Well, it is 11:15pm PDT and we are at the LaQuinta LAX in Los Angeles.
Our flight out of China was the worst flight we have ever taken, but we survived. We arrived at the airport in Gaungzhou with plenty of time. Th eline was slow and the security check was thorough, but we passed with the only problem being they did not like the number of insulin syringes I was carrying in my backback, so they kept 10 of the 13 there and missed the other 30 in the laptop bag!
We boarded on time, but they had setup a SECOND security inspection in the jetway! Everyone had their carry-ons reinspected and mainly they took our liquids that we had bought after passing the main security checkpoint.
The plane pushed away from the gate about an hour later than scheduled, but we were only a half an hour late arriving in LA. The seats were the tightest I have ever had to sit in, and there were no moveable armrests to give us any more space. There was a beverage and meal service shortly after takeoff and nothing more until an hour before landing. If you walked to the galley at the back of the plane, they would let you serve yourself beverage at room temp.
LynnMarie had the benefit of the bassinet seat. We were at a bulkhead just behind the wing exit door. They came over after we reached dcruising altitude and put a cargo net-like attachment on the wall and we placed the baby there. She slept a good bit of the 10+ hour flight, but she did spit up a bottle's worth of formula on herself and Mommy. Amy got to wear it the whole flight and the crew was clueless about helping when we asked for towels or napkins to clean up with. Later the baby peed through her diaper and her back-up outfit leaving her a fresh onesie as her only option for clothing.
Neither of us slept very much, it was too uncomfortable. Mainly we watched the time tick by and prayed for it to go quickly. The entertainment/video system was not working at my seat and Amy did not bother trying hers. The Continental flight was far superior to China Southern who we don't plan to ever use again.
LAX was not a bad experience, but it is big and busy and intimidating if you've never been. We got through immigration fairly easily and joyfully. The agents were congratulatory of our adoption and expedited our paperwork efficiently. We then went to baggae claim and found our bags without much difficulty, but here is where China Southern lost more points. We checked our stroller at the gate and when we landed they told us it would take a while to get it for us and to pick it up at baggage claim. There was no one from CSA in the baggage claim and I spent about 15 minutes wandering around looking for ANYONE who could help us.
We moved through customs without issue. We were asked it we were bringing eggs through the scanner. We were not. It was someone else's bag with kiwi fruit in it. BUSTED.
So out to the street level, chaos and crowds but we followed the signs and found the hotel shuttle area and got our bus to the LaQuinta, checking in around 8:45pm I think (the plane landed at 7pm). I got the girls upstairs and started on baths and showers and walked over to the McDonald's for our long-awaited taste of home.
We saw but never got to visit McD's in China and we know it would be "different." I got us staple items, double cheeseburgers, fries and diet cokes from the soda fountain with ICE! I can't say junk fod ever tasted so good! LynnMarie loved sampling Amy's cheeseburger and fries, so her first meal as an American citizen was McDonald's! Parents of the year? I guess not.
We are set to meet my cousin Hope tomorrow at noon and we'll have about 3 and a half hours with her before we have to be back at LAX for the final flight home to Atlanta. Now we are about to enjoy these big, soft beds and look forward to tomorrow being in our own beds. Let's pray LynnMarie sleeps well through the night as she is still on China time pretty much. Our 38 hour long Friday is almost done.