We finally made it. We left our house and sweet babies at 5:30am on Wednesday morning and headed to the Charleston National. We boarded early and took off early because their were only about 6 passengers on that flight. It was small plane and we got all the bumps! It was like a ride at Disney! When we got to Newark, we ate some breakfast and spent the three hour layover walking because we knew we were going to be sitting a lot later on. We boarded our flight to Beijing on time. It was packed full in one of those jumbo jets with 9 seats across. HUGE! I have no idea how a plane that size even gets off the ground let alone stays up there for thirteen hours! At this point, we ran into a little glitch. We did not have clearance to fly over Russia until a certain time and if we left on time we would be over Russia too early. So, we sat for an hour and then we took off. We were told we would be going up from Newark, over the pole and down to China. We got to follow the flight on GPS in the backs of the seats! It was cool to watch. Every now and then I got up and took some pictures from the back window. We were sitting in the middle of the plane and did not have our own window. I got these pictures of the North Pole area! I did not see Santa, which is what Isabel wanted to know!
We landed safely and got through customs with no problems but one of our bags went missing! I was pretty upset because it had all MY clothes in it! But, the airline found it and brought it to us at the hotel. We met our guide, Jesse at the airport and she took us to the hotel where we met Dennis, the coordinator. They were very sweet and very helpful. The hotel is nice and we went out for a walk this evening after we got checked it. We went to the Walking Street, which is a street that is blocked from car traffic and has tons of shops and people! Now we are going to collapse and get some rest before our sightseeing day tomorrow! Actually, Paul is already snoring!