I apologize for taking a couple of days to finally write this blog post but I know many are curious about how our adventure to Okinawa was.
First off, we are here and made it safely but with many hiccups. I will add that we somehow did not miss any flights thank god.
We were picked up from Ramstein TLF at 6 am by Alex Shuttle and were at the airport by 7:30 am and hit very little traffic on the way. We had 3 big bags, 2 animals, a stroller, a car seat. 2 backpacks, and a roller carryon bag. We arrived 5 hours early so we could get the animals situated and checked in. It was a total of $400 for both of them to fly with us (under the plane) all the way to Okinawa from Frankfurt. When they pulled us over so they could inspect the crates, we were expecting to take them out and put them both on leashes. NOPE, the German guy literally just stuck his finger in, felt the blankets & looked around & said “all es gute”.
We all got on the flight to Paris with an hour delay which almost screwed us over. The hour flight was easy and over super fast. Avery did amazing and loved playing peekaboo with the people sitting behind us.
We landed in Paris and Tyler and I had to separate because he had to go get the animals from baggage claim and recheck them in while Avery and I went on a hunt for the next gate, & food. We couldn’t find any food stands but somehow people had food, we luckily found sandwiches in a convenience store before we boarded our flight.
We knew our next flight was going to be close since our first one was delayed an hour. The layover time we were relying on was dwindling and I was worried. We wanted to use the hour or two we had to let cali out and give her more water before the long 11-hour flight. We landed in Paris, Ashleigh and I went our separate ways because I could move faster alone (no offense avery but you’re slow) and security would be significantly faster with just myself and no bags. After waiting at baggage claim for about 15 mins, Cali (our dog) and Echo (our cat) came out and I loaded them up on the cart. I knew I had to make it to terminal 2E for the check-in counter and I had to take a bus to 2F and walk from there since the bus doesn’t stop at 2E. I arrived at 2F and had around a 10-minute speed walk to the other terminal where things got interesting. At this point, I knew I would not be able to go wander and find somewhere to let Cali out (sorry Cali). I stopped by the first baggage drop off and asked where I can check my pets. The workers glanced down at the tags they had on their kennel from the previous flight and saw the word “priority” and said to go ahead down to the back of counter 7 to drop them off. I thought this was odd because their tags still showed Paris and not Tokyo but I was strapped for time and just went with it. I walked down to counter 7 and they told me that I needed new tags and to go to counter 4. After getting there and waiting in line for 5 minutes the lady at the counter said she could not update their baggage tags because our plane was boarding and that locks them out from printing tags and that I needed to go to counter 2. By this time it was already 3:15 and our flight left at 4:05. Counter 2 was able to print my new baggage tags and off I went back to counter 7. They took my pets with an unsure look on their face after saying it will be close since there is so little time to load them. I ran to passport control where there was no line, thankfully, and made it through security fairly quickly. At this point it was 3:45 and I ran to the gate where I met up with Ashleigh and we were able to board just in time. Talk about stressful.
The flight to Tokyo was extremely long! We quickly found our seats and settled in. Tyler started watching Bohemian Rhapsody and I found Mamma Mia. Mind you, it took us basically the entire flight to watch these movies because we had to constantly pause because Avery was being a butt, but I’ll get to that later. We were offered face towels and the menus for the flight.
Tyler and I both got the chicken and rice which was delicious by the way. Especially for airplane food! Avery was being a little ham and playing peekaboo with the people behind us and they were having a blast. Tyler was explaining to me how there were people several rows behind waving to her and making her smile.
Tyler had gotten Avery and I both sick the day before the flight! Avery had magic booby milk while I was left to fend for my health. Not kidding. This 11-hour flight screwed me up and I was miserable the entire time! I was shivering with 3 blankets (the cheap thin airplane ones) and barely eating anything to keep up with Avery’s constant feedings. We didn’t bring formula because we were too nervous & boy was that a complete mistake. The more Avery fed, the more my body felt drained. By the time we landed in Tokyo, I just wanted to curl up into a ball and die but we still had one more flight to tackle.
By the 4th hour on the plane, Avery was just OVER it! She was exhausted but didn’t want to go to sleep, she was hungry but I was barely producing. It was just a shit show and we still had 7 more hours to go! I felt so bad for the people around us having to hear her crying. She finally fell asleep and I put her in the carrier so I didn’t have to hold her and she slept for a little. every time I checked the time left on the flight I swore an hour had passed but it was only a few minutes, it was awful.
We FINALLY landed in Tokyo FINALLY! I got flagged by the infrared camera and they pulled me aside telling me I had a high fever and asking if I’ve been bitten by mosquitoes or around dead birds. Obviously, the answers were no, so they handed me a slip and told me if I went to the hospital, to give them that slip.
We had to get all of our luggage, and the animals and take them to quarantine to get all of their paperwork checked to make sure it was correct and completed. We went to the wrong terminal to check our bags in, but Japanese people are so kind and one of them saw us struggling with all of our bags and the animals. She offered to help us to the but AND took us all the way to the ticket counter! We were extremely thankful for her help because there was no way we would’ve made it there that fast alone.
We had finally arrived to the ticket counter and started checking all of our many bags in. They made us take the pets water bowls out of their kennels, which we ended up just breaking off because they wouldn’t unscrew. Then, the told us we were unable to take our car seat and stroller through the airport and that we had to check it, which was strange but they provided an airport stroller for us to use at least.
The lady at the ticket counter told us “its 6000 ¥ for each pet crate” and Tyler looked at her like WTF and pulled out our ticket recipes and told her that we had already paid, she looked very confused and asked someone to come help. After a few minutes on the computer, she said we were okay and we were good to go. COOL! At this point, I’m miserable and ready to pass out so I had to go find somewhere to sit ASAP, before I got too dizzy.
These vending machines are everywhere! I desperately wanted water but our card wouldn’t work on these machines, so we found an atm. Tyler asked me if 20000¥ was $20 and I said yes not realizing that it was $200!! What I know now is that you move the decimal over to the left two times. For example ¥20000 ➡️ $200.00… yeah! We pulled out $200 worth of yen! We weren’t mad about it because we will obviously use it but you live and you learn right?!?
We head over to security and started unloading the stroller. Tyler gave the guy our plane tickets that we have been using all day for each flight I might add… and he tells us that we have to go back to the ticket counter, stand in the long line, and get different tickets because they were not the right ones. As if anything else could go wrong at this point right?!. I had to go feed avery so I found a nursing room, but forgot that Tyler had my phone in his pocket! Luckily he just stood by the ticket counter so I could find him easily. We went through security for a second time, this time we made it through! We found our gate and boarded. Thank god this last flight was only 2 hours long because I was dying. Before we boarded, Tyler was able to grab a few snacks for us for the flight.
We landed in Okinawa and it was HUMID! Got all of our bags, and the animals. Found the guy who was picking us up, and headed to base. The base is about 45minutes from the airport which wasn’t too bad. Got to our room (which is SO TINY) we were definitely spoiled with Ramstein TLF and instantly showered.
Such a long day! Extremely long! But we are thankful that we are here in one piece (almost). I’m still sick but the more I rest the better I feel.
Thank you for taking your time to read this extremely long post.