I finally made it to Korea! *Whew*
It was definitely hard to say goodbye to my family but I know it isn't "goodbye"- it's "see you later, alligator!". I called my niece, Emily, just before my flight to LA and told her I was nervous and asked her if she had any words of wisdom for me. She told me that the last time she flew to Virginia (to see her dad's side of the family) that it was a good flight so she was sure my flights to Korea would be good, too! She also gave me travel tips like to chew gum as the plane is taking off so my ears don't pop! Ha! Travel tips from my 5 year old niece... she's precious!
The plane ride from L.A to Seoul was 12 hours 45 minutes. It wasn't nearly as bad as the last time I flew. I flew with Korean Air which is a fairly nice airline. They had little slip-on house shoes, bottled water, headphones, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a blanket waiting for us on our seats when we sat down which definitely made me feel better on the flight! They didn't serve very good food but ehh... I didn't expect much. Although, I will say this- American Airlines served great food on my flights last year. It was delicious and I ate every bite when they fed us! On my most recent Korea flight, I slept over half the flight. I was getting pretty tired, so I went ahead and took a NyQuil pill. I put in my ear plugs, put on my eye mask and cuddled up with my pillow and my stuffed animal "Little Joshua" and slept for over five hours straight! It's the most I've slept in probably 4 days! I then woke up for about 30 minutes while they handed out meals (which looked pretty gross and I didn't eat any of it) and then passed out for another 2 hours. When I woke up, we had an hour and a half left of the flight. I watched half of Eat, Pray, Love and then it was time to go find Joshua!
Joshua, one of his friends, and my little brother Bradley all picked me up at the airport. It's always surreal when I walk into an airport and see Joshua. There isn't words to describe it. It's odd because I've been spending so much time talking with him and just seeing his head on the webcam, then all of a sudden there he is! It never feels real until we make it home and we've been together for a day or two and it has a chance to "sink in". Also, it was so nice to see Bradley! I hadn't seen him since Joshua and mines wedding day...or maybe two days after, but either way- it had been a while! He left Austin while Joshua and I were on our honeymoon so it was nice to see his smiling face! It amazes me how much more grown up he is versus when he first joined. He hasn't changed too much, but just enough that it reminds me that my little brother is growing up! He's a whole 19 years old! Eeek! It sounds weird just typing it! Haha :)
Either way, we grabbed a donut at Dunkin Donuts in the airport and hoped on the USO bus back to Bradley's base which was only 30 minutes away. Brad helped us unload and then load back into a cab to take us to the train station. We stopped and ate a bit at the McDonalds at the train station and sat down to relax/warm up our arms, legs and shoulders- it was tough carrying all those bags and suitcases! We hoped on a train at 9pm and then voila-3 and 1/2 hours later, we were home at Joshua's barracks!
I had so much baggage to take with me because I figured I've got to plan for the next 9 months of my life so I packed a lot of my clothes that I wear often (my closet is still 2/3rd full even after taking all these things out!) and packing shoes and towels and not to mention Christmas presents! These bags were nice and heavy and I made sure to let the boys carry them :P Even my backpack carry on left my collar bone bruised! :(
All in all, it was a good flight and a nice trip back to Joshua's barracks. Joshua's unit is leaving for the field today (its 750am here in Korea on 12/17/2010). He left this morning at 5am. It stinks that he is leaving this early into my long-term visit, but he should be home within the next few days which I will be glad for. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they don't send him out again in between now and New Years. After this week is over, he should be getting half days until Christmas so I am happy for that :)
We bought gifts for some of Joshua's friends who won't be going home for the holidays. We also got them all stockings and some little "stuffers" to go in them! I am excited for them to open them all and see what we've got for them! I have also mailed so many gifts over to him for the stockings and for him in general, so I am excited to finally get to wrapping them!
Ahh.. I am jetlagged majorly, so I will say goodbye for now. I will try and write again in a week at the latest!