Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Next Stop…Tokyo!

As we drove to the airport at 4:30am, all I could think to myself was "Is this really happening?" All the preparation and stress was finally in the past and now it was go time. 

Isaiah 41:10 was constantly repeating in the back of mind, 

"Don't be afraid for I am with you.
Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. 
I will hold you up with my victorious hand."

It is so easy to get wrapped up in worldly things and try to take control into your own hands. I am guilty of this everyday, but I know now more then ever I need to give complete control to God. This verse reminded me that there was no reason to be scared or anxious because I was, and never would be alone. Because of this, I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and courage driving to the airport. With it all becoming more real with every second that passed, that was exactly the feeling I needed. 

After getting all checked in and through security we were finally at our gate. We were flying to Dallas first which was about a 3.5 hour flight. At this point I was on a mission to sit in First class because…why not? I could see the nerves in Wills face building knowing that his wife was possibly about to embarrass him by pulling the Military card. Of course my persistent personality succeeded and First class is absolutely the way to fly. (Still waiting for a thank you from my husband by the way…)

Our layover in Dallas was only about an hour so we loaded up on snacks, sleeping aides, magazines and a few phone calls to our families before boarding the flight to Tokyo. We also went to the currency exchange and got some Yen. We had a 14 hour flight ahead and sadly I couldn't swing getting us the First class seats again…but I definitely tried. 

Going to take some getting used to!
Here we go!!

To be honest the flight really wasn't as bad as I thought. Now, there was a time  that I saw we still had 9 hours left and I found myself looking for the emergency exit door to fling myself out of. But once I watched a few movies and dosed off a few times, the time seemed to go by faster. The weirdest part was that it never got dark outside since we continued to fly through time zones. We did however fly over some pretty amazing views, including my favorite the Utah mountains. 

We landed in Tokyo around 4:15pm and we could not be more ready or excited! A sweet Japanese man sitting next to Will on the plane gave us our first "Welcome to Japan" and then handed us our first Japanese snack. It looks like it may be Kale of some sort and has yet to be touched, but the gesture was so sweet.

Baggage claim and customs went really fast and our friends Liz and JP were waiting downstairs to help get us on the train and to base. Thank God for them because this is where the chaos began! The Japanese culture is so fast paced and with 6 bags and 2 carry ons we were definitely out of our element. We took the first train which was about 1.5 hours to the town of Yokohama. From there we took a local train that was only about 25 minutes to a parking lot that was just outside of the front gate at base. At this point it was about 7pm and Will and I both were walking zombies. Liz and JP fed us and took us to the Navy Lodge where we would be staying until we got a place of our own. 

It had been the longest few days of traveling and we were exhausted. Just being in Tokyo was so exciting but going to bed was at the top of our agenda. We knew Jet Lag was going to be a battle this next week so we knew rest was going to play a huge part in adjusting. 

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for our safe travels! It could not have gone smoother and we are so grateful. This is it! We are here and there is so much more to come! I promise to keep you updated on everything and how we are doing. Love you all and thank you for being on this journey with us! 

Caroline, Will and Tubbs (who will join us shortly) 

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