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You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone…

14 Oct

Captain, the Plinkas, and I have just returned from Thailand. On several occasions, I found myself contemplating how unexpected it all was and wondering – if my expectations were so far off, had I suffered a recent head injury resulting in a severe drop in IQ that would affect the way I imagined the trip to go? At multiple junctures, I would think, “Ahhh. There is a lovely couple on the trip I thought I was taking. Look how nicely her toenails are painted.” I am pretty sure she looked at me and thought, “Does she really wear a pony tail every day? Perhaps I should give her the pamphlet to the spa. She must not know there is one here.” In the end, it really was a glorious trip, and like everything in life, was a learning experience. This was our first trip with kids, not including all the trips to family and friends’ homes, who make so many special exceptions – bedding, toys, baby-proofing, readily available milk and food, etc. – prior to our arrival. I know I have said thank you to each of you in the past, but once again and with a whole new level of sincerity – THANK YOU!!! Continue reading

Just getting around…

27 Sep

A few weeks ago, I asked someone if they would like to meet for lunch. She responded, “I’m sorry. We have a doctor’s appointment that day.” Genuinely concerned for what would constitute an entire day to be consumed with a doctor’s appointment, she explained that it was just a routine check-up, but that is was “on the island“, meaning Hong Kong island, and we both live on “the Dark Side”, aka Kowloon. I felt a bit dissed but let it slide. After all, I can get to the island by train in under ten minutes. Whatever. “Another time” we both agreed and the subject was closed. Misunderstandings are always opportunities for enlightenment, aren’t they? Continue reading

Thai-Disco Airways

27 Jul

We survived another 20-hour travel day, all thanks to the awesome service from Thai-Disco Airways. At least that’s that new name of the airline we flew…  Continue reading

Looking for the short end of the stick?

17 Jul

Don’t worry – I have it. I swore I would never do it again, and now I have to… twice. Continue reading

China smells like Wal-Mart…

18 May

… Luckily, I live in Hong Kong. This past week I took a 15 hour round-trip to the mainland – just across the border to Shenzhen, China. The day included near limitless shopping and closed with 7 hours at the spa to calm the frenzy.  Luxurious, right? Keep reading. Continue reading

Terror and relief… at 36,000 feet.

26 Feb

Relief: Well, we made it. I survived 23 hours of international travel alone with two toddlers. I will admit, my kids are rock stars. Though not without tearful moments, they played quietly, they ate (even when the airline lost their pre-ordered kid meal), and they SLEPT. Ahhhh. In separate intervals, but they slept, nonetheless. And now it is all behind me, sweet relief, and we are… home? I had an amazing flight attendant – thank you L. Tam with UNTED AIRLINES for your most incredible service! He cheked in with me double time, had stickers on hand at the most critical moments, saved milk for the kids when the supply began to run low, and even helped me get my four carry-on bags off the airplane.  

A word of advice to any parents traveling alone with kid(s), particularly internationally : suck it up, tip generously, and order a wheelchair at your destination. After schlepping 4 carry-on bags, two kids, and a stroller through IAH and SFO, I, in my infinite wisdom, ordered a wheelchair for my arrival at Hong Kong. Not for me… for the bags. The lady was more than happy to roll the bags, we got to use the super-speedy handicap/handi-able entrance at Passport Control (instead of standing in the long, winding line for 45 minutes with two squirmy monkeys), she arranged the porter for my additional 6 large checked bags, and followed me through customs all the way to load the taxi. Easy-peasy.

Terror: The worst part of the entire experience… fellow travelers. I felt like a 14th century leper as I walked through the airport. It is the only place I have ever been that people actually run away rather than offer any type of assistance. The terror on the faces of my fellow travelers spoke volumes, “Please G*d, not on my flight.” Airline staffers looked at me with such disdain that I almost felt shameful for having the nerve to board a plane. And THEN… the lady in line behind me at the breakfast place at SFO says, “Why must people travel with kids? I don’t get it.” Ohhh geez, I am so sorry, lady; perhaps next time I should make them swim it? I was actually just bored this weekend and I thought a 23 hour travel day would be fun for the whole family. If you don’t like it… charter. And if my kid accidentally drops a ketchup-laden french fry on your Jimmy Choo… well, I might just high-five him for it.

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