Thursday, March 16, 2017 – Flight Home

Since we had an afternoon flight, I set the alarm for much later than usual, and even ended up bumping it later as I considered all the time we had. Hubby didn’t get up until after 9:00, after I had showered, and we finished packing, then called an Uber, which was there in 5 minutes, whisking us away to the airport. We were early, and looked for a place for breakfast, but I had decided I couldn’t leave Hong Kong without getting some Dim Sum (I’d been reading a book where everyone kept eating Dim Sum, and I’d never had it before), and we found a place on the second level that had a wonderful Dim Sum sample basket which we devoured! After that, it didn’t take too long to get through all the departure procedures, but we had more inspections than we’ve ever had before, and even on the ramp down to the plane they had a final inspection, and took everybody’s water away! That was rather disconcerting, as I had filled it up after going through the initial inspection, as always. Never had them take it away at the last minute like that! That ended up being a problem, because we discovered that the only water they had on the flight was mineral water, which had a high sodium content, so Hubby couldn’t really drink it, but he also has to stay well-hydrated, so we ended up getting hot water for tea, about the only option. The good news about the flight, we all had our own entertainment screen, so that kept us busy for a while. The bad news was, we didn’t get an upgrade to business, though we had upgraded to seats with more legroom, so it wasn’t too bad. The meals were fair, but Hubby couldn’t eat everything because of high sodium, again. We both managed to get a few hours of sleep, not enough on a 14 hour flight, but it helped get us through. We arrived in DFW to the worst customs and immigrations debacle we had seen the entire trip. Total confusion, no one knew where to go, agents were trying to herd people but there were no clear indications of where to go. I tried to use the Mobil Passport app I had downloaded, which was supposed to expedite the process, but every time I completed the form and submitted it, it came back with an error, no matter how many ways I tried. We stood in five different lines, including one for agriculture inspection (we had to answer ‘yes’ to a question about being on a farm and around livestock), and the whole process took over TWO HOURS! Worst system of all of the six countries we had entered, I’m sorry to say! We were glad we had a four hour layover by that point! We finally got our backs re-checked and headed on the train to our gate in the A terminal. By now, we were both hungry, especially Hubby because he had to pick through all three meals on the plane and didn’t really eat that much, so I started out getting coffee at a pizza place (BIG mistake, it was AWFUL!), then started looking for someplace that had decent food. Then I discovered La Madeleine’s near gate A25. What a find! It was a cute little French cafe, with pastries and meat pies and fresh fruit and foods! I spoke with the proprietor about Hubby’s strange diet, and she promptly went into the kitchen and whipped him up an omelet with all the things he could eat and none of the things he couldn’t, and even substituted his side of tomatoes (which he can’t have) with an entire cup of fresh berries! Heaven! I selected a lovely chicken friand, and off I went! I wish I had gotten coffee there first, it smelled so much better there! It was so close to boarding at that point, we decided to wait until we got on the plane to eat. At least the last leg of the journey was in upgraded first class, thank goodness. With a quick bourbon before take-off, and another to go along with dinner, we both fell asleep right after we ate. The last thing I remember was New Orleans going by, then the next thing was the announcement to prepare for landing. It didn’t take long to de-plane, collect our luggage, and get picked up by my brother outside baggage claim, though it was now well past midnight, and he was suffering from a terrible cold. All in all, I figured out that today was 37 hours long, 28 of which we had spent in motion. No wonder we were exhausted! Of course, we were too exhausted to sleep, and we wound down for more than an hour before we even attempted to go to bed, at the equivalent time of 1:30 in the afternoon, tomorrow!

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