Winter Vacation Day 1: Long Haul

A friend of Y’s is getting married in Tokyo, so Y and I decided this was a perfect excuse to visit Japan. Since I also had a place on Maui I wanted to use before the end of the year, we decided to make this into a two-week break. Today is the first day, and it’s been a long, long day. 

We woke up just before 7 AM to the chirping of my iPhone. No, not the alarm, the SMS notification that AAPL had dropped to a new 52-week low. That’s one way to get you out of bed the morning you start an expensive vacation.

The morning was spent in gentle paranoia mode: worrying that we’re forgetting some critical item, like, say,  a hotel reservation. Shudder. We checked, double-checked and in a couple of cases triple-checked everything before we piled our luggage into TT’s SUV for the ride to the airport. Thanks TT for waking up early and driving us all the way up there!

Once at the airport, I tried to get us an upgrade; I aimed first for Economy Plus, then for an exit row, finally for just center/aisle instead of center/window seats; at least I was able to travel with at least one leg extended for most of the trip. Next time I do a long-haul, I’m bypassing the really cheap fares and splurging on Economy Plus or Business Class. My back and legs will thank me, no doubt.

Fortunately the twelve-hour flight passed more quickly than I imagined it would. I watched Hancock, X-Files, a couple episodes of Countdown with Keith Olberman and The Rachel Maddow Show, and started reading The Back of the Napkin, a (so far) interesting look at improving our “visual thinking” (that is, sharing information via hand-drawn pictures).

We only slept for an hour or two, so by the time we reached the hotel (the Westin Tokyo) about 8 PM local time, we were exhausted. After unpacking and preparing for the next day (including an awfully expensive and—for me, inedible—snack), we collapsed into the well-named Heavenly bed. (The Westin Tokyo is awesomely beautiful. The lobby is amazing, and the rooms have marble columns. And to think we got it for essentially free via my Starwood membership!)

I’ll eventually have photos and video (thanks to the Flip MinoHD I bought for the trip) soon.