You can go home again (we think?). Let the next phase begin . . .
And we thought we had a tough layover — here is how the HARDMEN sleep in airports!
Love the scale of the Bangkok airport, you could put Truckee in it.
Asia — where all the fifties live.
Ahhh, cool clean waters of Donner Lake . . .
3:30 AM double alarms in our last fam camping room, all bed and 4 of us sprawled across a queenjammedintoasingle. I’m gonna miss it.
The blur and fog is on, but we get the airport and end up at our gate by 5am. I’m ready to mission to change out last of money as possible (this kids have small money from all countries). But of course we are at some “secure” gate area and I have to talk my way back out and not miss the plane. I find the SCB Bank window and it says open and I’m kinda bumming cuz I don’t see anyone — right about when I think I’ll be toting $100 USD equivalant of random asian back to the U.S. (where it will be worth about, uh, nothing) — I start saying “hello” in Thai and generally braying . . . still nobody and I’m ready to seek another exchange but then suddenly a lady who has been fully racked under the desk appears, looking none to stoked that some dude actually wants to change some money at 5:15 in the AM. Crazy/Idiot/Americans!! Yah, that is me.
Of course part of the exchange involves a USD fifty, which is like the USD $100 in Asia, land of the $50, where all $50 bills go to die. A FIFTY! These thing are very pop here while we almost never see them in the U.S.
I make my transactions and have been smart about exchange and not getting overly jammed for the most part over these past 5 months — but my one shank is assuming the Lao bank would be open at the airport at 3pm on a weekday. Nice one. I have $50 in Lao Kip which is actually technically “illegal” to have and (surprise) everyone else thinks of Lao Kip like toilet paper so hey, I guess we have to go BACK!!
The flight to Tokyo is rad, we are steerage/miles tickets but have some bulkhead seats and personal screens and movies galore and coffee and well this is the last morning on what we think of as our ‘timezone’ and it’s just a good six hours all are still stoked despite the hour and entertained and it just works.
In Tokyo we actually have to change planes (same flight number !!!) and go through an hour of walking around and re-security and its fine to move and interact. We board and roll but on an older (but giant and fast) plane 747 that unf does not have a screen per seat. We are in famous per seat guru (always love it) row 49 in the middle four seats together w/ a bulkhead and 40 inch screen staring us all down which will be cool (for when watching a movie) and suck (for when not). 11 hours to SFO.
It is 4pm Tokyo time and we are wheels up (2pm bangkok time) . . . the math on the days and hours and sleep and whatever I don’t care. All I think is if we can get some rack and show up at 9:30am PST in SFO, cool!! Not gonna happen. Keira sleeps 3 hours good for her. Megan maybe a smidge but me/Aili about zero. I think a lot of it is that the crew is so stoked to see AMURICA!!
And we do, a beautiful bay area summer morning or sun and fog and crisp but pleasant. Soak it in, breathe it. My Mom and Hersh pick us up around 10:30 at the curb and emotions run wild for everyone. I do literally kiss the SFO curb. We are in a fog from the travel and timezones and just settle in and Hersh drives (on one HIP dammit!!).
I get a Peet’s on the drive, wow. Doesn’t taste as rich/deep/strong/good as most of the coffee I’ve been drinking the last 5 months, but is undeniably packed w/ way more caffeine! Nuts, for more exploration. Half a small and I’m kinda wired despite being awake for 44 out of the last 48 hours. Hersh and I skull a ton of stuff re the trip. Amazing. Kids/Megan finally pass out.
I make it to Donner Pass and hit the wall. A glimpse of Donner Lake and the Sierra’s and then I literally pass out for 10 minutes until we are home. Wake up nausea. I kiss the siding. See the house and town and stoked but torched. 2pm. We are all zombies and spazzes and the re-integration / decompression/ dealing / whatevs is on. Let is come, don’t rush it or fight it or freak, let it come and happen.
I am in the twighlight zone, we all are.
I am seeing my “house and stuff” and mixed bag of feelings is going on. So much luxury and comfort and stuff!! But, so much stuff!! This is the thing, we have not had much stuff, and this has been good. Balance points. Decisions to come.
The Allroad is dead battery. I work it / jump it from the Sequoia and drive around for 5 min and then, dead again!! I can’t get it jumped another time until 30 min later when about to give up sort the right contacts I guess damn. So now it is running, I am not turning off. I drive to car shop in town — I run into Lacy at the shop (crazy on much levels, but just love the small town you are back program). Mark is awesome, net is I have some time to kill w/ this car running. OK, I roll w/ a chair and flips and boardies in the car all times, and this travel wasted piece of dusted garbage is ready to find god in the depths of Donner Lake so let’s plunge it up. Ahhh . . . so good. Yeah, that is my car running up there, I’m just a dude sitting on a dock doing lake plunges and playing w/ his (functional now!!!) iPhone and soaking it in praying that his audi car batter charges :) The norms.
The evening and night go deeper into twilight zone. We are all spanked and pass out at different times. Only Megan is not up half the night. The kids are wide awake at 2am. I actually am too so we just get up. I work on stuff, they play, at 5:30 we attempt more sleep. All good, they know we are tripping, but also sense the luxery and richness of our surroundings and just straight COMFORT as way diff from the last 5 months. The education continues for us all. What day is it again? Whatevs, the sun is coming up, that is what day it is.