and I have indeed been fortunate to have taken some wonderful vacations
over the years. Vacations that I often refer to as the "vacation
of a lifetime." And this trip certainly fits that description.
Planning for this vacation began in 1990 following a trip to Europe
(Fall, 1989) we took with our good friend Ken Brown. Ken was stationed
in Thailand during the Vietnam War and he wanted to return. With the
tentative dates set Anne and I began to plan our "vacation of
a lifetime." We decided we'd really make this a vacation to remember
by making it a month long and not a normal two weeker. While we worried
that a month was a long time to be away from home in the middle of
winter it was a decision we made, and it was the right one. A month
wasn't to long, in fact, it wasn't long enough.
Our plans called for a late Saturday afternoon departure from New
York to San Francisco with a three hour layover there before continuing.
From San Francisco we would fly nonstop to Hong Kong with a one hour
layover there before continuing to Singapore. 31 hours from our front
door to the hotel in Singapore. We arrived in Singapore late Monday
morning having lost a day crossing the International Date Line. We
would spend the balance of the week in Singapore then fly to Hong
Kong where we would meet Ken and his wife Darla. We would spend three
days sightseeing in Hong Kong and another three days in nearby Macau.
Following Macau we would fly to Bangkok where we would spend several
days visiting a friend. Leaving Bangkok we would fly to Phuket and
spend a beautiful week on Asia's Riviera. At the end of our week in
Phuket Ken and Darla would fly home, and Anne and I would fly to Japan
for a five day visit there. It all sounded so wonderful. Now all we
had to do was pull it off.
The winter of 1993 - 1994 was proving to be a particularly bad one.
By our departure date, January 15th we had already had three snowstorms.
The week before our departure I was caught in a particularly bad snowstorm
in Boston. All the flights home were canceled leaving only the train,
and taking a train in bad weather is not a pleasant experience. But
I made it home which was the only important thing. Believe me I looked
forward to the fact that our vacation to paradise was less than a
air for the majority of this trip was, of course, courtesy of American
Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program. We would fly American
first class to San Francisco and then change to Singapore Airlines,
business class, for the flight to Singapore. I have to admit Singapore
Airlines impressed me. They have definitely earned their reputation
as one of the best airlines to travel with in the world. The service
was impeccable and the friendliness of the flight crew was excellent.
When we deplaned in Singapore the flight attendant by the door wished
us well and called us by name. Remarkable considering I don't recall
her waiting on us the entire flight. She had no reason to know our
name, yet she did. I would recommend taking Singapore Airlines anytime
the opportunity arises and you are going in the any direction they