Saturday, December 25, 2004

(VERY LONG) Day One (Wednesday, Dec.8 and Thursday, Dec. 10th)

Our first day started at 2:45 a.m. After getting dressed and dragging the luggage our to the Durango, we headed towards Jeanie's house. About halfway there, (running late at this time) we were pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. The police officer was very suspicious of us, but he let us go with a warning. We then picked up Jeanie, Lauren, and Elisabeth, and Jeanie drove us to the airport. We checked in, got our boarding passes, and said our goodbyes to the girls.

At security, we had to remove our shoes and coats and jackets. We both walked through the metal detector and into the wrong line. We went to the line for people who made the metal detector beep, so they had to wand us. My shirt had rhinestones on the front and kept making the metal detector go off when the wand was near my chest. Because of this, the lady had to pat me down. Later, I told Joanie that I always thought the first person to touch my chest that way would be a boy. Okay, stop laughing at me.

I began to get nervous as we were waiting at the gate. I had never flown before. When it was time, I walked onto a VERY small jet. The seats were two on each side of the aisle, and if you sat by the window, you had to tilt your head because the wall curved up toward the ceiling. The flight was not scary at all and very short.

We arrived in Chicago at 6:30 a.m. Chicago time (the same time we left) (7:30 a.m. our time) and our next flight was not until 5 hours later. The next plane we boarded was extremely large. There were two aisles down the plane with three seats on each edge and four in the middle. The flight was going to be 13 hours long. This flight (Japan Airlines) was much better than our united flight earlier. There were t.v. screens in the back of every seat with movies, games, a map of our flight, and out side camera views. I watched elf. I discovered I really like the Japanese juice, Yuzu.

The flight was SO long. About five hours into it, my legs were burning with the need to move. I felt like I was in a cage. I NEEDED to stand up. I HAD to walk around. But, eventually the flight was over, and the flight was just a memory.

We arrived in Tokyo on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. our time, I think) with only an hour layover. By this time, we had met everyone in our travel group, and we all stood together at the gate.

Our four hour flight to Beijing is still a little vague because I was drifting in and out of consciousness the entire flight. I was SO tired. (By this time, it had been more than 24hrs. Since I woke up in Ohio.)

At the Beijing airport we had to go through customs. I was very amused to stand in the "foriengers" line. After customs, we met our coordinator, Genie, and took a bus to the hotel. We arrived at Hotel Kun Lun at 11 pm China Time (10 am our time.) The room was very nice, but I did not get to appreciate that very much as I fell into an exhausted sleep.

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