Getting There Is Half The Fun

Photos by MJ Klein, with some FOOD PHOTOS

Part of the 2010 USA Trip Series

Getting There Is Half The Fun

Hui-chen and I headed back to the US recently to visit our family there.  We went a bit later in the year than we have in the past, so our flights were different (and also because Delta has merged with Northwest) and so was the trip routing.  By the way, if you haven’t seen the series on our 2008 trip, you may find the first installment here.

Last time we left Taiwan and went through Japan and then onto the USA.  This time, we went in the opposite direction: Hong Kong.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

Upon our arrival in Hong Kong, we found that our flight was delayed for four hours and the monitors had a “estimated” time of departure.   What we aren’t showing you is the grueling wait we had in line at the Delta counter to get our boarding passes for this flight.  We had taken a non-Delta flight to get to HK and now we had to wait in line to get our boarding passes for the USA flight.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

Hui-chen and I love Hong Kong, and we’ve been there many times before.  But we were stuck in the airport with not much to do.  Not enough time to venture into the city, and too much time to just hang around – it wasn’t going to be fun.  We headed upstairs to the food courts and got some cookies and other stuff to eat.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

There is one good aspect of being in the Hong Kong airport though:

Getting There Is Half The Fun

Shopping!  Hui-chen and I like to shop in duty-free airports.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

Checking out the Coach stuff is a ritual with us by now.  Little did I know that we would be visiting a Coach outlet in the States on our trip.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

As usual, the Hong Kong airport was shrouded in mist and the big city couldn’t be seen.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

What I like about the Hong Kong airport is that it’s 2 level and has a very open feeling.  There are lots of shops and restaurants on the second level and we went to find something to eat.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

Not usually my style, we dropped into a sports bar that had pretty good fare.  This is an appetizer sampler that we tried.  It was just enough to tide us over until our flight.

Going through Hong Kong is the wrong way to head towards the USA, which is literally in the other direction, towards Japan.  During our flight, something like 10 hours after we left Taiwan, I checked the moving map to see where we were, and our plane was just flying over Taiwan on it’s way towards Detroit!   After all that we were right back where we started from!

In keeping with some reader suggestions of a little teaser photo from the next article in the series, I present this one to you:

The First Part Of Our Trip

We bought a wood smoker while in the US and put it to good use smoking (for the most part) pork ribs.

Thanks for reading!  Please give us your comments, recommendations and retweets!  We’ll be back with the next article in the series soon!

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  1. Pingback: MJ Klein
    1. thanks Joe. it works well on the blog because we host them on we’re been hosting them that way for a few years and it works out very well for us. take care.

  2. Well HKG has free wifi, so you can use it to blog. 😉

    I like the teaser – looks appetizing already, even though there is no food yet.

    1. hi Stefan. we had the notebook packed in our checked luggage so i wouldn’t have to lug it around with us, so i couldn’t use the free wifi. good idea though! thanks Stefan and take care.

  3. That had to be quite frustrating to waste all those hours to fly over Taiwan. I would have been using a former husband’s Navy words over that. Your pictures are very good. Waiting for more to come.

    1. yes, Carolyn, i was disheartening to check our progress only to find us flying right over Taiwan and believe it or not, Hsinchu which is where we live! thanks for the kind words about the photos. we’re looking forward to bringing many more to you! take care and thanks Carolyn.

  4. Nice smoker that you found in the US to get. Can you get something like that easily in Taiwan???

    Nice looking airport in Hong Kong… too bad there wasn’t all that much to do there. Stinks that your laptop was in your checked luggage. A couple of years ago I took a Greyhound bus somplace and at the time… not all of their buses had free wi-fi on them (I think they advertise all of them have it now). I figured… if I didn’t bring my laptop… the bus would have wi-fi and if I brought my laptop with me… the bus wouldn’t have wi-fi. Well… I brought it with me… and the bus didn’t have it 🙁
    mike01905´s last post ..2010 Revere Beach Sand Sculpture Festival

    1. hi Mike. the closest thing we can get here in Taiwan is a barrel grill, without the offset firebox hanging off the side – which is crucial for smoking because it indirectly heats the food.

      re: computer in the checked luggage – i would have much rather preferred to not lug it around – it’s very heavy. all of the other airports where i’ve tried to use it require you to purchase a wifi card. not worth the trouble, IMO. i’ve never seen buses here advertising free wifi, but bus trips in Taiwan are very short and the whole island is very well covered by the cellular GSM networks. people who want coverage outside of their homes typically will buy the USB dongle that connects them to the cellular network at 3G speeds.

      btw, i just checked the Greyhound website and they advertise a new redesigned coach that features both free wifi and free electrical outlets on the bus. cool!

      1. Not sure if that’s an option for you – I used to bring a little Linux netbook along. On the plane I use it to watch movies (usually I’m not all that satisfied with the in-flight entertainment options) – and I have an adapter to connect two set of headphones so I can watch together with my wife. Wifi in the airport is then just icing on the cake – last time I used it to call my family on skype to let them know the flight would be delayed.

        Of course on our last few flights (with our little daughter traveling with us) we didn’t actually find time to watch a movie, for some reason… 🙂

      2. I know what you mean about heacy laptops to be lugging around. I think my Thinkpad R60 is like 6 lbs (2.7kg)… and even heavier when I put the extra battery and other accessories into the carrying case. Still.. lighter than my old Dell laptop which was 8.1lbs (3.67kg) without any of the accessories.

        I was going to say… if you travel a lot (and you do)… you may want to consider a small “netbook” There are a few with XP on them, there are a few with Vista on them, there are a LOT with Windows 7 “Starter” (it limits you to I think 3 open windows), and there are some with Linux on them. I’ve even seen a few small notebooks (with built-in DVD/CD optical drives) that weigh as little as 3.5lbs (1.58kg).

        Another reason why something like that could be good for travel is… I don’t know about in that part of the world…. but I believe here in the USA… JetBlue (and maybe others on some flights) offer inflight Wi-Fi.
        mike01905´s last post ..2010 Revere Beach Sand Sculpture Festival

        1. Mike, it’s a matter of sync, and lugging around another machine with such a specific purpose. if i just want something to play with, i’d just get a MID (mobile internet device) rather than an actual notebook. i don’t want a netbook because it just doesn’t make sense for me to have one. if i used it exclusively instead of my M-70 then i’d have to sync the files and emails – pain in the neck. i wouldn’t want to bring both computers either. i’ll lug the M-70 on my shoulder when i have to, and check it when it makes sense to do so.

  5. I am enjoying the comments as much as the articles and pictures. Keep it up you all. I am unable to travel and enjoy the armchair travel from everyone else’s trips. The best part is not having to pack and take the airport shuttle to SeaTac. I especially like hearing all the trip tips that I can pass on to people who are going to travel.

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