I feel changed

It’s been almost 12 days since I arrived back in the United States.  Simply put – I’ve got a good thing here in the US and I’m taking it for granted.  My visit to the Philippines was somewhat like a homecoming of some sorts; finding out where my parents came from; where I came from.

My parents had a good life before emigrating to the US.  I wish they were still alive to ask them why they made that decision to leave everything behind.  Did they want a better life for their children?  I still have so many questions that no one else can answer.

That’s all for now…yeah, seems a bit abrupt.

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Here we go

In about 4 hours, it begins.  I was at Insight Coffee Roasters this morning just reflecting on the long days ahead of me…for travel, that is.  I’ll be flying through 5 airports to get where I’m going.  It’ll be a total of about 31 hours of flight time, security lines, & layovers.  This will be the longest trip I have ever taken.

Back in 2001, I spent 13 hours on a plane to London.  4 of those hours were spent stuck in the plane on the tarmac at SFO due to a problematic engine.  I did get a roundtrip domestic flight out of it, so it wasn’t too bad.  But 9 hours were spent on a non-stop flight.

So, I’m ready.  I’ve got everything crossed off my check lists (checked bag, carry-on bag, & pre-flight stuff).

I’ll probably blog a bit more during my first layover.  After that, it may be at least a few days until I blog again.

That’s it for now

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Realizing I’m forgetting something

Ok, so I bought Dearform slippers for the flight.  I suppose when you read just too many websites about long-haul flights, you tend to buy stuff.  So, yeah, I bought a pair at Walmart.  Now I’m thinking, I don’t really need it.  I’ll just wear a pair Adidas trainers that I can easily slip on and off without tying the laces.  Ha…problem solved.  I just came back from there after buying a pack of motion sickness pills and a travel sized shaving cream.

I’m ripping CDs – yeah, I still buy CDs here and there, but majority of the time, I download the MP3s instead.  More music to my smart phone – woohoo.

About 48 hours to go…excited…anxious…  smh

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Those North Koreans!

So, I’m reading a story through the Reuters news service.  Apparently, North Korea is threatening to attack US military bases in Guam or Okinawa.  Huh, let’s see.  My flight leaves LAX to Manila…oh wait, what’s that say?  A stopover in Guam?  Dang it.  Great, I’m going to be visiting an area near Korea.  Sometimes, I hate telling my older brother things because he can make a situation much worse.  When I told him I was going to the Philippines, this is what he says I should be aware of at least, since I’m an American:  terrorists, political climate, Muslims, men who look like women or vice versa, food poisoning, & infection…ha, not necessarily in that order.  So, yeah, let’s add North Koreans into the mix!  I won’t even say anything to my brother unless of course he decides to text message me again out of the blue.

You know…I read somewhere the airline sometimes skips Guam especially during the spring and summer.  I pray to God we skip it, although I would love to see what Guam looks like.  I imagine it would look like any Pacific island like Hawaii.

So, tomorrow is the start of my vacation and then I leave Sunday. 

That’s all for now.

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Not much today

It was raining today, so I was wearing a light rain coat made from Columbia Sportswear.  I was talking to a coworker who also happens to be Filipina.  She recommended I bring it in case it rains. Ugh…more stuff to pack.  But then she said never mind because if I wore that brand, I might be perceived as someone with “money”.  Ha…she says I should go to Target and buy something you might end up disposing or giving away to a family member.  Ugh…more stuff to buy.  Ha

So, on the flight entertainment front, I decided to buy a couple of blurays with digital copies  I dropped Hunger Games, kept Skyfall, and I’m currently downloading Zero Dark Thirty.  Hmmm…I wonder if the entire Season 1 of Strike Back will fit in my Nexus 7.

4 more frickin’ days ’til the travel day.  Excited, anxious…ugh…that’s all for now.

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Yes, I’m counting down

Just counting down the days until travel day.  I was at Insight Coffee Roasters this morning waiting for my usual iced Americano.  Man, they make the best coffee hands down…well, at least for the Sacramento area.  Ok, focus.  While waiting for my coffee this morning, I had this thought.  What exactly should I be blogging about before, during, and after my trip?  Should I focus primarily on the whole experience itself?  Should I talk about the food I’ll be eating?  Should I note the family members I haven’t seen since I last left?  Should I talk about the modified exercise routines that I might be doing?  I mean, there are so many questions.

Heck, I get my coffee and I take a seat in the front area with a view of the passing pedestrians and traffic and think..a ha!  Simply put – I’ll write about travel, Filipino culture/food, family I have never met before, trying to maintain some sort of exercise routine and trying not to waiver off too much from my regular diet.  I suppose I’ll just watch my portions.  It’s going to be hard.

So, from Thursday night through Sunday morning, I’m making sure I get enough rest and exercise because Sunday through Tuesday will be the longest ever for traveling!  I’ll be flying out of Sacramento just after Noon to LAX first because I’m meeting up with my cousins Efren and Myrna.  From LAX, we board a 12 ½ hour flight to Guam first.  The layover is about 45 minutes – not sure exactly what we’re doing over there yet.  From Guam, we continue on to Manila on a 3 ½ hour flight for about a 4 hour layover, then board a 1 hour flight to Laoag.  So, leaving Sunday and arriving on Tuesday.  Technically, it’s about a 31 hour journey including all the stopovers.  Laoag is 16 hours…AHEAD!  When we cross the International Date Line, I think about that movie, the Langoliers.  Ha…

On my Google Nexus 7, I have 2 movies:  Skyfall and Hunger Games.  Why those movies?  Well, they both had that Ultraviolet option of watching movies “offline” and I currently owned them anyway.  I’m thinking of downloading an entire season of Strike Back too.  Hmm…I also have 2 e-books I downloaded from Amazon Kindle.  One of them is about US Navy SEAL Adam Brown.  He was part of the US Navy SEAL Team 6 that executed Osama.  I think it would be an interesting read.  I also downloaded a book about the Holocaust.  Besides that, I believe I’ve got over 3 gigs’ worth of downloaded music as well.  I did all this in case I get bored with the flight entertainment or I just happen to get an inoperable viewing device.

That’s it for now.

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Before the big day

I was about to document this trip in an actual journal or a notebook and writing it all down.  Ha – what was I thinking.

So, 6 days to go.  Since the day I bought the ticket, I’ve been thinking about the upcoming trip.  As the day gets closer, I’m getting more stressed.   3 more work days – 4 days until the start of vacation – 6 days until my plane leaves from Sacramento.

The day of the flight, it begins at around 12:30pm and ends 2 days later around 11:00am.  I’ll be flying from Sacramento to LAX to meet up with my cousins, Efren and Myrna.  They’re my Dad’s baby brother’s son and daughter respectively.  From LAX, it’s to Guam for a brief layover, to Manila for about a 3 hour layover, then an hour flight to Laoag.

So, until the day of the flight, it’ll be quiet.  I just bide my time for now.

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