Trip Start May 13, 2006
35Trip End Jun 18, 2006
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After landing in Auckland, I raced to the gate to catch my connecting flight to LA because it departed only about 20 mins after I landed (Lucky my flight from Sydney was on time). The flight from Auckland departed on time and the idea of landing in the US in a few hours started to hit home and I really started to get excited. During the flight we had access to a video on-demand service so you could watch pre-recorded TV Shows and Movies as you please on the screen in front of you. I chose to watch "Big Momma's House 2" and "Gallipoli", as well as a few old episodes of "The Simpsons", "Dharma & Greg", "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Will & Grace". Sometime between all the programs I squeezed in some sleep, airline food and a bit of mid-flight exercise to avoid DVT. During the last hour I filled in my US Customs forms and crossed my fingers that I did it correctly.
The flight landed on time in LA and it was about an hour before I left Sydney (that was weird). I got to Customs and went through really quickly and they were surprisingly pleasant to me. After I got out of LAX I caught the free shuttle bus to my hotel, Holiday Inn LAX, which was located next door to one of the many local McDonalds. I checked in and made my way up to my room on the 8th floor. The view was nothing special, just the San Diego Freeway, LAX in the distance and some random buildings here and there. I made a few calls to Mum & Dad, and Danni to let them know that I arrived safely whilst getting used to the phone card I got from STA. After flicking through a few cable channels and watching a little sports to feel a little American, I made my way down to the bar downstairs to complete settling in with a Budweiser, some complimentary bar snacks (spicy nuts and chips) and watched a little boxing on ESPN. After doing this I started to encounter the whole "new country" problems, like getting used to new money, new weight measurements, tipping and accents. I got over this hurdle pretty quickly and headed back upstairs and took the American..ness another step further. I ordered a Pepperoni Pizza, and found the closest thing to Lift, Sierra Mist (Lemon Lime Soda), and watched HBO and some other channels until I started to wind down and fell asleep around 10pm. And so my first day in the US of A came to an end.