Sally's Big Asia Adventure begins!

Vashon Travel Blog

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Azamara Quest Asia Feb. 10- Mar 1, 2009

Feb 10 or 11 or 12– Left home in a snowstorm a little earlier than I planned. The snow was accumulating and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get out of the driveway. It was hairy enough as it was. I slid down the drive around the curve with little control, wondering if the backend would hit the wall or the front end would go over the embankment. Neither happened and I slid down to the road. That was the worst of the drive to Kevin’s.  I debated whether I should skip Kevin’s house since he was fighting the last of a cold. I took Clorox disinfecting wipes and Purell and kept my distance from him. No closer than 5 feet mister!!  We went to the island’s Chinese place for dinner. Got home and went to bed.

Kevin started itching in the night and he was afraid I had brought bedbugs. But in the morning I didn’t have anything and he was covered with welts! We think it might have been an allergic reaction to something in the Chinese food – although they say no MSG! But he got some Benadryl and we headed to the airport. I was a bit worried since all the news reports had ice in the area where we were going but since I had an afternoon flight, we were late enough to let it thaw a bit.

I waited for a couple hours for the start of my 10 ½ hour flight. By the time I boarded, I was tired and slept through takeoff. I woke up a couple hours later to dinner being served. It was a little strange how they handled the flight. It left at 1 pm from Seattle and got to Tokyo at 4 pm, so the flight was totally in daylight. But when we got on the plane all the shades were drawn. They served dinner then shut off the lights for the next 7 hours. They then turned them back on and we were now served breakfast. I guess they wanted us to feel like we didn’t lose a day crossing the date line! So anyway, after I woke up maybe the second time, I got a killer headache. It brought tears to my eyes. My sinuses hurt, my hair even hurt. Then the rest of me started hurting -the back, the neck, the legs. My nose was runny, my eyes bloodshot and teary, and I thought, Oh great, I got the cold from Kevin. And I was stuck in the window seat so I couldn’t get up without disturbing the girl next to me. At the beginning of the flight I had planned on putting my carry on under the seat so there was no room. I grabbed a few things that I knew I would want and put the rest in the overhead bin. This meant that in order to get to my meds, I would have to disturb the girl again. Being so nice, I suffered through the pain until we landed and I could get to my bag. I immediately took an Advil, Claritin D, and a vicodin. By the next flight I was feeling like I was going to live after all.

I had a lovely time in the Narita/Tokyo airport. I used the restroom. It had a very interesting toilet! Western style luckily, which means that you don’t have to squat over a hole in the floor! But what made it so interesting is the little control panel on the right hand side.  On the panel were buttons – one for the bidet feature to wash one’s you-know-what, a button which when pressed made flushing noises to cover up those embarrassing natural sounds, a deodorizing button to cover up those embarrassing natural scents and the all important stop button to turn off the water that is spraying up from somewhere below. All in all, the best time I’ve had in a bathroom that I can remember!

This flight is better. No one is in the seat next to me, so I get room for my laptop. I can stretch my shoulders out and squirm around as much as I need.  It started out incredibly hot (85 degrees and I know because I have a thermometer!) and yet people are wearing their winter coats, sweaters, and scarves. The lady across the aisle is covering up with a blanket and turning off all the air vents within reach. And I’m sweating to death. But it’s better now. The only glitch is that my laptop won’t get power from the power port below the seat, so I have to turn it off, unless I can solve the problem.

Through no fault of my own, the glitch is fixed and I have power! Not sure what I did but now it works. Had another lovely airline dinner. I was thinking earlier that the more tired I get, the worse my vision becomes. I have proven this to myself. As I poured my salad dressing onto my salad I realized that I should have taken the cellophane off first! (In my defense, the salad in the first dinner did not have cellophane. Regardless, I need some sleep.)

It seems that we may be a little late getting into Beijing. We have a 200 mph headwind that isn’t helping our speed. I hope to get into the hotel by midnight.

I have arrived at the hotel! It took a bit of effort to find the hotel. Good thing I printed out the instructions in Chinese before I left home. I had read somewhere that some cabbies don’t know where it is so the Chinese instructions were recommended! Excellent recommendation! It’s about 11:30 at night on Feb. 12 here and I’m going to go to bed and hopefully wake up like it is morning at the right time.

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photo by: Vikram