I had to wake up extremely early because my flight was at 6:45 am on Wednesday morning. I made it a point of not sleeping the night before because I had people I still wanted to see. I packed my stuff before I went out, because I knew it was going to be a photo finish.
I met my friend Janon at Atlantic station and I’m not a drinker but I made an exception in this case (I haven’t seen Janon in years). We met at Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro, and I really enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, I only had a limited time before I had to meet Damon and Marcus (two close, high school friends) a the Fox Sports Bar and Grill, nearby. (I met Marcus a few days ago to have hot wings…they were amazing! I haven’t had hot wings in forever!!) We had a great time a the Sports Bar, too; we stayed until they shut the place down. I took some pictures with my two good friends in the parking lot just before heading back to my mother’s house.
I managed to hang out with a bunch people and then had to get my sister to follow me out to Conyers, to give the car back to my father…that was at like 2am in the morning. I hugged my Dad like I wasn’t going to see him for a long time (well, I guess that’s because it’s true)…told him I loved him, and hopped back in the car with my sister. I got home, loaded my stuff in the car and my mother and sister jumped in the car and drove with me.
We got to Hartsfield with plenty of time to spare. I think it was almost 4:30am when we got there. I gave my mother a humongous hug and kiss and told her I loved her, too. My eldest sister Nicky went in with me just in case my bags were to heavy and had to take some things out. I checked in, weighed my bags….SUCCESSS!! I was all set, had my boarding passes and got ready to head in. I had some random dude snap a picture of my sister and I before I kissed & hugged her goodbye (the picture above).
Walking through customs, I was happily dizzy from an exhausting week of seeing so many wonderful people. I loved seeing my friend Shabnam who owns two Dunkin Donuts in Georgia now, I enjoyed meeting two karate students (Mike and Kris) and fellow karate teachers for hot wings at Hooters! Sigh, hooters…amazing…wings..lol. Doing my first sword lessons with Mr. Young and the Karate Crew, made me feel like I still have so much to learn. These memories flooded thoughts as I went through the security check. My flight was delayed so I had a chance to nap before boarding.
The first leg of the trip bag to Japan went from Atlanta to Dallas, and it was uncomfortably turbulent for the entire two-and-a-half hours…I just wanted to get off. I’m already uncomfortable with flying and turbulence doesn’t help one little bit. Ahhhh…finished!
Got to Dallas, got some grub at Jamba Juice (they’re oatmeal is really freakin’ delicious). I did a little bit of kanji practice while waiting for the 777 to arrive for the long, 12-hour flight to Narita. When the plane got there, I boarded, and I was hoping things would be better than the flight to Altanta. I was the first one in my row to arrive…aisle seat…check. I opened the overhead compartment…plenty of space…check. I sat down and buckled my seatbelt and a pretty Japanese woman, who spoke English had the window seat in my row, and there was no person between us…C-H-E-C-K! I sat down with a smile on my face…we were getting ready to taxi down the runway when I felt the pattering of small, children’s feet on the back of my chair…my smile quickly turned flat…NOT AGAIN!!
I slept for the majority of the flight so I was okay. but during the last four hours the child behind me got really restless she was jumping on the middle seat like a trampoline and her parents weren’t doing anything about it. She kicked my chair one too many times as well. I turned to her and gave her the “If your foot touches my chair again…I’m keeping it” look…that worked because she stopped kicking my chair. In the last two hours she started crying…”Almost there, I thought.” When we landed, a woman in the seat to my left threw up in a barf bag! WHAT!?! REALLY!?! AGAIN!?! I don’t know what it was with barf bags and children this time around but I was glad to be back in Japan. I told myself “If I make it to Japan safely, I’m going to make this the best year I’ve ever had in my life.” As I went through customs, the irritation just melted away…I was back and I was happy to be back.
I’m going to miss my family and friends again, but I am going to do something this year that’s going to make them very proud of me. I don’t know what it is just yet, but I can feel it. I wonder what this year has in store for me…