The World trip begins! - Amy's Amazing Adventures
Amy's Amazing Adventures

The World trip begins!

by on Feb.03, 2009, under Uncategorized

It’s going to be difficult to keep track of dates,  since currently  we’re a day a head of you at home.  It confuses me a little bit.  But so far,  a little confusion is well worth this trip!

I had been feeling quite a bit of stress about this trip since December.  I worried about things like visas and passports and vaccinations being on time. The night before we left was the worst. I was almost dreading the thought of leaving, but Steve’s dad helped me feel better. Now I feel calm and happy and excited. I have no worry at all. If something goes wrong, it will just be an extra thing to write about!

So, our adventure began in Lethbridge on Sunday, February 1st. Steve’s mom, Shari, came with us to Calgary where we stayed in the Delta Airport Hotel since we had to be at the airport at about 5am on the 2nd. We didn’t want to have to drive to Calgary at 3am. The Delta is attached to the Airport, so we were able to just walk from there in the morning. Shari drove Steve’s car back to Lethbridge so we wouldn’t have to pay for long term parking.  We checked in at the Air Canada counter and discovered that our two backpacks were slightly overweight (mine) and over-sized (Steve’s), so we moved some things around and ended up being able to carry our luggage onto the plane with us. This turned out to be really convenient throughout the trip so far.

steve-and-luggage-blog

Our flight from Calgary to Los Angeles was about 3 hours long and almost entirely over mountains! I’ve mentioned before how much I love the mountains. The plane was fairly small, with just 2 seats on either side of the aisle. When we checked in, we didn’t have two seats together, but while waiting at the gate we were able to change that.

cold-mountains-and-wing-blog

Flying into Los Angeles was a very exciting experience. We could see the beaches and the mountains and the size of the city! It’s HUGE! We were even able to see the “Hollywood” sign! I always get excited when I see Palm trees. We landed at terminal 2 and had to walk outside for about 5 minutes to get to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. It was SO nice to walk outside on February 2nd in 27 degree weather! I’ve decided that I would definietly love to live in California!

warm-mountains-and-wing-blog

Our time spent waiting at LAX for our flight to Tokyo was pretty uneventful. We went through security, found our gate, bought a sandwich and some juice (which came to $13! The sandwich was $10!!) then we just sat and waited for the flight. We noticed that a bunch of the passengers were wearing orange stickers with the “Singapore Airlines” logo. We still have no idea what the stickers are for. We have concluded (although who knows if we’re right) that the stickers have something to do with meal preference.

Now, Singapore Airlines. WOW!

huge-plane-blog

It was the most incredible airline experience I have ever even imagined. The plane was massive! It was a Boeing 747. We were about half way back (right over the wing) in row 45! The plane had an upstairs! There were 3 seats, aisle, 4 seats, aisle, 3 seats. We were by the window and had a row to ourselves. It was nice to be able to stretch out to go to sleep. As soon as we took off, we were given a hot towel. Then a snack of peanuts and juice which we ate while playing battleship against each other on the TVs in front of us. There is a controller built into the arm rest. You hold it vertically to us as a remote, and horizontally to use as a game controller. There were movies (about 80 to choose from), tv shows, documentaries, travel information (relevant world times, temperatures and our flying speed and time), and games; including nintendo games like Zelda, and Mario; board games,  puzzle games and multi player games! The flight attendant passed out a little package with socks, and a toothbrush and toothpaste to everyone. The bathrooms had hand lotion, cologne, mouthwash, and an amenities drawer with combs, toothbrushes, razors and shaving cream. etc I accidentally went to the Business Class bathroom once. It was about 3 times the size of the normal airplane bathrooms and had flowers and real towels, and a full length mirror.

We were served lunch, which was a 4 course meal consisting of:

– an appetizer: smoked salmon and lettuce with lemon

– the main course: herbed chicken served with bbq sauce, vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, and a roll

– cheese and crackers

– dessert: Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream (which came in the cutest ice cream container ever!)

There were constant snacks and drinks… yogurt, fruit, chips, chocolate, nuts etc.

