Monday, September 22, 2008

Days 16 and 17: Headed Home

This was our last day in Hong Kong, but a full one as our flight didn't leave until almost 11:00 p.m. We had planned to go to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, which we missed the previous day due to the communication gap with our taxi driver, but I wasn't feeling up to it. I think I'm actually sick, and not just with allergies.

Instead, we met Jay & Cheron for dim sum at Tao Yuan Restaurant in the Great Eagle Centre in Wan Chai. Fortunately we had Cheron there to order for us, as the dim sum menu (which was ordered off a menu like sushi, not off of the more traditional dim sum carts) was all in Chinese. We had a delicious sampling of soup, dumplings, vegetables, and sweets, my favorite of which was the chicken soup with dumplings and cabbage. Afterwards, we headed back to Mongkok, where Che & I needed to pick up a new piece of luggage. After spending the morning in the hotel packing up, we realized that two of our three checked pieces would be over the allowed weight limit on Singapore Airlines for our return flight to Hong Kong. Cheron & I went off in search of a bag while Jay & Che hit the Fish Market one last time.

From there, we headed back down to our tailor in Tsim Sha Tsui to pick up our clothes. They fit great! My dress will be perfect for next year's Chinese New Year party. We did a little more last-minute souvenir shopping, then Che & I went back to the hotel to collect our stuff and repack our luggage. From there, it was off to the airport. We took a taxi to the Hong Kong MTR station, where there is an Airport Express line to the airport. However, all of the major airlines have ticket counters at the MTR station, so you can check in for your flights, get your boarding passes, and, best of all, check your luggage in! That way, you can ride the train in comfort to the airport carrying only your carry-on items and not worry about having to transport large suitcases as well. Very convenient.

The flight to San Francisco left just before 11:00 p.m. Hong Kong time on Saturday. With the time change, though, our 12-hour flight would be arriving in San Francisco at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, SF time. We had booked a hotel room at the San Francisco Airport knowing it would be too late to get a direct flight home. We knew we couldn't sleep the whole return flight because we needed to get off the plane and pretty much be ready for bed in order to adjust our sleep schedule as quickly as possible. So we stayed up long enough to eat dinner on the plane and watch a movie, then napped for a few hours, and we were awake for the last 4-5 hours of the flight. By the time we arrived in San Francisco, got our luggage (why is it that baggage claim in every other country is so much faster than in the US?), cleared immigration and customs, caught a shuttle to the airport, checked in to our hotel, showered, and ate room service for dinner, we were pretty much winding down and ready to call it a night. Success on avoiding jet lag!!

Or so we thought. We both woke up Sunday morning at 4:30 a.m., wide awake and ready for the day. So we watched a movie in the room, went downstairs for breakfast as soon as the restaurant opened, then leisurely showered and packed our bags up for the last flight of our trip - home to Phoenix!! We arrived home mid-afternoon on Sunday and were just as excited to see the animals as they were to see us. And then the fatigue hit me. I was ready for a nap by 4:00, but Che talked me out of it for about an hour and we spent the hour showing his parents our trip pictures. By 5:00, I couldn't keep my eyelids open any longer, so at 5:30, I laid down for a nap. I got up at 7:00 thinking I would eat dinner, catch up with my in-laws, and maybe watch a movie, but a half hour later, I was ready for bed for the night. I got a good night's sleep and got up Monday morning bright and early at 6:30 a.m. feeling pretty well rested but officially sick with a cold or sinus infection, not sure which yet. So I'm hoping that the worst of the jet lag is done. Otherwise, it's going to be a very long week.

No comments: