Our journey (“our” means a reduced Downtown Abbey staff: Lady Baby, her parents, and grandparents,) began the Friday night before our Asia departure, when the Alaskans met us at a Seattle airport hotel. (That night the hotel also hosted “RustyCon,” a science fiction convention envisioning a future where denizens dress in black lace-up boots and well-filled bustiers. Their festivities added certain otherworldliness to the evening.)
And we were nervous at that point. It seemed an undertaking to take Lady Baby (just one-year old) and go so far away. Fly to Vancouver, then 13 hours to Hong Kong, and two and a half hours on to Bangkok. A time change of 15 hours ahead. (You cross the International Date Line.) But we were excited.
If you travel with a baby so good-natured as Lady Baby, and with parents as competent and well-prepared as hers, 13 hours is doable.
Lady Baby made do with her padded space between the seats, investigating the table tray, the plastic water cups, and bag of toys. She stood up on my lap and peered at the people behind.
We also walked the darkened aisles of the plane, a sea of small screens, each one with different set of images. Lady Baby has a handful of words now. She’s particularly adept with animal sounds. At one seat, she came to a dead stop and said: “Hoo hoo” – her owl sound. I couldn’t see an owl but some sort of cartoon figure flew off in the night.
Right off the plane in Hong Kong, we encountered a desk with a big sign: “Temperature Check” – and a woman, wearing a mask, rushed at us and pressed something briefly to Lady Baby’s head. But no one stopped us, and we found our departure gate in a sea of exotic names on the board: Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Denpasar, Tokyo, and for us, Bangkok.
We’d arranged a driver to pick us up, and Mr. Pat was there when we arrived. With car seat strapped in, we drove into the city, and fell into our hotel beds at 2 a.m. – we made it!
(A note here for anyone thinking about a trip to Thailand: Do go! And enjoy the beauty, the food, the kind people – and – the lower prices. Luxury things like lovely hotels and a car with a driver do not cost as much as they would in the States or Europe.)