5.01pm, Monday September 3rd, Los Angeles International Airport, California, USA
Afternoon, folks. I promised at least one note per day! Well, I reckon I must be in for a good run down the track on this trip, as this one has started by stretching my patience like a rubber band! Firstly, we were delayed out of Adelaide on our Air New Zealand flight by a mechanical failure – a valve that didn’t work. Now apparently there’s three of these valves on the plane, and only one has to be operational to be able to fly, but for some reason they had to go through a whole engineering procedure, put in a new flight plan and go via Sydney and Norfolk Island. Net result, we landed in Auckland about 40 minutes after my plane to Los Angeles had taken off.
But I was in luck, there was a spare seat on the later plane going through to LA and on to London, so we got into Los Angeles about two hours after my plane to San Francisco had taken off … but at least I made it to California on the same day … just have to get a plane up to San Francisco.
But before that – Customs!
It’s a public holiday here and Los Angeles International Airport is like the MCG on Grand Final day – packed – lines of people everywhere! And I got completely grilled by someone who obviously did not want to be at work that day! 40 minutes later I’m taken to Secondary Screening and lined up with the suspected drug smugglers for another interview. Fortunately my documents are in order and I’m finally on my way through Quarantine. I made the mistake of wanting to do something nice for some of our friends in the USA – I brought Haighs chocolates and tins of Tim Tam biscuits. I declared them and filled in the forms correctly … and got a complete baggage search!
This is when you have to just breathe deeply and think of all the treats that will come later on during this trip – more on those later!
Then the hike from one end of the airport to the other, to explain to United Airlines why I missed my plane. Fortunately I can get a seat on one at 7 o clock tonight, gets in to San Francisco at 8, so with any luck, I’ll be in my digs and watching TV by 9. Wish me luck!
Oh, just for the record, beautiful day here in Los Angeles today. 23 degrees Celsius and sunny. And the iconic ‘My Favourite Martian ‘ style space age restaurant – ‘Encounter’ – in the middle of the airport terminal loop has emerged from behind the renovator’s scaffolding. Here she is in all her sunshine bathed glory.
And I’ll see ya when it’s San Francisco.