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Plan B


So long cold weather.

We planned on spending our Chinese New Year in Thailand to escape the cold. Little did we know just how cold this winter would be.

Two years ago we also went to Thailand for CNY. Unfortunately, our Yichang airport was shut down for three days due to fog. We had to return our plane tickets, buy overnight train tickets and reschedule our original connecting flight for the next day.

Then, the train was 2.5 hours late which made us miss our re-scheduled flight…again. So we spent the night is a really bad airport hotel and caught the next day’s flight to Bangkok. During this time, we lost our reservation at Koh Ngai, but we managed to find another bungalow. Don’t worry – back in those days we were sans kiddos and staying in “bungalows” without AC or hot water – but the beach was amazing and the price was just right!

This year, we are older and wiser. We bought our plane tickets and marveled at the fact that we could travel from our Yichang to Phuket in just one very long day. Out of my cold bed in the morning – into my tropical bed in the evening. I love effeciency.

But then the snow started and never left. Flights were being canceled daily. Thus, Hubs went at 8am 11 days before our intended departure (the earliest you can buy advance tickets) and bought two soft sleeper tickets. Soft sleeper is an upgrade from hard sleeper because it has a cabin with 4 people and a private door. Hard sleeper is an open space (read: smoke) with 6 bunks.

So we had two sets of tickets in our hands: plane & train. We declared Monday’s weather would decide our method of travel. When Monday came around and it was still snowing, we returned our plane tickets no problem – got back the full fare.

Tuesday night at 7:19 we left for Guangzhou via train. Two days before our Thailand flight.

Can you tell that we’re serious about not missing our connecting flights?

Well, contrary to past experience Schäfer did not sleep well on the train. There was crying. There was a lot of signing for milk. There was crying. More signs for milk. Have I mentioned crying? How about the need for milk?

I felt so bad for the two gentlemen with the upper bunks. I wanted to offer them a discount on their ticket. blesstheirhearts. They probably thought traveling soft sleeper would be an overall 5 star experience – until the foreign baby refused to sleep.

Oh, but they did have advice. Gentleman On The Left declared that Schäfer’s diaper was absolutely clean and we did not need to change it – even though it was soaked. Gentleman On The Right declared at 4:30am that Schäfer was afraid of the dark and we should turn on the lights. Well, this was helpful when we made him the bottle of milk he was furiously signing away for.

Finally, 18.5 hours later (oh, Schäfer slept like a doll from 9-11am this morning) we arrived in Guangzhou. We checked into our hotel, ordered a Papa John’s pizza and all took baths. We’re shiny, happy people!

Tomorrow, we fly to Thailand to begin our much anticipated vacation…sandcastles…snorkeling…mangoes…pineapple shakes…pad thai…fresh prawns…blue skies…and the shedding of many layers.

And we’re off!

Soft sleeper has four beds per cabin – two beds per side.


Prince Charming took a wonderful morning nap after partying into the wee hours.

“Are we there yet?”

6 comments to Plan B

  • Wow – the travelling part sounds horrid but the destination sounds great! I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • This seriously stresses me out just reading it! 🙂 I laugh as I think about us trying to get R to sleep on a train bunk…required (per him) for his sleep: 2 blue blankets for chewing on, 1 “special blanket” for the foot of the bed, bear, Clifford, bunny and a flashlight. I’m sure the two gentlemen would have lots of advice for us! Happy travels…can’t wait to see pics from your sunny destination!

  • The Kurt Melville's

    Wish we were there. It has been -11 degrees here at night. brrr! Tropical sounds good.

  • Oh y’all! Bailey and Schafer need to get together on a plane/train and maybe they will keep each other company! So sorry he didn’t sleep. I feel your pain, yes I do.

    I’m trying not to be jealous of all the tropical-ness you are about to receive. 🙂

  • The Kurt Melville's

    It has been -11 degrees here for a couple of days. Tropical sounds great!
    Also, these experiances will just give Kurt & Shorel the edge for the Amazing Race. I’m sure they’d win and survive…question is whether Sandra and I would survive the kids without our helpful hubbies!?!

    Love you all, Heather

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