Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Colorado trip, part 3

Our last morning in Colorado and we opened our curtains to find 2 deer on the other side of the Colorado River grazing. One is in this picture. Look real close and he's near the bushes, you can see his or her white furry butt area, that will help you spot it. We 4 all looked out our window, the 2 deer grazed and then 1 trotted off and the 1 just lingered. It only last a couple minutes, but we sat there quietly watching. A very cool way to wake up, finding a deer across the river. : ) Anyway we all got dressed, the boys washed their faces with a nice hot steamy wash cloth and brushed their teeth and got dressed. I also washed my face with a steamy hot wash cloth, got dressed, brushed my teeth, put my makeup on and did my hair and we 4 went downstairs to get something to eat. The free breakfast here was great. 

A variety of flavors of coffee. The coffee said fancy gourmet if you read that, and I must say the coffee was delicious. On the right of that, was a make your own pancake machine. Having made many of the make your own waffles, on the waffle machine at the other hotels, by now we were old hats, at making all these types of things. 

Pancakes in 45 seconds, yes I tried it and I'd have to agree. : ) 

Cold milk and yogurt, cereals a plenty, cinnamon rolls etc. 

Delicious cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon granola and so many types of delicious cereals. And sad to say, we were the only ones eating the free breakfast. Poor little hotel tucked away in the middle of nowhere. : ) But they sure did make us feel special and made such a wonderful breakfast. 

Fresh hot biscuits. These were so good.

More omelets then we could ever eat. I had 1. : )

Homemade sausage gravy, goes perfect with the biscuits, what a delicious American country breakfast. Biscuits and gravy.

Jams, honey, cream cheese, anything you could want to top your bagel or toast and they also had fresh fruit on the top tier, apples and bananas.

Irish cream, french vanilla, again this hotel tried so hard and really goes all out. 

Hot chocolate, instant hot oatmeal. 

If you preferred tea, they had you covered. :  ) I prefer coffee, but wow, what an awesome hotel. 

My breakfast. I did smother, the omelet and biscuit in gravy after I ate my pancake first though. : )

Noboru's meal.

Noah had a sausage and a cinnamon roll. The lady would peek her head out and restock, I think she was glad somebody came to enjoy the wonderful food she made. : ) And I did thank her and tell her how amazing it all was, before we left. : ) Noah had a milk, he drinks so much chocolate milk and regular milk. Noah also munched that apple before going back for a bowl of cereal.

Branden loves bagels, he had one every day no matter which hotel we were at, he also had an apple juice then a hot chocolate, oh and a yogurt right before we left. : )

Totally dead empty. : ( Just us. : ) 

A really beautiful set up and nicely maintained. That's the door, the lady would peek her head out to restock items. : ) 

I took out the ham, before adding some gravy. 

Noboru had a yogurt, actually we all had a yogurt. Our family is really big yogurt fans anyways, but Noboru told me while eating his, "this is the best tasting yogurt I've ever eaten" we all went @.@. It was very good yogurt.  Really good. 

My yogurt right before we left, the kids all had 1 too. We all topped it off, with a bit of cinnamon granola. 

Well, luckily it wasn't freezing anymore. : )  We checked out of the hotel and got on the road. 

Trains carrying coal!

Yep, coal and an American flag. : )

Awww. : (

I will miss you! : )

Hi Utah. : ) 

We were listening to music and looking at the slightly changing landscapes. 

Noah said, "look mama Optimus Prime is right behind us!" I said, "He sure is kiddo!" : )  And then as we were getting off the highway to go to Arby's according to the navigation, anyway we saw Lightning McQueen too. This was a crack up! We were literally laughing our butts off, over this! 

He's just an old car, but they actually did a really good job at painting him and making him look pretty much like the real thing. He was a fake of course, and not even the real make and model of the real car, but he sure gave us all a laugh and a smile. Whoever did this, sure has a great sense of humor! : ) 
We had been driving for many hours and by now it was lunch time. Noboru had been hoping to eat Arby's, so we had to make that happen, you know. : ) There's Noah's chocolate milk, I tell ya, this kid truly lives for milk. : )  Noah had a kids combo and the rest of us had adult combos. Wait a minute, I did not have a combo, I had a sandwich and mozzarella sticks. But I shared the cheese sticks with everyone though. : ) 

Noah had a turkey kids sandwich and loved it. Branden had a turkey and cheddar warm/hot sandwich and he loved it. And I had a cold, roast turkey and swiss cheese sandwich and 1 cheese stick. : )

This sandwich was so good. I didn't realize Arby's makes such delicious turkey sandwiches. Real turkey not processed mystery turkey meat either. : ) Right on Arby's. : ) It took us about 6 full hours of being on the road, though we did stop for lunch at Arby's. When we finally arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah we were tired and just glad we were staying the night at a La Quinta. We checked into the hotel, we lugged all our bags into our room. Our hotel was right near the airport. It was quite a busy hotel. We went to our room dropped off our bags and went for a restroom break, everyone got freshened up. And by now it was dinner time. We went to Taco Bell for supper. I had 2 bean and cheese burritos. Noah had 3 tacos, Branden had 3 tacos and a small nacho bell grande item. Had lots of toppings, but a small size one. Noboru filled up too. And we drove back to the room. Showered, everyone took turns. I didn't turn the TV on at all. We zonked out. We had to be awake super early too. We dropped off the car at the airport car return and caught a flight to Seattle Washington. 

We were to be stuck at the Seattle airport for the whole day, since our flight wasn't until 6pm, is when our flight heading to Haneda would be taking off. We arrived at Seattle around noon. However, I must say, if you are to be "stuck" at any airport, this would be the best one to be at, it is amazing!!!!! Sea-tac is beautiful and gorgeous and the choice of foods to eat are amazing. The building itself was so pretty. We did have breakfast at La Quinta in Salt Lake City, Utah, but by now it was lunch and we were really ready for lunch. We had Sbarro pizza and pasta for lunch. First time I have ever seen a Sbarro at an airport before. Talk about being pleasantly surprised. 

Again we knew we were in no rush, so we slowly ate, we chatted and refilled our drinks a few times. Noboru walked the boys to the bathroom twice. I walked myself to the bathroom once. Again just trying to kill time. 

Didn't buy anything in here, but we did look around in this, Made in Washington Store. Denver also has a store like this, and just about every other city, we've ever flown in, has one like this too, but again it is really nice to see what's in there and what makes each city special. And not to sound too cornball or anything, but each city is special and I do enjoy looking at stores like this. : ) 

I carried my own carry-on and Macy's bag, but Branden held it for just a second for me, while I was taking a picture of the very cool Washington gift shop. : ) 

This food court area is where we sat for the longest time. I loved the floor to ceiling windows. The food and restaurant choices here are absolutely amazing. Noboru was impressed, so was I. They have, Qdoba Mexican grill, which is of course very popular and had many customers, A Japanese restaurant, a very nice Italian place, Wendy's, the boys were like, omg, they have Wendy's!! : ) . A handful of Fish and chip places. A big and beautiful Starbucks. Since Starbucks comes from Seattle. : )  They also had The Body Shop, right near this food court, and I walked around in the Body Shop for about 20 minutes, while the guys stood in the seats near the food court, just chillin' and relaxing. I didn't buy anything, but I did kill some time, which was nice.  I did buy some trail mix from a newsstand though for the flight. : )  When it was about 3pm, we went and headed near our gate area. Oh, I almost forgot, I did research the Seattle airport the day before while we were driving to Utah. And 1 person blogged, an American guy, who lives there but travels often back and forth through Sea-tac often, anyway he gave sage advice, saying the other areas/concourses of the airport don't have as huge a selection of food choices, so he always buys from the main food court area and takes it to the quieter parts where there is less food choices, when he flies out of those other areas/concourses in the airport (he also said the sushi was better in the bigger food court area then the smaller concourses, again I don't eat fish or sushi but I'll take his word for it : ). So, we bought the boys a chicken sandwich from Wendy's each for the flight before switching to the smaller concourse/area where the flight bound for Haneda would be. 