We were also served supper:

– appetizer: deli style turkey slices and potato salad

– main course: burrito with salsa and a hot, fresh roll

– dessert: black forest cake

Each meal came with a little plastic cup of water with a lid. The water was from Nanton, Alberta. We found that interesting.

As we were getting close to landing, we were all given another hot towel. The airport is in Narita, so we didn’t see the city as we were flying in. But we did see the beach and the highways with the cars driving on the opposite side. The airport was fairly confusing, even though all the signs were in English. In fact, often, they were ONLY in English.

We walked for about 3 minutes down a long straight hallway. (We named it The Hall of Moving Sidewalks) It was just moving sidewalk after moving sidewalk. Maybe 10 in a row! Then, the hall curved, and we went down ‘The Hall of Escalators’! It was escalator after escalator! About 4 or 5 in a row. Then, we went through a security checkpoint where we were fingerprinted and photographed and had our passports stamped. After that, we walked down to the baggage claim area where we couldn’t see a way out! It’s funny how long it took us to figure it out. We were there for a few minutes just looking for a door. Then we discovered that you had to walk through another security checkpoint.

When we were finally out of the Narita Airport maze, we found the bus we were supposed to take (which was very simple) bought two tickets, and waited about 4 minutes outside for the bus which took us to the Tokyo City Airport Terminal where we got a taxi to our hotel. The bus ride was about an hour long and was quite exciting. There were only about 5 other people on the bus, and we were able to see lots of interesting buildings and trees and cars and signs and people on the way to Tokyo.

The taxi ride from the bus stop to the hotel was about 10 minutes long. But it was quite fun! We were driving on the “wrong” side of the road. There are no stop signs (there are traffic lights at some intersections, and writing on the road, which could say ‘stop’, but no actual stop signs)

The city is amazing! So bright and big and tall and alive! I love it here! We got to the hotel around 7pm. The taxi driver actually took us to the wrong hotel. He took us to the Monterey Hotel, but we were staying in the Monterey La Seour. So one of the hotel workers walked with us (just 2 blocks) to the right hotel where we checked in. Everyone here is so helpful! and so willing to speak English. Everyone we’ve dealt with has known some English. We dropped our stuff off, got our cameras and went for a walk (no jackets or sweaters either! It was about 12 degrees. which felt good after the airplane/airport/bus adventure.)

We took pictures of everything! And looked like major tourists!

We went to a little convenience store on the corner and bought some strange looking drinks and snacks. We got a pizza pocket-like thing. It was filled with some kind of meat/bean mixture. It was pretty good. to order it we pointed at it and said “yellow”. (there were different coloured ones)

nervous-eater-blog

I was a little bit embarrassed about how excited I was. ha ha I couldn’t stop smiling. Neither can Steve. It’s just SO different and exciting! It’s hard to believe that we’re on the other side of the world!

It’s 3am here (about 2pm in Nova Scotia and 11am in Alberta) I’m obviously not used to the time difference, but we’re only here for a couple of days, so it seems silly to try to adjust.

Tomorrow we plan to spend walking around, taking pictures, and eating real Japanese food :)

I’ll only include a few pictures in this post because I was unhappy with the way some of them turned out. I need to figure out some settings on my camera for tomorrow!

The adventure will continue tomorrow :)

3 comments for this entry:
  1. Howard MacKinnon

    Great start! Be smart and alert – tourists are easy targets for thieves. Although in Japan the thieves probably figure that anything you have, they already have next year’s model.

  2. Shari Day

    Hi Amy! How exciting! I went to the candy store in Nanton on the way back from Calgary. If I would have know Singapore Airlines thought so highly of their water I would have picked some up. You have a great blog so far. Steve looks handsome and relaxed. I hope we see some pics of you too Amy. Hi Steve “Squadgie!”

  3. Jen Reid

    Hi Amy! I can’t believe you are half way around the world! It sounds liek you are having a great start to your trip. I can’t wait to see all of your pictures and read more blogs. I hope you and Steve stay safe, but have the best time in the world.. literally.. since you will seeing lots of it! Take care and enjoy! love you lots hun, Jen <3

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