Monday, June 26, 2006

We're Late

We’re late, we’re late, and of course, that is the only time the police stop you on Miami Beach. Luckily I was able to fish out our plane tickets and Officer Friendly let us go. At the airport, at 6:30 AM we find line endless lines. Because the first leg of the trip was local we didn’t think to be there 2 hours in advance as we would for the international departures. And on this morning, as we were soon to find out, all those people whose flights were canceled due to inclement weather the day before, were on our line. After the lecture from the airline commando about the importance of getting to the airport early, she moved us to the front of the first of many lines, then on to the bag scanning line, where bags for flights departing at 8 a.m. were being accepted. The fact that our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:50 and we pointed that out, got us and others leaving at the same time, yelled at again. “I said!!!! 8:00, don’ you people hear me???!!!”

7:00 and on to the security check line with boarding 20 minutes away. We made it on the plane as the last passengers were boarding and surprisingly the doors closed on time. All ready for take off and those engines power down and that dreaded voice comes over the speaker “Due to mechanical problems…we expect to leave In about 45 minutes. All those with connecting flights in Dallas should not be impacted.” Arrived in Dallas just in time for the England match (Raf’s World Cup obsession continues)

The airport in Japan housed all the necessary travel impulse buying items such as Hermes, and Tiffany’s…even had the latest Shiseido face creams for Y100,000 about $1000.
Finally arrived at Beijing airport, only to have to submit our bags once again to the x-ray machine. It’s stricter to get into the country than on the plane. Lol

We were met by our tour guide, Mona, who informed us that there were no other people in our group. Our own private tour guide and driver Mr. Wong, as well, to accompany us for our 4-day stay in the city.
With sleep on our minds, we made it to the Grand View Garden Hotel. It’s listed as a 4 star, our friends told us to expect motel quality, but after visiting Japan and staying in a cubicle, this room is huge. Not 4 stars by US standards, but very nice. Good night….zzzzzzz!!!!