Eleven Hours Later

After flying cross country to San Diego the night before we got to sleep in as much as our internal East Coast clocks would let us. Fortunately our flight didn't take off till 11 a.m. so we had a little time to enjoy a last breakfast on the Navy Lodge patio in Coronado before loading into our rental car and heading to the airport. We were just an eleven hour flight away from starting a new experience in Japan!

DaddyO had been a little apprehensive about checking in our 9 duffle bags, two car seats, and stroller but JAL was a breath of fresh air and quickly took care of everything for us. They gave me a flavor of what I had missed so much when we left Japan five years earlier. DaddyO celebrated being bag free with his last cup of American Starbucks coffee. He had to use up his rewards:)

I must say I was quite excited when I found out we'd be flying commercial instead of the Navy's weekly rotator. This is probably bad to admit since we were taking two little ones under the age of four on an airplane, but I was looking forward to the quiet of the mostly Japanese passengers. The delicious Japanese food was a plus as well.

There was our plane ready to be boarded!

We didn't have to wait long for the first meal to be served.

The meals gave us about an hour of entertainment for the kids. With each small container of food, we had so many dishes to open and try. A positive to flying with kids is we got to enjoy the leftovers. 

Then we put our bags filled with busy activities to use. 

DaddyO and I got recommendations from friends and shopped Amazon to ensure our eleven hours were as noise free as possible. Here are some of the things that helped accomplish that!

Dover sticker books, at $1.35 each we ordered an assortment.


Princess Finger Puppets.

 Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad


 Melissa and Doug Water Wow


Spot It card game
And then matchbox cars, pocket princesses, and Blackberry Playbooks were also helpful.

EJ was easy to keep entertained with her favorite movie but CJ was a little harder. We did find out on our cross country drive that he loved our home videos. I'm guessing the fact that they're short and star the people he knows makes it easy for him to remain interested. We loaded up his Playbook with a couple years worth of short videos and that gave us another hour.

Then there were the flight attendants who provided us with Anpanman sippy cups,
and more stickers.

The kids did take a nap along the way.

And then it was time for more food.

About the time DaddyO and I were ready for a deep sleep ourselves, our bodies had no clue what time zone they should be on, the flight attendant came on the loud speaker and announced we were landing. Of course just as the wheels hit the runway, CJ was asleep. Thank goodness for strollers.

We quickly made it through immigration and customs and were greeted by our sponsors at the exit. We drove the hour through Tokyo to Atsugi base and I must say it was a surreal experience doing it all over again. It all looked just as we had left it about five years ago.

Our sponsors had our kitchen stocked which we were quite thankful for when the kids woke up at midnight saying they were hungry.

DaddyO and I were exhausted when we finally hit the bed and slept quite soundly the first night. We had no idea though what jet lag had in store for us with young kiddos. That was a whole new experience!

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