Fleeing Japan

It’s funny how it seems that every time I leave an Asian country I’m sprinting as fast as I can…

Jeff and I spent five days waiting for flights at Narita Airport, which was just ridiculously busy. We met a lot of interesting folks who were also flying standby, and mostly had a pretty good time, all things considered. I actually think our families were much more stressed about the situation than we were.

We were listing ourselves for five flights for five days, so we had a lot of departure management cards collected.

This was the view, where I watched so many United flights leave without us:

The Narita airport is pretty cute though! They have a lot of cute signs, and even have their own mascot!

The Narita Airport mascot:

And this random hotel was near the airport — just another reminder of the weirdness of Japan!

When we were finally sent to the gate after five days of waiting, it was for the last seats on the last plane of the day, about 20 minutes before take off. You better believe we sprinted through security and customs to make it on that plane!

And as a nice bonus, we were flying to Hawaii. Even though we were going to be stuck on an island for a few days — again — it was nice to be in the US.

Plus this was the view outside the airport:

We ended up staying with some friends of my dad’s who live in Honolulu, and that was just wonderful and relaxing. Jeff and I spent two days there eating and sleeping, spending most of our time at the beach.

Did you know that pineapple plants were that short? I guess I never thought about it much, but I found them totally surprising!

Well, Hawaii was very nice, and staying with friends was nice too, but it was about time to come home after a month of detours. So, we actually bought flights (shocker!) and got back to San Francisco just in time for Forest Hill Musical Days, concerts in the neighborhood by world-class musicians. Yeah, my life is good.