June 26, 2002

The one where we travel home from Korea

OK. We got the laptop working here in the hotel and I can type without sitting on the floor. Let's cover the past week...

On Thursday (which will be covered twice due to time zones) morning we woke up at about 0330. Had a bit of coffee and took showers. John went to the pet kennel to free and drug the cats and I finished making sure that the suitcases were all packed and ready to go. WildChild had gone with John so imagine my surprise when she came walking back into the hotel room asking me to call John. It seems that while we did have the key to the door at the kennel, the workers had locked the door to the cat room. Yeah, it's now about 0545 and the bus leaves the hotel in 30 minutes. I run around the room trying to make sure that WildChild is ready and we head down to the lobby. Thankfully when we got down there John was just arriving. He had about 10 minutes to change his clothes and finish helping me get the rest of the suitcases. We finally get down there and get everything loaded on the bus. The ride to the airport was about an hour and the two older cats were pretty quiet and good. Kea was a fucking freak and the drugs just made her more upset. Thankfully we had a plastic carrier for her. We finally get to the airport and John takes off with the three cats to get them the Korean health certificate. About an hour later he comes back and we get into the long LONG line for United. After almost another hour we finally are at the front of the line. We start checking in and the desk clerk says that we can't take all three cats in the cabin. I start to freak out a bit. We argued back and forth with them and finally they came around to our cart with a measuring tape and said 'officially' that the carrier wouldn't fit under the seat. We had to scramble to make sure that all the requirements were met for Kea to fly in cargo. Running around trying to find some plastic containers to put food and water in so that they could be taped to the outside of her carrier. At about 1030 they finally took her and we went through security ("please remove the cats from the carrier and carry them through the metal detectors" "please remove your shoes and place them on the x-ray belt") and made it to our gate. We stopped and bought some cigs and then boarded the plane. Long, boring flights. Nothing to note at all.

Thursday again, three hours before we left Korea, we arrived in Seattle. The cats were finally coming down from the drugs and mewing a bit. We landed and were immediately called aside before we got off the plane. Because of the working dogs in Immigration they had to take the two cats from us and meet us at Customs. We stood in line for forfuckingever and finally made our way to Customs. The nice United person had pre-cleared all three cats and asked us to pick them up in Baggage Claim. We snaked our way through all the lines and finally made it onto the train to the main terminal. We got all our luggage, again, from the ramp and went over to get Kea. She wasn't happy. At. All. We rented the truck and tried to go outside and have a smoke. No smoking on that floor outside the doors. Finally John just went on his own to get the truck and WildChild and I waited by the sky bridge for him to come get us. We couldn't really go anywhere on our own since we had three carts and all of them were heavy. John finally gets the truck and we get it loaded and hit the highway headed South. Stop one is the Tacoma Cat Hospital. These people deserve all the free advertising they can get for being gracious and helpful with us when we arrived. The two older cats were alright but Kea was still being quite vocal. Not only was she being loud but at some point, she'd used the bathroom in her carrier during the flight. The smell alone was almost enough to knock you over. The nice lady processed all the paperwork quickly and took the three cats from us. I'm sure we all, not just the cats, looked like hell by this time. We stopped next on base and checked into the hotel so that we could change clothes. We made a quick run to Arby's and then zoned out in front of the TV for a bit. I think we all fell asleep and woke up in the middle of the night. Being trained for the past two years, the first thing that goes through your head is "gee, we can't go off base for another three hours until curfew is over."

On Friday we went shopping on base and off. I went to the PX and bought a bunch of small presents for Athena's baby shower the next day. Then we went to the apartment complex and signed the lease. We only signed for six months so that we could hopefully move into a three bedroom place at that time. We did some laundry and driving around and shopping.

On Saturday we got up early to return the truck to the airport. I felt like crap but had to go with John since he needed a way to get back to BaseName. We went to breakfast when we got back to Tacoma and by the time we were done eating I'd been knocked full force onto my ass with a cold. John brought me back to the hotel so that I could try and sleep for a few hours and hopefully be able to go to the baby shower. He and Wildchild went and rescued the two older cats and dropped them off at the apartment. They came back and we all slept for a bit. There was just no way that I was going to be able to go to the shower so John went and emailed everyone and gave them my cell number to call.

Sunday....I slept a lot and blew my nose every 2.5 seconds. At least, that's what it felt like. The sleeping a lot is accurate though.

Monday we stopped at the house and put some things away that we'd mailed from Korea. Then we went on base to look for mattress sets. We found a few that were OK but decided to shop around. We went to the mall and walked around gawking at everything like we'd been exiled for years. We stopped in one bed store and laid on them. You know those air beds that have the neat remote...the one that can go from firm to soft or back again? We bought one. We both just fell in love with the bed and the idea that it could be as soft or firm as we like. Ex. Pen. Sive. beds people!!!

Today we slept until like 11am (hello, jet lag anyone?) and went to the apartment. Put more things away since more boxes arrived. John and WildChild went to pick up Kea from the vet. She's now officially spayed and not quite happy about it. She spent a lot of time crying on the way home and didn't stop until a few hours after she was in the apartment. I finally got the modem working with the laptop and we've all checked our email and played around. We're finally back at the hotle and it's a little after 1130pm. I've taken two tylenol PM but they don't seem to be kicking in at all. John and WildChild are both sleeping like rocks and will hopefully stay asleep for the rest of the night. I just might run outside and have a smoke before trying to go to sleep myself. I don't feel tired at all but I'm sure that this is MORE than long enough. So there you have it...we're all there, all alive and kicking. The apartment is beautiful and we love it. The first two shipments will be delivered on the 27th of June and 1st of July. (We have no idea when we'll see the stuff from storage). I might have a job interview this week thanks to Athena. I have a really cute new cell phone that I love. I'm getting over my cold and feeling human again. *smooches to everyone*

Posted by rowEn at 11:20 PM | Comments (2283)