I have the perfect window seat on Cathy Pacific flying out of Lax on a perfect Thursday. Marina del Rey, Point Dume, Santa Monica mountains and soon, Big Sur laze below. Truly it is a blue planet. I can even see the distant Sierras where we were in Yosemite, just two weeks ago. Oh, and look, there is Point Lobos one of the most beautiful nature parks in the world. California, you are gorgeous! We cruise silently through the blue sky over the aptly named Pacific. An auspicious and luxurious beginning of the journey. All the exertion of planning and obsessing over details, are, thankfully, over.
After lunch and several movies, I slide open my window shutter, and see it is still bright daylight out there. 10 hours into the flight and it is still blue. Folks inside the cabin however are now showing signs of fatigue and increasing misery at the cramped seating and spill of newspapers and food wrappings. Crying children, and grumpy adults avoid eye contact in the bathroom lines. I too have shifted from exhilaration to a desire to disappear into sleep. On the computer screen that tracks our flight, I see that the darkness of night is following us. Another 4 hours to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong airport, the emporium of designer label shopping, goes on for ever and ever and ever, Halleluja! Who cares about shopping? All we want is sleep……
The Novatel Hotel in Bangkok airport is a luxurious space station. Stepping into the palatial foyer is like stepping into a clear lake, reflecting lights and trees and high tech columns. It is after midnight when we check in. It could be any time of day in this round-the-clock landing pad. Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and the exhausting business of retrieving bags from the carousel, we are relieved to land in our futuristic pod with a spacious bathroom, huge heavenly bed and best of all absolutely dark and quiet. How is it we don’t even hear any planes, and we are still virtually at the airport? A wonderful end to a day that seemed it would never end.
I wake this morning and peek down from our pod window to the lake-foyer- below. Hey, where did Friday go? It is Saturday and time to leave this very expensive short term refuge and head to Chaing Mai, Northern Thailand.