There was a Seattle's Best coffee and 2 small takeouts, but the boys had their sandwiches for the plane already thanks to the gentleman who wrote that information and blogged about it, so we were set. I also bought cookie cups for the boys at Walmart for the flight too. Hi Noah! : )

By now we had about only 1 full hour to go, before the flight left, so we just relaxed with a nice cup of coffee. If you are reading this and you live in Seattle or are originally from Seattle, your airport rocks!

Boy were we glad to finally be able to board the plane. What a very long day. They passed out drinks and a snack to us, while the rest of the plane boarded.

11 hours and 49 minutes, basically it's a 12 hour flight. 

Everyone is given a menu in first class. You order both your meals, at the start of the flight. Except for the dessert you order, when she/he wheels the dessert cart around. 

Choice was vanilla french toast, granola cereal or roasted pork, this is the meal for right before we land. I just had granola cereal the day before, so I picked the vanilla french toast, she wrote my choices down on her list of who is sitting in what seat and ordered which meal. 

Choice was, chianti braised beef or fish or pastina (the boys both had the pastina) or the ginger pork tenderloin, I picked the ginger pork tenderloin. This was for the meal we would get right as soon as we took off and the plane was level.

You can also pick a Japanese meal, Noboru picked the Japanese meal. 

Starter course, soup and salad and bread. The pretzel dinner roll and some delicious tomato soup. The salad was really fantastic too. : )

I love ginger pork, so, I was pretty happy to get this. 

On a bed of noodles.

We all had ice cream sundaes for dessert.

It was nice to catch up on so many movies during both flights. I watched the Conjuring (freaking scary!), The Heat (felt there were absolutely way too much cursing and profanity in this) which is a shame because it was a decent movie, but it just didn't need all the constant bad words in it, that really turned me off. You know, a handful of curse words during a movie is acceptable, I guess, but the first 45 minutes of this movie was just like constant fowl language (and I really like both actresses in this movie, so I was disappointed a bit). Admission with Tina Fey, The Purge, saw a handful of other movies also. Noboru watched a ton of movies. Both Branden and Noah also saw a ton of good movies they liked too. Wizard of Oz, Jack and the Giant Slayer, the new Superman, which we already saw, lol but they both watched it again, there was also a couple Batman movies. Nick TV and stuff also on there. 

Branden eating his sundae.
They feed you right away as soon as the plane gets level. But then there's like a huge chunk of time there's no food, they do have snacks they swing around once in a while, and I personally don't get hungry mid flight, but Branden and Noah usually do and I know this, which sis why I made sure they had snacks and the sandwich, it was nice to see them eating their sandwiches during their movie watching. : )  we all did seem to sleep a few hours, then they turned the lights on and it was breakfast and we were about an hour away from landing in Japan. 

What a long flight, but it's indeed nice to be able to stretch your legs and lay flat during the flight. We all felt well rested. We ate and then we brushed our teeth and we landed. Each seat gets a little toiletry kit with mini Crest with Scope (flavor) toothpaste,  also a really nice lip balm, hand cream, etc. Also important to add, we were not jet lagged so much, going to Denver, maybe 1 -2 days tops. But we were over it quickly. However, coming back to Japan from Denver, we were badly jet lagged. Could be worst jet lag our family has ever had. Whole house was going to sleep at 6pm every night, for a full week. waking up at like 4am. We are all fine now, of course and have been for a while, but yeah, not sure what it was, but we were greatly jet lagged coming back to Japan this time. : )