Wednesday 5/6/15 - Departure

We woke up at 7 a.m. after a nice long sleep, took showers, and went to breakfast. It was a great buffet featuring bacon quiche, homemade donuts, muffins, pastries, bacon, Beijing pancake (folded omelet containing veggies and a tomato-ish sauce), fresh pineapple juice, French toast with strawberry jam, "India curry puff" (aka samosa), hash browns, chicken sausage, pork sausage, cheese, and good coffee. This would be our last real meal before we arrived at home, and we savored it.

As we left the restaurant, we passed some small statues of a man doing tai chi by artist Xie Aige. I was missing my 4-5 times a week yoga practice, so I decided to pose practicing some tai chi with Xie Aige's "Frank and Tai Chi III."

At 9:45, we headed to the room and finished packing. We checked out at 10:25. I explained that we owed 25 yuan for the bottled water. The woman looked at me puzzled. "That should have been complimentary." That's what I was telling you before!

After we checked out, Simon picked us up and drove us to Terminal 3. We got out of the car, unloaded the luggage onto a cart, rode in a crowded elevator, and took a people mover to get to check in, only to find that it was the wrong terminal (as Craig had suspected) was domestic. We needed to be in Terminal 2. So we backtracked, reloaded the car, drove 10 minutes to the other terminal, and did it all over again. If this was any indication of the way our trip home was going to go, we were in trouble.

Simon dropped us off and we went through a customs inspection. We checked in at 11:20 a.m., then went through immigration and security. We enjoyed shopping in our favorite gift shop, picking up some last-minute souvenirs and gifts. Then we went to our gate. We got on a bus that seemed almost full to capacity when we boarded, but the amount of passengers doubled before it took the long journey to where our Hainan Airlines Dreamliner was waiting.

We boarded and got settled in our seats. Same seats as the flight over, but one row ahead. Craig was in the middle and I was on the aisle of the middle section. A toddler a few rows in front of us projectile vomited right through the curtain into first class after crying for 15 minutes at the top of her lungs. It was going to be a long flight, both literally and figuratively.

We took off at 2:32 p.m. They had a new animated safety video featuring the Calabash Brothers. It replaced their previous Beijing Opera themed safety video. Hainan certainly put a lot of creativity into its safety videos.

We broke out the iPod and my Surface, and settled in for the flight. We continued listening to our Led Zeppelin collection, and I typed up my notes from the trip. With both devices on efficient display modes, the batteries can last the entire 13 hour flight.

For lunch we had haddock and pasta with tomato sauce and chilis. There was also raw salmon and egg salad, a roll, and yellow cake with cheese cake frosting. We had pineapple juice to drink.

The lady next to Craig seemed to spend the entire 13 hours removing then re-applying beauty product. At one point, Craig came back from the bathroom to find her wearing a facial mask, and it startled the crap out of him. Vomit baby walked by and stopped in the aisle next to me, then hit my delete key while I was typing. Her overly indulgent grandparents just laughed. Ok, I'm ready to be home.

We landed in Boston at 3:10 p.m.. According to the clock, not even an hour had elapsed since we left Beijing. Time zones can really mess with you! After an overly long unpleasant but uneventful immigration experience, we picked up our luggage. Craig's brother Steve picked us up at the airport, and another trip is in the books!


Practicing some tai chi

Practicing some tai chi with Xie Aige's "Frank and Tai Chi III"

Hainan Airlines 787 Dreamliner, nonstop service from Beijing to Boston

Hainan Airlines 787 Dreamliner, nonstop service from Beijing to Boston

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