Top team top travel tip: 1) There are no eating options on the airside of security at LAX B Terminal. The options on the other side aren’t all that much better. 2) Airline tucker is best eaten when asleep.
15.01.2013 - 17.01.2013
Managed to make the 5:30 shuttle out to the airport, which gave us plenty of time to get checked in and organised. We were amongst the first to check in, which was good as we’d misread the luggage allowances (well, not so much misread, but mis-assumed). While we were spot on with our 23kg checked bags, we were in a little strife when it came to carry on - only allowed 7 instead of the 10 we’d budgeted on. After a withering Courtney look though, the bloke let us check all of our roll-on bags for free - even though Courtney had a total of 44kg (plus the 6kg she’d sent home in Banff) of gear. Lucky break.
There was basically no line at security, so it didn’t take us long to head through. We had assumed - like most airports - there would be some form of eateries on the airside of security; apparently this was yet another misassumption. After following the signs for ‘restaurants’, and walking one end of the terminal to the other, we discovered that ‘restaurants’ was code for a bagel stand and a bar with premade sangas. We exited the secure area to head upstairs to the food court and some much wider choices. Decided against Macca’s, knowing what it does by the time you reach Miles. Found instead a place that looked half decent, and even checked with the kitchen on times before you sat down to make sure you’d be right. It seemed a really funky place, with luggage racks above the tables too. That is about where the good points ended. Took forever to order, and then another 45 minutes to get our tucker - and even that was after we happened upon the manager who wandered past and asked us how we were going. The tucker came out pretty quick after that, but we suspect that mine had been sitting for a while - the gravy was all congealed and cold, the broccoli decidedly chilled, and the meatloaf lukewarm at best. Perhaps Macca’s might have been a safer option.
Raced downstairs to join the queue for security, along with approximately two other 747’s worth of passengers. We made it back to our gate with about 10 minutes to spare though, so all was good. Ended up being amongst the last to board; so it was a blessing that we didn’t have the roll on bags as they would never have fitted in the overhead lockers - I was flat getting my little backpack up there. The flight itself was fairly uneventful, particularly so because my reading light didn’t work and nor did my inflight entertainment unit, meaning my option was really for sleep.
Perhaps the best story from the flight came with breakfast. The lights were brought up a couple of hours out from Fiji and I put Carley’s tray down to make sure she got her tucker (even if she didn’t want to eat it). Through all of this, she didn’t even bat an eyelid nor look like waking up. When the tucker was put down, one eyelid opened, a hand extended from under the blanket and devoured a muffin, before the eyelid closed again and she went back to sleep. Apparently airline tucker tastes better when you’re asleep.
Landing in Nadi, it was great to be hit with the wave of humidity - a very marked change from the cold of the past five weeks. We did a bit of wandering around and duty free shopping before settling in for a coffee and spotting some familiar faces across the crowd - turns out that a family from Charleville (including a couple of our kids from school) were heading home from Fiji on the same flight. Truly is a small world. The relatively short four hour flight home was even more uneventful and we were home in no time. Through duty free, and passport control, we must have been the last people off our flight as our bags were pretty much the only ones still going around. We breezed through customs as well and then waited around out the front of the airport for our lift - that was the longest part of the entire customs process. Was amazing to watch the parking chaos out the front, but equally beautiful standing in the warm Brisbane air.
The trip has been fantastic, though I’m not sure I’ll be quite so quick to travel with three sheilas again. I think I may have sat out the front of pretty much every shop in North America, or at the very least a large proportion of them. On the flipside though, we saw some beautiful country. Perhaps the most lasting image for me will be the sunset over the snow-covered paddocks as Grant and I ski-doo’d home from ice fishin - just spectacular. It was great to have Christmas with Cal and Grant and to spend some time with Cal also. The Rockies were also spectacular and we will definitely be back to that neck of the woods. In the meantime though, I suppose it is back to reality and back to work.
Until next time…
End captains log.