10/11/10 6:30am Monday
My first flight was from Boston to Newark New Jersey. 49 minutes in the air and my first cat nap. Next flight was from Newark to Tokyo, thirteen hours and 52 minutes in the air. Wow, that is a long time. It is amazing to me that a plane can fly that far and hold that much fuel, let alone diet coke for me. After boarding the plane my first priority was to introduce myself to my "seat-mates". It was going to be a long 14 hours and we might as well get to know each other to make the time more enjoyable. Jannine and Bernard for Ottawa Canada. My guess they are retired, and maybe in their 60-70s. French Canadians, it was fun to listen to them speaking French during the trip. This was their first time to Japan. They are seasoned travellers, and make one big trip a year, as well as spend February in Spain each year. When I grow up, I want to be like them. They were such a cute couple. The only difference I would do when travelling is NOT to travel with a tour bus. Jannine and Bernard were one of ten couples spending two weeks in Japan.
Back Up Plan
Letter to Juliet
Three movies I watched during the flight. The other 7 hours is when I had my cat naps. I have a large carry on bag. What was I thinking? Well, I thought I would be bored out of my mind & would need something to do to keep me occupied. I was so wrong. I did not realize that there would be 132 movies for me to choose from to watch on my own screen on the back of the seat in front of me. I also played solitaire.
Arrived in Tokyo 10/12/10 @ 2:40pm
Getting out of Narita Airport in Tokyo is extremely easy. Customs lines are run by efficient workers. I was amazed at the technology when entering Japan. Luckily I do not have a criminal record I guess. They took scans of my finger prints, as well as a photo of me. I appreciate their efforts to keep their country safe.
Next task was to get the luggage. Again, easy. I am beginning to think Japan might be a place I visit again. Everyone is so polite.
It is customary to send your luggage ahead if you are riding the Shinkansen (bullet train). It makes sense, that way you do not have to commandeer your luggage through multiple train stops and lines. I said goodbye to one piece of luggage. Faith is what I have as I hope I gave them the correct info of where to send the luggage. I will know tomorrow!
I have come to Tokyo two days early before the rest of my group. They are arriving on Thursday. I wanted time to spend in Tokyo to explore for a few days. This part of the trip is on my expense, and not a part of the official delegation.
Next mode of transportation was a shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel. I am staying for 2 nights at the Radisson in Narita. Beautiful hotel. I am never disappointed when I stay at a Radisson outside of the United States. Always beautiful.
Cat nap in hotel to refresh.
Leave it up to me to find a hotel that has a free shuttle to a HUGE mall. That was easy. Plans made for tonight.
Cat Nap on the bus to the mall
There is a Hard Rock Cafe at the mall. I know, why go to Japan to eat American food? Well, it is something I do. I collect the Hard Rock Cafe Guitar Pins. I think I have over 30 of them. While I am there, I always have the same thing. Twisted Mac & Cheese with Chicken and a diet Coke. Only they do not have diet Coke. They have Coke Zero. So I guess that is my drink of choice this next week and a half. The promising thing is that they do serve the soda with ice. I remember in France drinking Coke-lite that was warm. Gross, but I still did it.
Cat nap on the bus on the way back to the hotel. This one I did NOT want to do, but could not help myself. I am exhausted.
So now it is 10:45pm Tokyo time and 9:45am Boston time. What am I doing right now? I am watching grown men play dodge ball on TV. Japanese TV cracks me up. There are 3 channels showing Japanese game shows, one for CNN, and one for BBCTV. Then there are a few movie channels. I am stuck on the dodgeball.
Now I hope to get a proper nights sleep.
No more cat naps.