May 18th was the longest day I've had in a looong time... through the wonders of time zones and the international date line, our plane actually touched down in Vancouver a half hour BEFORE it left Hong Kong! Sure didn't feel like it though.
We left Hong Kong at 12:15pm on Monday May 18th and had a relatively smooth 4-hour flight to Seoul, where we quickly transferred to another plane to go back to Vancouver... this flight was scheduled for just over 10 hours, but due to some favourable tailwinds we arrived in just over 9 hours... unfortunately, despite cold pills, gravols, melatonin strips and beers, I did not get one wink of sleep on this flight... but the beers did help me fight off a good case of the "lemme out lemme out lemme out's" about halfway through the flight.
Off the plane, and I was hoping straight onto another... however the cheapest flight from Van to Vic was coming on $200 (!!) so I sucked it up and joined my tourmates to split a limo to the ferry terminal and a walk-on.... got the 2pm boat and had a very excited boy and wife waiting for me on the other end... I tried to be excited too, but all the adrenaline in the world couldn't overcome how bloody exhausted I was, so I smiled and hugged and asked very nicely and quietly for them to get me home as quickly as possible.
I always find the time change worse coming home from the far east than going there... I was hoping to mitigate that somewhat by getting some shuteye during the flight, but I should've known better, I rarely sleep on planes. So, 4pm at home, in my comfy chair... handed out gifts to Mick & Steve, then enjoyed the chicken & 4-cheese lasagna they made as a welcome home dinner... but then try as I might to stay awake until normal bedtime, I was passing out by 6:30pm... went to bed, and woke up about 3:30am. So the plan is to have as normal a day as possible and force myself to stay awake until at least 10pm tonight... wish me luck.
Closing thoughts... this was a great tour... the best tour, really... I've been on quite a few over the years and always by the time we're done I'm glad to get the hell away from the group... although I was very anxious to see my family again, I was happy to pass around hugs and well wishes and be truly sincere in looking forward to seeing them again in September when I return as this choir's conductor.
There was some thought that perhaps Prima's touring tradition might go by the wayside when I take over... but clearly it is such an important aspect of this group that there's no way I could let it go... so I am really looking forward to learning a new set of skills as I add tour organizer to my list of conductor duties. Won't likely be an overseas tour this coming year, maybe a bus trip down into the U.S. or across our fine nation... but there will be a Prima Tour 2010! Thanks for visiting this blog, I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures in southeast Asia. Signing off...
Edit 2009-05-26... been home a week now, finally feeling like I've adjusted to home timezone. Going through pictures, what's posted to the blog is only a few of what I took. I used the iPhone for all of them, which resulted in some not-so-great shots, but you get the idea. If you'd like to browse through all of them, please visit http://photoshare.shaw.ca/gallery/wadenoble/