October 19, 2015

USA Diaries Part 1 : The Long Haul Flight

Happy to be home after our 50-day trip in the US in August-September to visit the family but major lakwatsa withdrawals now wildly kicking in.

It seems just yesterday when we were bundling up for the cold and getting scared once the weather forecast reaches the low 50s and now we’re back home complaining how hot it is here ha ha. Time flies by so fast! Especially when you are having fun!

Our first 2 weeks in the US was packed and we couldn’t be any more pleased. The trip was even more special because we were with this side of the family to break the sourdough bread (I ate my weight in sourdough bread and Angus rib eyes!) and be tourists with. The last time we were all together like this, was back in 2010 on a trip to Cebu and Bohol.

We have about a billion photos, give or take, so I’m diving into the constantly wanderlusting corners of my mind to try to document the trip in a series for posterity. I don’t want to forget anything as everyday held some fascinating detail.


August 4, 2015. We landed at the San Francisco International Airport  (IATA Code: SFO) after a 16-hour flight from Manila via Cathay Pacific with a connecting flight in Hong Kong International Airport (IATA Code: HKG). Our short 4 hours in HK was spent browsing the impressive array of duty free shops. There was no shopping to be had in the transit at least so self-restraint was aided with a generous dose of extremely good Hainanese Chicken Rice.

It was our first long haul flight and first trip outside of Asia. I was prepared for it dressed in relaxed but still presentable travel clothes - garments that doesn’t wrinkle and comfortable enough to sleep in and ballet flats for easy slip on and off.  I am always cold so I dress in layers. I am one of those persons with neck pillows, socks pulled up and with dark glasses stuck to their faces.

My carry on that goes under the seat in front of me has more than enough snacks for Kimbee (takot magutom!), books and ipad and toiletries with lots of wet wipes and a moisturizing spray. 

Kimbee swears by noise canceling headphones and crossword puzzles. 

I can sleep anywhere, even upright so I slept some easily on the flight, ate, watched a movie, played some games, read and landed. Easy. But not typical for long hauls I understand. More often than not, it is a test of endurance. Attend to your hygiene so you don’t feel disgusting and would still feel and look fresh when you land. Stay hydrated, go for a few walks and stretch.

Being confined in a flying tube for extended period of time is not most people’s idea of fun so I guess, a positive state of mind and attitude helped a good deal. I remember feeling very excited because flying long haul was still a novelty to me so the trip went by in a jiffy.

Jetlag though was a bitch but an excellent excuse to eat at odd hours.

Next up San Francisco.

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