Los Angeles - 17th October again!
Trip Start Oct 05, 2006
16Trip End Oct 21, 2006
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So, my flight from Auckland was excellent. Although the plane was not as new as the one I flew out on, it hardly mattered because I got my free upgrade to business class - sometimes being the nice one pays off! I waited in the departure lounge for quite a while noticing that not many other people appeared to be there. When boarded, business class and Pacific class were both half empty. Obviously nobody wanted the red-eye flight to LA that day. My seat/bed was excellent and allowed me to actually sleep in comfort for the majority of the flight, which was pretty good going.
We landed in Los Angeles a bit late at 2:50pm in the afternoon. The sun was blazing, it felt about 40 degrees and couldn't have been more removed from the peaceful, leisurely airport in Auckland. Everywhere was complete chaos - people all over the place, guards frisking everyone, general mayhem to be fair. Only about 20 of us got off the flight from Auckland and our luggage reappeared in superquick time. We then had to have more finger prints taken and photos taken. For some reason the scary looking guy behind the desk said 'You're British yeah?' and when I said yes, he just waved me through without any further security checks. Which is just as well considering I had a large pot of NZ jam in my hand luggage which would have resulted in a $200 fine if they had found it. Must remember to put it in my suitcase before I leave here...
I had to catch a free shuttle to my hotel, which was located within the airport area. This was a challenge all of its own. I finally found the right stand to wait at and the little blue bus appeared after about 5 minutes. My luggage, which by now is too heavy for me to lift, got put on board by the driver, who himself looked like he was about to have a heart attack at any moment. We pickd up a few other peope at stops around the airport before heading out and dropping people off at their various hotels. I got out at my hotel, the Hilton LAX. It was huge. I mean it was just massive. The entrance was all marble and gold and comfy sofas. As a HHonors member I was checked in without waiting and given my room key (on the 14th floor no less). I don't have much of a view from my little window, but I can just see mountains over the airport!
I just had time to change and freshen up before calling a cab to go visit my client - had to get back into the work mindset, which wasn't easy after a long flight backwards in time. After this it was getting late so I headed straight back to my hotel. LA doesn't seem the kinda place where I would feel remotely safe wandering around. So I had something to eat in the Hotel cafe before retiring up to my room. Some absolute rubbish on TV here, so am making do with some dire show about people fluffing up their wedding vows, and silly ones they have written themselves. And I quote 'I vow to love, honour and do the washing up three times a week' (male) and 'I promise to provide hot meals every night when you have been working hard' (female). God save us from this life and country!!!!!