2009 USA: Cousins’ Trip

As part of the youngest cousin’s graduation trip, the 3 of us decided to take a trip to Connecticut again to visit Aunt Nancy, cousin Melanie and of course have some bonding time between the 3 of us since we rarely spend time with one another.
I was pretty anxious about this trip as I rarely knew both my cousins well. Although we are family but our school and work has often leave us a schedule too hectic to bond, so this trip was going to be a great opportunity for all of us.
It was Angeline and mine’s second USA trip and Sarina’s first. You can tell how excited she is.
Sarina
We met up quite a few times before the trip to discuss about the places we want to go, and plan it into our trip itinerary.
We were so excited that we did not rest much on the night before the departure.
After we completed our check in at the airport, we had a some time so we took a little coffee break at Starbucks.
I took the chance to use the WIFI to double check and email the private transport company to make sure that our transport would be there to pick us up!
I also checked the weather and it predicted snow and it just excites all of us since we never seen snow in our life.
Sarina captured a photo of this advert saying she would definitely want to try that pose when the snow comes falling.
Dawn had yet to break when we boarded our flight at 6am. It was still dark outside and it seems like a pretty good timing to sleep since we were all tired from our lack of slumber the night before.
Not sure how to describe air travel.
For some, it’s pretty boring and the in-flight entertainment system is a welcome for them.
However to me, air plane rides = great sleeping time + beautiful window views +not too bad meals and free drinks all the time (of course I have already paid for them in the ticket fare).
I probably think it is the combination of the idea that I am on vacation, the excitement of travelling in a different country + the ambient noise of the aircraft in the plane, the air-con temperature, the food and drinks made me felt very relax and great for sleeping.
Everyone I met would just go delirious asking me how in the world I could feel comfortable and sleep in a small freaking air plane seat?
Honestly, I can literally sleep everywhere. Just that for longer flights, I love to bring along a standard size pillow (yeah you heard that right) so I could prop the giant between the space of my seat and the window and kind of extended some space for comfort.
Our first league of the multiple flight journey is to Narita, Japan.
The sun came to greet us as we made our way to the land of the rising sun. Of course, it’s time for breakfast too!!!
Mine was a triangle omelette, a sausage, hash brown, a floret of broccoli and a cherry tomato; complete with a plain Danish,  fruits, yoghurt, water and fruit juice.
Our vegetarian aunt travelled with us to the States (Aunt Lucy) so she had a vegetarian quiche with some green beans, with a soft meal bread, fruits and yoghurt for breakfast.
The view outside is spectacular. We were already above the clouds and instead of looking up, we are looking down!!
The clouds are like fluffy cotton candy standing up tall and it just looks delicious. LOL~
We were also treated with a pre-landing snack. I LOVE SANDWICHES. If I can’t emphasize much already. Plus. it’s a croissant!!! BLISS~
Ok, I’m a pretty easily satisfied person, so everything is good for me, especially when I am a few thousand miles above the ground.
Our flight continued past noon and our plane slowly dip to a lower altitude, signs that we were reaching Japan soon.
I took this shot from the window as I love how the blue and the grey skies contrasted with the tiny red wing tip.
We had a little extra time for our first transit. So after exiting the flight and those long queues of hand-carry scan checks , we took a stroll along the duty-free shops!
Here’s what Sarina found:
Huge crab! Which is selling for… *GASP* SGD$250!!!!!!!
O-M-Geeeee~~~ That’s reall expensive.. But the crab is really huge!
However, as real as it looks, the one on display isn’t a real crab. Cool ya?
One of the amazing things in Japan.. Their food items display~
Angeline and I went nuts at the Omiyage shop in the middle of the transit hall.
We love Japanese cakes and snacks!
They are also in very cute shapes too!!
I bought loads of 白い戀人 chocolate biscuits (brown boxes)! They are to-die-for!!
The brown boxes are dark chocolate (milk chocolate) and the blue box (the one Angeline is holding on) are the white chocolate version.
She also bought hello kitty shape snacks!! She is a major hello kitty fan!
After enough blood-spilling-shopping (荷包大失血), we finally went to queue up in front of our boarding gate.
Sarina and I took a photo while queuing to board our next flight.
We are officially on vacation!!
Gate 24: NW26 to Detroit.
Yup! Our next stopover is Detroit!
That’s where will will board a domestic flight to my aunt’s place in Hartford, Connecticut.
As our plane taxi down the runway, we notice that there was another plane right behind us!
The plane was freakingly near, really!
And what plane is that? You may be curious…
Cathay Pacific Airlines!
