We woke early Thursday to walk two blocks to the train for Paya Lebar air base. This begins our space- A journey home from vacation. Avi whined the entire way that he couldn’t walk because his feet hurt from “walking around the world”. Time to go home!
He calmed down in the taxi the last bit of the trip. There were only a few families at the base trying to get to Yokota, so we were called second! As always, this flight was very not-space-a-ish with flight attendants, yummy food and service. There were a bunch of guys on r & r from Diego Garcia heading out to visit family, too.
At Yokota there were no flights to Osan in the foreseeable future. We walked to lodging and got their last room!! They had told me on the phone there were none available, so I was happy to be in an American bed! We had met another mom and her kids on our Singapore flight who offered for us to stay with them – she had a three bedroom TLF. Even though we didn’t need to share, we still all went to Chilis together. It was fun to hang out and hear about their being stationed at Singapore. Super nice!!
In the morning – Friday – there was no potential flight to Osan til Wednesday. So I looked at other options. With a half hour to spare, we rush packed and took a risk. Checked out of lodging to attempt a flight to Kadena, via Iwakuni, as there is an Osan flight departing from there late tonight. It showed no seats available to Kadena, but the nice lady who works at the terminal told me it often opens up. They wouldn’t know for sure until it landed.
Well the risk paid off – we were chosen last – and got the final seats on a patriot express flight. Originally, I had no idea what kind of plane we were trying for so it was a pleasant surprise to find out it was the PE. This is like an airline full of people moving to Japan.
It’s comical how loud and chaotic one of these flights are. Think of your typical trans-oceanic flight with a bunch of business folk and a few families on holiday trying to keep their kids quiet as to not disturb others – this is nothing like that. A patriot express flight is basically an entire airplane full of young families. There is little attempt, or reason, to quiet the kids. It’s so loud with crying and playing and screaming before takeoff that it’s humorous. After takeoff, though, most everyone naps; especially on this flight as they had already been traveling about a day…from Seattle to Yokota to Iwakuni to Kadena (their new home). We were just guests among super sleepy grumpy parents and wild kids.
Zoe sat behind Avi and I. She read Ivy and Bean on the kindle the whole hour flight to Iwakuni. Avi and I played and had our snack. Then, just as we landed he fell asleep. Seriously, AS the plane bumped down he closed his eyes. Fine, though, because we sat on the plane for about an hour before getting let off. They had to take the PCSers to Iwakuni first.
Two hours sitting at Iwakuni terminal went quickly. Then we got back on the plane for a two hour hop to Kadena, Okinawa. The kids sat together and watched Shaun the sheep on my phone while I read Ivy and Bean. Such a fun book series!!
Arriving in Kadena felt like being famous. The terminal was full of welcomers: all the sponsors and the USO welcoming all the people, which was most of the plane, to their new assignment. We blitzed through all the disappointed faces and made our way to departures.
Here at Kadena we are camped out in the terminal playroom until roll call at 0330. We had 5 hours to waste playing and watching Wall-E in the USO. I ordered a pizza for dinner and then we slept in the kid playroom til roll call.
At 0315 I drowsily walked out to see a hoard of people in the once-sleeping terminal! Man the competition is fierce this summer as our flight continues from Osan to the states. Lots of families are trying to go home for summer vacation. Lucky for us they split the seats – 30 to the US and 43 to Korea. Well, this was the first time my name was called first. The kids and I are the only ones taking the seats to Korea!
I let the kids sleep while I checked in – we have another 3 hours to wait until 7am boarding. I was hoping to go back to sleep, but more people with kids keep trickling in to try to get on other flights departing to points east. My kiddos are still shockingly sound asleep on the couch while 10 kids and a TV make noise around them here in the playroom.
Only a 2 hour flight on a C-5 home! Can’t wait to sleep in my own bed and check the garden. Hope the bunnies are alive.
Sorry, I took NO pictures flying from Singapore or even at Yokota. Just having that much of a good time, I guess. Or being busy with 2 kids.