While we do not live in Houston, we took the 4-hour drive all the way down to the George Bush International Airport because our round trip tickets to Bangkok were $400 less per person and we had the added bonus of free dog sitting from family members. Our flight was at 11:20 AM and we arrived at the airport at 9:20 to beat the crowds, which we definitely did seeing as we were literally the only people going through security, we had a private session in the baggage line, and walked into the small international terminal with almost no one else around. With 1.9 hours to spare, we had a nice breakfast at the only restaurant in the terminal and then looked through the 2.5 shops until we were ready to board. While we booked our flight was through United, we ended up flying ANA (Japan) airways for our first 14-hour long ride to Tokyo. We had a 3-hour layover in Tokyo airport and then another 6-hour flight from Tokyo to Bangkok – lots of fun right?
Even in Economy class, the leg room wasn’t too bad – and that says something when your fiancée is 6’2! We took off right on time and were served a pretty decent meal of potato cake with curry and rice, and a nice glass of wine. Ryan had a seafood dish since we were being “adventurous” but I do not really recommend airplane seafood. After we ate, everyone lowered their blinds to sleep to get on Tokyo time – 14 hours ahead of CST time in Texas. It was still early in the morning so I couldn’t fall asleep and ended up watching 3 pretty poor new movies instead.
The day we left also happened to be Ryan and I’s 2.5-year anniversary. We have a bit of a running joke about ½ year anniversaries and so I thought it would be fun to ask the flight attendant to drop off a little champagne and a “Happy 2.5 Years” note so we could celebrate. Since everyone was sleeping, she instead gave us chocolates and mine had a note saying she could do it in an hour. Ryan sniffed out I was trying to get away with something and got a little peeved since “I was embarrassing”, but once they brought two little bottles of champagne, a cute card decorated with stickers, chocolates, and a little blow up airplane, he was happy as a clam and apologized. I like to celebrate things big and small and, with free champagne, can you really blame me?
So a celebratory-champagne induced nap and few games on my cell phone later, we finnnnalllly landed in Tokyo. The international part of the airport is basically a high-end shopping mall with everything you could ever want duty-free, Japanese shops, and high-end shops like Hermes and Burberry. After breezing through a security check, we walked what seemed to be a mile to our gate and waited the 2.5 hours until boarding. At this point, it was 2 AM Texas time and we were getting snoozey. As soon as we got on the plane, and despite my efforts to stay awake, I zonked out, only to wake up 20 minutes later and realize we were still on the tarmac in line to take off. We waited for an hour on the tarmac until it was our turn to go and I was too tired to be bummed that we would be getting in at 12 AM Bangkok time instead of 11 PM. What is another hour, right?
I slept almost the entire flight. At one point, the stewardess came by with drink service and I ordered a water, fell asleep, and woke up to my neighbor tapping my arm so I could get my water from the flight attendant! Talk about a zombie!
The pilot actually made up time in the air and we landed at 11:20. We de-boarded and, as we were walking towards customs, I realized I left my iPhone in the backseat of the plane! I made a mad-dash back to the plane and about 8 stewardess’s helped me find it. I have to say, the service on ANA was amazing. With that crisis averted, we made our way quickly through customs and found the driver I had booked through BangkokShuttle to take us to the So Sofitel Hotel. Let me tell you, after that much travel, it was so nice not to have to worry about transportation!
It took about 30 minutes to get to one of the most amazing hotel I have stayed at so far in my life. The lobby of the So Sofitel was gorgeous and the staff was incredibly welcoming.
Our room was deep-sea blue with awesome décor, had delicious fruits waiting for us, and had a huge comfy bed – the opposite of the plane chairs we had become so used to! After a nice and short rain shower, it was time for some much-needed sleep.