Tokyo Bound

And we’re off!  With nary a hiccup to boot.  Chris and I both packed (well, over-packed) and still had plenty of room left in our suitcases (OK, not really “plenty” – but considering we’re two big queens who hate to wear an outfit more than once, we did pretty well). No line at the check-in counter; had a decent breakfast at the airport food court; then headed to the Red Carpet Club…

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ANA must be embarassed to send their business class passengers to this United dump...

What a dump! Crowded; styrofoam (!) cups for water and coffee; a couple of stale cookies to snack on; and half-empty cups and crumpled up napkins all over the place.  And the best was when some kid knocked over a glass (yes, a real one – apparently her father was taking advantage of his two free drinks from the bar – as were we) and broke it.  They then took off for their flight…  The broken glass littering the floor and the deadly remaining shard on the table were still there when we left…

At any rate, what a relief to get on board our plane! Business class on ANA is heavenly (I know, how surprising…). Seriously, I’ve been looking at photos and reading reviews, none of which do the real thing justice. It’s spotless, tasteful, roomy, thoughtfully designed, airy…  I could go on and on. And the flight attendants are all lovely – professional, helpful and attractive.  Seriously, they are all very nice looking (as are the uniforms – the best part being the silk scarf…  which each stewardess has knotted in a different and elaborate bow).  Does that make me a chauvinist and/or racist?  Yeah, probably, but I’m enjoying the flight nonetheless…

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"Champers alright for you Pats?"

Mere minutes after we left the ground, the champagne was served – in real glasses.  Then a snack while we looked over our menus.  I was tempted to try the Japanese menu – though I’d heard it wasn’t as good coming from USA as from Nihon. So I chickened out and went with the “International” menu – it was pretty tasty.  Started off with a salad, pork pate and a stuffed artichoke – really quite tasty.  Next a filet of beef – it was “meh” though certainly not bad for airline food.  Dessert was crazy – “ANA’s special chestnut parfait.” It was two cream puffs on top of whipped cream and a scoop of ice cream with a berry coulis and what we’re pretty sure was Special K cereal at the bottom.  Odd, but we ate every bit…  Oh, and a green tea…  and a whiskey…

Anyhoo, seven hours to go.  Chris is “resting his eyes,” i.e. he’s passed out, though I think we’re going to watch “The Hangover” (appropriately) together when he comes to…  In the meantime, I’m about to start crossword puzzle number 2 of the trip.

So, the trip across the Pacific was delightful.  The 11 hours flew by (no pun intended!).  We arrived on-time at Narita in a pouring rain – hooray! But all went smoothly through customs and immigration.  However, I made a fateful last minute decision to take the “Limousine Bus” (it’s just a bus, despite the fancy sounding limousine part) rather than the Narita Express train – my thought being that having to schlep three blocks in the rain with our bags was not worth the extra 25 minutes (100 minutes by bus vs. 75 minutes by train) it takes to go by bus, which drops us at front door of hotel.

Needless to say, after spending over three hours on that bus (due to horrible traffic in Tokyo), I was in a foul mood – especially considering it had stopped raining long ago, thus negating the entire reason for choosing the bus…  Once we did get to the hotel, check in went relatively smoothly (thought of course there was a huge line of people who’d been on the bus with us). Couldn’t manage to get internet access in the room, which prompted a meltdown on my part – we still needed to confirm our tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market with our guide.  And the tour started at 4AM and it was already after 9PM…  Grrr…  Anyway, I used wi-fi in the lobby and left in-room access to deal with later…

So, we did get up and had a fabulous tour of the fish market…  I’ll post more about that later.  But we’re off for a tour of our neighborhood this afternoon, just as soon as Chris-san is done resting his eyes…  Sayonara!

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