First shower was right when I got here- to wash away the 23 hours of traveling, the Second... purely to cool off before I start settling down for the night. It's 10pm and it's over 80 out there!
So let's recap the last 2 days of travel.
Lets See, my last day in SoCal started out by sleeping in and being lazy. Well, to be honest, Jake slept in and I laid in the bed with him watching movies. I had the whole 'Christmas Morning Syndrome' happening!
We followed that up with a bike ride to forever21 where I returned a pair of shoes and received two items in return : ) We also stopped and got juice on the way home.
This was followed up with a short lived reunion with Aaron and Miranda (well, short lived on my part- Jake gets to hang with them all week). We were able to reminisce and touch base just hours before I had to take off.
We then had BBQ with my two best girlfriends- Mel and Emy here:
So much food, so very delicious!
Did I mention I'm not good with goodbyes? When we had to part ways with Emy and Mel, I literally ran off after the final hugs because I began ugly crying.
This lead to an emotion filled next few hours. We headed back into the apartment and just sat on the couch in a long embrace. Once I composed myself and looked over the apartment for miscellaneous objects that I definately left behind (camera battery charging in the wall) we headed out to the car for the trip to the airport. Pupster came along, which was both sweet and bitter. She looked so confused.
I got to my gate with just enough time to pop on the computer and say goodnight and goodbye through skype to Jake and Maddie.
When I booked my flight it asked if I would like any specific type of meal. I chose the low fat, low cholesterol option... I had no idea that this would mean me receiving my meals about 10 minutes before everyone else! The two large chinese men sitting next to me weren't that happy about it!
I arrive at the HK airport with a little over 2 hours before my connecting flight. Kind of the perfect amount on a layover. I had time to relax a little, skyped with Jake, enjoyed an aloe and wheatgrass juice and a full dragon fruit (which I only had a plastic spoon to eat with so I kind of had to convert it into a bowl)
Then, after I was all relaxed and ready to board my final flight... they changed the gate! Not only did they change the gate 20 minutes before boarding, it was a gate across the entire airport! So I had to run- well speed walk actually, to make it in time. Luckily that flight went really smooth and fast and before I knew it my huge daunting 'time to destination' was getting shorter and shorter.
So thank god there would be no more of this:
...for at least a couple of weeks : )
Once I arrived in the SGN international airport I honestly felt as if I never left. I got in line for my visa pickup and laughed at all these frustrated westerners who didn't prepare themselves very well yet took their frustration out on the Vietnamese staff: "What do you mean I need to bring a passport size photo for my visa?" Who travels to a foreign country without looking into the rules and laws?!
Then it was time to meet up with Eric. Felt like I had just seen him! Even though it was 5 months since him and Linh came to visit us in LA. We stepped out of the air conditioned airport and straight into the hottest, most humid air that smelled so familiar. The last time I was standing at that airport, the olympic torch was being ran through Vietnam which caused for a very stressful departure!
We dropped off my gear, I took a quick shower and we were off to tool around town. First things first, we picked up a new helmet for me. Amazing, exactly like my last one but pink : ) then we headed out to sushi (delicious) and just biked around getting familiar with the area.
We came back to the apartment, had some cafe su da's and played old sega games on his xbox until we were ready to head out for dinner.
We went out to dinner at one of my favorite places ever, Coriander...amazing thai food! Then we sent Eric off to Nha Trang, the trip I was supposed to go on but realized it wouldn't be that smart to burn through all my money the first week I was here! And I took back to the streets driving Eric's motorbike home.
I was nervous to get back on the bike and go head first into the craziness but it was SO easy, and so familiar! I came home, relaxed and am heading to bed at 10pm!
** Update** Made it through my first night without waking up at 4am (which is my usual Jet Lag ritual).
Now I'm up, ready to take on my first full day by myself. I'm just going to get pleasantly lost, take lots of pictures, walk around and head home around 7 for dinner with Linh.
So far so good. Loving life.