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Monday, February 28, 2011

The New Digs

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a few pics

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Business Time

13 hours and 12 minutes

*last disclaimer, I promise, well maybe! I have lots of photos to accompany and I have tons I want to write, but so far can only post from the email screen on the iPhone.   I am working on a better solution, but haven't found it yet, and we don't have interweb at the house so it's not an easy fix right now. We should have that by Friday, but that still does not mean free access to my blog. I'll keep it up like this for now, but may have to change the blog platform. Thanks for reading though, please comment!

Post From 2/25

Boarding passes stamped at the gate pre-approving our visas, pretty quick line to the jetway, and then Jo-Jo realized that she set her coat down and had to go back.  This is an easy misplacement traveling in a warm airport with three boys, a booster seat, one stroller, five backpacks, five sweatshirts, two blankets and five winter coats.  You know you're gonna need them later, but it is just too warm to wear them now!  

When she caught back up with us at our seats, she grabbed the boarding passes and quickly made sense out of the mess I was making trying to figure out which seats were ours, who should sit where for best parental coverage, and where to stow our bags in the quickly filling 777.

She negotiated with a willing traveler, using hand gestures mostly(our Mandarin mastery consists of "ni hao" and pointing)to get us four together and one in the row ahead.  I am sure his willingness was motivated by the fact that Bennett was determined to crawl under the feet of the rows to his seat directly in the middle of the five wide middle seating section.  

Parker seemed very proud to have a seat alone.  As he was directly in front of Jo and me, I occasionally looked over the seat to see what he was up to. He made a friend on either side of him, read for hours, looked at the flight map, turned around and told Devo and Benne what channel Megamind was on and even ate his lettuce and carrot salad in the first meal.  He never even made a face about the food, in fact no one did.

We had a family potty break over the Hudson bay; it's convenient to be in sync with so many seats to disrupt to get to the bathroom.  From the window the fields of ice below were pretty amazing.

Devon, Bennett, Parker and I made it a habit to hold up fingers indicating which number radio station had the best song playing at anytime on the radio.  We silently head bobbed and fist pumped as the songs played and we exchanged smiles.  I think Joanne thinks we are crazy sometimes;)

In flight viewing for Joanne and me:

Mr. And mrs Smith, classic Bradjolina

Due Date, funny, especially with Kenny Powers cameo

4 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm - hilarious

Some movie about a girl who becomes executive producer for a morning TV show, solid cast, but I never caught the name. I found out later it is called Morning Glory.

I think it is 1045 our time, tough to tell as it has been daylight the whole flight, everyone is asleep now, and I am going to stretch.

We landed early, 3:50p or so, and Joanne and I looked at each other and said, "Holy Shit, we are in China!"

Xoxo


Sent from the iPhone of
Paul R. Koch

13 hours and 12 Minutes

*last disclaimer, I promise, well maybe! I have lots of photos to accompany and I have tons I want to write, but so far can only post from the email screen on the iPhone. I am working on a better solution, but haven't found it yet, and we don't have interweb at the house so it's not an easy fix right now. We should have that by Friday, but that still does not mean free access to my blog. I'll keep it up like this for now, but may have to change the blog platform. Thanks for reading though, please comment!

Post From 2/25

Boarding passes stamped at the gate pre-approving our visas, pretty quick line to the jetway, and then Jo-Jo realized that she set her coat down and had to go back. This is an easy misplacement traveling in a warm airport with three boys, a booster seat, one stroller, five backpacks, five sweatshirts, two blankets and five winter coats. You know you're gonna need them later, but it is just too warm to wear them now!

When she caught back up with us at our seats, she grabbed the boarding passes and quickly made sense out of the mess I was making trying to figure out which seats were ours, who should sit where for best parental coverage, and where to stow our bags in the quickly filling 777.

