My family moved to Guam from Greenville, SC 2 and 1/2 years ago. My husband took a job in Guam in 2011. We joined him in 2012. This year we made the 38 hour trip home. We boarded a plan from Guam to Osaka, Japan, Osaka, Japan to San Francisco, CA, San Francisco, CA to Atlanta, GA, and drove from Atlanta, GA to Simpsonville, SC. The trip was long, my bookbag was heavy, and Arden was impatient. But, those details I’ll forget. What I’ll never forget was:
1. The way we held hands and prayed before each take off. 2. The way her tiny hand found mine each time we touched down. 3. The excitement in her eyes as I pulled the lever and vanilla ice cream filled her ice cream cone. 4. How we had at least 10 pieces of crunch fried fish. I don’t know if we were missing the south or what, but that fish was THE BOMB! LOL. 5. The way she slowly, yet courageously joined the Japanese children to play. And, how they warmly welcomed her. 6. The 100 times she smiled at me and said, “I love you, Mommy. You’re the best.” 7. The 100 times my heart melted inside my chest. 8. All the laughs we had about the new Dyson Airblade hand dryers. “Mommy, it looks like a trash can!” (I thought it was a Japanese thing, but San Francisco had them, too.) 9. When she fell down on the train because she thought she didn’t have to hold on. 10. When she tried to be brave during the next train ride as she low-key leaned on my leg to break her fall. LOL. And, lastly, I’ll never forget how it felt to watch her take it all in. Now, Japan isn’t just a place on a map. It’s an experience that she lived and, thanks to my smart phone, will always remember. My husband and I took a trip to Hong Kong last year, but Arden stayed with some friends. So, Japan is my 1st international trip without Travis and also my 1st time flying solo with Arden. So, I’ve compiled a few mommy-kiddo traveling essentials to help you pack for your next flight. But first, some photos of us high above the clouds!
Flying the friendly skies.
In awe that we’re flying above the clouds.
I used our downtime to braid her hair. Couldn’t get everything done the week of.
We were happy to land in Osaka, Japan where the hand dryers looked liked like “trash cans” according to Arden.
Guam doesn’t have those yet!
My big girl.
I am always amazed at different currencies. All of them make the USD look ugly!
On the train headed to Rinku Town.
A country buffet…in Japan?! Yeah baby! Arden KILLED the crunch fried fish!
Apparently the Japanese cook fish better than I do.
Getting a 360 degree view of Osaka. Arden thought the Ferris wheel was a fast ride.
I think she was disappointed.
This cheered her up!
Time to board our next flight. San Francisco bound.
My snuggle bunny!
Using the quiet time to read a sweet card from a dear friend and get some reading in. Self-care.
No time to explore San Fran, so we wandered around the airport.
My little business woman…
Pictures of MLK, Jr. and his family lets you know we’re in the A (Atlanta, GA, that is)!
Finally, just 2 hours from home…
Check out my mommy-kiddo traveling essentials list. In the comments below, tell me what you’d add! *This list was inspired by Relay Rides. If you’re visiting the states and need an airport car rental, these guys might be a good option for you! Let me know how it goes!*