Monday, October 04, 2010
Take the Long Way Home
We made it home last Thursday. It was a long, long trip. We flew to Beijing where we had to change terminals to change planes. We hopped on a bus that said "To Terminal 3." The bus then proceeded on a 10 minute journey to the next terminal. We had no idea that it was that long and we sure hoped we were going to the right place. But we got to Terminal 3 and checked in and decided to get lunch. Now we were getting dangerously low on yuan, but we had heard that most restaurants in the Beijing airport took credit cards so we headed off to Burger King. After a long line, and mixed communication, we learned that BK doesn't take credit cards and all we could afford were two Whopper Jrs. So we sat down to feed the little Whoppers to our children while we started to eat the snacks in our bag when the gentleman sitting next to us who had overheard our dilemma traded us some RMB for ten bucks US. Yay! Back to the BK line where we got burgers, fries and a Coke Zero.
We knew we had to clear the immigration checkpoint before we found our gate. Another train ride and another long line later we were there. Finally we boarded the flight we were NOT looking forward to. A long 12 hours to Chicago. Noah started in crying right away. I hear groans from those sitting near us, but what could I do? Once we were able to move around the cabin, Noah got happier. Finally we had a meal and tried to settle the boys down to sleep. Yeah, right. Noah really prefers to be rocked while standing. Not so easy in the center seat. Micah insisted that he would not sleep on a plane and settled in to watch Air Buddies on the DVD player. Noah finally slept fitfully on Mama's shoulder, then on Baba's seat which Baba so graciously vacated. Then just as Micah finished his movie and drifted off to dream, Noah woke with a huge cry. Baba to the rescue again. He took Noah and walked around the cabin while Micah and Mama got some shuteye. Noah charmed the flight attendants and scored another meal of pork and rice.
Overall Micah slept for a 4 hours or so while Noah got a few fitful naps. Mama got a two hour rest, but Baba got zero sleep. Have I mentioned that Baba is my hero? He sacrificed his own sleep so that I and the boys could get some rest.
We landed in Chicago where we had about 2 hours to clear customs and immigration and board our flight to ATL. We needed every minute of the 2 hours to get through all the steps. We barely got on the plane as they closed the doors and pushed back.
The boys shared a seat and looked excitedly out the window during the flight. We landed at ATL in the T Terminal and were able to sneak up from behind our welcoming party waiting at the top of the escalator. We were thrilled to see Lao Lao and Lao Ye and our dear friends Miss Mary, Grand and Anna waiting to welcome us. Micah enjoyed seeing his buddy Grant and greatly enjoyed the bag of M&Ms that Anna brought to him.
We came home to find the cupboards and refrigerator full of food brought by my colleagues at the preschool. We are blown away by the generosity of friends. It's good to be home.