6:15 AM - Beiing China (June 26th)
After our unexpected 12 hour layover in Denver, (and me being the lucky recipient of an "aggressive airport screening pat down") we finally were able to leave for China via Los Angeles. We were transferred over to China Air for the final route to Beijing. We were assured that sometime in the 10 hours between our travel changes and our departure, our bags would be moved approximately 500 feet to our new airplane. Fortunately one bag did. Unfortunately one bag didn't - my bag.
I broke the cardinal rule of packing - always pack a change of clothes in each other's bag. In my excitement, I wasn't thinking clearly.
One bag is still in San Fransisco despite several assurances at various times that the bag was going to be on one particular flight or another. On the positive side, Ben has just about everything he needs.
Unfortunately, the lost bag has Veronica's clothes and toys, some gifts for officials, food, toiletries and medications and all my clothes, contacts, make-up, etc. I have been hand-washing my clothes and was able to borrow a shirt of Ben's yesterday, so I have been able to make-do. Of course I am annoyed by the situation, especially the fact that the airline said that my bag was actually on the same plane as Ben's but for some unexplained reason, taken off the flight. There is a glimmer of hope that I might have the bag by this time tomorrow, but I am not holding my breath waiting.
This has been inconvenient, for sure, but it isn't tragic. I have been trying to keep a positive attitude about it. We can buy replacements for most things in the baggage if necessary. After we fly to Nanning today I am hoping to find a Walmart (yes, they are in China, too) or equivalent to get a few replacement things for Veronica and myself to hold us over till the bag comes. Someday.
But, on to happier things. Even with the flight delays, we were still able to see the Great Wall yesterday. There is a very long, very steep, section with many, many, many steps that we were able to climb. Not everyone is able to make it to the end of this section (especially on such a hot day wearing jeans - my shorts were in my luggage), but Ben and I did and it was spectacular!
Do you see how long that wall is to the top of the mountain? We climbed to the top. Some of the steps were so steep that we had to crawl up with our hands. But, what a sense of accomplishment, especially after my muscles had probably atrophied beyond recognition after so many hours in an airplane.
And even better, even without luggage, we get Veronica tomorrow! We fly to Nanning today and sometime tomorrow get to meet our girl. After all the planning, waiting, speculating, paying and praying I will get to hold her.
I can't wait till I can have all my kids together. I am missing Bridget, Riley, Connor and Sawyer already.