Our flights were the most seamless and smooth transition much to our surprise. We flew economy on Emirates and enjoyed large comfy seats, a varied array of entertainment which included a two player game of battleship on individual touch screen televisions - pretty awesome, complimentary beverages (at one point Alex had red wine, Heineken, and Jack over ice in front of him), Bollywood films, and plentiful "pretty ok" plane meals.
As soon as we touched down in Bangkok (BKK) a mix of excitement and panic ensued as we walked towards the 'Visa on Arrival' area which was already swarming with people crowding around kiosks to fill out forms. We proceeded to do the same and realized we had forgotten our extra passport photos and didn't have the correct currency. As we scrambled to convert what seemed to be all the money in our pockets to Thai baht (THB), take additional passport photos at a kiosk, and fill out visa forms, the woman who ran the photo kiosk noticed our passports and informed us of an important fact that we knew at one point but forgot in the shuffle... that as Americans, we didn't need to pay anything for a Visa at all. We were politely informed that our efforts were in vain and we were sheepishly pointed in the right direction, not especially amused with each other but glad to hang on to our baht and make a smooth and more importantly free entry into Thailand. We grabbed our bags, reorganized, Alex changed his undies (and clothes), and we set off to explore Bangkok.
In the month we spent at home we had pre-booked the majority of our accommodations. Our first couple nights were booked in Bangkok's Chinatown. We took a deep breath and strode onto Bangkok's skytrain headed to the heart of the city with much excitement, anxiety and sweat.