#TBTT – On the Way

In Disasters, Stories, Tales, Throw Back to Travel by Ariel0 Comments

One year ago today I had the least productive work day ever… Why, you might ask? Because it was my last day before a 6½ week vacation.

We left for our epic trip to Hong Kong/Australia/New Zealand at 9:00 p.m. on August 27, 2014… which meant we had to be at the airport between 6-7:00 p.m…. and my brother who was driving us had plans at 6:30 which meant we had to be there by 6:00 p.m…. and the airport is about 45 minutes away in rush hour traffic…so we had to leave by 5:15 p.m.

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Foolishly, in an effort to conserve vacation days and minimize unpaid leave, I’d decided that I would work that day. I work 8:30 – 4:30 and get home somewhere between 4:45 – 5:10 depending on traffic… Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking, deciding to work that day.

I think most of that day was spent giddily gloating to Kait and Evie (who I sit in between at work) and anyone else who would listen. But I also was freaking out about getting a new suitcase… yes, you would  think that someone who had between 5-30 minutes at home before leaving for the airport would have packed beforehand…

I’ll tell you right now, unlike the other ladies on this blog, I am a terrible packer. I’m a procrastinator and I over pack (probably because I’ve waited till the last minute). I swore this time would be different, it had to be because I wouldn’t have any time once I got home from work.

HA! Hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!! Not so much…

I hadn’t realized it when we began planning our trip but on every previous plane flight I had used my mom’s suitcase because she has this handy dandy built in weigh scale – it’s awesome and I haven’t seen a similar one since. So, no problem, I had my own suitcase. It wasn’t until we were packing everything and deciding what had to come out that we realized that this wouldn’t work. It was sooo heavy! We kept pulling more and more stuff out and mom was going – I have more stuff than you and mine is lighter…? So finally we emptied everything out of both suitcases and weighed them by themselves – my empty suitcase was 15 lbs heavier than mom’s! And when you’re only allotted 40 lbs (and want to leave room to bring things back in) this is a HUGE discrepancy.

So… I pretty much gave up right then and there. We finished packing and I moped over the fact that I barely had an weight limit left… But I was ready to go.

The next morning, on my last day of work, at work… I was still moping… So I called mom (who was much smarter than me and had taken the last three days off work) and begged her to go buy me a new suitcase, “one of those super light ones”. Being the amazing mother that she is – she went and bought me a fabulous new suitcase and told me she’d meet me at my house after work to pick me up and re-pack.

Of course, I was then keyed-up all day knowing I would have to go home and quickly re-pack everything before my brother had to drive us (from my parent’s house) to the airport.

I think that that was one of the most stressful hours of my travelling life… Unpacking a suitcase and trying to re-pack it in a way that made logical sense for a three-day layover in Hong Kong was a nightmare! But we managed to get everything in and in the end it weighed less than mom’s suitcase – empty you can lift this thing with your pinky finger…

And then we were on our way to the airport to begin our epic 6½ week vacation. We checked in and boarded with no incident and took the first of 11 planes we’d board on our trip, bound for Vancouver – a short and ultimately slightly anticlimactic flight. We ended the 27th of August delayed in the Vancouver airport waiting an extra two hours (to our already 4½ hour layover) for our 2 am flight to Hong Kong.

So our day ended and after an 11½ hour flight we made it to our first stop on our trip – Hong Kong… being as we’d crossed the international date line on our flight it was August 29, 2014 and our 54 Hours in Hong Kong began.