I’m a planner. Some might even say I’m an over-planner. But, hey, it makes me happy. And when we accomplish 3 days worth of things in one carefully planned day, you’ll be happy too.
So this always involves me feeling the need to get to the airport early. Like I made Sarah wake up at 3 am once, and we were so early that we had to wait outside the airport for an hour because it wasn’t open yet. Oooops. And like any other trip, we were early to LAX, once again.
Normally not a big deal, but had I known the day ahead of us, I probably wouldn’t have been in such a hurry.
As we sat in LAX at our gate, an hour after our scheduled takeoff time with no word of boarding, we started to question if we had made a mistake. I knew I didn’t because of how carefully I plan, but ya never know too.
Soon enough, boarding begins and we make it to our seats. Our connecting flight was departing only two hours after our first flight landed, so I was starting to prepare myself for a sprint through the airport once we touched down in Shanghai.
Like I always do on flights, I doze off, but only to awake an hour and a half later to find us still on the runway…. IN LOS ANGELES. So now I have no service, no way to change our connection, and have a very anxiety-filled 15 hours ahead of me.
I sleep, I read, and I stress eat my way through almost all my snacks as I try to make a game plan — which doesn’t work out too well when you have no internet access.
We eventually land, and only 20 minutes past our connection’s departure time. Maybe it was delayed too? We hurry towards the door for our gate, only to be turned away and sent to a long line of others who have also missed their connections.
I told myself it’d be okay. It was a full moon, after all. And if there’s one thing about full moons, it’s that I’ll always be positive during them. So we waited, and I didn’t even cry despite the fact that this was a very typical “Tara’s gonna cry” situation, as Sarah has learned over the years of traveling with me.
And we waited. And we waited. And the calm, cool, and collected girl I am made sure to inform the much taller and buff guys trying to cut us in line to not even play this 5’3″ hungry and sleep-deprived blonde. Because I may have been worry-free, but I still ain’t no push over.
And after 4 hours in line and a new set of friends around us — sans buff guys — we reached the front.
At this point, we were well aware we’d be missing our next connection in Kuala Lumpur the next morning, since the next flight out of Shangai wasn’t for another 17 hours, so I had done my research of flights while in line and prepared my speech to ask to be put on the direct flight to our final destination instead of what our boarding pass stated. I had the flight number ready for the attendant and everything.
Now, I’m the one who’s been traveling for the last 24 hours, and this fool is the one who has the mental breakdown when I ask to go to a different city. Whatttt?
We eventually get our new flights, stand in another hour long customs line, find our abandoned luggage — thankful I didn’t have the Valentinos in there because no full moon would’ve stopped those stress tears — and proceeded to the bus stop, where we waited another hour before reaching a hotel provided by the airline.
Nothing quite like your head hitting that rock hard pillow at 3 am after the longest day ever. Sweet relief. Ahhh!
The next morning we wandered our way down to breakfast where we had our choice of rice or noodles — and no matter how hungry I am, I can’t find any reason to eat either of those for breakfast — so instead, we chatted with all our new comrades to see what everyone’s plan was for the day.
Hanging out at the mall seemed to be the general consensus for passing the next 6 hours, but we just couldn’t get on board with that.
We were in a whole new country, and we needed to make the best of this situation.
After a quick Google search, it appeared that there really wasn’t much to do in the surrounding area. So we dug a little a harder… and just down the street, we found our answer… Disneyland.
At only $79 for a day ticket — a bargain compared to the Disneyland we have back home — we happily entered the park. Being barely a year old, everything was still so new and beyond cute. We were able to race around the park in about an hour, since it’s also smaller than the original Disneyland, and without a whole day available to spend there, we chose to ride Tron and Pirates, neither of which disappointed — and neither of which I could understand the commentary during, aside from the occasional “Jack Sparrow.”
So after passing the time until our flight at the happiest place on earth (uncertain if this catchphrase applies to all Disney Resorts or not?), we boarded our flight to Malaysia. Thankful for the misfortune that turned into a grand adventure.