Stephen worked, and got off work late, so we didn't end up actually leaving Austin for Dallas until nearly 5:30. This is where living on the North side actually came in handy, as we almost completely missed rush hour traffic and were headed North at a decent clip.
We finally got to Dallas and met up with some friends for a late dinner at Sushi Ikara--good stuff! It's located in a shopping complex on the corner of Legacy and Coit Streets in Plano. They pretty much only offered rolls, but a really good selection of them that would please almost anyone. We got a variety of rolls, both fresh and cooked, and I actually enjoyed most of them, including the two new ones: the New York roll (crab on top, cucumber, radish, and avacado rolled inside) and the Dragon roll (eel and avacado on top of the traditional California Roll). Then we headed over to the Bed and Breakfast (Country Place: http://www.countryplacebb.com) getting a little lost along the way, but nothing we couldn't recover from, though stopping for a map eventually got us back on track. So we ended up not arriving to the B&B until nearly 11, at which point we went straight to bed, since we had to be up around 4:00 the next morning to be at the airport by 6:00.
06-07 January--Really Long Day, not sure where one ended and the other began.
Needless to say, 4:00am came too soon, but we drug ourselves out of bed, showered, and headed to the main room of the B&B where a delightful breakfast of
fruit, tea, and homemade bread. Just the right thing that early. Chatting with the innkeeper a bit, we learned that he was the mayor of the small suburb and a little bit of history of the inn and the surrounding area. Like much of Dallas, the residents are attempting to stem the tide of housing developments moving outwards from the city. Anyway, he was a very nice man, and we appreciated it very much that he got up to chat with us and do breakfast.
Then we headed off to the airport. It took us about 45 minutes to get there, but once there the only real line we had to wait in was to get to the ticket counter. If we had been travelling domestically we would have been able to check in electronically--even with baggage. Needless to say, Stephen was chomping at the bit to try it out, and he may just fly United the next time we go anywhere just so he can. Silly boy. The woman doing the checking in was very nice, but misspelled my name on my boarding passes. This never came back to haunt me thank goodness, but every time I had to go through security, I could see the TSA agent debating with him/herself whether to let it slide or not. Fortunately, s/he always allowed me through. *whew* We were supposed to have a direct flight from Dallas to Hong Kong, and I'm not sure what happened to that, but when I printed the updated itenerary on Monday, it showed a San Francisco leg that wasn't on our original booking. Strange. Aside from that and a 1 hour delay, our flight to San Francisco was pretty uneventful; though, during our gate change, we somehow missed the shuttle to take us to the international terminal and had to repass Security. Not a big deal, just extra hassle.
The flight to Hong Kong was really freaking LONG. Now the hop across the Atlantic isn't exactly short either, at 8-9 hours, but 14 hours on a plane--a packed plane seems like a lifetime. This flight was 3 full hours longer in the air than that it took to get to St. Petersburg. And since we had window seats, getting up to walk around was something of a chore, so we slept most of the way. Stephen and I had also forgotten to bring snacks with us on the flight, which meant that we were dependant on their meal schedule, which was not NEARLY often enough for me, though it did include two full meals and a decent snack (ramen cup, apple, and a cookie). Contrary to what my beloved husband may say, I did not drink the plane out of hot tea (though it was good tea. Brewed fresh, and not from bags). I had only had ONE CUP before they had to go make more, and a little one at that. *looks indignant*. I am thinking, however, that we may need to look into upgrading to business class for the return trip or getting seats in the exit row. Poor Stephen had really sore knees once we got to Hong Kong, and could barely sleep though he looked exhausted.
Once we did get to Hong Kong, fortunately we had about an hour to walk around, which was realy nice for our circulation and for Stephen's aching limbs. Granted by this point we had been awake for over 24 hours with just a bit of sleep, but the thought of sitting for another hour before climbing into another aircraft was less than enjoyable. The Hong Kong airport was really nice though, with a cool jointed metal curved ceiling and very comfy chairs. Flying into Singapore at night was really spectacular though, and I wish that I could have gotten some good shots, but the double paned windows on the plane didn't allow for that. Otherwise, the flight to Singapore was equally as uneventful as the other two, but with substantially more sleep. We did get in well after midnight and it was nearly 1am by the time we passed through passport control (where they scanned our foreheads--very odd), collected our baggage and found a taxi to the hotel. We arrived at the Swissotel: The Stamford around 2am, and since Stephen didn't reconfirm the room before we arrived they didn't have a single room available, just a double, but they could get us into a Single room the next day. So we took that, and more or less immediately crashed. The rooms are VERY nice, and the beds quite comfortable. The rooms also have a SPECTACULAR view of the city.
Note the lack of rain clouds. *happy dance* Next entry: Our first day