Sunday, October 6, 2013

Later, Houston!

After a quick three week visit in Houston, it was time to go back to Korea.  As usual, we flew from Houston to Tokyo the first day and then from Tokyo to Busan the next day, to break it up a bit for the boys for us all.

Just so you know... Both in the Busan and Tokyo airports, these luggage carts that hold your suitcases are FREE.  We paid like $6 to use this one in Houston.  Ridiculous.

In the United Club lounge they had a family room.  Score!  It was a room with a door....perfect for a family room!  :)  We had a little breakfast before hopping on the plane, and we didn't have to worry about the boys bothering other people who were trying to relax in the lounge.  Plus, the more we can keep them busy before getting on the plane, the better.  Having somewhere besides the gate to wait at gives us an opportunity to mix up the scenery and pass some time.  We enjoyed it so much that we have already pulled out our passes to use the United Club lounge in Tokyo on our flight back home later this week.  :) 

So here are two of my recent great ideas that work really well for us (in the picture of P below).  First off, the little bowl in front of Parker... I put one of those in each of the boys' lunch kits with all of their snacks, so that they have somewhere to put their food other than on top of the tray table in front of them (either it's too far away or their iPads are sitting on them).  Having a small bowl to reuse for every snack time has worked out beautifully!  Wish I had thought of that a year ago and not just a month ago. :)  The second great thing I figured out to do with Parker's headphones (since he won't wear them) is to hang them on the arm rest between the two of us, volume up, and with it facing him.  Works like a charm.

C playing Angry Birds and T playing Candy Crush (they sit in the two seats in front of P and I so we can use the wall to (1) give them a place to rest against if needed (2) a little extra space and (3) to block them in ).  :)

By the time we got to Tokyo, went through immigration, got our luggage, and went through customs, we still had to wait for the shuttle to take us to our hotel 15 minutes away.  We were pooped by this point.  It was around 2 pm in the afternoon there, which was midnight in Houston where we were coming from.  When you've been up all day long and then add traveling literally half the day on an airplane with preschoolers, you can understand why we were so exhausted.
 Even after the long flight, we were still having to entertain little ones while we waited on the shuttle for the hotel.  Thank goodness P was just about asleep in the stroller, but C was putting up a good fight.  Gotta remind yourself to be patient and kind when they get fussy, even if you're super tired, because they're just 2 and 3 years old and are being real troopers with the traveling.  Traveling with littles isn't for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

It wasn't too long after sitting down on the shuttle that Parker fell asleep on my shoulder.  When we got in our room in the hotel, we had to wake him up so he'd hopefully go to sleep later at the regular bed time.  Getting adjusted to the time is such a hard, hard part of living on the other side of the world.  It took a while to get P to actually wake up and not keep falling back to sleep on this bed.  I felt so awful that we couldn't let him sleep, but I knew it would be harder later if we did.  We all ended up going to sleep at like 6:30 pm (thank you, hotel black out curtains!).  That seems really early, but it was 4:30 am where we came from (in Houston), so we had actually been awake for far too long at that point to stay up any longer.
 I did eat one of these before hitting the hay though.  Delish!  I don't normally eat Milky Way, but this Japanese version tasted very much like a Three Musketeers, which I love.

The next morning, the boys were ready to party way too early (I'm talking 4:30 am or before....I can't even remember, I was so tired).  They actually were awake for a while before we gave in and turned the lights on.  So we played as much (as you can in a hotel room), read, ate snacks (breakfast wasn't being served for a few hours), and watched a little TV for a few hours until it was time to head back to the airport for the last leg of our journey from Tokyo to Busan.

Speaking of watching TV, I recorded this to show you what we watched.  There were tons of Japanese infomercials and not much else to watch.  Their expressions are priceless though!

Once we got to the airport and grabbed some Mickey D's for breakfast, we had to stop by Connar's favorite newsstand in that airport (I know, it's funny that he loves a Japanese newsstand, right?!) to get some new books for the boys.  And yes, they're entirely in Japanese.  It's okay...they don't read words yet, just pictures.  And stickers.  They read the language of stickers.  :)
 Thomas the Train for Parker
 and samurais for Connar

To pass the time while waiting at our gate, I gave the boys one coin each, and they thought it was the best thing ever to put their coin in, push the coin release lever, and watch their coin fall down into the tray over and over again.  Whatever floats your boat and keeps you on the quiet side, boys.  :)

Man, when we got on the last plane to get back to Busan, it's like you get a second wind because you're almost there.  This flight usually isn't too packed either, so we often don't have a neighbor in the seat next to Talton and I, which is more than nice.

Isn't he so handsome?!  Love you, babe.

They started off like this...

... but they didn't last too long and were out like a light pretty quick.  (Thank goodness I had enough sense to bring their Pillow Pets this time...such a huge help on long plane rides or long journeys that require several plane rides!)

Once we got home early that afternoon, the boys were excited to be back in their space and around their toys.  One minute C was playing with his ninja turtles, and the next minute I turned around and he was like this....  Out cold.  Poor, sleepy baby.

Happy to say we don't have to do this long journey but one more time, back to Houston later this week.  Woo hoo!  It'll be so nice to not have to deal with jet lag anymore.  :)

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