Sunday, September 11, 2011

Away we go!

The morning of our flight, we needed two cabs (one regular and one mini-van) to get from Quantico to the airport. We were told that a rental car would not be reimbursed by the Marine Corps, which sucked because the day before Chris needed to drop his truck off in Baltimore for storage. Thankfully, both taxis were reimbursed ($90 each!!) and we got two adults, two kids, two car seats, a dog in a crate, a stroller and 15 bags to Reagan National - whew!

Owen saying "bye-bye" to Virginia
Our flight was from DC to Seattle. Unfortunately, we didn't get a choice of a red-eye flight.  I was worried about flying with the kids during the morning but both kiddos did extremely well. They fell asleep as we rolled out to the runway and stayed asleep for most of the flight.

Our families live in Oregon and we were extremely blessed to be able to spend 10 days with them as a "stop over" between Virginia and Okinawa.

My parents holding Isaac, our souvenir from Virginia
After celebrating the two newest cousins (Isaac born in June and Linnea born in March), an engagement (congrats Keenan and Lori - it's about time!), another baby cousin in the works (yay for Megan and Erik!), and Owen's 2nd birthday, it was time to be on our way to Okinawa.

Chris's brother, Jason, drove us back up to Seattle.  We stayed at the Double Tree hotel near the airport.  That afternoon, we took the hotel's shuttle to the airport and took the light rail to Pikes Place.  (Although walking to the monorail and going to the Space Needle is doable, we've already-been-there-done-that several times (Owen was actually conceived the day after I ran the Seattle Marathon) and we were just too tired to do much sight-seeing.)

We took a quick trek through Pikes Place Market (I swear they are never throwing fish when I'm there! lol) and had dinner at the fabulous Pike brewery.

The next morning was an early one.  We arrived at Sea-Tac about 3am to check-in for the AMC flight.  There were two separate lines, one for families and one for single service members.  Chris was able to handle most of the process while the kids and I waited near by

Owen catching some z's before our flight
Once we got to the gate, the cluster started.

First off, there was no signs at the gate and the area was closed.  We thought we had the wrong gate, but it turns out we were just too early for any of the flight crew.  We waited, and we waited.  Gate checking the strollers was a major pain. Then boarding was delayed. Finally we get on board and the stewardess directed us to the wrong seats.  Very annoying!

The flight itself wasn't too bad.  They served plenty of meals, snacks and drinks, provided blankets and pillows, and were generally very helpful.  I was too short to see over the seats in front of me, so I couldn't watch any of the movies (they played Dealthy Hallows part 1, Thor, Green Hornet, and a couple others).  The kids got a little antsy but nothing too awful.

Although we were told by the travel agents in Quantico that it was a non-stop flight from Seattle to Okinawa, the first leg of the flight was 10 hours to Yokota.  After a 3 hour wait, we were off to another stop in Iwakuni.  Finally, 17 hours after we left Seattle, we arrived in Okinawa!

The airport at Kadena

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