This was my first trip away from the anklebiters. My saintly aunt and uncle kindly agreed to watch them for a week, and preparing all of the little details that make up my life with the kids was a daunting task. Borderline overwhelming. Since they would be driving my car, I needed to get that disinfected. Since they would be cooking in my kitchen, I needed to find the stray mold spores hiding in my veggie drawer. By the time it came to leave, I was a tired, exhausted, emotional mess of a wreck that tried to hide her tears as her little ones furtively waved goodbye.
And then I boarded a fifteen hour flight headed to Hong Kong. Most of the travelers were extremely well dressed- in utilitarian cargo pants with cool looking shoes. Our flight was sold out, but luckily, the middle seat between Matt and I mysteriously remained empty. As people continued to board, Matt kept telling me not to get my hopes up. Then they locked the doors, and I did a celebratory jig and stretched out.
My older brother asked me what I was going to do on such a long flight. I jokingly told him that I packed lots of sticker books and lollipops. Little does he know, that I've been thinking about this for almost ten months. Fifteen hours of solace. Granted, most of it would be in the middle of the night, but for someone that hasn't been to the bathroom by herself in five years, this was an opportunity to indulge.
Cathay Pacific gives everyone their own little screen- and you can watch a live camera outside the cockpit, play video games, watch television or catch a movie. I watched "The Hangover." I started laughing so loudly the cargo pants people started giving me strange looks, and since it was 3am California time, I piped down. (Side note: Hangover was hilarious. So was "I Love You Man"). I also read. I splurged at Amazon, and throughout the week, I read the following:
The Help- by Kathryn Stockett (loved this. loved. loved. loved.)
Best Friends Forever- Jennifer Weiner (eh. Didn't like this one).
The Lost Symbol- Dan Brown (like my brother says, you always feel kind of dirty for reading such commercial candy, but it was decent)
Water For Elephants- by Sara Gruen (I liked it. Didn't love it, but liked it a lot.)
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation- by Lauren Willig (cute historical fiction)
It was strange- leaving at 2am and flying east. We chased the night for the entire flight, and I kept opening the shade- checking for daylight. It was dark for quite a while. When we finally landed in Hong Kong in the mid-morning, my eyes were tired and my legs were swollen. We had a few hours to kill before our connection to Beijing, so yours truly decided to get a traditional Chinese Reflexology massage.
Big mistake. Huge mistake! It was the most painful 45 minutes of my life. My ankles were so swollen from the flight, and the elderly Chinese woman not only used her knuckles as torture devices, she slapped the patootie out of my calves. Matt took pictures, and if I didn't look so completely vile I'd post them. I kept trying to look composed, but I kept dissolving into giggles of pain as my legs were kneaded, poked and prodded.
After that and a $9 latte from Hong Kong Starbucks (they serve mango brown rice wraps y'all!) we boarded our flight for Beijing.
To Be Continued...