Finally in Hanoi

We are finally here. It took three days, two nights in hotels in two different cities on two continents, and four flights, but we made it.

Our Tokyo to Hanoi flight was not much fun. We flew Vietnam Airlines, but we had packed according to Cathay Pacific Airlines requirements. We were originally supposed to fly Vietnam Arlines from Hong Kong to Hanoi, but our bags would have been checked through by Cathay. Since we were physically checking in at the Vietnam counter though, we had problems. We originally checked six bags. One bag weighed 70 pounds and the rest were under 50. For carry on we had a backpack we used as a diaper bag, a backpack with the laptop, a small rolling carry on that had our change of clothes and extra diapers and formula, my purse, and Noah’s carseat. On Cathay and American you are allowed one carry on and one personal item, so we were fine. On Vietnam Airlines, however, it’ only one carry on period, nd the weight requirements on checked bags are different. So, at the desk in Tokyo, an hour before our flight, they told us it would cost an extra $736 for our bags. American told us that these fees would be waived, but Vietnam Airlines said no. We had no choice but to pay. I was in tears as I handed over our credit card. I’m hoping that American will reimburse us or that our travel insurance will cover it, but we just don’t know right now.

Of course this caused a big delay at the desk, so we were just going through security as our plane was boarding. We ran to the gate – not an easy thing to do with a kid. Then we got to the gate and they didn’t want to let us take Noah’s carseat on. We finally convinced them to let us keep it and get on the plane. We made it back to row 40, and of course we were in the three middle seats of a five seat row, so it was not very comfortable. I was just so stressed that I don’t think I stopped crying until half an hour into the flight.

Noah was great though, and he slept for most of the six hour flight (thank God!).

Thuy, the in-country staff person from our adoption agency met us at the airport and got us a van to the hotel. We are staying at the Somerset, which is very nice. We have a two-bedroom/ two-bath apartment with a kitchen, family room, dining area and a washer/dryer.

Tonight we are going to try to get settled in and get some sleep. Tomorrow (Monday) we will rest some more, check out our hotel (there’s a pool, two children’s pay areas, a business center, and shopping, including a Citimart (a small grocery/ convenience store)). Tuesday we may go to the orphanage for a visit, but we aren’t sure about that yet. Our G&R is supposed to be Wednesday, but we don’t know yet if it will be in the morning or afternoon.

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