Goodbye China! Our last morning at the Garden.
We got up on Thursday morning and made sure everything was packed except the final stuff in our carry-on bags. We were amazed to see the sun trying to peek out from the clouds so we went down for breakfast and took the camera to try and get some outside shots. I told the girls to eat as much as they possibly could because we wouldn’t have time to eat again until we were on the flight to Seoul.
Dani wanted no part of this photo because sitting down was not her idea.
The Garden has two cool waterfalls and it was nice that we could see one of them from our room.
After taking some more photos of the Garden with the sun shining we headed back to the room to finish packing. Our guide Lily was waiting for us in the lobby to finish checking out and load up in the van. The girls had been asking for photos by the statues at the entrance and I almost forgot so the three of us ran back in while the driver loaded our luggage.
We got to the airport pretty quickly and said goodbye to the driver. He was really kind throughout the week and even though he didn’t seem to speak English he seemed happy all the time which was nice. Lily helped us get all checked in and walked us all the way to security. At the Korean Air counter we asked about the long flight home and getting two rows if possible. They told us there were open seats so they went ahead and booked us in the aisle and window again on two rows. They told us that we just needed to hope that no one bought the seats in between by tomorrow. I told them thanks over and over and that we totally understood, and we were on our way. We checked our bags through all the way to DFW so we wouldn’t have to touch them in Korea during our 16 hour layover.
Waiting to board our flight to Korea. I went into the gift shop to see how much the airport charged for Amelie’s Panda vest. We paid 70 yuan on the island (about $11 USD). They had it for 300 yuan (about $49 USD)! They also had a guy there making name chops while you wait. They were charging 380 yuan (about $62 USD) for the size we bought Dani on the island for 50 yuan (about $8 USD). Made me feel good about my haggling skills and I know the people on the island still made money 🙂
We boarded the plane and had 4 seats together in one row. Dani did fine sitting on Mike’s lap most of the flight. The only issues she had were if he moved her an inch or two to the left or right. 🙂 The girls were excited to find Frozen on the in flight entertainment and they immediately plugged in their headsets. Korean Air gave all 3 girls a toy and we had lunch on the plane. Once arriving in Seoul we headed to wait in line for immigration.
The girls decided to chill out while waiting in line which made the other passengers laugh.
Once we got to the window and handed over the passports the woman was acting like she wouldn’t let Dani through on her Chinese passport even though we knew she could. Then Mike realized that I didn’t say we were “In Transit” – that was the key phrase to get us through. Whew. I was nervous there for a second. We went through customs after that with our carry on bags and worked our way over the the Korean Air customer service desk to find out about our hotel night. They had all of our documents prepared and the man at the desk said, “Here are your room vouchers and we also arranged for you to have dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow.” I nearly started crying it was such a surprise. We loaded up on the shuttle for the Hyatt and once we got to registration they told us they had two rooms for us so everyone could have a bed. I was once again surprised and then she said she could give us adjoining rooms and that they would send a baby bed up. After they brought the bed for Dani we headed down to eat at the buffet which was delicious. They even had a cake and gelato bar which we went back to three times.
We went back to the room and got ready for bed since we had PJ’s in our carry on and the girls were just so excited that they had their “own” room. I was SO thrilled that we had a hotel room to sleep in to break up the travel home and wish we had been able to do something like this on prior trips. I was so excited to think that we would just have one flight and it would go straight into our home airport.