Forgive us for not updating regularly! We were without internet access for about 2 weeks which put a big dent in our intentions of posting our activities. Anyway, we’re back online so here’s an update for the last 2 weeks!
Continuing on from the last post where we had to catch the flight from Narita (Tokyo) International Airport to Detroit and then from Detroit to Montreal…
When we got to the airport, we had to check in at Terminal 1 and then go and get my bag from the JAL Lost and Found Office at Terminal 2. We were pulled over for a security check on our bags. I was getting a bit anxious that we wouldn’t have enough time to go and come back. After what seemed like ages, we were cleared to go and then spent ages checking in. Seemed we were an anomaly (shush, you guys!) and so it took longer… We rushed to get to Terminal 2 via a shuttle bus and found our way to Lost and Found. The guy there seemed to have no idea what we were talking about despite us showing him the fax that we received from the office…at this time I’m getting stressed. He goes out the back to talk to someone else who comes out and says, “Oh, we sent it to your departure gate. It is with a crew member there.” GREAT SERVICE! Pity they didn’t tell us that earlier…after telling us to go to Lost and Found. So we high-tail it back to Terminal 1, find our gate, get my bag (which actually took a little while because they didn’t seem to know what we were talking about – have I mentioned I was getting stressed out?) and then go and get something to eat. We ended going to some little cafe thing not far from our gate where we had this strange sushi thing and some sandwiches.
We boarded the plane at the designated time and then proceeded to sit on the tarmac for a while (a long while) as the weather had changed for the worse very quickly. We finally took off and were on our way. We were seated at the back of the plane (2nd last row) which was fantastic as there was a little area where we could pace with Alexandra as needed. I was sitting next to a Japanese gentleman whom Lexie was quite taken with…kept grabbing at his jumper and nice as he was, bowed his head so she could grab his hair and nose. This entertained her on and off for a while which was great I kept apologising for the forwardness of my daughter but he kept saying, “That’s okay.” Turns out he’s got a 3yo daughter
The flight was very long (11 hours, I think) and Alexandra slept for maybe 2 of those. Needless to say, Scott and I slept in shifts or with Lexie in our arms. Catherine was very good and slept for a little of it. As we were travelling during the “day” the girls’ clocks were telling them to stay awake which made things interesting. Scott and I just wanted to sleep because we knew that it was really night time but it just wasn’t possible! Anyway, we finally landed in Detroit and we were very aware that we had to catch our connecting flight to Montreal. Unfortunately, because we were delayed in Narita we were cutting it very fine to get through Customs, collect our bags and check in. As it turned out, we waited in the Customs line for about an hour or so. We missed our flight. We joined yet another queue – to rebook our flights. Remember that we have Alexandra who slept for barely 2 hours and a tired Catherine. The queue was 5 rows deep. We were in the 3rd row when I noticed an airline official beckoning me to leave the line. My thought was, “Is he waving at me? Why is he waving at me? Do I just go or do I bring Scott and the girls too? But I’m already in the 3rd row!” Anyway, while these thoughts are going through my tired brain, he’s still waving and had unhooked the barrier so we could get through. Turns out there are advantages to travelling with young kids. His priority was to get the people with young families out of the line and rebooked so we could go and get something to eat with complimentary vouchers. We jumped the queue BIG time!
We wandered around the Detroit Airport which was little fun (we’re also all hungry at this point in time), looking for a Parents’ Room to change the girls’ nappies. Went to a burger/hotdog place where we had a great meal…
We boarded the plane and as we weren’t sitting together, we decided that Scott would take Alexandra at the back of the plane and Catherine would sit in the row in front of me towards the front of the plane. From the moment the doors shut, through take-off and for 15 min after that, Alexandra screamed. I don’t mean cry, I mean screamed. Catherine on the other hand, fell asleep and stayed asleep until we landed. Anyway, I had the travel wallet with our passports, boarding passes, etc in the pocket of the seat in front of me. I was very aware that I had to take it with me so made sure I took it out of the pocket and held onto it. We let everyone else de-plane first as we had kids to take off the plane! I had to put Catherine’s jacket on her and then mine as well – it was very, very cold. Anyway, we leave the plane and start walking to the exit towards Customs. We stop for a toilet stop and then that’s when it hits me – where’s the travel wallet?! With a sinking feeling, I realise I must have put it down when I put Catherine’s jacket on her… Sure enough, it’s not anywhere. I retrace our steps hoping that I’d be able to get onto the plane to retrieve it but no, the crew is already walking towards us. They tell us that they’re not even allowed back on to the plane. They walk us to Customs and tell us to wait and they’ll let Customs know etc etc so we wait. And wait, and wait. I’m almost in tears because I can’t believe I’ve done something so stupid for the 2nd day in a row and we’re all tired, especially the kids. So near and yet, so far.
Scott goes up to talk to some airport chick who looks like she knows what she is doing and she tells us to just go through Customs and explain it there rather than wait. She lets us through a short line (read no line) for handicapped persons and we get to the counter. Here is where we have to explain to her that we have no passports because they’re in the travel wallet which is on the plane. She asks for the boarding passes. No, they’re in the travel wallet which is on the plane. She asks for the statement which we have to fill out before entering the country. No, it’s in the travel wallet which is on the plane. She takes us to some other office to ask someone else what to do with us…ends up taking us down to lost and found and as soon as they see us, they hand over the travel wallet. She then is about to dismiss us to go but Scott says, “Do you want to look at our passports?” She says, “Yeah, I guess while I’m here I might as well.” She even brings out the stamp and stamps them. I wonder what would have happened if Scott hadn’t asked?! All’s well that ends well, even if doesn’t seem so at the time.
This isn’t where the saga ends though. We catch a cab to our apartment but can’t find it. Luckily we locked the guy into a price before leaving the airport rather than running on the meter. Bear in mind that Scott shows the guy the address on paper where it clearly says there’s a 0 in front of the number. We go to the part of the road that doesn’t have 0 in front of their numbers. The numbers go straight from 1200 to 1500 and nothing in between. So the cabbie’s saying this address doesn’t exist. Scott has to call the contact person at about 10pm to ask where we’re supposed to be going. Finally we get there. And there ends the 2nd day.
I think I’ll have to separate the posts. The next 2 weeks in the next one!!!!