Back in the USA

Well, I am back in the US after a crazy day of travel yesterday. F.B. and I stayed up the whole night on Wednesday so I could sleep better on my 15 hour flight. We left for the Manila airport around 3:30am and arrived around 4:30am. My first flight with Cathay Pacific was around 6:30am. My luggage weighed too much and they gave me a cardboard box and told me I needed to repack some of my luggage.

When I got to Hong Kong around 9am and checked in with United Airlines, they said my flight to Chicago was delayed until 2pm because of snow in Chicago. Also my flight to Philadelphia had to be rescheduled since I would miss the flight I was supposed to be on. Then they had to find my luggage on the plane and retag it with the new flight number on my bags. I was stuck in Hong Kong for 5 hours and had to go exchange US money for Hong Kong dollars so I could buy some water.

Finally left for Chicago on my 15 hour flight around 2pm in Hong Kong. I was completely exhausted by then since I had been up since Wednesday at 8am and it was not Thursday at 2pm. I didn't even have dinner on the plane, I just went right to sleep and slept 10 hours. When I woke up we only had 3 hours left on the plane. It turned out to be a 13 hour flight.

When I got to Chicago and went through US customs, I had an issue with customs. They wrote something on my customs card and after I claimed my luggage they sent me into a completely different line to get questioned. One of the customs officials was asking me what I was doing in the Philippines, where my fiance worked, where I worked, what was in my cardboard box. Finally he let me go. It's getting frustrating. Last time customs was questioning me at the desk, but this time they made me go a different line for questioning instead of letting me go. I now have a ton of Philippine stamps and a visa in my passport and I think that is the reason I keep having custom issues. Blah.

My flight to Philadelphia was also delayed about an hour because the plane was late getting there. Originally before all the delays I was supposed to arrive in Philadelphia around 5pm. I didn't land in Philadelphia until 10pm though because of the delays and flight changes. I was so happy my luggage was there when I arrived though. Not like back in January!

I was exhausted when I got home. It's weird though, it's winter here now and I didn't know how to dress today. I was so used to wearing t-shirts and sandals! I really miss F.B. though. I called him last night when I got home and we talked for awhile and tomorrow it will be back to our "dates" online.

Bad news though, when I got home Mom said she didn't want to tell me over the phone, but Spice my rat started growing a mammary tumor under her right armpit just before Thanksgiving. Female rats are very prone to developing tumors though they are rarely cancerous. I had to take Spice to the vet this afternoon and she will be getting her tumor removed Tuesday. It's going to cost about $300 though.

I still have to unpack. I have so much to put away I feel like it will take me a year!

On my last day in the Philippines F.B. & I spent the day at Mall of Asia. We got to watch another 3D IMAX movie about dinosaurs. Also had Wendy's for lunch and Yellow Cab Pizza for dinner, and of course... Starbucks, haha. (Java Chip Frappucino is my new favorite!) Here's some pictures from our last day:

P.S. When I got home, my Mom had a surprise for me. Turns out she made a plate of Thanksgiving dinner for me and froze it. So I get to have a real Thanksgiving meal after all!

P.P.S. Friday I came down with a head cold from my lovely day of traveling. I always seem to pick up a cold when traveling on planes. I feel so crappy my unpacking isn't getting done until next week.

Updated 12-8-08: All of my trip pictures & videos are now uploaded to Photobucket! Click below to view!



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