So after over a year of planning and waiting I am about to leave the country for 3 weeks to cover the worlds biggest sporting event. One would think I’d be incredibly excited but to tell you the truth I feel like puking!
Anyone who has traveled overseas knows the hassle and stress of packing. Now add the fact that I have to prepare to cover the biggest event of my life and it takes on a whole new level of difficulty.
One of the first things I did was head to the local drug store and buy a wide assortment of medicine, pills and toiletries.
I was able to pack 3 bodies, a 600mm, 80-200mm, 24-70mm, 14-24mm, 10.5mm, and 2 flashes into my thinktank bag (with a screwed up handle that only opens halfway after only 2 months of owning it) I also have a 400mm that I am carrying in my backpack so that part of the packing was probably the easiest since I take that much gear to every shoot.
Next on the to do list was to find a ride to the airport. Thankfully my friend Danielle was able to take me because everyone else was working and no way in hell was I gonna park my car at the airport for 21 days! Wish I would have taken a picture of the luggage inside her car because it was like a game of tetris to fit all my stuff into her tiny Mercedes.
Checked my bags and got to play a fun game of “bag too heavy” The weight limit was 50lbs before you would be charged overweight baggage fees and with an international flight you don’t wanna have to pay that as it turns into several hundred dollars rather quickly. The one bag was overweight by 6lbs so I opened up my bags right there at the counter and did a precision job of taking stuff out and weighing it to transfer exactly 6lbs to the other bag without making the other bag overweight. Final weigh in was bag #1 50.0lbs and bag #2 49.5lbs. Hows that for getting the most for my money! Now I will also have the luxury of being able to bring up to a half pound of souvenirs home!
After all that I headed upstairs to the Chilis Too to kill 30 minutes before heading to the gate……no alcohol though because I still have a minor hangover from drinks the night before with the GF.
As I was heading to my flight I got a call from Jerry Lai who is shooting with me. He was supposed to be meeting me in San Francisco and flying the same flight with me to Beijing. Unfortunately (for me) his flight out of Chicago was delayed enough that he would be unable to make the connecting flight with me to Beijing. Fortunately (for him) they were able to get him on a direct flight out of Chicago and he will now be beating me by 3 hours to China!
More fun ensued as after easily clearing the security checkpoint I go to put my backpack on and the damn shoulder strap on one side breaks in half. Now I get to spend the rest of this trip to China carrying the bag on just one shoulder like how the “cool” kids used to in jr high school!
After sitting around at the gate duringa 45 minute delay, we finally borded and within minutes were airborne on our way to San Francisco.
I spent the whole flight reading my guide to Beijing that I bought a few days prior. It is full of useful information for the trip.
On final approach to SFO we flew over some interestingly colored water. I should probably get used to odd water since in Beijing they constantly warn you not to drink the water and to use bottled water to rinse your teeth when brushing, yummy!
Got to San Francisco with little time to spare so no stop at a high charging airport bar for me!
Onboard my Air China flight now. Popping a sleeping pill very shortly for the 12 hour flight that gets me into Beijing at 6pm (3am AZ time) so the next time you hear from me I will finally be in China and ready to kick some ass!
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