The Long Journey North

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A cool and cloudy day in Los Angeles

We have arrived in Los Angeles! It must be old age but 14 hours in a plane is as long as I can take. We seem to have been travelling forever. First a taxi to the railway. Then a train to the Sydney international airport. Rydges was a really convenient place to stay, just a short walk from the International Terminal and with a great view of planes landing and taking off. We had a pleasant meal at the Blackwattle Grill before trying to get a good night’s sleep.

The first seven hours in our Air Bus 380 was relatively pleasant with lunch, movies and a glass of sparkling wine. I’ve decided that is about as long as a flight should take but alas we had seven more hours until we landed at 6.00 am Californian time.

We caught up on a few movies. Following an American theme we started with “Brooklyn” which we both enjoyed, and then the “Revenant” which had me gripping John’s arm tightly but at least it took my mind off flying. We both started on “Amelie” which we hadn’t seen but John gave up and moved on to reminisce with Mrs Robinson in “The Graduate”. I really couldn’t face another movie but with three hours to go opted for “Wild” about a woman who hiked the West Coast of the USA. For our health we wore our travel socks, did our foot exercises and walked frequent laps around the plane, drinking large amounts of water.

Immigration at LA was slow but everyone was polite and friendly. As we emerged into the grey morning we saw masses of mini buses to various hotels and were soon on the free shuttle to the Hilton. I asked an American woman about tipping the driver as I don’t want to make a mistake. She suggested a dollar a bag so I am so glad we had changed a $50 bill for some small notes in Westpac in Wollongong.

With an hour and a half to kill before our room was ready we had coffee. John mischievously asked for an espresso but was given some black percolated coffee and told to add milk. What did he expect! Meanwhile I found my phone wasn’t connecting to the local telco although we could use the hotel wifi. Some time later after a shower and a sleep I contacted Telstra Support Chat Line and a helpful man called Ronald turned on International Roaming. Don’t panic. My phone is prepaid and I have lots of free credits so won’t receive any huge bills. Just don’t ring me in the middle of the night.

After resting up in LA we will be back on a plane tomorrow to New York. Maybe by then I will have taken some photos.

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