They kept wanting to touch him or have him wave at them. The flight was long, the extra 5 inches we paid for was SO worth it. We watched movies, slept, ate, walked around, I read some.... time still went slowly. Finally we made it to Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong we had to go through security again. That sucked. Sean had packed his tool kit in his carry-on, it wasn't a problem in teh US, but HK made him check it. He had to go to the check-in counter to do it. Mind you, this is after we already went through security. He went and I had the stroller, the diaper bag, our desktop computer and Sean's broken carry-on bag to lug all the way to our gate. Let me just tell you have CRAPPY that was. Our stroller needs two hands to guide it... so it was not easy trying to get everything to the gate. I wanted to drop kick his broken bag out the window.

The lay over was ridiculous. It seemed like forever passed by. We were hungry so I had to go exchange some USD for some Hong Kong Dollars. Then I scouted out a place to get food. I seriously walked like 5 miles to find a suitable place. We didn't want anymore sandwiches and suchi or Dim Sum just didn't sound good. I finally found a place and made the hike back to our gate. I think I was gone almost an hour. While we were waiting by our gate, people kept giving us free candy to give to Terryn. It was funny... it's not like Terryn isn't chubby enough.

Finally we began boarding. In Hong Kong they do a security bag check AGAIN before you board the plane. I don't really understand the purpose of this since everyone already went through security, but I guess they just want to make flying as annoying as possible. Once on the plane... I totally sacked out. I hadn't really slept at all on the long flight, but there was nothing stopping me on this one. Sean said Terryn was horrible on the first part of the flight, but I couldn't tell you why. I was completely unconscious.

Once in Ho Chi Minh, we went through immigration, then we got our million bags and then we went through customs. Trying to wheel all our bags and the stroller out to the curb to grab a taxi was interesting. Luckily some nice policeman helped us. We got a bus-sized van taxi to take us to our hotel room. At least we were all in the same car.

The heat was like I remembered it. Terryn had the same awe-filled face that we did when we saw how much stuff people could load onto a motorbike. Terryn was glued to the window. He kept waving at drivers. It was hilarious.

We finally made it to our hotel, managed to get our bags in the room and went to sleep. In the morning it took us 2 taxis to get to our villa. Then we moved in. Yea.

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