Steve picked us up early and we were off to O’Hare. Every little thing went so smooth. Checking in was a breeze and because Mom had to use her walker, we were taken to the front of the security check point’s line and had no trouble getting Mom a pat down (she has an ICD implanted and can’t do the scanner or the wand). We even made ‘friends’ with some of the TSA people. After that the three of us ventured to the Admirals Lounge for some relaxation before boarding.We met a really nice guy who was flying to Miami with his Service Dog Juliet…who was just the sweetest dog! He and his wife had just bought a second home in Miami and he was going there to check it out. Such a great guy…he looked through Aine’s portfolio and LOVED her pictures.
Eventually it was time for us to board the plane. Again, because of Mom’s walker and knee issues (she needs a full knee replacement) we were the first ones on the plane. Unlike most American flights, we got on the plane, got our stuff put away, sat down, waited for…maybe…10 minutes and we were moving! I was a bit nervous for Aine cuz she’s never been on an airplane before. She totally proved me wrong. She was awesome…held my hand on take off and landing but otherwise right at home.
As we were landing I got a bit teary eyed as we flew near a temple. I do feel at home here…except for the language barrier. Yeah…English…not spoken as much as I thought it would be. It’s all good though we’re getting along great.
So to finish up Day 1…after a 13.5 hour plane ride, we were treated to a 2 hour long bus ride to the hotel. I couldn’t keep my eyes open on the bus so I’m sure I missed a ton of great pics…ah well. We checked into the hotel, got to our room (on the 13th floor!) unpacked, and proceeded to pass out!.
Day 2….we ventured out in the morning to look for a grocery store…and found one 2 blocks away from our hotel. Actually there are about 6 small groceries within 4 (tiny) blocks from our hotel. We bought randomly as I couldn’t read the labels…but came back with some really tasty stuff…convenience store sushi was a win, as was the fruit, sweets and drinks – water, coke (I could read that label), and green tea.
After we ate, we went out again…in the rain. We walked around before going to Tobu a HUGE shopping mall 2 blocks from the hotel. I bought my make-up and 2 umbrellas and not much else. After walking for a few hours through the mall, we went to McDonald’s for lunch…same crappy food as at home. We ate the food at the hotel as mom couldn’t do the stairs to the restaurant area. We hadn’t checked out the hotel yet, so after our ‘lunch’ we decided to walk around. We got another umbrella and then it was back to the mall! This time we checked out the books and music. Aine got 2 Vocaloid cd’s and I got an Acid Black Cherry cd – full length for a mere $22 American.
The sun goes down around the same time here as it does back at home, so by the time we left the mall it was dark. We took a walk around the neighborhood…and I found the ‘naughty’ street…before coming back to eat dinner, play a game of Scrabble, freak out over how much money we spent the first day (not as much as I originally thought but still a hefty amount), and then pass out.
Which brings us to today…Day 3 in Tokyo….which will be written about tonight.