Wow. That took a while. And you won't believe how outrageously, unbelievably hard it was to get here.
Saturday, we took off from Hartsfield-Jackson airport for Seattle. Travelers tip: fly with a baby and a stroller internationally. Perfect combination to breeze through security. I mean, of course you'll have to be dealing with a screaming, hard-headed toddler for 18+ hours, but hey! Everything is give and take!
For the first leg of the trip, the 5-hour flight to Seattle, unfortunately we couldn't all sit together. But, all things considered, Aria did pretty well. She ended up sleeping for half the trip.
From here on, our journey was filled with highs and lows. For example, we met two wonderful people on the HK leg of the trip who agreed to switch seats with us, so we could sit on the same row. Then we lost Aria's baby bag. High: The chicken and polenta they served awesome! Low: Then Aria had to poop and we had no wipes because they were in Aria's missing baby bag. High: We got to watch Deadpool. Lows: My head felt like it was going to split in two when my ears popped.
But all in all, it was a decent flight. Woo Delta!
So we finally landed in Hong Kong around 8:30pm on Sunday! Everything's looking great! We found Aria's baby bag! We get new SIM cards for our phones, find the carousel with our luggage, and make our way through customs. Then, we realized we left Aria's car seat base in baggage claim. And, if you know anything about customs,
So we talked to security and they sent us to talk to Delta on the seventh floor. We go up there and the Delta rep says, "Go back downstairs and down the corridor on the left and you may be able to get back through there." If you think that sounds sketchy, it was. But we try it anyway, and OF COURSE we get stopped by security. They proceeded to send us to the sixth floor to talk to baggage claim services. Keep in mind: we have all our luggage, our carryons, a stroller and a toddler. We reach the baggage claim office and the extremely phlegmy gentleman behind the desk coughs at me that we're (of course) in the wrong place and the office we're looking for is on the opposite side of the floor.
OMG IT WAS SO FAR.
So finally we get there and we have to present our passports and boarding pass to be escorted BACK down to the fifth floor where we started so we can pick up the car seat base. But thank God we finally got it. It's 11pm.
Fast forward to getting our luggage into a cab and it all magically fit. Our taxi driver takes the address to our Airbnb, 40 minutes later and we're still in the cab, riding around Central. We get to a dead end street with three flights of stairs. The cabby says, "The place is up there, you just have to go up the stairs." With four suitcases, three carryons, a strollers, a carseat and a toddler.
So I take a look up the stairs. I can't find the exact listing but I felt like we were close, so I told the taxi driver, "Can we just go around the street and find a way up the hill?" He proceeds to drive around for half an hour, pulling over to ask for directions, telling us that we're close. Meanwhile, I'm calling our Airbnb host over and over. No answer. 1am-- no answer. 2am-- no answer.
Then I finally called Airbnb customer service, who tells me to go grab lunch and a cup of coffee on them while they try to contact him. Except, it's not 1pm, it's 1am.
"Oh! Right! Ok! Let me see what I can do."
Of course, they couldn't have get ahold of him, but shout out to Rose for trying! By the time she called me back, we were sitting on the side of the road, having let our taxi man go to seek other fares for the night. Airbnb put us up in a nearby hotel for the night, but before we could hail a cab to take us there, Rose calls me back to say that she's accidentally booked us for the following night. So we're still stranded.
So, Rose said that if I can find a nearby hotel with availability, they would cover the cost. Thank you Google and thank you HK SIM cards with 5GB of data. We pulled up the the hotel and a lovely valet greeted us at the taxi to bring all of our bags up to our air conditioned room with a queen sized bed and a bathtub! (<seems to be a rarity in HK) HOWEVER--in the same fashion this night has been going thus far-- we get to the room and we can't figure out how to turn the lights on!
next post-- chapter 1, part 2: HK hates me.