Day 00: Journey Start

Waking Tuesday morning to a balmy but dark Canberra, we gave ourselves about an hour to do a few last little things before our cab arrived. 3.45 quickly became 4.45 and no cab as the sun just started to cast a morning glow. A frantic call to Canberra Cabs and a second cab was booked and despatched, arriving just after 5.00. 

Check in closes in 28 minutes, so we asked the driver to make like Craig Lowndes. 

And he does. We arrive at the airport at 5.14. A 12 minute trip. Wow. 

Check in, customs run smoothly, well mostly. My passport gets eaten by the auto immigration gates and I crash through the glass panels. Maybe that’s why they are doing some extra security checks on me today. Who knows. 

Mardi enjoys a spa treatment, we both imbibe with some champagne as planes pass quietly in front of us. The massive A380 pulls into the gate just below us. It’s just arrived from Los Angeles and in about an hour it will return there, this time with us on board. Within minutes it is surrounded with trucks, people, ladders and conveyor belts. A little city being turned around for a 14 hour journey across the sea. 

The old fashion indicator boards in the lounge rattle and hum as flight details are updated, a noisy man next to us is on his phone, he’s been yelling for about 30 minutes now. More champagne!  

We sit and relax and let the start of the trip wash over us. 

It’s been a hectic and at times tough year. Mardi’s hip surgery, tooth surgery, our poor little dog getting so sick, my right retina giving up the ghost slowly, the left eye is good. Work wise it’s been busy but fantastic. We are both loving our roles and look forward to a break. 

The PA crackles into action. Our flight is called. We finish our champagne, look at each other as the long haul begins. 14 hours to LA. Then six more to NYC. Interesting times ahead.

We arrive at LAX as the sun rises. We are a little uncertain of our onward trip. Our QF Flight was cancelled and we are on an American Airlines flight, but don’t have boarding passes. So we battle our way out of the airport, back in through security, no boarding pass, no go, so out again and back to check in. Uh-oh, the ground staff member we see is now on the phone, asking us questions like, we did book??? After a few frantic minutes she locates our booking and we get our boarding passes and make our way to the gate. A two and a half hour stopover has quickly been eroded as we board two minutes after getting to the gate. 

The flight to NYC is uneventful. We catch up on some sleep and arrive on time. 

The expected lengthy taxi queue and ride are non existent as we grab a cab and get into Manhattan quickly. Although the last 300 metres take 15 minutes as Hilary Clintons motorcade speeds down Fifth Avenue. Times Square is abuzz with media and people, in some parts the media out number the throng of onlookers. 

We walk the last block to our little oasis, the AKA. 

Arriving 31 hours and 15 minutes after leaving Canberra. 

Let the next part of our trip begin…


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