And so the journey begins...

The past few months have been nothing short of crazy. From having a baby, to packing up our lives and moving half way across the world, with a few stops to see family along the way, we haven't really slowed down one bit. And I like it that way. I really do. Minus the part where it's totally taken a toll on my sweet two year old and all sorts of craziness has come seeping out of his personality. Patience and love, two things I've tried to incorporate more abundantly into my sometimes uptight self. Me uptight? Never!

So, instead of catching this blog up on what we've been up to, let's just jump right in to the present. Just know, we loved spending time with family and friends in Utah and California. And if you really want more of a day to day peak into our lives, follow me on instagram, amy_lovell, and you'll be all caught up.Or at least as much caught up as I care to share in this social media happy world.

Now, let's jump right into how we got to Japan and all of the fun that happened along the way. And maybe you don't care, if that's the case, I'll just throw up some pictures for your viewing pleasure and we'll call it good. For those who care about the details of our adventure, read on...

Our flight was scheduled for 1:40am on Thursday morning, August 28th. That day we did the best thing to do before a LONG flight, take it easy. We bummed around Sunnyvale with John's sisters family, and kind of laid low, knowing we had an entire night of traveling ahead of us. To say either one of us was looking forward to heading to the airport that night would be a lie. We both felt anxious and completely uncertain as to what in the world we were about to do. Move to Japan. All the way across the pacific. Far far from family and everything that we've always known. What were we thinking? Oh yeah, that we wanted a fun adventure for a few years and we were living up to our motto. Travel on someone else dime.

Thanks to our brother in-law for staying up late to drive us up to San Francisco that night, we took two sleepy children into the airport and kissed the ground of the USA goodbye. Or so we thought. Instead we sat around waiting to board our flight, only to be told that there was a mechanical issue with the plane and our flight would be delayed. Twenty minutes later, they came back on the intercom to tell us the exact same thing. By the time our flight was actually supposed to be taking off, we were then told the flight was simply cancelled. Yes, cancelled. Awesome.

The moment they said to head to the check in counter, John took off running, along with the other 300 annoyed passengers, to try to be the first in line. He almost succeeded. A few people beat him to it, but we were still some of the first in line and it was a good thing, too, considering they thought it was the best approach to make everyone come up to the counter simply to hand out a piece of paper with a phone number on it for us to call to reschedule our flight. A number that wouldn't have anyone available to answer until 6am, it was only 2am. To say everyone was annoyed would be an understatement.

Thank goodness the travel agent at the counter had pity on us and rescheduled us for the same flight the following night. Just what every parents wants to do, drag their children to the airport at 11:30 pm two nights in a row.

It was now close to 2:30 in the morning and we still had to go back down to baggage claim to get our bags before we could head out to a hotel for the night. The flight attendant said she took care of scheduling us a room, too. She was hooking us up...or so we thought.

Our bags, oh our bags, we thought they were never going to come. Meanwhile, it's close to 3am and Preston is having a heyday with the fact that it's WAY past his bedtime, and he's not being forced to sleep. He was running all over that near empty airport, singing songs, playing drums on everyone's luggage, and being a good reminder that delayed flight, cancelled flight, or schedules not going as planned, there was no need to be upset, because life is good and you make the best out of whatever is thrown at you. At least that was the message I got from him that night, and I'd like to think everyone else did, too, since we heard the comment, "at least someone is happy about the situation" numerous times that night. John and I couldn't help but laugh to ourselves the entire night at how goofy and happy he was being. Oh how we love that crazy boy of ours.

We finally got our luggage and headed out to find a taxi to take us to the airport. But there was a slight problem. Taxi's aren't lined up outside the airport at 4 in the morning, and everyone we called didn't have a car large enough (at least at the time) to take all of us and all of our luggage to our hotel. So, we spent another good half hour trying to find a way to the hotel. Thank goodness for the airport shuttle that was waiting upstairs at the arrivals gates and saved the day. We FINALLY made it to our hotel...only to find out the flight attendant hadn't actually booked us a room and they were all sold out. All sold out except for one Queen Suit that was going to cost us $299 for the night. I've never not cared so fast about the price of a hotel room. All we wanted to do was get our kids to bed and get a little shut eye in ourselves. And thankfully by 5am we were all doing just that.

