Tuesday, July 2, 2013

travel day….or days!

So we left our house Sunday June 30th at 9:00 a.m. and we arrived Tuesday July 2nd at 9:00pm…so literally 48 hours of travel. All flights enroute to Beijing were on time, smooth, landed ahead of schedule and besides the momentary loss of power on runway and ridiculously small seats (think commuter jet size-how I envy those of you who can fly 1st class!) all flights were good. We arrived in Beijing almost an hour ahead of schedule, located our 1 checked bag, exchanged some money, found the airport dayrooms-rooms like a mini hotel that you rent by the hour-checked in there and took showers, bushed our teeth and climbed into the ever so familiar HARD beds for a short nite of sleep. We woke up found a Starbucks-woohoo-in the airport, navigated the shuttle to a different terminal, mind you this was miles away by shuttle bus, went to check in for our final flight to Guangzhou and meet up with our group. We must have looked lost or dumb or overwhelmed but whatever the cause we had a nice gentleman walk us to a counter and help us. He handed our boarding passes and passports over to the clerk and quickly they were handed back. Flight cancelled he said! Ok panic set in. Tried to text our team leader to see where they were, didn't work, about to turn on my phone to call and be charged an arm and a leg for intl roaming rates, when Julia heard her name…..woohooo! There they were all 10 of them in their Visiting Orphans t-shirts! Another God-sent nice man helped us all get reticketed for a later flight. Then a bit of a travel nightmare ensued and people were shuttled between terminals looking for luggage, rechecking in, going thru security again, plane delayed and finally all 12 of us boarded onto the plane to Guangzhou. We then met our guide when we landed for the 2 weeks, hearded ourselves and all our luggage, minus the 4 lost bags, onto a bus, and then a high speed train. You have 2 minutes to board this train…12 people and oh….. 30-40 bags and MANY Chinese people, who are known for shoving just a little all onto said train in 2 minutes. We made it and no casualties. Smooth 1 hr ride to Chenzhou where we were greeted by the orphanage director, asst. director and one of the nannies. All smiles!!!! We took a bus to our hotel, headed to KFC for a quick and late dinner and then to shower and bed! Ahhhhhh sleep! It was a LONG 48 hrs!!!!!! But the good news is, when you are that tired you sleep well! And that we did. Julia and I both slept about 7 hrs straight without being awakened by jet-lag. Ready to begin our 1st day at the orphanage….that post about our 1st day will follow later. This is going to be hard!!!!

Pictures from our 48 hours of travel and first night at Chenzhou!

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