Ueno Day 1

Heading to Asia today for two weeks. This time, it’s just me, RL and our 7 months old baby PL. This will be a really really really long and exhausting day…but at the finish line, amazing Japanese food waits for us.

Holy Shit! Monday morning security line at 6:45am. This line goes to the end of the photo, then it starts to wrap around until the actual security check(which you can’t even see because the line is so long)…Good thing we showed up 2 hours early before our flight.

Hey, look, we made it through security already!! By the time we finished checking in our bags, we went to the TSA Pre Check line, and it had maybe 10 people in front of us. Score another one for TSA Pre Check!! We did, however, get pulled aside for a bag check, the formula powder had set off the machine. Baby, always slowing us down and crampin’ our style!

You know the routine.

Breakfast of champions. Last taste of Texas for a couple of weeks.

White grandma had made PL a toy, it’s a vinyl bear with a strap and a tag. PL, like many babies, loves tags and straps. I am going to make a baby toy that has nothing but tags and straps!

Must eat tag! YUM!!


Nice weather, our flight leaves on time.

Some formula for the take off to equalize ear pressure.

Got fussy on the short flight to Dallas, tried putting her in the baby carrier to see if she’ll fall asleep on the plane…It was a no go. Again, dreading this long travel day with baby.

Made it to Dallas! That was the easy leg, the next leg will be 13 plus hours straight to Tokyo.

Excited to ride in my first Boeing 787.

Flight doesn’t leave for another 2 hours, time for some food.

Except, we got distracted. On the way to get some food, I saw that they had a Centurion Lounge here. Wasn’t planning on it, but why not have some free food and free drinks instead.



Too bad only breakfast is getting served at the moment.

Meh, breakfast food. But tough to beat free.

Open bar, sign me up. Vacation started so it’s ok to drink alcohol any time of the day. Plus, gotta calm those nerves before the arduous long flight with baby.

She always makes this disgusted face when first getting a taste of solid food, even on food that she’s had before and likes.

Still thinking about it…

Finally remembers that she likes it. Daddy’s gonna have another beer then.

Time to head to our gate now. Ugh, not looking forward to this long flight.


Passed by this gate with a lot of people in wheel chairs waiting to board. Oddly, half of them don’t even look like they need wheel chairs. Did they all request wheel chairs just so they can get priority boarding?

Time to board for our own flight. Priority boarding with the baby, bitches! Yeah!! Gotta milk those few perks that comes with traveling with a baby.

Excited, about to fly in my first Dreamliner.

Everything inside the 787 looks pretty standard, except immediately I noticed that the windows are two different colors on the two sides of the plane. Then I remembered that the windows don’t have shades, but instead are darkened or lightened by electric current.


Provided by the airline for our baby.

More solid foods! I don’t think we’ll be attempting at feeding solids during this flight, things just get too messy.

They think of everything, even gave us a bib for the feeding.

Got seats in the middle of the plane in lieu of my usual window choice. But, there’s a reason for this.

Needs to be entertained all the time. Did I mention that in the past week or so, she discovered her voice. I mean…really discovered her voice. She turns it up to 11, and screams and shrieks nonstop for hours at a time…Everyone on this flight better be prepared. At least they’re happy screams and shrieks?

More baby swag from the airline.

Soon after we take off, she starts popping a squat…Poopoo? Turned out to be false alarm. So much stuff to see, so much excitement. She would provide us with many more false alarms before finally letting one loose during our long flight.

Reason for picking seats in the middle of the plane, baby bassinet!! There are only a few seats that have an option for this, and fortunately, I was able to reserve one early enough.


She’s so big now, she barely fits in there. Let’s see if she’ll take a nap in it…

Super hyper and super excited…nap isn’t gonna happen for a while.

45 minutes after we first tried to get her to take a nap, it finally happens. Yes!!! Our arms are going to be dead by the end of the flight, and we are savoring every moment that she sleeps in this thing. One of us had to stay awake at all times while she napped to make sure the light-blocking-pillow didn’t fall on her face though.

Unfortunately, the nap was short lived and to make matters worse, food is getting served. Which means one of us needs to hold PL while the other eats quickly. PL refuses to be left alone in the bassinet to play by herself. She’s been shrieking in excitement and making friends all around us. The flight attendant are all eating out of her hands…let’s hope this continues and PL stays in a good mood.

The 787 has these crazy wings that seems to bend up at a high angle while in flight.

OH MY GOD, we are only half way!!! We are so tired and dying. This baby refuses to take long naps, and needs to be held and entertained the whole time or she’ll fuss. At home, we can just let her fuss a little for naps and such, except now there are people trying to asleep all around us…please don’t hate us…

Mid flight refuel for all three of us. It’s been a pain having to rinse out all of her bottles in the airplane restroom. Ugh. Also, the changing table on the 787 is TINY, even though there’s all this extra room to have a larger changing table. Interior design fail. And about the 787, other than the electronic window shades, did not notice much difference in the flight experience. May just have been a tad bit quieter, but that’s about it.

