January 5, 2021

Day 1 of 4-Day Process: Packing up & Domestic Flight Changes

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How is it time to leave already?!?! ?

I really can’t believe that this day has finally come. Although I’m excited about returning to China, I’ve spent almost every day with my loved ones for the past 10 1/2 months. I think it’s safe to say that this moment is bittersweet for me.

I’ve been packing and unpacking my belongings for the past 3 days and today I finally got everything situated just in time to leave.

Today was a beautiful day to travel ?

My dad drove me to the airport as he usually does and this time my mom decided to tag along. It had been raining for almost a full week up until today when the sun beamed brightly down upon us. ? That comforted me as it seemed to be a divine sign that everything was going to be alright.

On the way to RDU airport with mis padres!

Once we arrived at the airport, my dad helped me take my luggage to the check-in counter. We hugged and said our, “see ya later’s” and I checked in as he went back to my mom in the car.

I paid the fee for my baggage, scanned my electronic boarding passes and was set on my way to go through the security check. Once I finished with security, I went to the gate where I would sit for a few hours before boarding the plane and noticed how empty the airport seemed to be. The emptiness slowly faded away as the time passed by and more passengers began to arrive to various terminals.

The first leg of my flight from RDU to LAX was a short layover in Minneapolis.

Things that were different for domestic flights

There were a few changes that I noticed on my flight from RDU to Minneapolis (and ultimately, LAX):

  • Flight attendants were wearing gloves and masks as we entered the plane but once we took off, their gloves were off.
  • We were given hand sanitizer sheets as we boarded the plane
  • Masks were required at all times except for when eating but they were encouraged to stay positioned on our faces
  • The announcements included instructions about removing masks in order to use oxygen masks in case of emergency
  • Each passenger’s snacks were packaged individually in little clear plastic baggies (mini water bottle included)
  • One person was assigned to a row with an empty seat beside them (some family members chose to sit together)

I had never been in the Minneapolis airport before so it was a nice change of scenery.

Arriving at LAX and Checking into the Hotel

Our plane landed at LAX close after 11pm PST. There was a free shuttle that runs every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day from the airport to the Hilton H Hotel where I’ll be staying for the next few days. I was able to catch the shuttle from the second floor, near the baggage claim area. The ground floor of the baggage claim area is for ground transportation, but the second floor is for the parking shuttles and the free hotel shuttles. I am happy that I was able to catch the right shuttle that took me straight to my hotel because I’m exhausted. I woke up early this morning to get my day started and I’ve been in more than 1 time zone in the past few hours.

I look forward to checking in to my hotel and getting some rest before going to get my COVID tests done tomorrow.

Good night, loves. ?

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