LA 29th April to Perth 1st May
Our last day in LA was pretty quiet and a little stressful at times. The only one to blame for the stress is me for trying to get the cheapest possible value air fare. I have learnt my lesson though and in future will pay a little more for less stress.
We tried to sleep in a bit on Friday morning but with no real success. We did have a late check out, 1pm and as our flight was not till 10:30pm there was no real rush.
There was the usual last minute repacking and repacking again. We had brekkie at Maccas – I do like the oatmeal and parfait.
Back to the hotel by 9:30am and we just lazed about – I did wander over the road to a couple of stores but bought nothing.
Scott arrived at our hotel room around 12:45pm and with some difficulty we hauled all the baggage down to his car and with even more difficulty got it into the car. Scott and Rayls then headed down 22 and the 405 to the airport with me in hot pursuit. It’s around 50 K’s to the airport and we made it in good time, no traffic problems. I returned the car to the people at Alamo, we had that car for 33 days and did 4500 K’s in it. The dude who checked the car in was most impressed and thrust a fist at me which I assume I was suppose to hit with my fist – cool dude!
Then Scott, Rayls and I headed the short distance to LAX. Scott drives like a veteran, like a native LA’er. Scott went over to the Qantas area to check some luggage issues with his flight back in 2 weeks and then we headed over to the V Australia area. Check in did not officially start until 3 hours before the flight, that would make it 7:30pm but we were aware that there would be V Australia people there from around 3:30pm – we turned up at 3:00pm and they were happy to check us in. So we got the luggage and this was where we had some problems and Scott excelled. Because of getting the cheapest fare we were going to have problems getting the extra bags from Sydney to Perth. It was important that they check the bags to Perth. After much discussion – the bags were checked to Perth but Rayls and I were only checked to Sydney, we would have to recheck in at Sydney for Perth – I was happy with that and very pleased that Scott was there to assist us and take much of the stress away. The bags were going to Perth, main thing.
Probably close to 3:30pm before we left the airport and headed to a nearby area where the LA Kings and LA Lakers train. Scott showed us around there and then to a nearby Maccas for lunch, I had the salad – doing well.
Scott was going to other side of LA to a suburb called Van Nuys to do ‘stick time’ with his mates – generally messing about playing ice hockey drills at this place called IceCastle which seem to be in a pretty dodgy area. Traffic was very slow getting there but we were still early and the 3 of us went for a bit of a wander – not much to see although Scott and I were both impressed by the bus lane with it’s own ‘level crossing’.
Scott was on the ice from 6pm to 7:20pm and we had fun watching him, although it was damn cold in that place, might have had something to do with the ice. Scott enjoyed hitting the puck into the glass near me, which kept scaring the hell out of me. Also good to watch the little kids doing ice hockey drills – they had some Russian Olympian there as coach so it was pretty competitive stuff.
At 7:40pm we headed back to the airport area. Much quicker heading back to the airport. We had dinner at a Carls Junior, this time I had a burger.
At around 9pm Scott dropped us off at the airport again – it was really nice to see him these past couple of days and he was more than helpful in sorting out the flight home issue.
As usual when you get back to LAX airport ready to fly to Australia you start to hear the Aussie accent again for the first time in 5 weeks, wow, bad!!!!
Security was a breeze and there is no real immigration to speak of and we were in the waiting area. Gate 34, from memory. Half an hour there and then we boarded and left on time I think.
Flight was fine, long but fine. Few bumpy bits as there always is. Rayls slept a few hours, not sure how much I got but some time did seem to slip by so I must have closed my eyes for a bit.
Landed at Sydney on time at 6am and this time my electronic passport accepted me – didn’t last year and Rayls got though fine again. E passports are awesome, avoid the line and through in less than a minute.
Although the bags were checked to Perth we still had to collect them from the carousel which seem to be only working intermittently – 4 bags and then to customs who just waved us through without a second look. Then to the Virgin transfer desk where we though the difficult questions might start but the girl behind the counter was very helpful and the bags were retagged to Perth. We were very early for our Perth flight at 1:00pm and I asked about an earlier flight and she checked the system and sure enough we got a flight at 8:30am and saved a 4 and a half wait. Bloody awesome.
So here I am on our Virgin flight – probably somewhere over the Great Australian Bight. Bit bumpy and looking forward to being home in a few hours.
Later now and here I am sitting in my lounge room having a nice cup of tea. Ryan picked us up at the airport and drove us home. Hunter was happy to see us and he is now asleep on Rayls lap as she enjoys her cup of tea.
It was a fantastic trip, we had a great time and look forward to planning our next trip.