Exactly two weeks ago it was Tuesday morning and we were in Japan. Many hours later, it was still (or again) Tuesday morning and we were in Seattle. We got from here to there by taking a "space-A hop".
This is a commercial flight, chartered by the military, to transport military personnel. Any seats not used by those on special assignment or service members being relocated, are open to those who want to try to travel "space available".
The thing about "Space A" is that it is NOT a sure thing. You don't know if you'll get on pretty much until you're on. You just have to show up and hope for the best. This is extremely hard to do when you're traveling with four small children. But the price is right (practically free) so it's worth trying.
So two weeks ago we went to the terminal and waited and waited and waited. We were thrilled and a little shocked when they called our names. Then we waited some more. (Two weeks previous to this our friends tried to get out but couldn't. There is only one flight per week, so if you don't get on, you're out of luck until next week.)
Once on the plane, the flight took only eight hours and BAM --we were in America. I might be tempted to complain, but it was a heckofalot shorter than our flight OUT here two years ago when we had to go through Tokyo. And at least this time the movie system was working!
Once in Seattle, we rented a minivan and drove straight to Albany, Oregon for Doug's first visit with the esteemed and revered Dr. B. Brown. (Who just happens to be our former two-doors-down UCSan Fran Dental School neighbor.)
...to be continued...
*Christina--we didn't call you while we were in Seattle because we didn't stay in Seattle long enough to even catch our breath! We basically only stopped in places where Doug had interviews or meetings set up. Which means we missed seeing and visiting lots of friends along the way. (Don't hate us San Franciscans!) Hopefully we'll be able to see you next year when we're back for good!!! :)