By 11:30am the next morning Preston was up and ready to go for the day. That poor boy has forgotten how to get good sleep in since we left St. Louis. It's been rough. But minimal sleep aside, we were determined not to let our last day in the states be wasted by being stuck in a hotel room. Instead, we did what any good Candrian would do when the Giants are playing and headed into San Francisco to go watch the game, that just so conveniently happened to be in the afternoon that day. Preston loved it, for a few innings anyway, and then his lack of sleep caught up with him. We stayed until the 8th inning and headed back to the hotel to attempt to take a nap before the dreaded 11 hour flight that awaited us...again!

Naps happened, but were short of course and we were certain that nights flight was going to be disastrous. Gwen screamed the whole way to the airport and didn't want to sleep. Preston went from ornery to hyper to crazy tired all in the matter of seconds and we were certain we were destined for the worst flight of our lives. Thankfully Gwen fell asleep the moment we got on the plane, and with the help of a little Benadryl, Preston asked to make a bed on the floor of the plane so he could sleep, too. It was like music to my ears. We made him a bed, and before we knew it, he was on the ground sound asleep. It was fabulous, except for the part where we hadn't even taken off yet, and of course they were going to make us buckle him into the seat for takeoff. Um, have you met my child? Do you know what he's like when he doesn't get enough sleep? Of course not, but if they knew, they most definitely wouldn't ask us to do that. Instead of even having to worry about that, we set my purse on his chair, threw a blanket over top of it, tucked some of it into the seat pocket in front to look like legs and help cover the sleeping child below, and had my airplane pillow slightly poking out to look like his head. Best sleeping dummy I've ever seen and it worked like a charm. We may have given ourselves a pat on the back for that one.

Overall, aside from a slight meltdown after Preston woke up in hysterics after only three hours of sleep, the flight was a success. They both slept a majority of the way, and when either of them was awake, they were relatively happy and calm. A far better flight than anticipated. Halleluiah!

We landed in Taiwan around 5:25 in the morning, and after a fairly short layover, we were finally on the last leg of our journey. Finally! We got to fly business class from Taiwan to Okinawa, and surprisingly enough, Preston fell asleep once again. Too bad it was only an hour long flight. He woke up slightly grumpy and a little bit mad. The side of him that is VERY hard to reason with.

Our sponsors met us at the airport and loaded us up to head to Kadena, the Air Force Base where John will be working, and where we'll most likely be living for the next three years. The drive to base was a little strange seeing everything written in Japanese along the way, and driving on the left side of the road instead of the right. That will definitely take some getting used to. Not to mention, it's pretty humid here and the car I was in had terrible AC. I felt like I was melting the entire way. Welcome to Okinawa I suppose!

We got to our hotel here on base, and it pretty much took every ounce of my overly tired self not to break down into tears. With all of the pleading for a larger room from John for the past few months, our current living situation is less than idea. Until we get actual housing on base, we'll be living in a nice little (and I mean little) studio room that would barely be an adequate size for a bachelor, let alone a family of four. Nothing like living cozy with each other for the next few weeks. Maybe this will teach both of the kids to be really awesome sleepers because Gwen's going to have to learn to sleep through Preston's screaming, and Preston is going to have to learn to sleep through Gwen's crying. It should be a fun few weeks. Let's just say, I'll be praying my guts out we get into a house asap! Feel free to pray for me!

And here we are, the second day into this crazy adventure, both kids are napping, and it's currently 6pm...we were all in bed by this time yesterday. Somehow we'll all adjust, I'm sure of it, but let's just cross our fingers we're not all up by 3:30 tomorrow morning again.

Okinawa, we're ready for you!


AJ Candrian said...

An adventure you will not forget any time soon. Hang in there little sister!

Joy Candrian said...

Oh my, I agree with Andrea, hang in there!