Monday, February 9, 2009

Going Home

Sunday January 25th 2009

The phone in our room rang at 5 AM on Sunday Morning (4PM Saturday in the US. Mary Ellen had called even before our hotel wake up call.

It took a few minutes to get out of bed, but we were in a cab by 6:20 AM and on our way back home. We learned our lesson from our inbound ride and took a metered taxi which, even with all of our luggage, was less expensive by about 90 Hong Kong Dollars from the inbound ride.

We approached the ticket desk, hoping for another upgrade, but to our dismay, in disappointment, none was available this time. So, it would be coach all the way , or as Cathay Pacific calls it – Economy class.

Before boarding and after clearing security and emigration, we had breakfast. I also bought a few more little souvenirs and Stacy bought some drinks to take on the plane. Unfortunately, they did another bag check after the gate and on the way to the plane and the drinks were confiscated, even though they were purchased after security checks.

We boarded and sat in our aisle seats. One consolation was that there was no one sitting next to either of us so we could stretch a bit. But, it would still be difficult to sleep even with larger seats that had wings
on the head area
to rest against. We weren’t treated as well as business class, but it still wasn’t too bad.

We took off at 10 AM Hong Kong time. Thanks to the International Date Line, we would arrive about noon at JFK airport in New York. Fourteen hours and 30 minutes in the air, 2 meals, one snack, some wine, lots of water and less than two hours sleep before landing back on American soil.
Baggage claim took forever as bags passed us several times before ours appeared. Customs was a breeze and no worries about catching a cab. Mary Ellen was so very kind to pick us up, saving another car rental and a drive home in my tired state. First we dropped Stacy off at her apartment, unloading her baggage and her treasures. Then it was off to Doylestown where a roast beef dinner would be waiting.

Six separate flights, about 36 hours in the air, four cities, all with H (Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hue, Hanoi and Hong Kong) about 18,000 miles and a two hour ride from New York to Pennsylvania.
Home. My faithful dog, Bailey, hardly greeted me. It was as if I had just taken out the trash and returned. Thanks Bailey.

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