First I want to answer the luggage question – we packed three 25″ compact duffels, 2 backpacks and Nadia’s Minnie bag. We also brought our stroller, and just from our day of travel I am SO HAPPY that we did.
I was able to sleep about 5 hours and Mike got about 3 hours and then we got up to head for the airport. We picked up my aunt Paula at her house and then she took our car home after work (thanks Paula!). We got through security very quickly and then found some breakfast and waited at our gate until it was time to board. Once we found our seats Nadia was very excited to see that everyone had a TV screen of their own. I want to take a moment now to talk about how awesome Korean Air is – they completely lived up to all the hype we had heard. We flew economy with them, but their economy seats have a slightly longer pitch and they fly direct from DFW to Seoul. Each seat had a blanket, pillow, bottle of water and a kit with toothbrush, toothpaste and slippers. Right before take off they came over to check on Nadia and to tell us what her meals were going to be. They marked her seat with a sticker. 10 minutes after take off they came over and gave us a large trash bag and our own box of tissues. They did this for the 2 other families with small children who were in the 2 rows in front of us also. The in-flight entertainment had movies, TV shows, tons of music, kids stuff and video games. I played some Mega Alien game for like 90 minutes and it was a fun diversion. Nadia enjoyed playing Memory.
About an hour into the flight they came by with drinks for everyone and they brought Nadia a Korean Air backpack that had an activity book, stencils and a magna-doodle shaped like a plane. Super cool. Then they served all the children their food first. I thought this was so smart because we could get Nadia settled and actually eat a hot meal ourselves. The food was very good and there was a lot of it! Throughout the flight they offered water, juice and tea along with serving 2 other snacks. On our 2 hour flight from Seoul to Beijing they served a full meal and once again brought Nadia some Korean Air activities.
On the 15 hour flight from DFW to Korea Nadia had a meltdown at about 8.5 hours in, along with every other child in our section. That was A LOT of crying. Mommy was close to a meltdown at about hour 11.5 because I just needed to sleep. At that point Nadia had only slept about an hour and a half and she was all grabby on me and poking me and I was going a little crazy. Mike was awesome and suggested we switch seats so that I could be on the outside and get a nap. It was great. Then Nadia was awake during our layover and kept telling me she was not tired. She instantly feel asleep once we took off and slept the entire 2 hours. Then she slept in the stroller while we did everything in the airport, and in the car on the way to the hotel.
Click the photo below to see all the photos in this album.
We got to the airport in Beijing and I commented to Mike that if you had asked me when I was a teen or even 10 years ago if I thought I would be familiar with the layout and routine of the Beijing airport I would have laughed. We breezed through customs, exchanged some money and grabbed our bags. Our driver was waiting with a sign and we headed out to his car. It’s funny the looks and comments that our linked together luggage got, but it worked like a charm. We were told the drive to the hotel would take an hour, but it actually took less than a half hour. We got to the hotel and tried to check in and she said we needed to go the Premier desk on the 19th floor. We are staying at the Novotel Peace hotel and online I found an awesome Chinese New year deal. You had to pay in advance to get the deal, but we would get a King suite on the executive floor. We got all checked in and they told us that our breakfast would be included each morning and that each evening there is a happy hour with food on our floor. We headed to our room and were totally amazed at how giant it was! It’s like a big apartment huge! When the guy brought our bags he told us that we were in the largest suite in the entire hotel. We are on the top floor in a corner room with an awesome view. It also has 2 bathrooms and the master bath tub is like a hot tub. Nadia asked me first thing this morning if I would take a bath in it with her.
We got to sleep by 10:30, which was wonderful, and Nadia woke us up at 5:30 and she was just happy and chipper as could be. We woke up to a light dusting of snow that looks really pretty. We had breakfast downstairs and it had a huge selection of American, Chinese and French food. I told Mike you know you are in China when you get fried rice for breakfast. YUM! They also make their own fruit yogurt and all I have to say is yum, again!
Now we are just playing with some of Nadia’s toys and trying to decide what to do today to keep ourselves going. We were not expecting snow, so I don’t know what we are going to do. My goal of the day is to find some Orange Ritz so perhaps we will just hunt down a grocery store or Walmart.
Oh and because it’s year of the Rabbit this is what they have in the hotel lobby.