I finished my Final Year Project presentation on the 23rd of January, but corrections had to be made and tasks delegated. I let the project go into my team members' hands on the morning of the 26th. I then, finally started on packing my bag for the two weeks trip, trying to get the number of clothing I'll need for the two weeks I'll be over there. It was a mess, with Mama overbudgeting the number of t-shirts I'll need (I'll only wear that to sleep, or while in the hotel room) and so on.
But by the time night came on Sunday, the bags were all packed and I was enjoying my online time. Our flight was at 3.10pm Monday, but we had to be at the airport by 12pm. So as usual, we were there an hour early. And I've always loved airports since I was a kid. It might have came from how I travelled a lot as a kid, and I saw airports as something that signifies travelling to other places.
Mama and her sister. As you can see, there must be some family resemblance between them that I fail to see. She sent us off with her husband and their big van, which was stuffed to the brim with our bags. 3 big ones and 4 hand luggage bags.
Lil bro with our bags.
Me, still being excited. Lil bro's comment after taking the picture:
"God, you look like a Chinese."
After an hour, Mama is showing signs of boredom. Behind her is Dad on the left, and my Uncle on the right.
While waiting to get our boarding passes and to check in the luggage, Lil Bro went all hungry and I dragged him to McDonald's. Word of advise, never go there. We're so used to the normal, cheaper Lunch/Dinner time prices that when we found out it wasn't available at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), my wallet cried. I could have bought 4 Large McValue Big Mac meal with the amount of cash I paid for 2 mediums McValue meals.
Once we had our tummies filled, we found out that the luggage has been checked in and the boarding passes and passports were handed to me for safekeeping. The parents then went to have lunch and we were left guarding the hand luggage and I was suddenly filled with the need for a coffee drink.
Me, enjoying my Iced White Coffee Guam at Old Town with Lil Bro.
Our flight was right on time, the four of us in the center seats (nightmare) in Saudi Airlines. The coffee set in both of us so we spent the next 10 hours on the plane watching Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Green Lantern and played games.
And of course, we ate. The first meal aka lunch was fish, rice, vegetables. With a side of salad and a cake that had raspberry jam on top. It was yummy. Dinner was pasta with minced beef. This was super yummy. The cake had a chocolate spread on top. But the third meal, more like a snack was vile. It was a bun with turkey slices. The bun was very dry.
We did a pit stop at Riyadh and was told that it was 15C and it was around 7pm. We arrived at Medina around 9pm-ish and went through such a long immigration process that by the time we stepped out of the airport, I shivered so much.
It was so so so so so cold. And it was drizzling. Light rain in a place where it usually rains 3 times a year.
Once we were in the warmth of our bus, Lil Bro had the idea to take some pictures outside, with me tagging along. Its a small airport. About 20 minutes away from our hotel.
This is me, super windy and cold, telling my brother to just take a picture. The group had about 37 of us, and we were all very sleepy. The bus was slow, and I was falling asleep while our guide talked through his microphone.
We stayed at Raddison Blu, a snazzy hotel about 3 minutes walking distance. We could see the Nabawi Mosque from the entrance. When we arrived, we were told that dinner was waiting for us. I was thinking:
"No way. I'm too sleepy to even think of food."
It was a buffet that held a mix of Turkish and Indonesian food. My tummy growled and I sat down with the parents, stuffing myself with food before going up to the 9th floor, where our bags were waiting at the door.
The view from the elevator. The bottom floor is the lobby and above it, is the dining area. If you squint, you'll see people lining up. That area is where all the cheeses, cold cuts, bread and cold salads are. My fave part of the buffet.
Our room was the suite, two adjoining rooms. This is the room I shared with Lil Bro, my bed is the one without a bag. The view outside was the building beside it. What has been the pattern since my last two trips over here, is that the beds and pillows are super super super comfy. I fell asleep after a refreshing shower right at midnight.