Naturally there were a few items to take care of prior to the trip. First up was getting in shape for all the hiking, so in addition to signing up for a gym membership in January, I dove into the Nutrisystem plan for losing weight. And look just what happened about three weeks before departure:
Yay me. I wonder if I will keep it off in Bhutan? BiLCharlie, who has traveled in Nepal, says the food over there is so bad I'll lose weight. We shall see.
And wouldn't you know I started getting sore toes a few days before the trip? My trainer in the gym told me a pedicure would fix me right up. Seriously? Me? A pedicure? Well, there's a spa right here in Harbor Town and I had some time, so OK. And it worked! My old feet never objected once in Bhutan where I really, um, put them through their paces.
But that wasn't the worst of it. I began worrying that my slightly sore tooth might get worse on the trip, maybe, and I sure didn't want to have to find a yak herder with a pair of Bhutanese pliers, so off to the dentist I went, only to be told I needed a root canal. Two days before flying around the world I needed a root canal. Good grief.
But the root canal went as smoothly as a root canal can go, and with all my other preparations out of the way I was off to New York for a one-night layover before an early morning flight to the Very Far East.
New York City has a beach. Who knew?
OK, let's explore the big city. Wait, do I hear the beat of dancing feet?
It's Times Square!
Lotsa people and traffic around here.
I'll just bet that if I'd gone inside I could have found a round table.
It was too late in the day for breakfast.
I thought there were supposed to be two towers in the land of Mordor, where the shadows lie.
It's Rockefeller Center!
Did you know there's a farmers market at Rockefeller Center? I didn't know that.
Mmmm, chocolate. Expensive but very good.
They say this is fun. Maybe someday I'll be back.
I'm tired of walking. Let's have a little rest in a sidewalk park.
A park with a no smoking section! Those New Yorkers.
What my hotel lacked in tasteful decor...
...and spaciousness...was made up for by price. At least the room had its own toilet and itty bitty shower. There were even a blanket and sheet so I could make my own bed. Did I mention the price was right?
JFK Airport, almost bright and very early the next morning.
Yes, I sprung for a business class seat.
I'd flown coach on long flights before and I really hate butt aches.
And the trip to Hong Kong was going to take 15 hours. I think I deserved my own little nest, don't you? Sure.
We were headed right over the North Pole. Hi, Santa!
Santa waved back.
And soon...if you consider 15 hours "soon"...we were approaching Hong Kong.
The weather was less than wonderful.
There were ships in the harbor.
And then we touched down.
The Hong Kong airport was a busy place.
And with a six-hour wait for my next flight, a boring place.
But eventually night arrived and we waved goodbye to bright, mysterious Hong Kong. I'll bet there are parts of the city more interesting than the airport. Maybe someday I'll be back.
Here we are in Kathmandu, and I'm seeing my first statue of Buddha. I wonder if I'll see any more on the trip?
The Road Scholar guy was right where he was supposed to be to meet me at the airport. Another Road Scholar, Jean, had been on my flight from Hong Kong, but we didn't meet until we arrived here.
Finally -- the Hyatt Regency, Kathmandu. Let's see...Up at 5:30 am to catch a 10:30 am flight from NY to Hong Kong (total five hours) and then the flight was 15 hours (total 20 hours) and then the Hong Kong layover was six hours (total 26 hours) and then the flight to Kathmandu was three hours (total 29 hours since I last truly rested.) Whew. It's been a long day and that bed looks wonderful.