Travel – Not Quite Back in the Groove

Exhausted. Knackered. Achy.

Weight? Who knows, but the pants still fit… scale is missing in my “delayed” luggage. I did stick to my diet while on my vacation and since I’ve been back in China.
Exercise? Worry? Does that count? I can’t run, since my running shoes are also in my “delayed” luggage… along with clothes and underwear! I did walk all over Shanghai yesterday and to and from work on Saturday morning and to work, home for lunch and back to work so far today racked up 3+ miles.

That about explains the 3 ways I’m feeling right now. Even after having an 8 hour sleep
last night. Jet lag sucks… BIG TIME. So, I’m not quite back in my groove, but feel that an update is overdue, for sure!

I left Florida on Thursday morning at 1145 a.m. for a flight to New York’s JFK. As I blogged before, they actually have Wifi on flights in the States now… how cool is that? Nice 1.5 hour layover there then off to Beijing, except the flight is delayed and they are talking about me not making my flight to Hangzhou, blah, blah, blah… I actually said to the lady at the counter, “seriously, please don’t tell me that… I have travel anxiety related to timeliness!!!” I decided I was going to try not to fret over it… what will be, will be. They made up some of the time, but the transfer time was close in Beijing and I had to go through immigration, collect my bags and then recheck my bags and get on the flight. I had 47 minutes!

I sailed through immigration and went to the baggage carousel… one of my bags was the first one on the carousel!!! What luck! LOL… until after 25 minutes, the bags stopped coming and I realized that A. I had 15 minutes to haul my butt to my connecting flight and B. my 2nd bag was missing… PANIC set in. I ran to the missing baggage office and they put my baggage number in and found that my bag was still in New York… tears were shed, I’m a cry baby when I’m tired, and I ran to check my bag for the Hangzhou flight and actually made it on the plane… because it too was delayed.

I get to Hangzhou at midnight, collect my one bag and head to the lost baggage office to file a claim. It is now officially Saturday morning (I’ve missed all of Friday being in the air) and I have to be at work at 8 a.m. Through more tears I realize that the bag I have is NOT the bag with my clothes and my Brooks Addiction running shoes and MOST importantly MY SCALE… can anyone say MELTDOWN!?! She files the claim with the Air China office in New York and says, as she hands me the paper… it’s just “delayed” baggage, not “lost”… with the sweetest little smile. It’s hard to be angry with her 😦

I get a taxi home and fall into bed after loving all over Tits the Cat, who has apparently missed me immensely. He insisted I carry him around like a baby for half an hour! I got into bed at 3 a.m. and woke up at 558 a.m…. ugh! Made coffee, checked email and got ready for work… at work by 730 a.m. On my way to work I picked up tea eggs… I was so happy to see my favorite tea egg lady…

Those are the tea eggs in that ginormous crockpot!

I think the exhaustion hit me around noon. I felt like someone was sitting on my head! But I made it through most of the day. At 3 I decided to leave and called my friend Alice, a midwife from Florida who is visiting her son here in Hangzhou. They just happened to be at my favorite restaurant in town, The Vineyard, and I took a taxi there to meet them. It was so wonderful to see her. I think it’s been 15 years or so since I’ve seen her in person, but she is the one who inspired me to walk the Camino 2 years ago.

In bed Saturday night before 10 and up at 458… UGH! No problem, got up, made a breakfast of steak and onions and showered and dressed and headed out the door to get the train to Shanghai! A fellow blogger, Mona, was in China for a summer assignment and we were going to meet in person! How awesome is that? I love her photography on her blog and even though I was knackered as all get out, it was worth the trip to meet her!

Mona on the Bund… The Pearl in the background.

Walking to the Bund.

We met at her hotel and walked to the subway. We took that down to the Bund, which is the waterfront walk on the Pearl River. It was an overcast day, but we still had a good time! After walking the Bund we google mapped my favorite restaurant in Shanghai the Blue Frog. Unfortunately the address was incorrect and we ended up walking a heck of a lot more than we intended… no worries… the lunch and company was worth it!

On the walk we saw lots of cool things and some random things like the fresh piece of asparagus on the stairs of a walk over and this beautiful cherry in the gutter…

Cherry in the gutter… streets of Shanghai

After the trip back to Mona’s hotel, I taxied up to the subway and then took Line 2 to the Family Mart… the grocery store that I can get my Fat Free yogurt. Bought 8 containers and a few other items and then took the subway back to the Shanghai train station… it was a wonderful day!

Bye-bye Shanghai

Back to my flat… call to Air China “delayed” baggage office… “good news Ms. Blankenship, your bag is on the flight to Beijing! You should have bag tomorrow noon”… well, my assistant has just called and been told it’s still in New York… I’m trying not to panic. I’d like to have my clothes, my shoes and MY SCALE… my Vivien tells me it will come, “this is China, it’ll happen”… I take a deep breath, come back to my office and pray… yes… this is China… things do happen.

As I finish this post I am listening to the soundtrack of Rock of Ages… the music makes me HAPPY 😀 I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this movie. I know that it got crappy reviews, but they were wrong. It’s a funny, happy inducing movie and thinking of Tom Cruise (lovingly referred to as TC) singing and dancing “Pour Some Sugar on Me” gives this 48 year old giggles and smiles… If I was in the States… I’d probably have seen it 3 times already!

And now… Vivien has just walked into my office and said MY BAGS ARE GOING TO BE HERE, IN OUR OFFICE IN 2 HOURS!!!!!!!!!! OK, trying not to hold my breath, trying not to be too optimistic, but they asked her for directions to the hospital. Dear Lord, I pray it’s MY bag… lol.

With that… I’m outta here… if anyone has a secret to getting rid of jet lag quicker, I’d be ever so grateful!!!


“I’m hot sticky sweet, from my head, my head to my feet”… Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard… redone by the yummy TC 😀

18 thoughts on “Travel – Not Quite Back in the Groove

  1. well … the adventure of the missing bag and the anxiety it produced made for excellent blog fodder! Glad you are back in one piece … on the jet lag thing? Lots of water and try to stick to your new schedule – basically you’re gonna feel a little “off” for about another week.


    • I dragged the bag home on my one mile walk from work 🙂
      The jet lag I’m having this time is headachy. I have a sinus thing going on, as well, so it’s not helping. The general rule of thumb is one day for every time zone (12!), but that usually doesn’t last so long with me. Amount up water intake as you’ve suggested 🙂

  2. oh. I thought you were back in the states for good! It was just a visit? When do you move back for good, and how in the world will you bring that cat 😦

  3. Yay, happy dance about the bag. The husband had his own bag fiasco last week returning from Israel through JFK. Said he would rather go through hell than JFK. Employee attitude was worse than the lost bag issue. Stand in awe of your great attitude on life and finding beauty in the smallest of things.
    Also saw Rock of Ages and couldn’t agree more with your review. Fun, fun movie and TC did rock.

    • Jonelle… You know my last 2 experiences with people at JFK were actually amazing! When I came home in January, the Delta employees at check in provided such excellent customer service I actually took down their names and wrote a letter to Delta praising them and got the sweetest letter back. Then racing thru for my connection on my inbound flight everyone made sure I was expedited thru rechecking my bags (first point of entry in States) and zipped thru security where the TSA guy had to search my carry on because of something in there, but put me at ease and assured me I’d make my flight. He even made me laugh. I mention these because NY/JFK has such a bad rep, but it hasn’t been my experience… Thank God.
      How was your hubbies trip? I’d love to visit there one day.

  4. I am exhausted just reading this…I am so glad you got your bag!! I missed a plane once when I was in my early 20’s in NYC…I have been mildly affected since…my husband would differ with the term “mildly” But I like getting to the airport EARLY…mostly to his dismay…but I would rather sit there that be in a panic getting there!! Rest Well.

    • Absolutely with you on that. I’m often there 3 hours before flight! Last year my daughter Tiffany was taking me to airport and we got a flat. That child changed out her tire in under 15 minutes to stop me hyperventilating, LOL

  5. I thought I was the only one with time anxiety over flying. I love to fly, no issues. Just huge amounts of anxiety over getting to the plane on time. Whew. I’m feeling it with you.

    • Julia… We’re sisters of the soul 🙂 I always tell people I’m not afraid of flying because I’m not afraid of dying. I have never been able to pinpoint the cause of the timeliness thing, except I hate feeling rushed! We’ll have to take a trip together soon!

  6. Re-united and it feels so good…. Glad your back is back. What an adventure my far flung friend 🙂 I’m sure the next few months will fly by and then you’ll head back for ‘good’ or at least a while to the states. REST and how about one of your great massages to lift some of that jet lag?

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