Monday, April 21, 2008

China Day One - Atlanta to Newark to Beijing

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FRIDAY, APRIL 4TH, 2008

Day one of our trip to CHINA started early - we got up at 3am to get ourselves ready (after only 3 hours of sleep). Bulldog Limo Service was scheduled to pick us up at 4:30am, so that we could make our flight out of Atlanta at 8am. Sam, a co-worker and friend of ours, was also travelling to China the same day as us, but on a later flight. She showed up to our house a little after me and Missy had already piled all our luggage and ourselves into the towncar the company sent for us. After getting to the terminal, me and Missy parted ways with Sam and said, "see you in China!"

After getting our baggage checked in, and getting everything else x-rayed and metal-detected, we grabbed a couple of seats by our gate. Missy, decided to test out her new pillow and promptly fell asleep on my arm. It was a short nap though, and soon we found ourselves in the plane, looking out on a rainy morning, hoping that the weather wouldn't work against us.

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(Missy's "neck pillow" gets comfortable while Travel Kitty naps in her sleeping bag on my backpack)

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(Missy getting herself situated)

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(Travel Kitty takes a look out the porthole)

Before we knew it, we were up in the air, ascending well above the storm clouds, on the way to NEWARK, New Jersey:

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We got to the airport at Newark at around 11am and grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Greenleaf Grille...Missy celebrated the successful completion of the first leg of our trip by slappin' high-fives with RONALD MCDONALD:

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Our flight to Beijing left on time at 12:30...we watched the Discovery Channel without sound, on the airplane's in-flight entertainment system, and drifted in and out of sleep. Around 2pm a stewardess woke us up and asked us if we had requested a vegetarian meal...indeed we did. The main course arrived smokin' hot and fully wrapped in plastic. The label on the wrapper read:

"This nutritious vegetarian meal was crafted with pride using fresh, natural ingredients. We hope it exceeds your expectations! Your comments are invited."

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Hmmm...I guess the meal exceeded my expectations, but then again, upon first seeing my meal, my expectations weren't too high to begin with. However, I could tell the meal was crafted with pride...the raisin in the middle of the rice was a nice touch:

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After the meal (which consisted of "indian food", a bread roll, salad, and fruit), I took a couple of Immodium tablets...afterall, we still had 10+ hours left before we arrived in Beijing. Everyone on the plane pretty much fell asleep after lunch was served. I tried watching an old episode of Frazier on the headrest in front of me, but soon fell asleep along with everyone else. When I awoke, I decided to check our progress on the in-flight monitor:

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I wasn't exactly sure, because the map was in Chinese...but I think we were flying over GREENLAND...I checked out the window to see where we were:

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Yup...Greenland.

After Greenland, there was a lot more sleeping, some stretching, some using of the tiny bathroom, some watching of the in-flight entertainment system, some listening to our iPods, and a lot of more sleeping. Before we knew it, the plane was making it's descent on BEIJING. When we finally touched down it was 1:50am...in our bodies...but really, it was 1:50pm, Saturday afternoon...during the flight, we were thrust 12 hours into the future...

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BEIJING...WE ARE READY!

2 comments:

TeenSleuth said...

I am very surprised! I always thought you would fly the other direction, over the Pacific. But no? Weird.

RANCHO COCOA said...

Yeah, I guess there are different routes you can take to get to the China...Sam, our co-worker flew to Detroit, and then to Tokyo, and then to Shanghai (a route we would've loved to have took, just to be able to set foot in Japan)...I guess one of the shorter routes you can take to China is up and over the north pole and over Siberia, which is what we did...