Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our trip back to Oki

So as you all know, we always come a long way and travel many, many hours to get there and back. This past time was around a 40 hour trip to get back to Okinawa. When we left FL we had a layover in Dallas, TX, from there we went to Seattle, WA. Once in Seattle we had to wait about 4 hours until 11:20 PM Seattle time (2:20 AM for EST) to start the process to see if we had made it on to the military flight. There was a lot that came up last minute before we left FL so there was a good chance we wouldn't make it on the plane. Anyways, around 2AM Seattle time we found out that we did make it onto the plane and we would be boarding the plane around 3:30 AM and departing at 4:30 AM. Also note that Caleb only had an 1 1/2 hour nap from FL to TX on the plane and he got up around 9 AM the morning of the flight. While we were waiting to hear if we'd make it on or not, Caleb was literally running in circles and in zig-zags. He was WIDE open!! Finally, we got called back and started the process through security and all. By the time we made it to our gate there had to be at least 200 people already there. The plane is HUGE and takes all the military personnel between three different bases, so we had a little while left of families and men sleeping on the floor and my 3 year old, along with others running around and having a ball. Caleb was still going wide open at this point. Well, around 3 AM we found out that the new departure time will be an hour later so we won't be boarding until 4:30 AM and flying out at 5:30 AM. We made it on the plane after a little while and we are 3 rows from the very back and in the dead center (we were on a row of four seats in the middle section of the plane). Just so you know, Caleb "needed to pee" SIX times from Dallas to Seattle (which is a few hours at most) so us being in the middle was a nightmare for a really LONG flight (13 hours +). Luckily one of the guys agreed to move to the inside and let us have the aisle so we could get up and down freely. I knew one of the two guys would be changing their minds a few hours into the flight anyways if he were awake so I wasn't too worried about it. As soon as Caleb got buckled up, he crashed! He didn't eat much and wasn't even about to wake up for the food they served so he slept for a while. Once we were about to depart we found out that we had to go to Alaska to get fuel...yes, I know...why not get fuel in Seattle? Apparently, part of the runway was closed or something and we needed to land and get filled up. I think it was about 4 1/2 hours to Alaska. Once we fueled up in Alaska we found out there was a mistake and the lavatories didn't get filled back up with water once they were cleaned out so we'd have to wait another 30 minutes on top of the hour or so we'd already waited. After that we then we had a 13 hour flight (give or take a few) to Yokota, Japan, an air force base. From there we flew about 1 hour to Iwakuni, Japan, USMC base and stayed on the plane and then flew to Okinawa which was about 1 hour 20 minutes. We were so ready to get off that plane!! Caleb threw up about 10 times throughout the trip. I guess it was because he hadn't eaten much and what he did eat wasn't great, he hadn't rested much, and the turbulence during the flights didn't help. Caleb changed outfits about 3 times (he refused to throw up in the bag towards the end) and we walked down the steps in the rain and all. No we didn't have a little thing to walk through into an airport to get our baggage and leave, we had to walk down a ton of steps to a bus and get driven to the terminal which was right around the corner on the base show our passports and "check back in" and go down some steps for our baggage. We landed a little earlier than planned but that meant nothing seeing in how our bags were dead last. No exaggeration there. Daniel lucked up and got there on time. When we landed he still wasn't there (b/c we landed earlier than initially planned) but he called to see if the flight was still on time and found out that the plane had already landed so he came right away.


Once we had our bags and went through customs, Daniel was standing outside the door waiting on us. Caleb saw him and ran straight to him yelling daddy!!! He was so happy to see him and latched on to him for a while. I was a little worried of how Caleb would react, but Daniel and I were both surprised to see him so clingy and loving (which was great)! Once we got to the car, Caleb was being so sweet. He was saying things like, "oh thank you daddy (or mommy), yes ma'am, and no thanks." Daniel was surprised to see how well mannered he was. He only got to hear a little of him on the phone from time to time so he had no idea. What he heard usually was Caleb saying "what?" or something like that so he obviously thought he wasn't using any manners with me or at least not to that extent. Anyways, we drove home and Caleb was so sweet and happy the entire way. When we got to the house and pulled in Caleb said, "mommy and daddy's house...and Caleb's too". He was so funny about it all. We got home around 5 PM and immediately showered, ate, and I passed out on the couch. Caleb ended up getting on the couch with me around 7 or so and he fell asleep on me. We didn't do much over the weekend except get Daniel up around 6 AM. We got our "clocks" back on track in no time, and we've been doing great since. Sorry this post is so long, but in order for you to know how things were on our way back, you needed to hear the journey we took and everything that came with it, lol. Here are some pictures of us coming into Seattle, WA. Caleb and I were looking at all of the mtns. along the way. Enjoy!!

He did so good the entire trip!! I really couldn't have asked for him being any better. For us both being so tired and him being a little air sick he amazed me with his behavior. He really was such a trooper with all of the obstacles we had to face.

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