Alright I've been awake for over 24 hours (sans ~45 minutes) but I want to see if I can throw up an 'I'm back!' post about the return to glorious Japan.
First, my friend David and I have to be at Dulles by 850; in order to secure this with DC traffic we get a shuttle for 6. We arrive at Dulles at 645, and hang out for about an hour and a half until the travel people arrive to ensure our departure and how many checked bags we have. Next, we split up because David and I are on different flights; breeze through security, re-belt my shorts and head to the gate...over 2 hours early. Super thorough travel agency. So we hang out, eat, (unfortunately Starbucks was closest) and wait. There's quite a few of us though, so it was not boring by any means. It was also awesome when my cousin Pat came to see me off! And take pictures for mother of course.
So we come to the blessed occasion: 13 hour journey to the other end of the world. My track record with sleep on a plane isn't stellar, so I took a Benadryl to hopfully spur things along as well as brought a neck pillow to possibly be more comfortable. It sort of worked? Neck pillow did nothing but push my neck forward which was not helpful, but I crossed my arms under it and tucked my chin on top of it and fell into a sort of sleep for about 45 minutes? It was all good; I had my usual movie-thon (Lincoln, a censored Iron Man 3 [I could see why they cut the scene about falling out of a plane, but it was doctored like it was on TBS or something], How to Train Your Dragon, The Hobbit (!!), and Rise of the Guardians). The food was...effective, but even just picking at it had me and a few other people's stomahs turning about for a few hours after the flight. We had to come around again to land because a plane was still on the tarmac (which I hypothesize was the other plane with JETs beating us there because we were to arrive within 10 minutes of each other) and theen the whole waiting-in-no-AC-for-immigration-yay part.Then, there were a billion people in super helpful green shirts, scattered along our path like bread crumbs to guide us where we needed to be. Super helpful; very effective.
[Getting more tired now] Drive 90 mins to hotel; check in to very nice room, go out to eat at Saizeriya (which is ironically the first place I ate out at last time), come home, get ready for the early day tomorrow!