In no particular order, these are observations from our trip from Lexington, South Carolina (dep 4/21/10) to Shenyang, China (arr 4/23/10).
We thought our bags could only be 50 pounds, but learned the night before they could be 70 each. That would have been a lot too manage, so it just saved us an extra carry on. Tim and I, along with our 208 pounds of luggage made it 10,000 or so miles over the last couple of days.
It was interesting for us to realize that it would be the last time in South Carolina until Ann’s 2011 Clemson graduation.
Tim’s big observation was that business class = good. And the lie “flat” seat with a real pillow and blanket make a 14-hour leg a little more bearable. The dessert cart rolling up the aisle of business class was pretty darn impressive to me.
We were in 4 countries in 2 days with our various stops, which means I went to the restroom in 4 countries (and 3 time zones) in 2 days). Tokyo was a model of efficiency, living up to their reputation. On the flight from Tokyo to Seoul, we were served an amazing bento box with 2 rice dishes, a sesame meatball, and a pink gelatinous (sp?) blob that neither of us could identify. We tried it all though; we won’t miss a food experience.
Upon entering Asian airports, we noticed the heat sensors at the arrival gates. These help identify if someone is sick. If so, they are whisked off to a quarantine office a few steps away. When we arrived in China, we had to complete a form as a part of the immigration paperwork, attesting to our lack of flu-like symptoms and that we hadn’t come into contact with any sick people recently.
We stayed overnight at the Air Garden Hotel at Incheon airport in Seoul. This hotel is within the security limits, inside the airport, which makes check out and departure very easy. This 8 hour stay in a hotel helped us get some quiet rest and a shower before actually arriving in Shenyang bright and early on a Friday morning. This stay also prevented us from having to sleep on the many benches, lounges and even floors in the airport. We saw just how many people did though. We were so thankful for the Korean Air lounge with food, coffee and a beautiful red can to greet me.
Before going to sleep at the hotel in Seoul, we got some bottled water at the 24 hour stand. We had not gotten any Korean money, so Tim used a credit card. I wondered if he had warned Capital One that there would be expenditures in China….
Here are some pictures in a slide show from our first day. A view from our hotel room with a slight haze in the sky. A view of one of the many construction projects in Shenyang. Pictures of our first meals; noodles (Julie) and fried rice (Tim). The well know red can welcoming us.
Coming soon … Responses to the Top Ten questions we’ve been asked over the last few months.