Trip Start Dec 06, 2006
12Trip End Jan 06, 2007
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When I push the "any key" to send this it means that it's 12/6/2006 and in just a little while we are walking out the door, getting into Chris' car (thanks, Chris), and heading for the airport ...
From my journal 9/26/2006: 28 years ago, the first time Leslie and I went to Asia together our flight left DFW early in the morning. Leslie's father, Brooke was driving us to the airport. It was dark and raining and we were going through a construction area on the freeway that loops around downtown. There were lane changes and lights flashing and it was a scary ride and at some point in the confusing drive, Leslie's Mom, Jean says, "Faster, Brooke, faster!" Leslie and I looked at one another and cracked up - we knew then that the trip really had begun - and we were going to just ride it out, whatever came our way. What a great RTW journey that was: HK, Thailand, Burma, Nepal, India, and at the end, Vermont - clean, cold Vermont. So today (we're still on 9/26/06 entry taking David to airport for DFW-LAX-TPE-BKK-Phnom Penh) we're merging across too many lanes in the fast, fierce take-no-prisoners traffic on Stemmons Freeway (What is wrong with those people!?!?) with giant trucks all around and all jammed up together and I'm grouching about it and Leslie reaches over and gives me a wet willy! She's 61 years old and she's never done that before. Good grief! We all fell out laughing. What a great wife.
... just a few hours ... until we leave ... until we fumble through the stressful check-in & security process (Mr. Brain Dead at your service - that's what one of the security people in Houston called me summer 2005, except she left off the Mr. part) ... until we're sitting in the DFW airport - still in Dallas, but already totally gone ... until we're on that big 747 headed across the Pacific, walking around the cabin, checking out the other people, eating, reading, legs getting kind of heavy, napping for a few minutes at a time - stiff neck, walking around the cabin, reading, eating (some pretty good food this time - we're flying Cathay Pacific) ... it's a long flight and who cares about comfort - there's no place I'd rather be, except arriving in Hong Kong, of course. Cruising through security/immigration in HK, changing a few dollars and getting a public transpo card ... walking out of the terminal down the long ramp to the right ... getting on the A21 bus and the great ride into the great city - day or night, always a great ride deeper and deeper into the city ... Getting off in Mong Kok ... heading to the Dragon Hostel ...
How does this sound as a plan? We'll eat as often as possible in places that have chairs with backs. Taking a line from Noodle Pie (on bun cha at Bun Cha Hang Manh Hanoi in Saigon): "The bun cha is a triumph. Plastic blue chairs and tables have never shone so brightly." Okay, Leslie, here we go.
The plan is to fly DFW-LAX-HK. We're scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong at 0540. Will stay 5 days/4 nights and on to Bangkok for 2-3 days. Our time in HK is a little longer than we had originally planned - funny how things sometimes work out! From Bangkok fly to Phnom Penh and either on to Saigon and Mekong and then back to PP and thence to Siem Reap/Angkor OR from PP to SR/Angkor, back to PP and on to Saigon and the Mekong Delta (I am completely committed to swimming in the Mekong), then PP -BK or BK and elsewhere and fly to BK. We'll see how all this evolves.
We'll know more about the end of the trip when we get closer to the end. We may spend time in Phnom Penh or maybe Battambang or Chiang Mai or possibly Luang Prabang. Ending the Cambodia trip in Battambang is an idea, except getting from BB to BK is pretty much an all-day affair and even with Camry BB to Poipet is not an easy journey. Chiang Mai very easy, relaxing.
I'll try to post every 3-4 days. If you were along for the ride in 2005: I think this one will be different. No first time to a motherland, no battlefield returns. But, first time in >20 years for Leslie and me together in Asia, excitement in being with David. Ahhhh ...