Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back in Pangkor, Malaysia

April 21, 2011—Our flight home on March 27 began with a five-hour bus ride to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. We arrived at approximately 7:30 p.m. and waited half an hour to check our bags. We then decided to get a small bite to eat and wait for our flight at 11:50.

Our flight to Tokyo left on time, and we were surprised that it was only half full. We were flying on Japan Airlines, and everything went well. Our flight took about six hours, and when we got off the plane, we went to the first coffee shop we could find. We were sitting on comfortable chairs enjoying a hot cup of coffee when I felt the floor shaking. Not being exposed to earthquakes before, I thought that perhaps some construction was going on close by. After just a few seconds, I told Steve that I thought it was an earthquake. He agreed and told me that the painting on the wall behind me was shaking. The shaking lasted for about five minutes and then stopped. When we were able to get Internet a little later, we saw that a 6.5 aftershock had occurred up north. It was an amazing experience, and I could only imagine what the original quake must have felt like.
About six hours later our flight on American Airlines left Tokyo headed for Dallas. We settled in for a very long flight and spent our time either trying to sleep or watching movies. The good news was that the tailwind made it possible for the plane to arrive an hour early—the bad news was that we flew over Albuquerque on our way to Dallas.

We had a two-hour layover in Dallas, which gave us time to eat lunch and walk around a bit. Our two-hour flight to Albuquerque was uneventful, and after almost forty hours of travel we were very happy to be back in the states. Tim and Zelda picked us up and took us to Zelda’s house.

The next few days were very busy. Steve and his mom finalized the arrangements for his brother’s services, and we helped Zelda with some projects around the house. David’s service was on April 5. The next day the three of us, along with our friend Dwight, spent a night up at the cabin in Chama in order to get Zelda’s room put back together after everything had been moved out because of a water leak in the roof.

Steve stayed in town to help his mom, and I left for San Diego on April 7 to see the girls and Riley. Southwest was still a mess because of the metal fatigue concerns, so I decided to carry on my luggage. My flight out of Albuquerque and the one out of Phoenix were both delayed because of weather in Chicago. I spoke with the attendant at the gate, and luckily I was able to get on the direct flight that would get me in at my regular time—good thing I hadn’t checked my bag.

Brie’s husband Tim was in Phoenix on business so it was just us girls. I had a delightful time catching up with Brie and Drue, and I had a chance to babysit Riley and spend some one-on-one time with her. It was over way too soon as I had to return to Albuquerque on Sunday.

We left on Monday at 7:50 p.m. to fly to Los Angeles and from there we flew on Cathay Pacific Airliines to Hong Kong. We found the seats on that flight to be quite uncomfortable. Also, we had paid extra for the exit row seats; however, because they were by the toilet, people were around us all night, and some stepped on our toes. Unfortunately, we were bucking a head wind all the way to Hong Kong, so the flight took us 15 hours. We were more than happy to arrive in Hong Kong and get off the plane for awhile. We had about three hours before our flight to Kuala Lumpur, so we ate lunch and walked around a bit to stretch our legs.

The final leg of our trip took four hours. On that Cathay Pacific flight, the seats were more comfortable, and we were able to watch some more movies, so we are now somewhat caught up on recent movies. We arrived just a half hour late for the bus back to Pangkor, so we enjoyed a Burger King hamburger with fries and waited two hours for the next bus.

The bus ride back took only four and a half hours, and we were so tired that we slept part of the way. When we arrived at seven o’clock, Gary and Wendy, who are our neighbors on the dock, picked us up and took us to dinner. We enjoyed a nice meal at a local restaurant and then headed back to the boat. It took us only a few minutes to drop our bags below, get ready for bed, and crash.

The trip was long and tiring; however, it was also good to be home. We found out that our daughter Brie is pregnant again. Our daughter Drue found out in March that she was accepted to medical school at Michigan State University and is on the alternate list at The University of New Mexico so she will start school in August. It will be a busy year. Our boys James and Tim were a great help to Zelda until we could get home and then to us during our stay.

I have found this a difficult blog to write and have put it off for a week now. For several reasons Steve and I have decided that it is time for us to return home. We have contacted a broker to list the boat for sale and have spent the past ten days working to get her ready. I have been cleaning out closets and cupboards of all the unnecessary items and have given away food that we can’t possibly eat before we return home. Steve has been working on the topsides.

Depending on how long it takes us to get our work done, we will haul the boat out of the water and put her on the hard at Pangkor Island Marina in the next month or two, and then return home. It will be very hard to leave her. As we were walking to the marina office the other day, I turned to look at her tied at the dock. She has such lovely lines and has performed so well for us for 25,000 miles. She is truly a classic beauty!

I will update the blog again in a week or two.