November 6, 2011

16th oct: malaysia to hong kong to san francisco

16th October 2010.

After 6 long months of planning, we're finally done packing and out the door we went with me, my almost 16 month old toddler and her teddy bear, my inlaws, three large check-in suitcases, two carry-ons, one baby diaper bag, one stroller and one 20 kgs sized Fedex box filled with baby diapers.

A quick snap with baby while waiting for the bus to start rolling towards KLIA.
And yup, I am sporting a tired look because I was up packing until about 1.30 am in the morning.

My inlaw's neighbour was really nice and offered to drive us to the bus depot where we caught a bus direct to KL International Airport. The ride took us 3 hours and we arrived with plenty of time to get lost while looking for the check-in counter, check-in our luggage and run all the away to the opposite side of the departure hall to check-in the stroller because it was considered overweight luggage, grab a quick lunch at Ritazza then lurk around duty free shoping for about an hour before our flight via Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong.

This is what I ordered to share with Adrianna but she didn't seem interested in the roasted chicken rice ...

... so she ended up polishing up grandma's pasta instead.

I haven't taken a flight since 2001 when my brother treated me to a 2 week all expense paid trip to UK so it's been a good 9 years since I've been on a plane. As much as I love to travel and seeing new place and trying new food, taking a flight for me is like gambling; you never really know if they'll stuff you in an odd smelling old tuna that flies can or you'd strike it lucky and get a brand new bigger tuna can that flies just a little faster than the old one. 

The flight from KLIA to HKIA was decent. FIL managed to secure us a front row seat so my baby girl was able to take a nap shortly after we took off which was good or she'd be a very cranky toddler without her usual afternoon nap.

The take-off wasn't too bad either. We were worried about about the pressure on her ears so we got her to drink water from her water bottle during take off. She did super and went on her jolly way.

Adrianna chomping down on some biscuits we packed along. She's was at that picky-eater stage when we took our trip so we had to bring along quite a stashfull of her favourite biscuits and treats.

The cabin got quite cold a few hours in which we anticipated it would, so we packed her light weight hoodie in the diaper bag. We also have a thicker hoodie we bought from Marks & Spencer packed away in my FIL's carry-on for the much cooler San Francisco weather.

We arrived at HKIA at around 8pm HK time. Our flight to San Francisco was a midnight so we had about 4 hours to kill which isn't really a lot of time considering that we decided to grab a quick dinner first then reorganise the diaper bag and hand-carries after yanking things out during the KL - HK flight and stuffing them back in, freshen up the baby and change her in her pajamas for the long haul to San Francisco and on top of that, freshen ourselves up and change too. But we made it with an hour after getting lost (again) and managed to rest a little before boarding the 14 hour flight.

We made it ... halfway!
Mommy, Adrianna and grandma at Hong Kong Internal Airport.

We arrived at San Francisco International Airport around 10pm local time and took us about 45 minutes to pass through customs. Customs was surprisingly easy to clear, probably because we were travelling with baby. They didn't make a fuss about the milk formula or water I packed in the diaper bag and allowed us to pass through no questions asked.

MIL however had some trouble scanning her fingerprints. It was quite cold in the airport and her fingers were getting dry and cracking so they had to scoot her into another room and manually get her fingerprints stamped. But all went well and hubby was right outside the arrival gate waiting for us to drive us to Fremont where our next leg of the journey will start, in the next post.

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