Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The longest Day of my life...Or how to get from Fairfield toTokyo

On Tuesday morning I awoke ready to head to the SF international airport (SFO). I had buffered in a lot of time at each step of the trip, driving, traffic, bridge, rental car return, Airtrain to terminal, checking in, security. The only thing I didn't buffer for was the TCCOR 3. Turns out that the typhon that hit Japan, and caused Emily to have to move the trampoline, came to play with the bay area. I began to trip balancing between hurrying to the airport and hydroplanning. This became academic once I hit the halfway point and couldn't go much faster than a bannana slug. So I listened to liberal public radio and didn't stress since NPR kept telling me that the the average time for delays at SFO was over 2.5 hours. One 4 lane stretch of the freeway was reported to be flooded with only one lane passable. By the time I got there they had luckily drained it and the traffic began to move again. (That was about 3 miles from SFO). So I had buffered two hours for the drive and it took close to 3.

Anyway I got to the United Checkin counter and the lady asked if she could help me. It was 11am and the flight leaves at 11:30. "I'm really late for my flight to Tokyo." "Yes", she said, "come over here and lets see what we can do." Turns out that delay stuff didn't apply to my flight. She was super kind and helpful and got me on the 1:30 flight which luckily wasn't sold out and had an exit row seat available. At least this way I got to have lunch there and buy Em her Boudin sourdough bread round for her clam chowder I bought her at Boudin's at the Wharf. (She loved it.)

Made it onto the plane just fine and we taxied out. Then we sat at the runway for 2 hours!!! There was too strong a cross wind for the plane to take off. I guess the trampoline really was in danger if this mammoth 777 couldn't handle it! Luckily there was a nice Japanese stewardess (Ai) sitting near me. But the delay allowed some guy to come and sit next to me invading the little bit of heaven I had in my emergency row by myself. Due to this inconvienience the stewardess and her collegues treated me extremely nice the whole time. Offered me champagne at the end, extra snackes a whole bottle of water instead of just a cup and a little bag of comfort from 1st class. United was very kind to me that day. This long trip was fine since the people around me were nice. Thank you Ai and other ladies who helped me.

Once in Tokyo, Narita Airport, I took the 1.5 hours bus ride, on the Friendly Airport Limousine, (If you call a bus a limo does it make it more comfortable), to the Haneda Airport and spent the night in a smoking Hotel Room. Not happy about that one. The next day I flew up to Misawa with no untoward events and was reunited gleefully by my family. The boys gave me the three best hugs!

*Quick Airline Review for International Travel: Delta has the best in-flight entertainment, United was good, Northwest not too bad, American Airlines was not so nice.

Monday, October 19, 2009

5K for Fae

I did the Misawa Air Base Breast Cancer Awareness 5K! I got my best time at 21:02.
(The route was allegedly 400m short, but who is counting)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Astronauts Rock!

Today Sam and I and Gabe got to meet three of the NASA astronauts! They were in Misawa for the day and we happened to be in the building just as they were about to leave. I talked to the man next to me a bit and asked if he'd been "out there" yet and he said he'd been on one mission to the space station to drop off some Japanese parts and work on the Japanese part of the station. He did 3 space walks. I asked how it was and he said it is indescribable and life changing to see the earth from space. Wow! How cool. Yeah, well I get to do fillings on screaming kids!!! That is life changing too! It was real neat to meet them and feel a tiny particle of their coolness. I actually wasn't that exited when I heard they were here, but when I was next to them it was really cool and exciting. They were very kind to all the kids and adults.

I asked Sam what they do and he responded "They go into space and protect us from the aliens."

*Thank you Mrs. Irvine for taking Sam's picture!
**Sam saw both his Kindergarten teacher and teacher's aid today. He ran to both of them and gave them both giant hugs. I'm so happy to see him doing well this year! He even walked around the track where we saw on of them holding her hand the whole lap.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I left my heart in San Francisco and just found it again!

I spent the last weekend in SF for a dental seminar. It was so fun being back in my city by the bay. (Yes you can draw out the word bay in the voice of Steve Perry, most acceptable.) My mom was going to meet me at the Airport, from Utah, and when I spotted her, my Dad was there too!!!

So we started off our trip with Costco, of course. (You don't understand so don't try). Then reaffirmed my love for Chevy's Salsa. Followed by a trip through Golden Gate Park. We spent an hour on the chilly Baker Beach which has The GG Bridge at its northern end (as well as nude gay men, but we ignored that). Then we visited the art studio of Paul Ferny. He has awesome landscape paintings and was a very nice gallery host. (Thanks Paul!!!! We'll buy a painting someday!) Checked into the hotel and then ate dinner at my Dad's favorite SF spot, The Tadich Grill, also the oldest restaurant in SF. Fabulous calamari steak.

The next day we went to the Oakland Temple, bought Max some scriptures for his upcoming baptism in December, all are invited! Then we went to Fog City Diner, yum, topped off with a Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundae, the best in the world. Followed by an air show with the Blue Angels! They were practising for the Fleet Week Air Show on Sat/Sun for which they didn't fly, due to fog.

We then went up to my old school and home. I became teary eyed when I saw our old apartment and smelt the beautiful eucalyptus scent in the air. I loved it there! IT was weird though not having any friends there to visit.

My brother Mark came and we fulfilled our old tradition eating in North Beach, SF's Italian district, and getting Gelato. Trattoria Pinocchio is my favorite restaurant there and we tried lots. Get the gnocchi! He stayed the night with us and may or may not have slept in my bed. Brothers!

Then my class started on Friday. That night I went over to Fisherman's Wharf and got a whole dungenous crab and my fav Boudin's clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Got Em some maternity clothes at Old Navy and the boys some star wars shirts. (Don't tell her she hasn't seen them yet.) Saturday was great cause I met our Friends from SF ward (yes we also went to Cheesecake Factory.) It was great to see Shelly, Alex, and Adrienne and Kathy too. It was awesome to hear about all the youth doing well with whom we worked while in SF. Good job guys!!!!

OK, Sunday the class ended and I took the Ferry across the Bay and my brother picked me up and brought me back to his house in Fairfield. Today we went golfing and did some of Em's bidding at Walmart. (Cheap stuff adds up fast!)

Now we are going to In-N-Out and tonight Pietros's, our fam's fav pizza!

So the trip can be summed up as Eating Shopping and Eating oh and some Family too. Its a nice life!!!!! Now I have to work some suitcase magic.

-pictures will most likely be added at some point.