I made it! Mileage run complete after 106 hours and change door to door halfway around the world. Thank you to everyone who followed along and reminded me just how crazy I am 👍😀 Have a great Thanksgiving!!
I finally landed back in Miami! After 105 hours, I just have a one hour drive home 😃
101 hours in and I finally made it back to the U.S. Nothing like waiting for that one last flight during the busiest day of the year at one of America's busiest airports... Almost home!
Over 88 hours in and with my duty free Japanese snacks in hand, it's finally time to board the long flight from Tokyo to Dallas. All told, with time differences accounted for, my Wednesday November 25, 2015 will last just over 40 hours. I've always asked about adding more hours into the day. Still can't believe I'll be watching a Broadway show in Ft. Lauderdale in less than 24 hours!
I'm the luckiest passenger ever... After my brief requests to the Japanese airlines flight attendants yesterday morning, I received a complimentary upgrade to the first row of premium economy (valued at $200 on top of my flight ticket). Apparently they oversold economy and elected some passengers to "try/experience" premium economy. I'll experience it all day every day for free! Thanks Japan Airlines! I arrived back at Tokyo before anything in the airport was open... 84 hours into my journey and all I can do is experience what it is like to be stuck in a deserted terminal. Looking forward to taking a shower in the Admiral's Lounge soon!
24 November 2015
During my (VERY) short trip to Jakarta, I bought 2 bottles of water, a croissant, a bubble tea, a chocolate bar, bought Indonesian incenses, and got a 30 minute foot massage... It all cost a whopping 240,000 rupiah... Otherwise known as just under $20 😀 Well that helped make up for my Tokyo dinner, but now it's time to head back!
Evidence of globalization for the day! Starbucks is literally everywhere, but I can't hate, because they are giving me this free wifi right now. My small dinner included a bottle water, a chocolate croissant, and a bubble tea from the colorful little joint... All for 60,000 Indonesian rupiahs. Sounds expensive, but that translates to just over $4!!!
I made it outside in Indonesia, albeit briefly! I couldn't tell why everyone was staring at me... Is it because I'm a (relatively) tall white dude wearing crazy colors OR is it because I'm wearing 3 layers of sweats when it's 92 degrees with 100% humidity in an airport without air conditioning?!? I guess I'm crazy one way or another...
Scored another big win with a bulkhead seat on my segment from Tokyo to Jakarta... Even better... I found out I was upgraded to premium economy on my way back to Tokyo after just a 4-hour stopover in Indonesia! That's a wonderful surprise after traveling so far in such little time 😀
I'm so into the Japanese spirit that I even made myself a Japanese breakfast of miso soup, sticky rice, and a Japanese potato & cucumber wrap! All while sitting in the quiet and cushy American Admirals lounge at Narita Airport. Hard to believe I'll be on my way to the Broward Center to see Newsies in just 48 hours... but first I have to fly 33 of the next 44 hours!
More than 60 hours in means I'm more than halfway! After a very successful stay at the 9hours capsule hotel, it's time to check into my flight to Jakarta!
23 November 2015
A little over 52 hours since I left Fort Lauderdale, but I feel like my journey has been going on for weeks. Time for sleep! Just me and my pod! And my prisoner jammies!
Time for the capsule hotel! This is quite the experience, pretty perfect for an overnight layover abroad. I have my own little Baggie with slippers (that obviously don't fit) and pajamas (that make you look like you're a prisoner. But seriously, it's a great set up, very clean, peaceful, and great wifi.
Regarding that incredible bathroom "smart" panel, it speaks for itself. Let's just say that every bathroom in America (at least in hotels) should have one. 👍😂
This friendly Japanese man sitting next to me at dinner bought me a glass of wine! I've found the Japanese to be incredibly kind, welcoming, and hospitable so far!
If I wasn't about to miss the last train of the evening, I would have totally stopped for a Japanese Godiva dessert! Because, you know, every underground rail station around the world has a Godiva outlet ready to serve you... 😉
There's always next time, Tokyo!
After many great choices and very limited time to choose, I went for the ultimate Japanese experience by ordering a pre-fixe sushi dinner! Not only was I the only american there, I was the only non-Japanese person there. It was AMAZING! One minor issue... not going to lie... the price of dinner was more than all of my other meals combined so far on this trip.
