Will try to keep up with all the happenings on this trip.. but here is day 1.
We left Dublin, as planned, around 1:30 in the morning to catch our first of three flights on our trip to Osaka. This one was from Detroit to Salt Lake City at 8:00 in the morning on 27th June, Saturday. I figured it would take 3 hrs to drive, give 2-3 hrs at the airport and we will be rolling....Everything was going as planned and then.. Murphy's law decided to butt in. 50 miles into the ride and after 30 minutes of accident related hold up, (somebody decided to take his automobile straight into the one of those ditches along side US 23 in Delaware at 2:00 in the morning.. alcohol?? maybe..:)) we realized that Aiden forgot to carry his passport..(blame it on daddy.. of course). 5 minutes later (after being able to find a legit U-turn on US 23, that is.. they need more U turns..) we were driving back home!!. 45 minutes later, we started again..from scratch. We made sure we had all the passport this time.. :). I decided to take a different route as US 23 was jinxed that night. Rest of the drive went smooth..
Reached Detroit airport around 7 AM and it was a huge cluster@uck. Had an hour and half before the flight took off. We were flying NorthWest/Delta. 5 mins after talking to a ticket agent from Northwest, we were hauling ourselves and the luggage to the Delta counter. I thought they bought each other. :). There were around 50 people in line with only 3 of their agents working...what is up with that?. However, after pleading to couple of people and the Delta staff, we moved from way far behind in the line to way up front in the line and finally got to an agent with an hour left for the flight.
And then, the whole mess started. This delta agent took 40 mins to get us the pass..and this was a gate pass not a boarding pass. All she said after she was done with us was "RUN" which meant "Run like bitches" and so we did, with Aiden in the stroller. People were kind enough to let us skip our turn and go straight through the security. Having a cute little smiling kid helps. :) After we were done with teh security Kaori ran for the gate, with me behind her doing the sprint with Aiden in the stroller. 5 minutes before the departure, we were at the gate and.... they let us in. That was a very good feeling after a long time.
Detroit to Salt Lake city took us 4 hrs. Flight was smooth. Tried one wheat beer from Wisconsin and it sucked royally.
Next flight: Tokyo. 12 hours. This flight was not full, so I was able to "capture" one of those rows with 4 seats together. All excited and pumped up!. We were on board, ready to rumble and then the captain says, "We are going back to the gate".. They forgot to clean the toilets :) ...blimey!!. This time I was not pissed. 12 hrs without clean toilet is not good for health at all. Later they found out that there was some issue with one of the engines. An hour and half later, we were in the air. Flight was great. Aiden slept through most of it. Wifey and I managed some sleep here and there. Watched few good movies. Madagascar 2 was one of them. Had a few Heineken and Asahi and the buzz was awesome. We landed in Tokyo only half hour late. Now, I hate speeding, but this pilot dude was able to make up an hour that we lost when we started. He must be speeding over 20 miles/hr for sure. No speeding ticket here :)
In Japan, unlike USA, the immigration and custom checks are done at your final destination and not the port of entry. You do have to go through security if you are making a connection, which for us was to Osaka. Like I said before, having a cute little happy kid in a stroller helps. They moved us straight to a "special" line and we were done with security in 5 minutes.
Tokyo to Osaka flight time is an hour. We were first to board and as expected, I/We were flagged at the gate. So I went trough the whole "check up" routine again. It is interesting to note here that if you are being frisked, they will go through all the bags that you are carrying. At that time, you cant hand over your bags to wifey. They will only check whatever is on you. Kaori and Aiden just stood there smiling.
Later, I learned that one adult in the family needs to go through this routine, which I still doubt is the case. It has something to do with raji for sure. So, we are ready for our final flight, taxiing for take off and then the pilot goes again..same routine.. we are back at the gate.. This time, they forgot to put few of those people's luggage on the darn plane :) An hour later we were in the air.
By the time we got out of immigration, diaper change at the airport(Aiden decided to do his due diligence in the flight from Tokyo and we ignored it:) It didn't stink that bad..) and immigration it was 10 PM, next day(28th June), in the night.
Kaori's sister (Yuko) and her family were there to pick us up. It felt so good to see them after 4 years. Both the kids have grown up big time. Beautiful, tall and talkative! ( Haruka, 7 yrs and Riku, 9 yrs). Last time I saw them, they were so tiny. They were all over Aiden and he for sure enjoyed all the attention.
And then, I smoked one Marlboro lights. It felt soooo gooood..
By the time we reached mom's (Takawashi), it was 11:30 PM. Stopped by in Fujidera city to get some beer and shochu. All of us hung out at home for another hour. We realized that all of a sudden, we were not tired at all. Aiden was doing his thing.. walking and talking. We were excited enough to give them all the gifts last night instead of waiting for another day. Ate good food and indulged in beer and shochu. I got a very beautiful pair of sandals from Yuko. It has a very aesthetic look to it. Yuko and family left shortly afterwards. .
felt great... its always so good to see all the family. Loved it.
Will post some pictures too. Haven't had time to go crazy on my camera yet..