I Survived The Trip

We ended up getting out of Kyoto a half an hour late, and lost another hour due to traffic jams on the highway, of unknown origin. We would have been much later still if our timing would have been a bit less lucky -- after finally getting out of the hour-long holdup, we came across a 10-car accident, apparently about half a minute or a minute after it had happened. Two cars in front seemed to have had a minor rear-ender, and then behind them were eight cars were accordion'd together. I guess they were following too close (as most do in Japan, as elsewhere) and couldn't stop in time. Lucky for them, there were two highway services patrol cars just in front of us, so they were on the scene very quickly.

Watching cartoons half an hour into the flight

Sleeping at the 11-hour mark

The flight turned out to not be so bad. Anthony slept much of its 12 hours, albeit fitfully (waking up and crying momentarily several times an hour), but the super-fantastic part of it was that I got a whole row of five seats to myself -- I could push back the armrests and actually lie down flat. It was fantastic.

The nice family that sat in the row in front of us
(front-to-back) Erin, Elena (same age as Anthony), and Erika.

In Chicago, I had to go through immigration, pick up luggage and go through customs, re-check luggage, then get myself over to the departure gate for my next flight, which involved lugging all my non-check-in stuff (stroller, car seat, two small suitcases filled with baby stuff, and two “drink pack” carrying cases, and one two-year-old boy) up to an airport tram, ride three stops, down to one concourse, through security, down and through Chicago's “funky tunnel” (if you've been there, you know what I'm talking about) which goes underneath some taxiways, then up to the concourse and to my gate

This gate-to-gate movement was one of the things I was dreading, since I'd have so much stuff, but I found a wonderful way to deal with it: put the car seat in the stroller, then one of my bags in the car seat, and then let Anthony sit on the bag. It made moving around a breeze.

Although I could get from gate to gate within the alloted two hours, United apparently couldn't do the same for my checked-in luggage, as it wasn't there when I arrived in Cleveland. Mom was, though, so we headed off to Rootstown. Anthony fell asleep along the way, and we arrived at about 10:30pm, almost exactly 22 hours to the minute after our 1:30pm departure from Kyoto. Thankfully, my luggage eventually did arrive (at 11:30 the next morning).

All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

I am very Very VERY proud of you that you could travel internationally with 2.5 years boy by your self. You are “SO” brave and Anthony is such a lucky boy to have you as Dad.
OTSUKARE SAMA from bottom of my heart.

— comment by Your Honey on April 24th, 2005 at 1:47am JST (16 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I’m glad your flight went smoothly. We made it back home as well with one piece of luggage delayed. Weather is cold right now in Minneapolis, but we didn’t get a foot of snow! Hope all is well with you and Anthony. Send my an email when you get a chance.


— comment by Aaron on April 28th, 2005 at 11:19pm JST (16 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Yo Jeffrey. Enjoyed reading about your trek to the States with Anthony. I hope Mimi and I have a smooth trip with our baby when we fly from DC to Seattle in December (’05). Best, Rick

— comment by Rick on October 14th, 2005 at 2:51pm JST (16 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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