Leavin' (my lunch) on a jet plane

Trip Start Mar 11, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, March 11, 2006

How do you prepare for 5 months on the road, traveling through weather from alpine snow to wavy heat, needing to keep it all light enough to haul around on your back, and wanting to do it in style?
True to form, wait until 24 hours before takeoff to really pack. And, in a rare turn for the sensible, buy real shoes.
After a full Friday of last-minute prep (including Papa buying me an early b-day present of lovely, tough leather boots after I realized that morning while freezing my toes taking out the trash that my beloved Converse just weren't gonna cut it), a touching midnight dinner with my family, and an all-nighter trying to stuff just one more PowerBar into my travel guitar case, I was as ready as I'd be to hit the road.
When Ryan and his girlfriend Kim rolled up, my family's and my sobbing farewells were made somewhat more poignant by the heavy rainshower we hugged and huddled in, and it was time to go. Perhaps a fitting gift to my folks celebrating their anniversary that day that their problem child would be out of their hair for 5 months ;)
We arrived at LAX with plenty of time buy quickly rid ourselves of that convenience by both my propensity to keep producing knives from my person as we marched through security as well as needing to hit the duty free shop to grab a carton of Marlboro Reds to use as bargaining chips along the way.
It's a long way to Japan, about a 12-hour flight, but the good folks at Northwest Airlines, with our entertainment in mind, managed to keep us riveted to the edge of our seats by pulling this cool trick a handful of times where the aircraft would suddenly fall out of the sky for a few seconds. Good laughs all around to be sure.
12 hours, a decidedly non-Kosher meal, and a few barrel rolls later, we began our descent to Tokyo.

Moral of the story: I love my boots, my family, and carrying 10 packs of cigarettes that I don't smoke. Not in that order.
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