For those of you who don't recognize the title, shame on you! It's from a personal favorite and one of the best American movies ever made, Home Alone. Well, it's official. I will be off American soil for the next 9 months and I couldn't be happier to call parts of Asia my home. A majority of that time will be spent in South Korea, but for now, Okinawa will be my spot of residence. I'm writing this blog from my hotel room listening to the waves crash on the beach about 50 yards from the building. It's beautiful, yet the weather hasn't been particularly desirable. I guess I should be patient as we haven't even been here for 24 hours yet. It rained last night in what seemed to be a fitting ending to a very long 36 hours of travel.
Let's backtrack a bit and recount the exact happenings of the long journey to get here. We left Arizona at approximately 1 PM on Friday afternoon. Before we left, I walked about a half mile both ways to make a key purchase, an XBox One. I might have seemed like a fool to some walking back with the XBox in one hand and a carry-on piece of luggage wheeled in the other. The carry-on was filled with vitamins, shampoo, deodorant and anything else I could get my hands on at Target. Better to be safe than sorry. I was feeling prepared. I packed my bags onto a truck that would meet us at the airport and changed into a suit to travel. We would then take a bus 5 hours to Las Vegas to eat, kill some time and then board the Korean Air flight non-stop to Seoul.
The flight to Seoul left at 11:40 PM Pacific Coast time on Friday. Both Josh Bell and I had tickets in business class, which was clutch. The seats fully reclined into beds and provided much needed comfort for a 12 hour and 50 minute flight. Two meals were served and I managed to watch three movies: All is Lost, Last Vegas, and About Time. For those of you critiquing the last choice of movie, I am no stranger to chick flicks or anything close to it. I enjoy a good Rachel McAdams movie as much as anyone. We arrived in Seoul on Sunday at 6:30 AM. This means that I never set foot on the ground for Saturday, February 8th. I can now make up stories about what happened on that day and no one will ever know. Our day was not done yet however.
The rest of the team would get their baggage and leave the airport to go sleep at home and enjoy their families. Not us. Josh and I don't have family within 7,000 miles so we were boarding another plane to Japan that would leave at 9:30 AM( actually 10:30 with the delay). I got a nice Burger King breakfast sandwich at the airport, which by the way was the nicest airport I've ever been in, and waited for the flight. At this point, I have to imagine people looking at me, and smelling me for that matter, have to be disgusted. I look like I've just crawled through the sewers with the Ninja Turtles and need money for a meal. After a 2 hour flight, we landed in Okinawa at their beachside airport. You would think that the workers as Asiana Airlines would know how long of a trip I've had and how desperate I was for a shower. Not these workers. Another half hour spent at the baggage claim and we had our stuff ready to rock.
On the way out, we loaded our bags into 2 vans and I was taken for a surprise when the driver got into the right side of the car. Where are we, London? I guess they drive on that side in Japan too! We ate lunch and then went to the Sunmarina hotel. This place reminds me of a Dominican Republic resort. My goal is to befriend a fisherman and maybe haul in a few big boys before we leave in the beginning of March. I would be able to check that off my bucket list. The water is blue but choppy because it is very windy. I'm not complaining.
I went upstairs to my room and was exhausted. We had finally made it, but it had been quite the journey. I unpacked a little bit, before I showered. I set up the Xbox and even made myself a cup of Green Tea in the room, which I don't even like but hey, "when in Rome". I went to go take a shower and almost broke my toe doing so. There is a ledge right before the shower for some reason and I whacked my toe pretty hard. I learned my lesson there. Josh and I went downstairs for dinner and afterwards, wanted to have a beer. We went to the convenience store in the hotel, but they didn't take American dollars. Oh boy. Luckily, the front desk exchanged money and we got some Japanese Yen. I was rich. 10,000 Yen for 100 dollars!!! Not really, but it made me feel that way. Then comes the coolest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. A beer vending machine on our floor. I was able to purchase an Asahi beer from a machine. Take note USA.
I slept for 9 hours last night and feel fantastic. Zero jet lag because the times worked out so perfectly. We start workouts here tomorrow and I'm excited. Roughly two weeks before exhibition games start and I get to go at some hitters. Below are some pictures I've taken to share. There is my own private movie theater on the plane, which was awesome. The guy in one of the pictures is of my translator Jay smoking a cigarette while I took a paparazzi photo. Jay is the man and I lean on him for everything, take note ladies. There is a picture of a toilet seat, but its not just any toilet seat. It's heated!! And you thought heated seats in your car was cool. And lastly, there's a picture of me with all my Japanese riches. Hope you enjoy and I look forward to catching up soon. Until next time...