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The End of Travel for Now
My trip home was a long ordeal
November has been a busy month. It started as a trip to the United States to see my kids and my mom and dad. It ended defeated at 2 am in the morning, sitting through another 17-hour layover in Narita in Tokyo.
I slept for a time on a tucked-away bench in the satellite terminal but was jostled awake by some polite and apologetic immigration officers who kindly escorted me to the part of terminal 2 where overnight visitors are allowed to stay.
Now I sit and contemplate the past three weeks since I will no longer be able to sleep, even if it is quiet.
The trip was difficult as soon as it started. 3 hours waiting in Iloilo, 12 hours in Manila, 12 hours in Narita, and 12 more in Los Angeles. The hours in Manila were hard as it was hot, and when I finally did find a Jollibee to eat, it was so cold under the air conditioner that I couldn’t sit still for long.
Narita on November 7th was not even that bad. I waited until the coffee shop opened and topped up my caffeine and cruised the rest of the day. When I finally boarded for Los Angeles, I was tired enough to sleep for most of the flight.
LA was not horrible as I expected, even though the airport was so full it was difficult to find a place to relax while I waited.
I touched down in Denver early morning on the 8th and my son picked me up at the door. The air was crisp, it was late, and I was hungry, but I settled for a good night’s sleep in the spare bedroom with the promise of food and coffee first thing in the morning.
Denver, Colorado - November 8th – 16th
There was one morning of snow, but the time was mostly taking care of business and eating our weight in Mexican food. My son had to work, so I was left to my own devices. I played games with my granddaughter, chatted with my family back in the Philippines, relaxed, and slept…
The other notable thing about this time was that I started using cannabis as an experiment to help with anxiety. I had a disposable vape pen, which is by far one of the best inventions ever to grace the weed community. A couple of hits and my anxiety was gone, but I was left to deal with the aftereffects of some very strong cannabis.
We had nowhere near the potency they have these days back when I smoked regularly, and I find that when I don’t smoke pot the regular way (joint or pipe), I can handle a lot more. I went through my days in Colorado and Arizona anxiety-free with a smile on my face, because, how can life be stale and boring when you are stoned out of your mind most of the time?
I call the experiment a success.
I tried both Indica and Sativa and found the latter was a better fit for me because it didn’t make me sleepy. I was still aware and could manage to act like a normal human being, even though the oil from that purple-tinged weed was sending me to places I’d never been.
The only problem was my appetite. I got the munchies something horrible, and gained weight while I was gone. The combination of the food and the good cannabis made me gain over 10 pounds in the first 2 weeks
I got to see my oldest boy and my granddaughter and spend quality time with them. It had been 6 long years that I was gone, and this was a trip long overdue.
Tucson, Arizona – November 16th - 20th
I stayed with my son in Denver, but there was no room in Tucson, so I dropped $70 a night and stayed in an Airbnb. The place was fabulous, but the cost was enough that I could only stay 4 nights in Tucson.
But, my other two boys were off work, so we cruised around town flying high on good cannabis and Tucson’s hottest Mexican food. We went up to the mountains for a day and spent time in the cool altitude.
As much as I want to say I was excited to be back in the United States when I was in Colorado, seeing my old stomping grounds in Tucson really made me long to live there again. It was the old neighborhood and streets that made me wish I had brought my family sooner to live there.
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It was a short 4 days, but we fit a lot in that time, so I wasn’t sad when I left my boys. I made a commitment to spend more time with them and more time in the States, which I guess means I will be making this trip across the Pacific quite often.
I know one thing though. I am going to find a good travel agent and stop booking my trips through the internet. No more Cheap–O–Air or similar websites. It’s nice to save some money, but these layovers are too taxing and three days of travel is too much to ask of even me. I love to travel, but even my attitude got bad along the way.
Denver, Colorado – November 21st - 29th
Another short flight back to Denver and I was in the home stretch. Thanksgiving was coming up and I hadn’t eaten turkey and stuffing for a long time.
I didn’t get much work done but I watched TV, listened to music, read, scrolled, and did whatever the hell I wanted to. It was a nice vacation to have and I know I needed the rest.
Denver to Seattle - November 29th
This was one of the better legs of the trip. Of all the domestic airlines I’ve flown, American Airlines is by far the best. Frontier is the worst. The latter made you pay for bags and was so cramped I couldn’t move. I didn’t go to bed on the night of the 28th, I just stayed up. I knew it would snow hard, so I wanted to be awake in case we needed to leave early.
The snow was slick and it took extra time to get to the airport but I made my gate even though security was a mess in the Denver airport. The flight was delayed once we boarded, and again when we landed in Seattle, so I only had 45 mins to get through security and get to the gate. I made it with 5 minutes to spare.
I was sad to say goodbye to my boys, but I know I’ll see them again soon. It was a great visit and we reconnected, just like I wanted to.
Seattle to Tokyo – November 30th
The flight was not full, but I didn’t look forward to sitting on my flat butt for 9 hours. Frankly, I paced the plane the whole way, and the Japan Airlines flight attendants were nothing but nice to me. They could tell I was uncomfortable so they did what they could to make my trip better.
When I arrived at Narita, my butt was sore and my legs stiff. Even now, 6+ hours later, and having slept, I still feel tired. I can’t wait for this trip to be over.
If you are flying internationally, take Japan Air. The food, the people, the planes – everything was better. We had two meals and they were both refreshing, tasty, and hot, and when you are sitting in a death tube in the sky, every little comfort helps.
Travel is Fun
I forgot how much I missed traveling, but a few mistakes can make the whole experience miserable. I should never have bought the ticket package with all the long layovers, but I did and it made me feel like every year of my 54 years.
Before the next time I travel, I need to do two things: 1.) Lose weight, and 2.) get a travel agent.
It wouldn’t hurt if I had a bit more padding on my butt as well.
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