Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Saturday, Aug.3--- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Well, it took a train ride to Hong Kong, a plane to Chicago then to Memphis, and our Dodge Journey to finally get HOME! But, we made it!!!!

Let's go back some hours....

Again, Dustin and I woke up before Sophie, so we got in our showers. Dustin left me getting ready in the hotel room to go see where we need to go in the airport. We woke Sophie up and got her dressed. We ate granola and breakfast bars in the room. I put Sophie on some what was suppose to be skinny jeans but she is so little that even a size 24 months made her skinny jeans look baggy. While we were packing up, Dustin was watching TV. He was watching the world news and they were talking how Americans need to watch out for terror attacks, especially world travelers. They also said the USA was closing down some of their embassies. Great! Just what I need to hear right before we step on a 15 hour plane ride. Our flight leaves at 11:40, so we checked out of our room at 9 am. It was no problem finding our terminal since Dustin found it earlier. The Hong Kong airport is huge and really nice. The security check wasn't that bad, it went rather quickly. We all went to the bathroom before getting on the plane. Then, I guess I looked "interesting" because a local surveyor selected me out of everyone to participate in a survey about staying Hong Kong. She didn't get a lot of interesting things out of me since we just stayed one night, not even 12 hours. But, this did help pass the time.

They started boarding about 11 am. Dustin had to purchase to cokes (never been opened) to take on the flight. But, before you board on the plane, there was another security check going through your carry on luggage. They wouldn't allow Dustin to bring the cokes, money wasted. They even had Sophie to dump her water that was in her sippy cup. No exit aisle seats this time. We had less foot and leg room this time, but at least we were all three sitting together. Before the flight even took off, Sophie was asleep. This could be a good sign. However, she woke up about 30 minutes later when they started serving snacks. She liked her pretzels, I thought she would go back to sleep, but she didn't (until much later). She liked the in-flight meals. Food always helps keep her busy. She also watched some cartoons and colored in her coloring book. Dustin did take her to walk around the airplane some when she got antsy. She didn't really like wearing the seat belt, which she cried a little over. She probably cried about 3 times the whole time we were on the plane, but she didn't cry for long. She had no problem using the potty on the plane. She did better than I expected. About hour 6, I was ready to get off the plane! Sophie slept the last 5 hours of the flight. We had to make her be still to get her to settle down and fall asleep, this was one of the times she cried. But, she did fall asleep. So, she was asleep at take off and when we landed. I slept about 4 hours. I slept when she slept. Dustin didn't sleep at all, I told him he was probably going to regret it later. He watched a lot of movies though. I only watched two movies this time. Oblivion was my favorite!

We landed in Chicago at 1:40 pm and we had about two hours to go through immigration, customs, and security check before our flight left for Memphis. It was going to be cutting it close. Oh yeah, we had to recheck our luggage also. We hustled off the plane and basically ran to customs. That went pretty quick. Then, we had to go through immigration. They looked at our passports and told us after we pick up our check in luggage that we will have to give the officer at the end of lane two our brown envelope. It took a while to claim our luggage; tick,tick,tick. (Are we going to make it?) As soon as we picked up our luggage, we got in the line to see the "officer." Then, he directed us to another waiting area while we were to give our brown envelope. They took our envelope and told us to have a seat. I hope this doesn't take that long. It took about 10 minutes before they told us we could go. Then, we were off to the security check and our terminal. Well, the Chicago airport is very confusing. We had the most trouble here in Chicago getting to our terminal than the foreign airports.We had to take a tram to get to the domestic side of the airport. Then, we had to recheck in at the front to get our boarding passes. We had problems printing Sophie's ticket. (Cutting it very close, I really don't want to miss our flight!) Then, we had to go through security check. The line was literally a mile long and it wasn't moving. A couple asked us and some people in front of us if they go ahead and jump ahead of us since their plane was boarding. This gave Dustin an idea. He said follow me! We went from the end of the line to the front, Dustin explaining to the people up front why. They were nice about it. The security guard asked Dustin what we were doing and he told her. She asked if we asked everyone that we skipped if it was okay (No, just the few people up front, but lady we have a plane to catch and your security check process is so slow). It was really slow, it moving like every 5 minutes and was backed up! We went through security check then one of our suitcases was flagged. They took one of carry ons and took every single thing out and ran it back through the machine. Then, they had "us!" to repack everything. This took 15 minutes itself! We were not very happy. We basically ran to our terminal! We made it in enough of time! Yay! I am going to be home less than two hours. We weren't waiting very long before they started boarding the plane for Memphis. They actually boarded 10 minutes late. This flight was going to be only one hour and 17 minutes long. This is nothing after a 15 hour flight. Dustin's seat was two seats behind mine and Sophie's. Sophie was asleep again before take off and slept the whole time. Dustin was asleep, too. I was to anxious to get home to fall asleep. It was great sensation flying over Memphis! I have to admit I shed a few tears when we reached Memphis. After we got off the plane, I through Sophie an "American" dress on for some photo ops.

The Memphis airport was a ghost town compared to all of the other airports we had been to on this trip. However, it was a great feeling!!! Walking out of the terminal, we saw some familiar faces peeking around the corner. I lost it when I saw my "baby boy" standing there! Holding Sophie in my arms, I walked directly toward David Ryan and bent down and introduced him to his sister. Then, I got me a hug! There was a lot of tears, kisses, and hugs! Sophie did really well seeing everyone there. She let our families take pictures of her. She didn't cry when David Ryan hugged her. I was too emotional to remember all what was said at the airport.

She did well in her car seat. I thought she would scream being buckled in a car seat, because in China they don't have car seats for children. But, she did fine. We stopped by Wendy's on the way home and got us some good ole American hamburgers to take home and eat. We got chicken nuggets and french fries for the kiddos. We had our first family dinner in our home at our table as a family of four. We let the kids try to get to know each other a little before we put them to bed. However, we did go to bed pretty early since Dustin hasn't slept in over 15 hours. We let David Ryan watch a movie in bed since it was kind of early. But, he is good, he will stay in bed and watch the move and fall asleep afterwards. He won't get out of bed until we come and get him in the morning. He has always been good about that. Sophie whimpered a little bit when we laid her in her crib, but she eventually fell asleep. We have a baby monitor in our home so we can hear Sophie in her room.

Sophie woke up about 2 am and Dustin was sound asleep, so momma to the rescue. I calmed her down and made me a little mat on the floor beside the crib until she fell asleep, which was 5:30 am. I didn't want her waking David Ryan up. I went back to my bed after she fell asleep and I couldn't go back to bed until 7:00 am. Dustin was up, too. He couldn't go back to bed either, but we both went back to sleep at 7am and woke up again at 8:00 am. The kids were ready to get up for the day. Hopefully, after a few days, Sophie will get on Mississippi time. I will try to update soon on her days after we been home a few days. I know you all want to know how Sophie is adjusting to her new life here in the good ole USA! ( I am currently working on the post for this update, a lot has been going on since we have been so it is taking me a while).

Oh yeah, I have to share this with you. While on this trip, we have dodged a bombing in the Beijing airport, earthquakes in Central China, a chicken pox outbreak, and a terrorist attack scare! "God Bless America" has a new meaning to us! We are so happy to be home!

                                        Sophie in her "Daddy's Princess" shirt and skinny jeans

                              Already getting sleepy before take off (before our 15 hour flight)

                                    In the airport; our first photo as a family of four

                                       In the Memphis airport meeting family

                                         Our first family dinner together as a family of four

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