Day one of my holiday. Dad due at about 1:30 for lunch to take me to the airport. The hours whizzed by way too fast. Dad brought lunch with him. I planned to leave at 2:15 but with last minute things taking longer than expected we left at 2:30 – still we made it to the airport just after 3:00 and check in went relatively fast.
Dad and I walked all over looking for the duty free shop and the bar, but things have totally changed – no more land side duty free and there’s nothing but an observation deck on the top floor – no bar & no museum. Had one beer and said farewell just after 4:00
Customs was a breeze and I got chatty with the lady at the counter and she went into shock! That was it!!!!!! I was free and officially on my way – Oh My God. Extremely excited!
No sign of my plane so went for a walk out to the furtherest gate to take a photo of the Emirates A380 plane. Wandered around a bit more, went to the toilet twice updated Facebook found my plane and went to my gate. Unbelievably we had to queue to get in the gate coz two people were crossing names off a list with a pen and hand checking passports and boarding cards. The wait to board wasn’t too long and then we were off at precisely 6:30 on time.
Seat 63A about 5 rows from the end of the plane – marvellous, there is a spare seat between me and a friendly man from San Francisco. His wife is up in Business Class – he swapped with her as he flies business all the time and this was her first time to come along on a trip with him. Annoyingly she has popped down twice to tell him all about it.
After dinner I watched the movie Happy Feet 2 and fell asleep. Managed to sleep for most of the flight and would still be asleep now if it weren’t for being woken up for breakfast. Only 1.5 hours till we land.
Update: Landed at San Francisco airport on time after a wonderful flight with Air New Zealand. I cleared immigration and customs no problems & quite quickly really, taking my shoes off before going through the X-ray machine was mildly amusing though. I have been finger printed and photographed and it was all kinda fun.
Had plenty of time to wander around the airport before boarding my flight for Vegas (about an hour). Boarded the plane on time – couldn’t believe what these people’s take on the plane with them, people had boxes of pizza with them!!! I think I have discovered where the term Cattle Class comes from, it was a tight squeeze and a packed flight. Anyway we did not take off on time, in fact we had to get off the plane and I now have two hours to kill because they lost the pilots!!! Thank goodness for free WiFi here at the airport.
Managed to phone Amy and tell her the pilots were lost so I would be delayed, there is nowhere at the airport to buy a sim card so had to use my phone and probably pay a million dollars a minute, but oh well it was so cool to phone my friend and tell her I’m in America.
The delay turned out to be four hours, but eventually we got there. My friend Amy met me by a baggage carousel (there were 15 of them) and my bag turned up so the wait is at long last over – I haven’t seen Amy for about 21 years.
We drove straight to the “Strip” got a park in the biggest car park I’ve ever seen and headed for the nearest bar in the Flamingo Hotel. What an awesome feeling – I was finally having a drink with my friend Amy and I was in Las Vegas – WOW!!!
After having a fabulous cocktail and the flashiest nibbly things ever we headed off to Caesars Palace and the Celine Dion shop where I spent up large. Then we strolled around an amazing shopping area called the Forum which had more designer label stores than I’ve imagined possible in one place. Lastly we had dessert in a place called Max Brenner which was in fitting with the Forum – flash and totally designer… A cookie and cream arrived on a huge plate with it’s own little carafe of chocolate sauce. And then Amy drove me back her very cool home in a flash gated community – they even have their own park and shops. We had a beer and then I went to bed finally about 26 hours after leaving home, still buzzing with excitement.