We made it to California! The flight was too long as always: around the 14 hour mark, I always start thinking that it will never end and I will be trapped in this tiny metal box forever.
Little R basically did not sleep (MAYBE 4 hours total, divided up into half hour or hour sections), which means I didn't either. However, she was as good as gold and did not cry once for the entire first leg of the trip (Singapore-Tokyo, about 7 hours). This was partly because we totally scored on seating arrangements and got bulkhead seats, with no one else in the row. This meant we basically had an empty seat and little R could play safely on the floor for long periods of time. Once we arrived in Tokyo, she had fun playing in the child gym there, which was a special room with a heavily padded floor, toys, and a little slide. What a wonderful thing for parents and children! I wish every airport had one.
The second and longer leg (about 11 hours), Tokyo-San Francisco, was not so good. We again were lucky enough to have bulkhead seats (though the leg room was smaller this time), but did not have an empty seat. Instead, our neighbor was a 300+ pound man who was a little too big for his seat. This meant he kept knocking into little R (who was on my lap) frequently. He was also somewhat drunk (came on smelling of alcohol, and drank at least 4 very large glasses of wine), and so wanted to tell me all about his personal issues (he was recently divorced and bitter).
Worst of all, he told us his "passion" was "debating" atheists and agnostics on why they should become Christian. He fancied himself an expert on the historicity of Christianity (which he said he used as a mainstay of his arguments), although from the few things he said I could tell I knew a lot more than he did. When he told us this, it basically kiboshed any desire to talk to him, as being stuck next to a drunk, belligerent Christian bent on conversion for 11 hours is definitely not my idea of a good time. (He also told us he had been evicted from the Mormon Temple in Oakland by the police as a result of one of his "efforts", so I can't imagine the conversation would end well.) Thank goodness he didn't know anything about our (lack of) religious beliefs! We kept a low profile and after a steady diet of monosyllables, he finally went to sleep.
Little R was mostly good on this leg as well at least (though she still didn't sleep), and only fussed a little bit. She reserved her meltdown once we entered the car to drive home. I think she thought yet another journey was just not fair. Eventually we reached home: cheese, beds and space to stretch awaited.