[Note: I'll update later with some pictures!]
The last legs of this trip are all in the air. From Makassar we fly to Bali, have a brief stopover, then off to Taipei, another stopover, and then home to San Francisco. Because of our friend the International Date Line, the trip starts in Makassar on Thursday morning, and after about 24 hours in transit, it's Thursday evening in San Francisco.
The hard part, of course, is figuring out how to do the trip without ending up hopelessly jet-lagged next week at work. So we'll try a combination of staying awake (my favorite solution to jet lag), and the homeopathic No Jet Lag pills. I've got books to read, and we'll see what fine cinematic treats China Airlines has in store.
And it all turns out fine. Jan wasn't feeling too well, so she slept much of the trip. Christopher and I managed to stay awake most of the way, and the airline showed us some decent movies (unlike the trip over, where the "highlight" was a TV movie called "The Librarian"): Madagascar II on the Bali-Taipei leg, then Quantum of Solace (not my favorite Bond flick, but diverting enough for a plane) and Slumdog Millionaire, which I actually wanted to see, on the long transoceanic leg.
On the layover in Bali, we did a little shopping to use up the last of our Indonesian money, then ate lunch at the same Japanese restaurant we went to last September before catching our flight home. That gave us a chance to say goodbye to a few of our friends.
During the stop in Taipei, we had time to walk around and see some of the shops, including a gift shop from the national museum. Unfortunately, we also found shark fins for sale at several shops. But there was also nice tea, art, and some cool electronic gizmos. So that kept us busy. Another intriguing aspect was some rest areas they had decorated to resemble some of the natural areas one might visit in Taiwan. Kind of an interesting way to advertise, and a pleasant little respite from the commercial and travel facilities.
Oh, and they had a bunch of decorated art cows. The decorations were by school children. They were very bright and colorful and very cool looking!
All in all, our very long travel day passed relatively quickly, and the great reward came when we arrived in San Francisco, where we were greeted by our very eager, happy daughter. That was a most welcome end to a great trip.