She negotiated with a willing traveler, using hand gestures mostly(our Mandarin mastery consists of "ni hao" and pointing)to get us four together and one in the row ahead. I am sure his willingness was motivated by the fact that Bennett was determined to crawl under the feet of the rows to his seat directly in the middle of the five wide middle seating section.

Parker seemed very proud to have a seat alone. As he was directly in front of Jo and me, I occasionally looked over the seat to see what he was up to. He made a friend on either side of him, read for hours, looked at the flight map, turned around and told Devo and Benne what channel Megamind was on and even ate his lettuce and carrot salad in the first meal. He never even made a face about the food, in fact no one did.

We had a family potty break over the Hudson bay; it's convenient to be in sync with so many seats to disrupt to get to the bathroom. From the window the fields of ice below were pretty amazing.

Devon, Bennett, Parker and I made it a habit to hold up fingers indicating which number radio station had the best song playing at anytime on the radio. We silently head bobbed and fist pumped as the songs played and we exchanged smiles. I think Joanne thinks we are crazy sometimes;)

In flight viewing for Joanne and me:

Mr. And mrs Smith, classic Bradjolina

Due Date, funny, especially with Kenny Powers cameo

4 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm - hilarious

Some movie about a girl who becomes executive producer for a morning TV show, solid cast, but I never caught the name. I found out later it is called Morning Glory.

I think it is 1045 our time, tough to tell as it has been daylight the whole flight, everyone is asleep now, and I am going to stretch.

We landed early 3:50p or so and Joanne looked each other and said, "Holy Shit, we are in China!"

Xoxo

Sent from the iPhone of
Paul R. Koch

C-16 Beijing

https://picasaweb.google.com/m/viewer?source=mog&hl=en&gl=us&fgl=true&pli=1#photo/gkoch09/5577802987402124481/5577802991741687714


Sent from the iPhone of
Paul R. Koch

The bags

https://picasaweb.google.com/m/viewer?source=mog&hl=en&gl=us&fgl=true&pli=1#photo/gkoch09/5577802987402124481/5577802997694675362


Sent from the iPhone of
Paul R. Koch

Sorry for the delay, having a bit of trouble getting out!

From 2/24/11 

Dad dropped us in the United loading zone at Dulles today.  Joanne cried.  The boys gave hugs, but Pop Pop had to bend down to hug Bennett in his stroller as he is now confined to one at all possible times. I guess it may make him lazy, or feel more like the self proclaimed king that he is, but it is certainly the only option considering his recent capacity for taking off exploring.  Terrible 4s?  

We had 10 large bags plus each of our carry-on.

(photo of bags should go here, but I'm having trouble with that too.)

Musa was incredible at loading them, butting us to the front of the line and even helping us to make our four over sized, $200 a pop upcharge, bags into just one.  I gave him all the cash I had and would have given him whatever I had if there was more.  I need to find an ATM.  

We sat five wide in row 25, Bennett took the window overlooking squares of snow covered mid-America.  Joanne watched episodes of House and The Office. Simple enough, but a nice change of pace from our frantic weeks of preparation.  

We touched down around 11 Chicago time and had a one beer wait until boarding at C16 Beijing.

(pic of Joanne and boys standing in front of C16 sign) 

Xoxo

Sent from the iPhone of
Paul R. Koch

Thursday, February 24, 2011

24 hours

The last few weeks have been crazy...I'll write more later, but to get started, here we go...


We wanted you to know where we will be and how to get in touch...

Emails, Facebooks, Twitters etc will stay the same for now.  We will send more info if there is a problem with some of our Google products when we get there.

We are keeping our cellphones/numbers, but will most likely only use them for data and emergencies, as the international rates are really high per min.  We will probably get local mobile numbers when we arrive, so I think Skype will be the best option to start.  

For now our Skype info is as follows
Paul - pkoch9999
Joanne- joanne.koch
Parker - koparks
Devon - kodevo

Our house is located in River Gardens  

The boys will be attending the International School of Beijing

Wheels up in about 24 hours, love to all.