Tuesday, May 24, 2011

33BA - Day 13 - Heading home at last

Alarm was set for 3:15. I hadn’t slept well (for the first time all vacation) and we grabbed our bags and headed to the lobby. Our taxi was waiting for us, and it was only 3:35 but we headed to the airport anyway.

We had been told that it would be 100-120 Yuan for the drive, yet it ended up costing 200. Doesn’t seem to be anything consistent with the taxi fares in Beijing. We arrive at the airport at 4:15 and head to the ticket counter to check in and check our bags. The line is pretty long and it takes at least 20-30 minutes for us to get to the counter. We had each planned on checking one of our suitcases, then we would carry on a backpack and the last suitcase. We got into a disagreement with the agent who was insistent that our backpacks were too big for carryon. What??? We have always carried those on and it has never been a problem.

I don’t know if they were supposed to or not, but we were able to check the third suitcase at no expense. WHATEVER. We then have to head through customs and security which also takes forever. Good thing we had gone to the airport extra early. By the time we are near the gate, it is already after 5:30. We had hoped to buy some souvenirs at the airport. With the tours that we had done and the race, we hadn’t been able to do any shopping. Unfortunately the only things open were the duty free stores. I don’t think A needs a carton of cigarettes or a bottle of vodka, so we head to the gate empty handed.

We still have some money left, but with the fee to exchange, we will lose about half of what we have left. We find one teeny café and buy a can of soda each. Go to the gate and eat our breakfast of a bagel and peanut butter. We spend the rest of our money at the vending machine on bottled water, only to have that confiscated at the gate. Apparently the TSA doesn’t allow any fluids on board, even though we had already gone through security.

We are still towards the back of the plane and in the middle section. L has no one next to her, I’m on the aisle. I also have a very obese man sitting behind me that keeps pulling on my seat. It’s going to be a long flight.

We are served “dinner” about an hour in (chicken and rice) and I watch movie after movie. This is the LONGEST FLIGHT EVER. I can’t sleep on the plane and I’m just done with this trip. We land in Chicago at 6:45. It takes about 20 minutes to get off the plane. We have to collect our bags to bring them through customs again. It takes a while, so a good thing that we have a while for our flight. We have to go through security again and the line is ridiculously long. After we get through, the first thing we do after using the bathroom is head to STARBUCKS!! Best coffee ever.

"Dinner" at like 8 in the morning
Breakfast around 5 in them morning, but remember I've been up forEVER
We have hours and hours until our flight. There is nothing to do. Sit on the floor and charge my phone. Finally am able to check my Facebook and internet. We still have forever to go. Decide to walk around a bit. We find a store that sells Oriental looking goods, and we buy “fake” souvenirs for the kids. I know, for shame. This takes us until about 9:30, which still gives us a little over an hour until we board our next flight. We are hungry and want lunch, so we head over to Chili’s again. Lunch isn’t served until 10:00, so we have to sit there and wait a bit to order. Totally worth it. Best burger and fries ever. Lunch takes us until 10:40 then we head to our gate and board our plane.

Teeny tiny plane and we are seated in the row in front of the Exit row so our seats don’t recline. The guy in front of me reclines his so I am extra cramped. I am SO tired but I can’t sleep. I try, but it just doesn’t happen. Finally arrive in Denver just before 1:00. We walk and pick up our bags, and then get picked up by none other than my ex. He is pretty friendly though, so that was nice, and he had A with him, which was great.

So ends the 33BA. After a few hours at home of uploading pictures and unpacking, we head and get some pizza for a late birthday celebration dinner. Happy Birthday to me!


  1. Travel is exhausting - and this trip home really takes the cake! But you made it home and got to see adorable little A waiting for you. That had to be the best present of all!!

  2. Ug. Travel can really suck. Reminds me of when we were coming back from Venezuela and we had money to use up. I bought a bunch of jams & hot sauces to bring back (in DUTY FREE) and AA took them away from me as I boarded the plane! I think it's a scam...

    Anyway - Glad you are back safe & sound. Can't wait to hear more!

  3. Traveling/flying just isn't what it use to be. Welcome home. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :)

  4. thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Your race and trip look so amazing!!! I want to go there...but I may wait until they can make the flight shorter:)


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