Readying for a trip

June 15, 2009 at 10:28 am (Travel) (, , , )

So I leave for Asia a week from today.  My dad will be coming to Eugene on Saturday, because he is going to fly with me (so I’m not on my own on the way to Tokyo).

I haven’t had a whole lot to say just recently, because my mental energy has mostly been devoted to getting ready for this trip.  I’m getting down to the wire here, but I think I’m doing okay as far as packing goes.  I dragged my suitcase out this weekend, and will start tossing anything I don’t need to use into it.  I’ve got a list for my suitcase and another for my carry on (and it’s a third again as long as the one for the suitcase, too).  I’m going to make sure that I can live out of my carry on for at least 48 hours, if I have to.

I need to go to JC Penney (for the third flipping time) tonight.  The swimsuit I own fits okay, but it’s not very comfortable, so I need to look for a new one.  I think I’m going to try to squeeze in one more Target trip, too.

I’m going to have to spend a week by myself when I get back, too.  The boyfriend is also going to (a different part of) Asia, but he won’t be home until a week after me.  I haven’t spent this long apart from him since I moved to Oregon, and I am not relishing the thought of having to do it now.

I’ve realized that I like the opportunity to travel.  I can actually put up with quite a lot.  But darn it, getting ready to go is really very stressful.  I end up trying to plan for every eventuality, and of course I can’t actually do that.  I get the feeling I’d be less stressed right now if I wasn’t going to be separated from the boyfriend while I’m there, though.  That just adds another layer of worry about him, aside from just plain missing him.

Even so, once I get on that plane, I’ll be able to relax…if only because there won’t be anything I can do about stuff I’ve forgotten (except deal with not having it for a couple of weeks or figure out where to buy it).  So here’s hoping Northwest makes it as easy as possible for us to sleep on the flight from Seattle to Tokyo, and that they don’t lose our luggage.  I’d really like to have my suitcase when I get to Hong Kong.

(And isn’t it funny that, in this day of overcrowded overstretched airline travel, I consider it a minor miracle when my checked luggage shows up at my destination at the same time I do.  I think the last time that happened was 2 years ago.)

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Oregon didn’t want to let me go!

April 2, 2009 at 9:23 am (Travel) (, , , , )

So I’m visiting Houston this week, for the first time in a year and a half. This is the first time I’ve been back since I moved to Oregon. It’s sort of surreal in a lot of ways, although I think I’m going to talk about that in another post.

What I really wanted to write about was my trip to get here. I’ve done a lot of traveling in my life, but I think yesterday’s experience may still have made my top 5 of “most memorable trips.” And not in a good way.

So, I flew Southwest, which meant I had to fly out of Portland. It’s a bit of a pain, because it’s a 2 hour drive, but it’s nothing terribly serious. I could have taken the Amtrak, but it would have been really inconvenient, and not really any cheaper.

I managed to get myself on the road by about 8:30, which would get me at the airport an hour and a half before my 12:00 flight. About 30 minutes into my trip, my car started acting a little funny, and then I saw rubber flying at my windshield. Thank god I realized there was a problem and pulled over, because yep, I had a complete tire blowout. Half the rubber was completely gone.

So I got to sit on the left shoulder of the interstate, in the cold (because it was cold), and wait for the AAA tow truck as cars whizzed past me at 65 mph. It was terrifying. But, after half an hour, the tow truck got there and changed my spare for me (I could have done it myself, but it would have taken me just as long, and this was just better all around). Then I got myself back on the interstate, not able to drive more than 50 mph, and drove 20 miles to the next town. When I got there, I went to a tire place and bought a new tire. So, one hour and $67 later, I was good to go…but it was 11:30.

So I called Southwest, and was able to change my flight to one that left at 3:00 and would arrive in Houston around 11:30. 15 minutes and $230 later, I was finally able to get back on the road to Portland. I made it to the airport without any more incident, although it was raining the whole flipping way there. I almost forgot to turn off my headlights when I parked, because the shuttle to the terminal was about to pass my car just as I was getting out, and I didn’t want to miss it. Fortunately, I know I turned off my headlights and locked the car, so there shouldn’t be anything the matter with it when I return to Portland.

So I got to the airport, printed new boarding passes, got through security, and went to Wendy’s for lunch. They started boarding the flight a little bit late, but I wasn’t seriously concerned because my layover in Las Vegas was an hour and a half. But an hour after we were supposed to have taken off, they announced that the airspeed regulator wasn’t working, and they’d either find a new one or switch planes. Five minutes later, they told us all to get off, collect a plastic boarding pass to get back on another plane, and go across the hall to another terminal. Finally, about 4:45 we were ready to take off, although by then pretty much everyone on the plane with connecting flights had to be re-routed.

So I finally got to Las Vegas around 6:30, with just over an hour before my next flight. I got myself a new boarding pass, and then got on a plane that didn’t even have B group because it was not even half full. That was kind of awesome.

And, at 12:30 am, I finally met up with my parents at the airport to go home.

So, here I am in Houston, hanging out with my dad. The dog maybe remembers me, but at the very least, he’s decided that I’m not scary or anything. He slept in my room last night, and it took him for flipping ever to finally settle down and go to sleep. At 5:30, he wanted out so he could eat. Then he came back right before 7:00 and decided that it was time for me to go downstairs, too. Lucky for me, I was going to get up at 7:00 anyway.

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