China: The really friendly skies …
So, I made it, in one piece, with some semblance of sanity, though my hair as clearly seen better days. But, hey, I’m in Beijing and fast approaching a full day without sleep, though that certainly won’t keep me from blogging from China.
What a day! We started this morning in Peoria, where we did our TSA check (see picture) at the team’s Spring Training facility before boarding buses (four altogether) for Sky Harbor Airport where we got on what might have been the biggest airplane of all time, a mammoth Northwest 747, where the 105 or so people in the traveling party rode in style, non-stop to Beijing.
Talk about smooth sailing, wow. It was essentially like riding in first class, complete with wine, good food (again, see picture) and a portable video player where you can choose games, TV shows and, of course, a handful of movies. I knocked off Gone Baby Gone and Michael Clayton while passing the flight that was 13-plus hours, door-to-door. No this wasn’t a trip on Southwest by any means.
People mostly passed the time by sleeping, though some watched movies, players played cards and at least one Padre, Scott Hairston, who was hit in the arm by a pitch Tuesday night, had treatment on the plane by assistant trainer Paul Navarro. Treatment at 40,000 feet, how nice.
Arrived at the Grant Hyatt after sitting in traffic coming in from the airport (ah, felt like I was back in Seattle) before hanging out with some media types because, really, after spending the last 15 or so hours together, there was no sense (or energy) in branching out.
Anyway, tomorrow should be fun. We’re going to the Great Wall, where I’ll take some more photos to post tomorrow. And, the reason I’m here, I’ll have some stories on the main Padres page, so check back for all the details from Beijing.