24.12.2008 - 24.12.2008
View John and Dean's China adventure on JohnVosler's travel map.
Christmas eve morning started in Gaungzhou around 6 am and finished in Los Angeles at 11am. The flight was a breeze. Japan Airlines is the best, they treated us like a kings. Even though we are just princes. :-)
If you haven't flown in a while they have this nifty camera on the nose of the plane so you can see what the pilots see. You can see the take off and in flight you can see the clouds and then the landing. I've always loved looking out the window of the plane, it gives me such a remarkable perspective. During the day you could look outside and see all the clouds and water below and then at night I could look at all the stars in the sky on my very own TV screen. I grabbed my book and I set my TV channel to the station that showed the view from the camera and left it on for the entire flight. As I looked at the screen, there was absolutely nothing but brilliant bright stars in the sky. A few clouds lit up by the planes head lights would give me an eerie sensation of just how fast we were flying. I sat back and read for many hours. Every once and a while I would look up at my screen and stare out into space. I'd keep my eye on a couple of really bright stars to see if we were changing directions and when the turbulence got bad, the stars gave me a point to place my focus.
We were about five hours from Los Angeles when I looked up at the screen. All you could see were stars in the blackness. Then, as if someone had drawn a line across the sky with a white magic marker, the horizon had been distinguished by the light of the sun. It was truly a magical site. It felt as if I were traveling in space. I lifted my shade to look out the window but it was still pitch dark nothing but stars. As the sun began, to rise the line began to get thicker, until it was a fuzzy blur on the surface of the earth. After about an hour the sun finally peeked over the edge of the horizon. It was the most beautiful sunrise I'd ever seen, the whole experience was mesmerizing. I put my book down and watched as the light filled every corner of the screen. It was Christmas eve morning again. This might of been one of those "you needed to be there moments"
I like flying for so many reasons but the main reason I like to fly is you have no where to go. You can just sit and be still, I love that. It's almost forced stillness. It reminds me of how we all go go go, gotta do this, gotta do that and never really just sit and be still. Sitting and being are for me the best gift you can give to yourself. The second reason I like to fly is the hours of undisturbed reading time. You can actually start and finish a book in one sitting. Okay too much kumbaya again.
Yes, we made it home. No delays, no bad weather and we are back in Los Angeles. Tina picked us up at the airport right where she had dropped us off over two and half months ago. She had Christmas music playing in the car and a long held hug waiting. It was the longest Christmas Eve day ever. We woke up in Gaungzhou at 6am Christmas eve and landed in Los Angeles at 11am and it was still Christmas Eve day. The last thing I remember before my head hit the pillow was the clock it said 11:50pm it was still Christmas eve....