Getting Angry! Mommy and Daddy are so tired. How is she still awake and refuses to go to sleep. Her usual bed time came and went, and she refuses to sleep. I would rock her to sleep and try to gently put her down in her bassinet to sleep. The moment I put her down, she’d wake up and start crying at the top of her lungs. After doing that about 4 times, I think we just gave us and decide to maybe hold her in our arms while she slept.

Second meal is getting served. So so so tired from holding baby. Arms are dead. RL hasn’t had any sleep, and I’ve only had one short nap. The rest of the time we’ve spent passing the baby back and forth between us to entertain her.

Getting really desperate, finally put on baby carrier in plane and walked around trying to get PL to fall asleep. It eventually happens…It is now midnight in Austin, so about 3 hours past PL’s bedtime.

Sigh, an hour later, PL wakes up like she’s had an entire night’s worth of sleep and ready to scream and shriek in excitement for the day. HOW ARE YOU NOT TIRED!?!? PL has gone into Berserk Mode!! Sleep and naps, what’s that? Don’t need, don’t want.
Yes!!! Finally about to land!!! There’s another plane(hard to see in photo) descending along with us to land in a parallel runway.

This has been a truly miserable flight. 13 hour flights are difficult to begin with, but traveling with a baby who only slept about a total of 2 hours on the entire flight is utterly insane. Again, how is baby not passed out from the lack of sleep?

As we disembark, a couple of other passengers in the row behind us came up and told us that they were really impressed at how well behaved PL was during this long flight!! What?! We were worried that her shrieks of excitement at the top of her lungs would annoy everyone and wake people up, but apparently it didn’t bother others. The flight attendants were also impressed with how well PL behaved on the flight. I guess that makes me feel a lot better knowing that we were not such a nuisance despite having, by far, the loudest passenger on our laps.

Immigration line. Looks a little long, but at a closer inspection, most of the people are just trying to fill out their immigration forms. They should have filled those out on the plane before hand. Most of the foreign passport holders here are Chinese tourists…yes, the super rude Chinese tourist that we all know about. There were two airport workers whose sole job is to corral the Chinese tourists to the correct lines, and prevent them for trying to cut lines(which they were definitely trying to do), etc. Ugh.

We walked up to the beginning of the line, showed the immigration personnel(who was very brisk and borderline rude with the Chinese tourists) our filled out immigration forms. Immediately, she leads us past everyone, while telling others to back off because we have a baby and we are coming through. The ropes were opened for us and we were whisked into the priority line for people with infants. YEAH!!! Take that everyone! A win for the baby!

At luggage claim, soooo exhausted.

Notice what’s missing here? There’s no baby changing area in the Men’s room here. Hah, I guess there’s no choice but for RL to change it this time then. But it does also seem that here in Japan the baby changing rooms are always only in the women’s bathroom. Guess they think that’s a women’s job here and not for men. What do dads do when they’re out with their baby without the mom? Or does that never happen here?

Down we go to the trains.

Oh Heaven! 7 Eleven!!!! We love convenience stores in Asia!!!


Why is there a dentist at the airport train terminal?




Lucky, didn’t have to wait too long for our train.

Pretty empty. Now, another 45 minutes will get us to Ueno in Tokyo.

This would be a quiet peaceful train ride if not for our Berserk Mode baby. She’s barely had more sleep than us, and yet she’s acting like she’s had a full night’s worth of sleep. Screaming, shrieking, and babbling to herself in excitement. We kept on having to shush her…but she doesn’t know what that means.

Sakura blooms along the rail. Did not realize how there are sakura trees all over the place. It seems like they were everywhere on our ride into Tokyo.



Wish Narita wasn’t so far out from Tokyo. So tired, just want to be in our hotel.

How are you awake and how do you still have so much energy?

Seriously, cutest thing ever, even though daddy is super tired.

What’s that? Someone say my name?!

I think this photo sums up this entire travel day to Japan. Me exhausting can’t deal with baby anymore, arms tired from holding her the entire time, and the baby in Berserk Mode shrieking up a storm.

Almost there!!


Yes, finally here!!! Feels so good to be out of moving vehicles.


We are staying at the Ueno area in Tokyo. It’s slightly less hectic than Shinjuku, where we stayed at last time.


Short walk to our hotel from the train station.

There’s salvation, the gray building in the center is our hotel.

Take my money and give me my room!

We got into our room, collapsed, but then made one last effort to go visit our corner Lawson store. We’ve got zero food and we are hungry.

Small haul from Lawson, but this will do for the night. Seriously exhausted, I am getting vertigo. Eat then bed…then probably wake up at some crazy early hour in the night due to jetlag….

To be continued at Ueno Day 2.