If you didn't look to close, you might think I was in New York City this evening. Apparently Tokyo station has that 9-5 downtown modern effect, with a really beautiful mall. Time to explore that mall for dinner!
What about this vending machine says scalding hot bottled drinks?!?! Right!?! Well hot apple tea from my first Japanese vending machine it is!
22 November 2015
Bought my train tickets to Tokyo... I only have 2.5 hours before the last train leaves from Tokyo back to the airport! Time to move!
46 hours in and I finally made it to Tokyo! Unfortunately visibility is less than a 1/4 mile due to bad fog, but that won't stop my adventure to downtown Tokyo for Monday night dinner!
Chicken, pasta, and Minions to start off the Tokyo journey!
Do you see the huge difference between the normal economy seats and the extra legroom bulkhead economy seats?!?!? Makes all the difference when you are 6' or taller on a 13-hour plane ride!
Getting ready to board a Boeing 777 from Los Angeles to Tokyo... It's almost 11am PST on Sunday here in L.A., but it will be about 4:30 pm local time in Tokyo on MONDAY when I land. 😀
Quite a different view from the LAX Admirals Club than from Chicago. Admirals Club has now paid for itself and more for me as I was given a complimentary economy extra leg room seat on the Los Angeles to Tokyo segment just by asking (worth $136). Also, the breakfast spread is outstanding: cereal, oatmeal, bagels, chobani yogurt, and fruit! P.S. To all my fellow travelers, make sure you enroll in TSA Precheck and Global Entry... Precheck saved me almost an hour of lines this morning!
Over 30 hours in and headed back to LAX, but I don't mind waiting outside the airport hotel for a shuttle to the terminal when the weather is a perfect 70 degrees, sunny, with no humidity!
Just over 23 hours into my journey (that's a long time to be awake while traveling), I've never been so happy to get to a hotel room. My 8 hour stay at The Concourse at LAX is very necessary.
21 November 2015
Hello and Goodnight Los Angeles Basin.
17 hours into the run, after a healthy dinner salad, I finally board segment #2 to Los Angeles. Can't wait to go searching for a hotel once I land at midnight PST! (3am Sunday morning back home in Florida!)
After 15 hours, I'm starting to lose track of the day as I've spent more than 6 hours at Chicago O'Hare airport. I feel fortunate that my travel plans really aren't all that important compared to others, yet there will always be disappointment when over 600 flights are canceled at one of the countries busiest international airports. Two bright spots, however: 1) I paid $100 to purchase a 30-day Admirals Club membership that gives me club access at all the airports on my itinerary. While the free drinks and snacks might not recoup that $100 price tag, the kind "premium" American Airlines service agents who hooked me with extra legroom on my flights (worth over $200 in flight value) definitely made my day. 2) If you're going to be stuck at an airport, you might as well be stuck in the American terminal at O'Hare, which features some of the best, most eclectic food court options available at any airport. Can't wait to choose a late-night dinner for my 3 hour flight to L.A.!
Well, due to the winter storm in Chicago, I'm heading straight to Los Angeles this evening. No more Vegas evening on this trip... Oh well. At least it's time to leave the snow!
Ahhh my next segment from Chicago to Las Vegas was just cancelled due to Chicago weather! Time to make miracles happen!!
Look who I found in downtown Chicago?!? Michigan football game & brunch with Elise Lang!
Not a lot people on the CTA trains this morning... Maybe the weather has something to do with it!
Definitely not in South Florida anymore...but at least I made it to Chicago!
Landed in Chicago exactly five and half hours in... Heavy snow falling and temperatures are in the mid 30s. We arrived 10 minutes early, but the captain just informed us we will be sitting on the Tarmac for the next 45 minutes as we have no gate. Conditions are too nasty for any plane to leave its current gate. 💩👀
Good morning Miami Beach!
First stop is Chicago! Looks like winter weather!
Day 1, Hour 1! Time to leave Ft. Lauderdale for my 4.5 day, 23,100 mile journey half way around the world and back! Wish me luck!