On Thursday morning we woke up bright and early at 2:30 am in order to reach the airport for our 6:00 am flight to LAX. When booking the tickets, Jaeger had the option to choose a flight with a one hour layover in LAX or one with a three hour layover. To be on the safe side, we chose the three hour layover. When we woke Calvin up, he kept insisting that he didn’t want to go to Hong Kong until it was morning.
We made it to LAX without any delays and had a fair amount of time to wander the airport before our flight to Tokyo left. We ate breakfast at a cafe that had a splendid place to sit and watch airplanes taxing back and forth. Calvin was entranced. After breakfast, we found our gate and I eventually convinced Calvin to expend some energy by promising to play tag with him. We found a fairly deserted spot and amused the window washers by running around after each other. One window washer suggested that Calvin may be wearing me out more than I was wearing him out.
Ever since we decided to take Calvin with us to Hong Kong I have been panicking about the long plane ride to get there. I have spent hours (days?) reading every bit of long-haul travel advice I could get my hands on. I carefully packed and re-packed our carry-on bags to try to maximize the amount of entertainment I could carry. However, in the end, it turned out that all the entertainment I really need to bring for Calvin was the iPad. We were very fortunate to have power available for the longest leg of our journey so I never even had to pull out our spare batteries.
On our flight to Tokyo, Calvin happily watched movies and played games on the iPad for at least 5 hours. However, a little over half-way through our flight he stated getting really cranky so I took the iPad away from him and told him it was time to sleep. He feebly protested but was asleep within minutes.
I had worried a little bit over when to let Calvin sleep in order to reduce jet lag. However, one blog I read suggested that it was best to let your children sleep on whatever schedule makes them happiest and only worry about changing schedules once you arrive at your destination. This advice seemed to work surprisingly well for Calvin, at least for the trip here.
Approximately eleven hours after leaving LAX we arrived in Tokyo. This time, we only had an hour layover and I was a little nervous once I learned we had to go through the international security checkpoint before we could continue to our gate. However, security was less painful than I have grown accustomed to in the US. They did specify no liquids were allows through the checkpoint. It was unclear to me if there was a similar exception for 100mL amounts like in the US and I stressed over it enough that I complexly forgot about the water bottles full of water I was carrying. My quart bag of liquids went through without a snag but my full water bottles were flagged. I felt kind of silly. However, once they saw I was traveling with a child they just did a perfunctory smell test (opening up a bottle and wafting any sent towards there nose) and when it smelled like water, they passed me through without any hassle. We actually got to our gate with around a half-hour to spare and got to checkout the nearby children’s play area for a couple of minutes.
I had been especially dreading the Tokyo to Hong Kong part of our journey. Unlike our eleven-hour flight, this five-hour flight didn’t have personally entertainment systems. Calvin played happily with the iPad and I continued reading a book I had been saving for the occasion. However, about half way through the flight I gave up and snoozed the rest of the trip. Calvin also fell asleep shortly after I did (I woke up enough to rescue the iPad from his hands) and stayed asleep until we landed. Apparently Calvin had seen enough airports for one day and we were unable to get him excited over anything we saw outside while we taxied to the gate.
I thought our long journey was almost over. We got through immigration and customs and headed off to find our hotel’s shuttle bus. We successful found the hotel representative and, with a group of people, followed our guide to the hotel shuttle area. Our shuttle bus serviced at least five hotels and we were unfortunately the last ones to be dropped off. However, we did arrive and managed to drag ourselves upstairs to bed. I was very relieved when Calvin climbed into his bed with no fussing at all. Our 30 hour trip was finally over.
Our Hong Kong/Taiwan Trip: