So i’m currently sitting in I guess what passes for a café in Pasadena having arrived, cleared customs & immigration (cue wisecracks at my hair loss – though atleast the Australian end put a positive spin on it “haven’t lost hair, your gained face”), found a shuttle, arrived at hotel and napped for a couple of hours to ease the minus 7 hour timezone difference.
VAustralia flight VA0001 (SYD -> LAX) wasn’t too bad a flight. Initially I had a former Dubbo boy (now living in Vegas) and his under 1yo son in the seats next to me (well, the bub had to ride on dads lap). This left me with a spare seat to spread out a little. The hosties found a better seat so I was soon with three seats to myself! Wasn’t to last, with a bloke from Perth (already done one redeye flight) taking the aisle seat. Two seats are definitely better than one when flying so I dearly hope to get the same on the way back! Ibwould go so far as to claim it was better than premium economy as the armrests weren’t fixed
Arriving at LAX we were one of a few flights from Australia arriving at once and near the front of the queue I was in was Hamish and Andy (think radio/TV). Cue Aussies, cameras, photos, customs area, men and women with guns… Not such a good combo, though thankfully no weapons were drawn a number of fans were taken aside for taking photos. The enjoyable experience I had was such that I managed to choose the longest line… Yay…. Over an hour in customs is not so fun.
Once out I headed for a shuttle to the airport and met a man from Melbourne over for a month to visit his two underachieving offspring (BSc USYD, PhD Oxford, Post-doc Caltech) as it was his sons birthday, so first call for him was his daughter’s at Pasadena (before flying to the north east where his son is now). Had a great chat about politics, r+d, Australian brain drain, what to do in Pasadena, european cities, long haul flights and all manner of travel anecdotes while waiting for the shuttle and enroute to our respective destinations.
Thankfully on arrival my room was prepared, so I headed up after getting directions to where my arse is currently parked (le Pain Quotidien). After typing a semi-lucid email to Kath I decided a nap was in order to attempt to normalise my body clock. 2hrs and a shower later I was wandering the streets of Pasadena looking for lunch an checking out the local shops slightly bewildered at being on the other side(-ish) of the world.
Ratings for le Pain Quotidien:
- coffee (cap) was rubbish. Bring on San Fran. Seriously how do Americans drink this rubbish claimed as espresso?!
- food was American inspired – aka overloaded with meat and low on the vegetable/salad component that was claimed. Maybe I should have gone with the soup.
So I’ll wander a bit, see what else is out there, find some wifi and call my gorgeous girlfriend slaving in the cold Victorian High Country (looking for gold… No, really!) and kill some more time before the rehearsal dinner tonight. I suspect the first beer will go down easily, but with more dramatic consequences than I’d like.