Wow! Was that intense! Our long flight to Shanghai was, well, LONG!!!!!! I mean really, really LONG! And uncomfortable. Just a bit more space to stretch my legs would have felt amazing! But the flight was super smooth! And it didn’t truly start to feel long to me until about the 8 hour mark or so.
In theory, sleeping on a 14 hour flight sounds like an amazing idea. In reality, it is much more complicated. No worries, though! I did sleep. Once I stretched out into both Mike and Ana’s seat, settled my head on the fancy u-shaped pillow and closed my eyes I quickly drifted off to sleep! Once I woke up I was hungry, my eyes were dry from plenty of sleep and I was ready to brush my teeth! I looked at the clock to see that an ENTIRE 8 minutes had passed by!!!!! EIGHT. MINUTES.
So I gave up on a long sleep and settled for many cat naps. And that worked for me.
Mike isn’t such a good flyer but did great until about an hour and a half before landing in Shanghai. Either the motion or the jet lag began to settle in. Nothing too bad and he is much better and hopefully completely himself after some good sleep.
Anastasia, my ADHD, cannot sit still for a moment sweet girl…did AMAZING! She rocked these flights. Only on our last leg from Shanghai to Kunming did she begin to say she was sick of flying (geez who wasn’t by that point!).
The Shanghai airport layover was an experience we will never forget!
By the time we landed we had a bit shy of 2 hours before our next flight left. We were surprisingly greeted by a gentleman and a sign with our names when we entered the airport. He proceeded to tell us to go to counter K! How helpful. But first customs.
No problem actually. A long line ahead turned into an easy and swift move through.
So now we have to find counter K. But very few people speak English. Thank goodness we see the sign for Terminal 1. We walk and walk and walk…
And then decide to ask and we get pointed further. So we walk more.
Finally we find AIR CHINA! But it isn’t at K. Ugh that kind gentelman didn’t even get the counter right. Oh well. Let’s check in. But it is a ghost town. Weird. Where is everyone?
Wait…I mean where is anyone? No one is at the counter. Any. Counter.
We hunt down an employee and it takes him quite some time to figure out what is going on. Thankfully he does! And points us toward….
TERMINAL 2 (not terminal 1)!
And we need a shuttle to get there.
At this point we are running out of time. So we run to the shuttle. We ride it all the way to terminal 2. We nearly forget a bag of luggage on the shuttle. And FINALLY we see the sign that says AIR CHINA flight to Kunming…at counter…you guessed it…K!!! (Thank you kind gentleman, if only we had confirmed the terminal we would have been all set.)
We check in, take a LONG time to get our bags checked and through security and finally can go to our gate. But we haven’t had water in a couple hours and desperately need water. Yet we have no Chinese money. But it is now less than 30 min until takeoff.
So we exchange some money.
We buy the first waters we see.
And we walk. And walk. And walk. And then we run. And run. And run.
Until we are stopped by a man looking for US, trying to get us on this flight!
PHEW. We made it. Barely. We were out of breath and sweating a storm. But we got on our flight.
And that flight was only a few hours long. And a lovely guide met us in Kunming and drove with us to the airport as she taught us all about Kunming and what our week would look like. She will continue to help us at all events this week. Our hotel is very nice. And we have video chatted our two LITTLES and parents at home.
Lastly, I have to mention how amazing Ana has been in China! We only just got here but she has bailed us out already three times when Mike and I were unable to communicate. She asked for a bathroom. She asked where we could buy water. And she asked how much a case of water was. I was so grateful and so proud!
It is late at night here in China, so I wrap this up as I settle in bed and try to begin catching up on much long lost sleep.
Tonight, we are falling asleep in the province of China that our son has lived for his whole life.