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I spent most of my 2 preparation days getting ready for the Autocross, that would be happening the day after we return.. The China prep consisted mostly of thinking, and making a list. Implementing the list, and packing only took 2 hours, right before we were ready to leave. Stephanie had a basketball game at 7pm, and we were to catch our ride to the airport at 9:30pm. It was good to keep busy these last couple of hours so we didn’t spend a lot of time worrying, and in anticipation. Her team won, btw, 24 -12.



At the Airport (Tuesday, 7/22/02)


We arrived at the airport at 10:30pm, for our 1:30am flight. We had obtained our seating assignments beforehand, (we couldn’t do it via the internet, because we were not frequent flyer members at the time of booking, but we called Hong Kong via a toll free number and did it via phone.) and check-in was swift. There were large lines for the other airlines, but not Cathay Pacific. The 13 of us, sat in 3 rows of 2 window seats, and one row of 4 center seats, back in rows 63, 64, and 65. Good view of the Rolls Royce engines.


We were completely checked in by 11pm, and had 1.5 hours to kill before boarding. I spent most of this time going to the ATM in the domestic terminal to make some last minute deposits. Since they allowed us to pre-board with the kids, we were boarding in no time.


The plane was only 60% full, so we had no problems getting our seats and settling in.



On the Plane


We had our little personal TV screens, but I was disappointed to find out we had no laptop power. The TV had a channel to show flight progress and information, so that was one less thing I needed my laptop for, We took off to the north, and flew up the California coast, as we were headed to Alaska via the Great Circle route.


It wasn’t long before we were served dinner (2am local time!), and after dinner we settled in to watch Dennis Quaid in “The Rookie”. They show the movies on a rotating schedule, so you cannot choose when to start, and you cannot get up, or you will miss part of it. DVDs on the laptop are much better. The movies used the larger phone plugs, and I did not have an adapter for the noise-canceling earphones, so I had to use the supplied headphones. Not as good as the silent noise-canceling earphones. It was about this time that I realized I forgot to pack earplugs. Luckily, the 747-400 was a pretty quiet plane.


I had the longest and best sleep after the movie, and got in 4 hours from about 4am to 8am PDT. By this time we were up in the Bearing Sea, and starting to head south towards Japan. Watched another movie, and then took 30 minute catnaps after that.


As I write this, we are flying over Japan, and there are many lights of cities below. We are about 3 hours out, and it is 3am CST, and the cabin is starting to rouse, as the flight attendants are going back to work, and people are waking up.



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