Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tokyo With Love!

Bored out of my mind, I decided to fire up my computer on the plane and write my week’s post from 40,000 feet. We are just over Alaska on our way to Narita (Tokyo) hoping we catch our connecting flight to Shanghai. I told my friend Jeff King to wave as we go by! The trip started off delayed as one of the engines on our 747 didn’t start. Being assured this was a normal situation, it would take 10 minutes and we would be off. A half hour later the pilot announced they switched a wrong valve and now that needed to be rectified. An hour later we were assured of taking off in 15 minutes but not to worry……..they’ll pour the coals to the engines and what is suppose to take 12 hours will now be 11 so we will only be about 45 minutes late. Well in Narita one doesn’t just get off the plane in a secure area and get on board your next international flight, you go through security again. I am not sure I understand the logic, but the same restrictions apply, no liquids over 3 ounces per container. Anything brought on board from Minneapolis better be empty or it goes in the garbage. I suspect they will hold our plane as Shanghai is a final destination meaning it won’t be turned around till the next morning (we arrive at 8:20 Tuesday evening) so it can be late.

I am on a Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet, the work horse of overseas air travel. These were the money makers for Northwest Orient, who basically owned the routes from the US to Japan and points from there. Now that Delta has acquired Northwest, they have spruced them since my last trip to China in 2008. New leather seats, upgrades to the overhead storage, and the projection TV’s have their colors in sync for once. Although not totally full, its close as these birds will hold about 400 passengers. When I first started flying to China, all drinks were free for the first couple of years however that stopped about 2004. Now that Delta is in charge, beer and wine are back on the complimentary list. We will get 2 meals and a snack before us land. Because the flight has a substantial amount of Japanese passengers, our meals usually consist of a teriyaki based main course with shrimp cocktail, rice, and green tea. I loaded up with Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and the nut mix from the Sky Club. At this point we have been in the air about 7 hours. Being 11:00 Minneapolis time I fight the urge to fall asleep as my theory is to stay awake till we get to our final destination. Being up for at least 24 hours usually helps me fall asleep the first night. I watched the first movie, Invictus, with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. It was pretty good. The next one is Dear John, which prompted me to write, if you know what I mean.

As far as fishing this week, I didn’t have much time to do anything. On Saturday we ran to my sister-in-laws to help her look for a car. It turned out to be a pretty funny situation as we spent at least 3 hours at a Ford dealership in Onalaska, Wisconsin test driving a Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, and a Cadillac SRX. Looking for a crossover SUV the Ford was the best, even giving the Caddy a run for its money. Unfortunately for the salesman he had little inventory and had sort of discounted us. While waiting in their customer lounge I noticed an ad in the paper for Brenengen Ford in Sparta, they had advertised 17 new and used Edge’s in stock. Closing at 4:00 we took off arriving with about 15 minutes to look. Well that’s about how long it took to find a fabulous 2009 model with all the bells and whistles for about $8000 less than we were quoted just a hour ago. To top it off they gave her double what the other store would give for her old car. It is amazing what 20 miles and a different dealership can make. Sunday saw me tying up the loose ends around the house, mowing, tilled the garden, finished my planting, and packing. Fishing remains strong, however and it has been announced that Mille Lacs will move the slot size you can keep by 2” upward. It will go from having to release all fish under 18 to under 20 inches, sure just when I leave!

I am in Tokyo right now as my flight to Shanghai is delayed for an hour.  I have taken 2 pictures, one of the greatest beer machine in all the world.  It tilts your glass then fills it down the side.  About 3/4 full the glass tips up and another nozzle fills it with foam to finish it off with a great head.  The second is me in my travel garb.....aka my Green Bay Packer Hat.  People the world over recognize this as I have already got a thumbs up here at the Narita Airport.  I hope to post from China however friends say that my site is blocked in China.  We'll see.  It's 5:00 in the morning Minneapolis time and I have to go.  Later!


NeenahPete said...

Dave - I fall asleep on a plane just about the time it hits cruising altitude. I don't know how you can stay awake 24 hours. I have a coffee machine that looks kind of like that beer machine. Hmmm, wonder if I can convert it. Ha! By the way, nice hat! Safe Travels!

Dave Anderson said...

Pete, I finally am at one of our factories that has a direct link for the internet via Taiwan, therefore my post is not blocked. The food has been nothing short of spectacular! Went to the Shanghai Expo but have no patience to wait 3 - 4 hours to see a pavillion. Amazing however.