Going Home

Today is the last day of our holiday. We have breakfast and check out of the hotel, then jump on board the hop on – hop off tour bus for a quick trip to Casa Loma – The “House on the Hill”. It is said to be Canada’s only castle.

Two hours of looking around and taking photos, and we’re back on the bus for the journey back into the city. I then go looking for a photo lab to process my last roll of film, and then have lunch. We picked up the photos, and were back at our hotel by 3:30pm, we grabbed our suitcases and headed for the “Express” bus to the airport – which was parked out the front of the hotel.

We pay the driver, and get on board. He then informs us that we won’t arrive at the airport until 5pm! That’s 90 minutes on the “Express” bus when a taxi would take maybe 20 minutes. I thought about getting our money back and finding a taxi, but we’ll still make it to the airport in time (6:35pm flight) and a taxi would be about twice as much as the bus.

Eventually we arrive at the airport, and check in. The American Airlines check-in staff tell me they’re unable to print boarding passes for the LAX-SYD portion of our trip, but are able to check out bags all the way to Sydney. We then head for the US customs checkpoint, where we are fingerprinted and photographed yet again. After dropping our bags off, I remember that I left my suitcase locked. Oh well, the TSA will just have to deal with it.

Since we were running close to the deadline, I didn’t bother asking for my unused film to be hand screened. I figure I’ll hardly use it again anyway – so it doesn’t really matter how many times it gets X-rayed. We also skip our visit to the AA lounge, as we only have about 20 minutes until boarding.

THe flight went well. I had the window seat for a night flight across most of the USA. It was great seeing all the lights from the small towns (and some big ones) as well as other aircraft. As we arrived at LAX, there was another plane landing on another runway – it was like we were doing formation landing with the other plane.

After leaving the AA plane, we headed for the Qantas Club for our new boarding passes to Sydney. Thankfully the upgrade to business class I requested happened, and we were allocated seats 16 J & K. They’re the upstairs exit row seats – so we had well over 2 metres of legroom, even after our seats were fully reclined into their sleeping position.

I managed about 10 hours sleep on the flight to Sydney, thanks to the audio/video on demand system rebooting several times – I just gave up and got some sleep instead. Both Shelley & I seem to prefer the enconomy class food – the business class food seemed to be trying too hard to be fancy, instead of just being decent food. I guess it didn’t help that they had run out of our first choice for the main meal.

Overall, it was a very nice flight – I’ve never slept that well on a plane before.

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