Sunday, September 11, 2011

US Holiday - Day 1 - Sydney to LA

Day 1
All good trips should start with last minute packing and for this trip it was not the exception. Mum and dad arrived just before 9am. Dad was not particularly impressed with the state of the house and wanted to see if he could vacuum. This resulted in a death stare and a vocal affirmation. Well the bag was packed and off we went a little behind time. The rainy weather also appeared to be effecting traffic and we had the joy of travelling along the M4 with the rest of Sydney. Once we got past Granville it appeared to get flowing again and made good progress onto Parramatta Rd and then the back way through through Petersham and Marrackville. We got to the airport and mum and dad dropped me off and a quick goodbye. Checking in was painless with only about a 10 minute wait. Decided to then go straight through immigration and gave Damian a quick call. Grabbed a bite to eat and had a look around the shops before making my way to the departure gate. Waited there a while until the gate opened. There was hardly anyone there and I thought the flight wasn’t going to be that full but slowly the crowd grew. They then opened up the gate and we watched as some dignitaries from the United Nations boarded the plane.
Boarding the plane for the rest of the crowd then begun for the rest of the normal people. The A380 is certainly a nice plane. My seat was in between the aisle and the window and then an older couple turned up. I said that I could move so that they could be together but for some reason the lady said no I’m happy with the aisle and so I ended up being piggy in the middle. The flight left pretty much on time with just some minor delays as other passengers transferred from flights coming in from Perth. There was also a funny announcement saying that people could not congregate around the toilets on the flight due to US regulations.
The A380 is certainly a beast of an aircraft. The seats are good with a fantastic entertainment system. You can pretty much watch any movie you want at any time. After we took off and passed through an initial round of turbulence I started to watch the latest X Men followed up by Thor and Source Code. I thought they were all good films and glad I had a chance to catch up on them.
For dinner there was a choice of a tortellini, beef or salmon. They run out of the beef pretty quickly but I was happy with having the salmon. Tried to sleep throughout the flight and didn’t have a whole lot of luck with that. There were small intervals of sleep but nothing substantial and I could free the body trying to cope with the little sleep that I had had over the previous nights. I was able to catch some more sleep before they served breakfast.
Landing into LA was interesting watching the webcam they had in the tail of the plane. It was a slow ride in and once we landed it was a short journey to the terminal. We then waited for the UN dignitaries to depart before we got the opportunity to depart.
When we got down to the immigration hall I was half expecting it to be completely packed out as I had heard it has taken people up to 3 hours to get through all the new checks that the US border has in place. I would have waited only about 20 minutes to go through and had my finger prints taken followed by a photo.
Then it was off to pick up my bag and had to wait only about 10 minutes for it to arrive. Then it was off to catch a taxi to the hotel. Traffic wasn’t too bad as we travelled along some of the freeways down into Santa Monica. Journey time was probably only around 25-30 minutes and tried to check in but given it was only 11am there was not going to be much chance of getting a room. So I dropped off my main bag and put on some shorts and then started to walk down towards Santa Monica beach.
The 20 block walk started to creep up on the body but was hanging in there. The first stop off was the beach and board walk. Heaps of tourists around and some interesting outfits as well. I then came back through and checked out the shopping mall/promenade. Grabbed a Starbucks coffee and croissant and that recharged the batteries.
Walked the 20 blocks back up to the hotel and was pretty stuffed by that point. Checked in and made my way up to the room. Watched some TV and had a snooze before getting in touch with some other friends who are going to be in LA. Will be heading up to Beverly Hills and Hollywood to check it out tomorrow.
Ah just saw an ad for Colon Flow. I can try it free for 30 days.

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