Narita Airport is definitely one of the most busiest airports in the world! (Well, Singapore’s too) and planes really takes off and land every other minute.
Check out the queue behind us for take-off.
It’s really a sight to behold! But probably a everyday thing for the air traffic controllers and the pilots.
From right to left: Cathay Pacitic, Air Tahiti Nui, JAL
I did mention in my 2006 USA trip that the best kind of geography lesson I could ever have in the one I saw from my air plane window.
From the window high up in the sky, you definitely can see very clearly how the earth forms and how the water flows; and if the plane flies long enough below the clouds, you can see the flow of water depositing sediment along the curves of the meanders and rivers.
You can also notice why some earth planes were square or rectangle, how houses were strategically built along the river or along the roads and how the leeves were planned and built in the fields.
It may only be just a span of less than 10 minutes, but it was a sight to remember. A living textbook no one picture is enough to describe.
And just when you felt ‘oh wow~’ the plane takes you into another world altogether.
A world where cotton candy fluffy clouds gathered like a nice comfy mattress that makes me just want to lie on it.
Ahhhhh~ bliss..
Then later..
Dinner time!
A chicken dish with potato wedges, beans and carrots. Sides are a simple salad with thousand island dressing and chicken kirage. (I know~ Chicken overdose!) Chocolate cake, a meal bun and Sprite!
I know I should be drinking water as our body gets easily dehydrated in flight; but I just can’t resist having just one soft drink. heh~
The chicken wasn’t too bad because it has the tangy tomato sauce.. I like beans, potatoes and carrots so those are a hit for me. Chicken kirage was served as a cold dish. Meh~
Salad was ordinary but I love the Chocolate cake!!!!
It was light fluffy and with the nice layer of butter cream, moist. Mmmmmm~
So, from Narita to Detroit was a 13 hour flight and we will be flying through the night.
Can’t take pictures of the night sky from the window, but I did remember a trick my best friend ever told me.
Take the blanket and cover your head so that the ends of the blanket creates a seal tent of ur head in between yourself and the window. By doing so, you have blocked out all the lights from the cabin that allows your eyes to readjust to see the night sky outside. When the plane is above the clouds, you can see all the stars right outside your window.
Fabulous!!
The first light welcome us with such an inviting view of the States!!!!
We thought the prediction on the weather channel looks pretty accurate! But then again, those are already fallen snow, so we are still crossing our fingers hoping it will snow again.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!
As the plane flies on, the sun rises again.
I will always LOVE to greet my travel buddies; good morning of (date) again!!
Especially to first time USA traveller friends, they always take some time to think about it, and goes OOOOHHHH!! and feeling amused.
Their expressions are always priceless.
The aircon in the airplane is usually pretty cold, and even I try to turn off the air blower above, I would feel hot halfway in the flight. So I love to wear a nice Goro-Tex jacket that zips up to the neck.
Keeping the neck warm would allow you to keep your entire body warm.
A Goro-Tex jacket is very light compared to the usual winter jackets; so in the streets of New York (you can read them in my posts later) you can see that I only need one very thin jacket compared to my cousins.
To my knowledge, this Goro-Tex material is also used in the military, so you know it’s good stuff.
Breakfast !!
Yakisoba~ ~ I had Japanese noodles this time instead of the omelette.
The noodles were a little soft, but very tasty!
Love the peach danish. And I always welcome fruits!
Plain water this time!!
Yay! Detroit traffic tower in view!
We’ve reach Detroit!
As Detroit is our gateway to USA, we completed all our gateway custom checks here.
After that, we got some time to exercise our legs…….. and wallets.
Here’s another photo of me, my omiyages from Japan, and my huge pillow. 😛
It’s not rare to find passengers carrying one of these huge pillows. It is a lifesaver for my back.
Oh… The times when I’m SOOOO UNGLAM!
lol~
And OFF we go on our last flight to Connecticut!!
See ya soon, Detroit!
We arrive in Hartford in the evening and the private transport I booked has picked us up on the airport.
The driver was in suit and tie and holding a plad-card with my name on it.
It’s  already pretty cool with someone waiting for you at the airport holding a card with your name on it; but when we saw the car, our jaws dropped.
Our transport of the day was this huge SUV.
Woah~ Leather seats.
We each have a super comfortable armchair-like seat in this beast.
Very comfortable, the driver was very professional and even make sure we didn’t lift any bags into the car or unload any bags out of the car.
We arrived at our Aunt’s place in the most stylish method I could ever imagine thus far.
One word, SHIOK.
Stay tune!
More stories soon!

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