We got here a few hours early. Instead of 8 hours in Taipei and 12 in LA, we have 20 in LA. That works better, since we got a hotel room. The only way to get on the earlier flight was to upgrade to business class, but the upgrade was half the price at the gate than it was at the airline office a few days ago! And let me tell you, I LOVE business class. We got to recline all the way, had fillet, smoked salmon, fresh fruit, etc. It was NICE. It made the flight fly by. Dylan was a real trooper and was a perfect little traveler (except he wanted to sleep in the aisle). Madison only cried a couple times, and not for very long. It was 1000x easier than our last trip (coming home with Dylan).
We have about 15 more hours before we have to head back to the airport and fly home! We're so excited to be back in the US, especially after our little scare at customs in Vietnam. They normally spend 30 seconds looking at the passports and visas and usher you on through. This time, the customs guy gave Madison's passport/visa to the guy sitting next to him. He looked at it and they were talking back and forth (in Vietnamese, of course). Then they called what I assume was a manager, who came, took her passport, and left with it. I was trying not to freak out. After about 15 minutes, they asked us to go through and wait (to get out of the way). We were just sitting there in the floor in the middle of security, with no passports, no boarding passes, no visas (they took them all), wondering if we were going to be one of those freak cases where they arrest a foreigner for no reason and it's a nightmare to get out. At least that's what was going through MY mind. After about half an hour, they come back with our passports, no explanation of what was happening, and tell us we're ok. I wasn't going to argue.
Then, as we're in the line for security, we hear our names paged to the boarding gate. Great. I was hoping maybe they were upgrading us or something (they paged me in Nashville on the way out to tell us they had moved us to another row so we had an empty seat for Dylan). Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. They said they needed Dylan's ticket. We told them we already checked in and got his boarding pass, but they wanted a paper ticket. Apparently, our travel agency booked the tickets as paper tickets, but told us they were electronic. This already caused confusion in Nashville 2 weeks ago, but we got through it. It's a little harder when you're in Vietnam, trying to explain your travel agent screwed up the booking and you have no tickets, even though their system says you do. They had a manager come over and say she had to have a ticket for Dylan. We said numerous times that we had NO ticket, there was nothing else we could do, but we had boarding passes. Apparently, that's not enough to get on a plane. About 15 minutes later, they come over and say everything is ok. Again, no explanation of what was going on, but it was fixed.
So after a very frustrating start, the trip went really really well. Shockingly well. I'm not sure how the next couple weeks will go, but so far so good! And we can't wait to get home!!!