Back to the States
With my CoE’s in hand, I got back on JL 060 to LAX from KIX. Luckily, this flight was business class. The JAL seats aren’t quite as nice as UA Business, but they’re comfortable enough for a trans-Pacific flight. I was in LA for about 4 days to see my family, head to the Japanese Consulate-General to apply for visas, and take care of pre-move necessities and packing. A few days after arriving in LA, I was off to Orlando for about 2 weeks of work.
Business Trip in Orlando
In Orlando, it was starting to get “cool,” which means it was still in the 70’s and 80’s. During the week, I furiously tried to learn the details of the project on which I was embarking. It’s certainly exciting to be building a breakthrough new attraction in Super Nintendo World. During the work week, I spent time split between the office, mock-up spaces, and technology testing areas, as is typical in theme park work.
On the weekend that I got in Orlando, I visited a few old friends at EPCOT from Turtle Talk days and finally visited Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The last time I had been there was on a construction site when they were carving rock work and setting up the show spaces. It was good to see the evolution from concept to reality of the land.
Flying “Home” to a New Country
Back in LA, my parents, sister, and brother-in-law had arrived to help us pack up and see us off to a new life in Japan. I went downtown again to pick up the now-ready Japanese visas, got everything ready to go, and had a chance to eat a few of my favorite LA foods once more. The day before the flight, my family headed back to Colorado. I drove a big rental car to LAX, dropped off the bags and my family at the front of LAX, and returned the car. After waving goodbye to Jolene’s parents, we were on our way. The flight was okay and the kids were pretty good. But at Japanese immigration had a bit of a melt-down. There were extra processes at each step coming into Japan as residents (printing out the zairyu card, declaring unaccompanied baggage, etc). Finally, we were on our way to Kobe in another van and our new home.
The next morning it was chilly and not quite all of our stuff had arrived, but we were finally home!