Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 US Trip - Day 1 - Friday September 5th 2014

Well as with most of my preparations for finishing up cleanly at work, it didn't work out too well. Made getting ready for the trip that more difficult. Whilst I was sort of ready from a packing perspective i didn't leave myself with a huge amount of rest the night before the flight. Friday 5th September started early with the alarm clocking ringing at around 5.30am. I had been clock watching for part of the morning.
The cab picked me up right at 6am and the journey to the airport took about an hour. Checking in was very quick and the usual people watching took place. Got through immigration and security checks relatively quickly and then it was time to grab a coffee and croissant.
Boarding of the flight was delayed by about 45 minutes and I started to get a little bit nervous for my connecting flight though I had approximately 3.5 hours to play with. Once we got off the ground I realised that there was a familiar face on board, Karl Stevanovic. Throughout the flight he came back to entertain some of the other staff that were on the flight with him. The girls were swarming around him like puppy dogs. One word, "player".
The flight itself had good food and movies. The only mishap was when they came around with an ice cream which was fantastic to eat though it instantly froze to my tongue when I first tried to eat it. Luckily I didn't remove a large chunk of my tongue as I remove it.
The flight landed about 15 minutes later in the end and quickly disembarked. Getting through customs was also quick along with baggage claim. I then dropped the bag off for the onward flight to Salt Lake City and then went about finding my connection. I had landed in Terminal B and needed to get to Terminal 4. Had no idea how long that was going to take me to get there but thankfully the terminal was next door and was able to walk. Got through another security check and then onto the gate. I had to catch a bus to a smaller terminal where the flight to Salt Lake City would depart. Made it in plenty to spare and wait for about 45 minutes.
The plane to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles was small holding only about 60 passengers. The flight was not full and fortunately the lady originally sitting next to me moved to another seat that was vacant. Our steward, Juan, was Hispanic. I like Hispanics because they define my gender and state of mind so well.
After taking off and heading over the Pacific Ocean for a little while we tracked back and headed east. View California from above you can really see that it is a very dry state. The rest of the flight was a mix of me falling asleep and looking out the window.
Checked into the Hilton Hotel with no issues and dropped my bags off before heading out. Salt Lake City is hosting a Comic Con and there were people of all ages out there in their uniforms and costumes. There were even whole families that were getting into it to a high level of quality. I had hoped to see Polygamy Man, who is a super hero capable of managing multiple "wives", though did not see him.
I then visited some churches and the local mall which was landscaped to a high level of finish. Running through the main street is a free tram that does a loop of the main shopping areas and the other avenues of the grid pattern were wide, spacious and beautifully designed.
I returned to the hotel after completing a loop. I chilled for a little bit longer in my room before catching up with Daryl, Kate and Lachlan. They took me through their holiday so far which has compromised island hopping in Hawaii before arriving in Salt Lake City this morning after an overnight flight.
We then made contact with Karen, Laurence and Trevor and bumped into them in the hotel foyer. From there were ventured down the road to grab some food. The food was good and hardy and very reasonably priced. I had pork shank which is just like lamb shank but with pork instead. After finishing dinner we retired back to the hotel.
Around 9pm Pete and Maggie made contact that they had arrived. I was debating whether I would catch up with them this evening as at this point I had not slept in a bed now for 30 hours. I decided that the bed could wait and met them as they pulled up in their cab. Karen, Laurence and Trevor appeared shortly afterwards and we had a night cap to round off the evening.

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