So I started planning our trip to Bali in early January. At first my mother was totally against the idea. She wasn't interested in traveling back to South East Asia and she frankly thought Bali was all just beaches and booze. After I showed her some photos of the temples and the things to do, she quickly came around.
Traveling to South East Asia usually requires a lot of careful planning and usually at least one or two shots. More on that stuff later. We booked in late February which was perfect because as of February 01, all airline tickets included the cost of the 200,000 Rupiah (it's really not THAT much) departure tax. It saved us about $15-20 each.
I'm not the best flyer as some of you know and the time it took to get from Las Vegas to Denpasar (including layovers) was about 48 hours each way. To be fair, I did book rather long layovers in Singapore so that we'd have time to explore.
Our first leg of the trip was Las Vegas to Los Angeles. I bought us the cheapest Southwest flights to LA and frankly, next time, I will pay the higher fare to NOT have to sit at LAX for over eight hours. The issue is that to get from the domestic gates to the international gates, you have to exit and re-enter and go through security AGAIN. So often you have to retrieve your bags from baggage claim and re-check them at the next terminal. Sounds easy. Unfortunately, most international check-in counters don't open until about four hours prior to boarding. Additionally there aren't a whole lot of restaurant options prior to security so we spent about four hours trying to nap in the very uncomfortable chairs in a very noisy terminal.
Once past security (which unfortunately did NOT have a pre-check line open that day despite a massively long, convuluted, confusing maze of a line), we went to Ink Sack, a sandwich counter by Jose Andres. Delicious sandwiches, some really cool fruit, and a perfect way to start our vacation. Also, a great meal large enough to take our super fun Malaria pills. The newly added portions of the international terminal are quite nice; however, they're still under construction and have been so since at least 2008. Insane.
The second flight was the longest of the whole trip- about 11 hours and 30 minutes. I'm no stranger to long flights and fortunately, Singapore Airlines makes coach about as comfortable as they can. Even so, coach food is never great. I managed to sleep most of the flight, thankfully.
Our second layover was in Narita International Airport. The last time I was at this airport, I was probably only about two years old. We were required to exit the plane with all of our carry-on belongings and go through another security check. Since we already knew this, getting through was pretty quick. A lot of the other passengers weren't aware of this procedure and were wandering aimlessly. Fortunately, even with a bit of a line, security was fast and organized.
After security, we had some time to wander the airport and grab a snack and some items from the giftshop. The whole layover including boarding time was about an hour and a half but we actually ended up with enough time to eat our sushi at the gate. The shops and restaurants by the gate took credit cards and US Dollars which made paying a little too easy and I ended up with way more Kit Kat bars than I actually needed.
To cap off this first post, here is a random photo out the window of one of the planes. Please don't ask me which one because I really can't remember...