Well, the journey has begun! We buttoned up the RV, packed our bags and left Yuma headed to Los Angeles. It was cheaper to rent a car from Yuma to Los Angeles rather than pay for airport parking for a 34+ day adventure which includes a thirty day Asian cruise.
It was a rather long five hour drive to Los Angeles and even though it was a Sunday afternoon, we had lots of traffic around Long Beach. After a quick dinner we turned in the rental car and walked the short distance back to the hotel. I wondered if we would be able to sleep because of anticipation of the long flights the next day, but we were so tired we quickly fell asleep.
The next morning we took the 7:00 A.M. hotel shuttle, a short ride since the hotel is a mile from the airport.
When we printed our boarding passes we were very happy to see we were TSA pre-approved, meaning a shorter line at the airport and we could leave our shoes on. We flew ANA which is a Japanese airline. Our first flight was a twelve hour flight from LA to Tokyo. We then had a three hour layover followed by a seven hour flight from Tokyo to Singapore. When we checked in at the ANA desk we learned we had a free upgrade to Business Class from Tokyo to Singapore and free access to the Star Alliance Lounge at each airport. We were thrilled.
After breezing through security we headed to the Lounge. Wow! We hadn’t eaten breakfast and Bill had a big plate of scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, orange juice and coffee, all included with the Lounge pass. With comfortable chairs and a quiet relaxing environment, we were very content until time to board the plane.
A twelve hour flight is never easy but we were well prepared with compression socks to prevent deep vein thrombosis, a potentially deadly condition, as well as books on tape and plenty of snacks. We had booked Premium Economy seats which are a little more pricey than economy but gives you more legroom, very important on long flights. The time went by fairly quickly with some naps, a large selection of onboard movies to choose from and plenty of food and snacks. The airline offered a selection of Asian and Western dishes to choose from. The Japanese flight attendants were friendly, kind, helpful and very soft spoken.
After an uneventful flight we landed in Tokyo and once again went to the Star Alliance Lounge with our complimentary pass. The layover went by quickly and we then boarded the flight to Singapore in our upgraded Business Class seats. All we can say is WOW! Our seats were like individual pods with a lot of legroom. Best of all the seat fully reclined into a bed. We were given a mattress for the bed (a new mesh mattress in a plastic bag) as well as a great pillow and duvet style blanket. As soon as we took off I made my bed and went to sleep, waking up six hours later, with an hour left in the flight. The flight attendants saw I was awake and remembering I had missed dinner they immediately asked if I wanted something to eat or drink. Bill had stayed awake long enough to have dinner and two glasses of complimentary red wine. He was still sleeping when I woke up and woke up a half hour before landing. It will be hard to go back to those premium economy seats on the flight home! Here are a couple pictures from the flight brochure of the pod beds.
We landed at 1:00 A.M. local time in Singapore. From the time we left the hotel in Los Angeles to the time we landed in Singapore was just under 24 hours and we skipped an entire day when we crossed the International Date Line. The free upgrade to Business Class was certainly a blessing that made the trip easier.
The Singapore Airport is beautiful and if it hadn’t been the middle of the airport we would have liked to explore the airport more. Here are a few pictures we quickly snapped on the way to baggage claim.
After collecting our bags we went through immigration. The immigration officials were very friendly. They stamped our passports, fingerprinted our thumbs digitally, gave us candy and sent us on our way with a cheery “Enjoy your visit to Singapore!”
We walked downstairs to public transportation and got the 24 hour city shuttle which took us to our hotel for $9 Singapore dollars which is $6.67 American dollars each. Knowing we would be arriving after midnight, all this had been researched ahead of time.
We arrived at the hotel at few minutes after 3:00 A.M. We had notified the hotel of our late arrival and our room was waiting for us.
After napping until 8:00 A.M. we had nice breakfast at the hotel and then hit the streets to explore Singapore.
We are not sure what our Internet will be like over the next month but we will post to the blog when we can. We are dedicated to blogging about this trip, but it may take awhile getting all the blogs done.
Next time we will have plenty of pictures from Singapore.