Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Smooth trip

Jon's paperwork finally came through.  He has his passport back with a visa in it, and he has a plane ticket! He will leave Memphis early, early Thursday morning, and arrive at our apartment about 10 Friday night (we hope). That will be Friday morning in the US.

Our trip went very smoothly.  I almost left the passports and boarding passes at security in Memphis, but someone picked them up for me.  It was a little crazy getting everyone and everything through the security. It wasn't bad, but I was trying to put back computers, shoes, jackets, our few liquids... I just forgot one thing.  I would not have gotten very far with out those!
All three of our planes were on time, and very smooth.  There were people along the way that helped when we had trouble (not much trouble).  I even had time to grab some snacks for our lunch before we left Chicago.
Everyone was worrying about me handling all the luggage in Shanghai, but it was not that bad.  Two of my bags were delayed in San Fransisco, but that was really a blessing.  I did not have to worry about those two bags.  Two bags makes a difference.  They were delivered to my apartment Sunday evening.  I did not have to carry them up the stairs.  Hallie helped push a cart and Liam and Eryn took care of their carry-ons.
We checked into the hotel with no problems, and went and got something to eat.
Then we crashed!  We slept until 4 am.  Then we skyped Jon.
We were told that a bus went to Hangzhou at 11.  We ate breakfast, and rested a bit.  We got two carts and I loaded them up while the kids watched a video on my computer.  When it was time to go check out, I discovered that the carts would not fit through the door with the bags on them!!
I had to unload the bags into the hall, push out the carts and reload them again.  It was kind of funny.

We went down to where the buses are, and discovered that the one  we wanted, did not leave until 1:00

We went back to the airport and found a place to sit down.  We ate snacks for lunch and then played Uno.

When it was finally time to go back down to the bus, I sent the girls with one cart down the elevator.  Then before I could do anything, there was a long line at the elevator!  It took forever to get down to the girls.  The lady that works down there, was worried that we would miss the bus.  She took me to the front of the line and got our tickets.  We gave the bags to driver to load under the bus, then we got our seats and were off.

When we arrived in Hangzhou, Frank had got us a small moving van and two guys to help with the luggage.  We found them before Frank did.  We loaded up the bags on the back of the truck and then set out to our apartment.

It was so nice to be home!  We went back out and bought some milk and fruit and stuff.  We ate a small dinner  and then went to bed.  I took a shower and just fell into bed.  My bed felt amazing! It was so comfortable.
Now, we are pretty much over jet lag and things are almost back to normal.  We are looking forward to seeing Jon tomorrow night.  We are also looking forward to enjoying some cooler temperatures next week.
We are thankful that this have gone as smooth as they have.  Please pray for Jon's trip.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

paperwork headaches

Jon will be working at a different school this up coming year.  We were not sure how it was all going to work out.  Jon actually signed the new contract 2 hours before he left Hangzhou.  With a new job, we need a new visa (and not renew our old one).  In order to get a work visa (which allows us to stay in the country longer than 90 days) we need an invitation letter from our school.  We do not have that letter yet.  It has been sent, but is not here yet.  We thought this might be a problem, so Jenn and the kids got a  regular tourist visa, and will change over to z visas.  We were told that Jon cannot do this.  Well, we still do not have the invitation letter, so Jon has no visa.  We are scheduled to start flying at 6:57AM Thursday.  Jon will not make it.  Jenn will be making the trip with the kids and most of the luggage.  Right now, we don't even know when Jon will be able to make it.  The tracking number on the letter shows that it arrived in New York in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday.  It has not moved since then.  We do not know why.  It is possible that it is on the way and just not scanned.  We hope that is the case.  If it arrives tomorrow, it is possible that Jon will just be a day behind us.  We will just wait for him at the airport hotel.  If it will be several days, we will continue on to Hangzhou on Friday.
Please keep us in your prayers.  Pray for safe and smooth travels for Jenn and the kids.  Pray for helpers when she needs them (luggage).  Pray for the paperwork issues to resolve themselves and for Jon to just be a day or so behind us.  Pray for the up coming school year to be a good one for us.