Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Getting Back Home

we made our way, slowly, back to america. it was a long return-home trip--about 26 hours.

 thankfully there were good movies to watch like tinker bell.

 here we are taxing off from jakarta.

 where you quickly get over the ocean.

from tokoyo, we flew to los angeles. it was a stressful layover in tokoyo. our flight left jakarta late, and there wasn't much time to catch our connecting flight. there was a person who met us right when we got off the plane to escort us to our gate. once she got us to the right bus (we had to ride a bus to get to our gate), we were on our own. and we had to run for awhile to make sure we got there on time. it turned out we didn't need to run, but we had no idea how much time we had--so we ran. i had to take off my sandals and run barefoot. the nice part about all of that stress was that we didn't have to wait long to board our flight to la. 

in la, we had about a 3-hour layover that stretched out into about a 5-6 hour layover as we had to wait for quite awhile for our plane's mechanical problems. we were all so, so tired. we were falling asleep in the airport chairs. but i was also fighting the sleep since i never knew when we might be able to board our plane, or if we'd have to move to another gate, etc. it was a long wait. but finally we boarded our little plane and made our way to slc.

 as we descended, we could see our lovely mountains and the great salt lake.

 that's a beautiful image of the swirly landscape below.

my mom and brother met us at the airport and took us home. thankfully, all of our luggage arrived without any damage--a miracle given how much luggage we had. we got home and tried to adjust to the weird, yet familiar, feeling of being home.

 the next day, b took some pictures of our peach tree and our pawpaws. shortly after he took this picture, he trimmed the overgrown peach tree (it looks much nicer now).

 we were so proud of the growth and health of our pawpaws.

 and were very delighted to see that there were four pawpaw fruits growing! wah!

 they have continued to grow since we've been home. they aren't monsters, but we will definitely be able to eat them. to think: eating pawpaws again! we haven't had any since the fall of 2007.

 and our peaches! we didn't have tons and tons this year, but we had a good harvest. and they were good. sadly, they're all gone now (i'm writing this on august 24th), but we enjoyed them while we had them.

Passing through Jakarta

 our flight to jakarta was short and uneventful. although even on such a short flight, garuda air still gave us food and there were movies to watch.

 s trying to find the right show to watch.

 b liked this guy's shirt. we saw him in the jakarta airport.

 we had to stop at papabunz for a photo-op with roro.

 in jakarta, we checked into our hotel and then went out to see some sights. we went to tamarin city (a large batik market) to look around and do some shopping. it was the second day of idul fitri so most of the stalls were shut, but there were still some that were open. and we managed to buy a few things.

 we waited around tamarin city for awhile to meet up with b's indonesian tutor, farih. he met us there and took us around jakarta for awhile. but as you can see from some of these pictures, some of us were pretty tired.

 farih took us to pasar raya (a large department store) that cathy used to go to a lot when they lived in indonesia. we looked around at lots of very lovely pieces of batik. here we are in front of the archipelago. 

 we also went to the old kamang club villas to look around some, but the guards wouldn't let us in. we also went to the hero supermarket right by kemang club villa where cathy used to shop at.

 here you can see the villas with the large gate we can't cross.

 our group with farih in the foreground.

 a lot of grocery stores in indonesia have two floors with a moving walkway that takes you down and up.

 farih also took us to the largest mosque in indonesia--masjid istiqlal. here were are winding our way to the entrance.

 there were a lot of people around, but there could have been a whole lot more. this is the biggest masjid in se asia and can hold up to 120,000 people!

 we entered the masjid and were taken to a place to wait so we could go on a tour. i was so exhausted that i fell asleep sitting up in a chair as we waited for our guide. finally, or maybe it wasn't that long--i lost track of time, a guide came and gave us a quick tour of the masjid.

 he told us that president obama had come here when he came to jakarta.

 a nice honeycomb motif.

 we looked out over the very, very expansive prayer room in the central part of the building. it was huge.

the domed ceiling was gorgeous.

 there were women and men there praying.

 some women praying.

 this is a great family pic.

 these open-air walls were so nice. it let the breeze in, which kept the building feeling really very cool.

 then we walked out into the very large outdoor courtyard.

 there was a soaring minaret.

 another great family picture.

 and another!

 what!? another one.

 w learned the art of sticking out his tongue for pictures from all of his indonesian friends. that is often done in pictures--especially of the selfie variety.

 there was a large catholic cathedral right across the street from the masjid. we didn't get to see that one up close, but it looked pretty as well.

 a nice atmospheric shot of the canal as we were leaving the masjid. once we finished at the masjid, farih took us back to our hotel. for dinner that night we went to a little place right across from the hotel.

 we each ordered an item from a diplomatic-themed restaurant that would give you nasi prepared in the style of a certain country. then when your food arrived, it had a little toothpick with the flag of that country stuck inside your mountain of nasi. it was good, and the little flags were fun.

 on sunday, our last day in jakarta, we went to the english ward. we met some nice folks there and stuck around for awhile afterwards to talk with people. that afternoon, we rested up some and then went out for a late afternoon lunch/early dinner meal at the nearby mcdonald's. 

 roland was strong enough by now that we walked to the mcd's, and he could eat the food there (although we didn't let him have an ice cream).

 we had a good time and hung out at the mcd's for awhile (since there was no rush to get back to our hotel). 

 on our walk back to the hotel, we saw a nice man wearing a gnr shirt.

 we liked this sign because they were experts in sliming.

early the next morning, our taksi drivers from saturday came back to our hotel to pick us up. we hefted all of our luggage into the taksis and were off to the bandara!


 there was some stress at the airport--as some of our bags were too heavy and would have cost us about $400 extra dollars to ship home. so we had to scramble quickly to re-adjust things so we could avoid that steep fee. but, thankfully, b thought it would be a good idea to get to the airport 3 hours early. so we had plenty of time to go through that ordeal and still have plenty of time to wait for our flight to tokoyo. 

we said our goodbyes to roland and cathy. we definitely felt a bit anxious about them travelling back to america. roland had gotten much better and stronger, but we were still anxious about his health and wanted very much for them to get back to america as quickly as possible. 

 our plane to tokoyo was very nice with a nice movie selection. the kids enjoyed playing around on their screens for the 7-hour flight.