US Trip: Day 1

Our flight to the US

What a mad and very long day our first day was. Friday June 4th was almost 48 hours long for us as our flight from Australia to California, USA took us across the international date line.

To avoid the dreaded jet lag we stayed awake all of Thursday night, the hope we’d simply sleep on the plane when it was night US time and wake up refreshed Friday morning. It didn’t quite happen though cause while you have a tiny bit more room on the plane, and I do mean tiny, the seats go back a little further.

I’m more polite than some and for the most part refrained from putting my seat all the way back. The people in the seats in front however didn’t mind not only putting their seats back ALL THE WAY they also didn’t mind doing it at high speed, not concerned about where my legs (which are quite long) were or what the contents of my tray table may be.

I became a little less polite after this and when they had raised their seat to eat their first meal of the flight they found they couldn’t go back quite so far as my knees were firmly placed in their back should they try. They tried to force the issue by rocking back, never once looking behind, nor turning to speak with me.

So the 15 hour flight wasn’t all that fun. We did however have a great bunch of movies to watch in-flight. I watched “The Blind Side” (it was beautiful) and “The Lovely Bones” (less beautiful). Also watched a Pam Ann stand-up show which was funny as hell.

Being a vegetarian (mostly) you tend to get served before everyone else, well anyone with a special meal order does, diabetics etc. At one point I think I was served an hour before David was, the only bad bit being you don’t get your tray cleaned until everyone else does. So I’ve eaten and am left sitting with my dirty tray for quite a while. I probably could have asked them to take it away, but they all looked so busy.

My in-Flight Vege Meal

At the end of this flight we arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It was really not at all what I was expecting. What I thought we’d see is a lovely airport, nice clean, shiny. What we got was a rundown dirty looking airport.

The staff at the airport were amazingly helpful, always smiling and ready to assist. Even actively approaching you to help out. The same can be said for most other Americans we’ve come across. David almost laughed out loud when an African-American employee yelled out across the foyer “Damn girl! You gonna…” it was pretty cliched but I guess one that is true.

We had our first meal on American soil, Burger King. It was massive. But my vege-burger was kind of hard around the edges, guess there aren’t many vegetarians in the US and it had sat in the tray for a while.

Our First American Meal

Our second flight of the day was from LAX to San Jose. This one was aboard a tiny little plane that was just three seats across. Coming from a massive A380 that’s a big difference. At first I was a little scared about the idea of flying in something so small, but once we were in the air it was all good. There was even cabin service during our short 1 hour flight and I managed to get a little bit of a nap in.

Tiny Plane
Flight to San Jose, USA

On arriving in San Jose we had to catch a bus to the car rental place. I’m guessing San Jose airport is considerably newer than LAX, it’s cleaner and more well put together and it’s massive. It probably took a good 20 minutes to get from the terminal we arrived at, to the car rental place on the other side of the airport.

Our transportation

After getting our car we decided to head to the hotel in the hope they’d let us check in earlier than their listed 3pm checkin time. David’s first time on the other side of the road was a little harrowing, more for him than me I think. To me it seemed like he was doing fine. It was still quite sureal to look at cars and see nobody in the driver seat, only to remember it was in fact the passenger seat.

We’re staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cupertino, home of Apple (Cupertino, not the hotel). Pretty good as far as hotels go. Our room is great, the service is great. No complaints.

Hilton Garden Inn
Our Hotel

As we arrived at the hotel at 2pm we probably should have had a rest before we decided to to anything. But we’re not quite like that, plus we thought it might enhance any possible jet lag if we let our bodies sleep at the wrong time.

Our Room at the Inn
Our Room at the Inn

So instead of a sleep we unpacked then jumped back in the car and headed to San Fransisco.

The Road to San FransiscoOn the way to San Francisco

A massive city.

We were on the hunt for a small camera for David to take to WWDC but I’ll be buggered if we could find a camera store. Apparently in San Francisco you buy your camera from a souvenir shop. And every souvenir shop we went into had the “best price we’d find” on any camera. But we remained unimpressed and didn’t make a purchase.

We did however walk around heaps, visited the Apple store (not as big as I expected), Macys, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Westfield, lots of stuff. We even saw “The Cheese Cake Factory”. We wanted to go there for dinner for the kitsch value of eating at the same restaurant on “The Big Bang Theory” but when we got up there (it was on the 8th floor) it was very busy and didn’t look anything like the one on TV so we decided we’d skip it. It would have been geek cool if we could hae gotten a pic in the same sort of setting as the one we see on TV (which yes I know, is more than likely a set but still).

Westfield
Nordstroms
the Muni
Ceiling at Westfield
More Muni
The Muni

We were also pretty damn tired and decided to head home to the hotel. I started nodding off on the way home, thankfully David stayed awake. We hit bed a little early but slept all the way through.

San Francisco Pride

2 Replies to “US Trip: Day 1”

  1. Great recap. It feels like you did a few days worth of stuff in an afternoon! Completely understand choosing a trip to San Fransisco over bed. You have such little time and sleep seems like a waste!

  2. It was cool, but man I can’t wait for this week to end (does today) so I’m not stuck in a class room for the best part of the day.

    There will be LOTS more photos next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *