As promised, I am blogging a few more times. I’m still a bit “fuzzy” from the 15 hour time change so “reflections” of the trip will come at another time.
At 1:30PM Tuesday, Regina and Carl graciously took me to the airport, helped me check in AND assisted in rearranging the packing of my bags so not to be charged 560 Yuan ($80.00) for an overweight bag. Whew! I made it. Actually, I think it was still over weight but the ticket counter attendant wanted me “gone.”
While leaving Shenyang and saying goodbye was difficult, it was tempered a bit by the frenzy of the “repacking” of bags. My plane for Beijing departed at 4:05PM.
The trip from Shenyang to Beijing was uneventful except for my “stuck” carry-on bag in the overhead bin compartment of the plane. It took four people to eventually pry my bag from the bin. All my assistants were amazed by the weight of the bag. Of course this was my interpretation of the grimaces on their faces and their loud chatter.
With about a three hour layover in Beijing, I attempted to eat western food – a Panini sandwich. Okay, it was a nice attempt at a vegetable and cheese Panini but not quite “there” yet. I departed for LAX at 9:00PM.
The 10 ½ hour flight home on Air China was relatively calm and peaceful. I became a bit restless toward the end of the flight when breakfast was served. The western breakfast was an omelet and the Chinese breakfast was porridge and a packaged duck egg. It was a tough choice, but I went with the omelet.
I arrived at LAX at 4:30PM Tuesday. Yes, I arrived home on the same day I left and at approximately the same time. I liked gaining my “lost” day back.
I made it through U.S. Customs with no glitches. Then my only injury of the six month adventure occurred. I tried to help a lady retrieve her bag off the baggage carousel only to rip off one of my fingernails. Wouldn’t you know my only injury would occur on American soil!
So to finish “the rest of the story,” here’s Glen’s version of my departure for Tucson.
It was the perfect plan…the ultimate surprise. Deb was flying into Los Angeles, Tuesday evening before heading on to Tucson later that night. I had a meeting in California that day and would be flying from LA to Tucson that night also. So, without her knowing it I booked the same flight she would be on…a United flight leaving Los Angeles at 9:25pm. I had even arranged for us to have seats next to each other. All day I had debated in my mind whether to surprise her in the airport or wait until she boarded the plane and then go sit by her. As I was driving into LA a little after six o’clock, my cell phone rang. Identifying itself as a call from Deb, I picked up the phone and said, “Welcome back!” She asked, “Where are you?” I responded, “Why?” She said, “Because they have put me on an earlier flight and I’m sitting on the plane about to take off.” I then explained to her that I was driving to LAX to surprise her on the later flight. She said, “Next time you try to surprise me, tell me.” And at that moment I realized that life is back to normal.
Okay, life may be back to normal for Glen, but not for me. I am still fighting the “jet lag.” After a bit more recovery (hopefully only a couple of days), I’ll write more and attempt some genuine “reflections.” Until then, see ya, bye, bye.