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First Flight to Japan

May 4, 2006

Japan

Japan

The flight to Japan was, for the most part, an easy travel experience — at least in the aspects that count.

The ride was smooth with only two short-lived bouts of turbulence. Of course, as it is with Murphy’s Law, both times one of us was using the bathroom at the exact moment that the fasten seat belts sign went on — first Chesney, then me. However, air turbulence was over quickly and the flight returned to normal.

Flight Attendant service was polite and efficient. We were offered peanuts and drinks at the start of the flight. Lunch was offered later and consisted of chicken or beef with rice, sweet sushi, Asian salad, a wheat roll with butter, and a brownie. Chopsticks and plastic utensils were offered so we all chose to go authentic and use the chopsticks. The meal wasn’t especially child-friendly, as Teagan took one “no-thank-you” bite and that was all. The brownie was all she really ate. I admit that I, too, was having to a bit of a challenge overcoming the new taste sensation of the ginger chicken. It was good, but not great, but I ate it with the mind-set of enjoying the experience, while keeping in mind that it was, after all, just airplane food.

A few hours later, a snack was served which consisted of a yummy turkey sandwich, an apple, and some Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies. Everyone enjoyed that snack which came at a perfect time when I was starting to go a little stir crazy. Our last meal came shortly before we landed and was a dinner with the choice of pasta or pork, a fruit cup with pineapple, strawberries and pears; and a wheat roll.

The hard part of the flight, as it concerned me, was the seating arrangements. Rows of seats were in threes, so Slade sat with one child in front of me and I sat with the other. The kids changed seats throughout the flight but the adults didn’t. Slade’s seats were in the bulk head area so there was room for feet and to stretch out a little more than in my seats. Truth be told, I was miserably uncomfortable and my internal dialogue went something like, ” Oh my God, I have to get off this plane! Oh my God, I have to move, I just can’t move my feet! Oh my God, I can’t be on this plane one more single second. I have to STRETCH OUT MY LEGS! AHHHHHH!” What made my seating arrangements so challenging was that there was a man in the isle seat in my row and I found it awkward to move around much, being as I’m also pregnant, and to ask him to get up so we could walk around the cabin or go to the bathroom. It wasn’t easy to just get up whenever we wanted to. Also, I had packed a variety of crafts and things for the kids to do, but without room to maneuver, it was nearly impossible to do much of what I brought. But, I kept telling myself that I’d only have to do this trip once, at least for the next few years, and I made some mental notes for the next time we travel. And, I’m grateful for the fact that the kids were perfectly easy. Each seat has its own TV with headphones and there was a dedicated kids’ channel that played great movies and shows that the kids enjoyed — Robots, Kim Possible, Hoodwinked, Bugs Life and things like that. When they tired of those shows, we had our own personal DVD players with lots of movie choices, Nintendo Game Boys that we bought just for the trip (what an amazing toy — we’ve used it 10 times since we’ve arrived here to occupy time), and some other activities. As for sleeping, Teagan slept for about 2 hours, I slept for about an hour, Slade didn’t sleep and Chesney didn’t sleep except for the point when she passed out during the last 30 minutes of the trip, which would have been about midnight our time. The lack of sleep turned out to be a great blessing, however, because we were able to acclimate to the adjusted time here without too much pain. More on that later.

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