First of all, PRAISE THE LORD, we are in Xian!!!!
If it could go wrong, it did...but we are here, even if our 25-hour trip took 38+ hours.
Finally out of OKC and finally out of Chicago, we landed in Beijing, and it was time to nap.After a shuttle ride and long walk to another terminal, we had 5 hours to wait before checking into our flight counter. Some guy posing as airport staff walked us through the airport, and when we tipped him he told us "too small" so we added more, and he proceeded to ask for 40 USD. No way, dude!
But then at 5 am another guy, who had obviously been watching us, approached and told us we could check in. He pulled our luggage and spoke to the flight rep where we thought we'd be issued boarding passes. They couldn't find us in their system, so this very helpful man took Clayton to the resolution center, where only Chinese was spoken, and after 10 minutes they returned and he directed us to another counter where he assured us we would be fine so he would not accompany us...but he asked for his tip. So Clayton offered him a tip, and he asked for 40 USD. I see a theme here. Please remember, by this point it's been over 48 hours since we've slept. Clayton gave the guy 20 USD and we went to the counter only to find out there had been no resolution at all! We still did not exist! No surprise, the helper
Finally, we got resolution on our own. We found out that we were not booked on a Hainan flight at 7:45 am, but rather a China Air flight at 7:20. We had to return to the terminal we had left at midnight (a 30 minute trip), and it was now 6:30. We had no boarding passes, no confirmation number. I didn't care how much it cost, I called our travel agent and got him on it.
By the time we got a taxi to the right terminal, our agent called back and assured us we were on the China Air flight, and after more time at the ticket counter we were finally issued boarding passes. We ran to the gate, and the attendants said, "yes, yes, Mr. Johnson, please come through and board." Huh? We ran onto the plane thinking we'd barely made it, when in fact they let us board early :) Evidently we were the topic of phone discussion.
We landed in Xian at 9:15 am, and what a breath of fresh air to see our guide, Celine. Finally, someone on our side :) It wasn't really a surprise when she told us plans had changed and Khloie Day would be Monday instead of Sunday.
We are disappointed but will take advantage of the rest.
We are checked into our hotel, and we've already made a trip to Wal-Mart to get water, snacks, formula and an orphanage gift of boxes of diapers.
Thank you so very much for your many words of encouragement and prayers! I've never been so close to a nervous breakdown. Each time I thought I would crack, Clayton knew just what to say, and I was reminded that God has this!
And now...a shower and goodnight!