5:02 pm EST Sept. 8: I am midflight on my way to Detroit. I just dropped my airbourne tablet into my cup provided by the flight attendants (yes, I am that passenger) and declined the $9.95 wifi (per flight! I would be racking up 30 bucks of wifi by the time I reached Sydney!) I love my window seat. I forgot how much I love looking out while flying. And no one sitting beside of me. All 3 seats are mine! I also seem to love taking off, which most people hate! It's almost surreal to me. It's kind of like a roller coaster, and for a split second, you contemplate what it would be like if for some reason your plan didn't go gliding off into the sky, but instead resulted in in a fiery inferno on the tarmac. And maybe it's just me, but I find myself accepting that possibility and just hoping for the best...Again, maybe that's just me.
I will be arriving in Detroit 15 minutes ahead of schedule, according to the pilot. I had my mother drop me off at RDU this afternoon 2 hours ahead of departure. Why do they act like it takes hours to get through security? Maybe some days, it does. But today, no lie, it was 15 minutes from the time I dropped my checked bag off at the counter and got tags for my carry-ons and passed through security shoeless, praying all boarding passes and passport made it safely out the other side of the x-ray machine (I guess I was expecting it to eat them?) to when I made it to my terminal and sat down. After catching my breath (freaking out again, as I have been all day), I decided it was dumb to sit for an hour and a half waiting to board when I would be sitting on the plane at least that long. I picked up all my stuff, checking and double checking that I had all my bags, and walked around. I decided I needed to get some water, and maybe some gum too, to make it through the pressure changes in the plane. I also saw my favorite chocolate covered pretzels, and decided I deserved some of those too, and picked them up for later. $8.45 and a bathroom break later, I was back at my terminal. I watched them roll in the incoming flight and deplane the passengers (I know there's a better word for that). It was only a little while later, after throwing our stuff under the plane (me sending up some good thoughts that my detergent, shampoo, and conditioner, if making it through security, would stay sealed), they asked us to board the plane. It was very efficient, we were all boarded in like 15 minutes!
One last thing for my update for RDU-DET, what is the deal with everyone using the bathroom on the plane? Is it because it is a novelty or something? Because I peed twice before boarding, wanting to avoid attempting to pee in a 18 x 18 box while juggling my carry-on and my laptop, plus it's only an hour and a half flight. Can you not go that long? Anyway, we are already "desenting," I will check in later!
10:15 pm EST Sept. 8th: I'm not as big a fan of this flight as I was the RDU-DET. For one, the plan is at least twice the size and slam full. It ups the anxiety level quite a few notches. Although I am enjoying my seat-back screen thingy, even if they are trying to make me pay $2 for one episode for Curb and $6 for Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2 (good luck). The funniest thing about the movie selection is that they have "Babies," which Dan and Hines can tell you if they ever read my blog, is a documentary about babies all over the world, and apparently Time Warner Cable must have a hand in making it because they will advertise this film to you constantly over and over during their in demand channels, even for stuff like South Park. Also, apparently their complimentary viewing selections were a couple of episodes of TV stuff (the office and how the world was made on one channel, how I met your mother, psych, and the middle on the other), but isn't on demand, so I missed the ones I would want to see. I'm giving how I met your mother a whirl because Hines has been raving about it, and he's usually ok with this stuff. Anyway, I have also been using this screen to watch our progress. Looks like we are currently over Kansas, about to enter Colorado. They even keep track of when they expect us to land, which seems to vary greatly from 9:35 to 10:15 (yikes!). This flight is originally scheduled to land at 9:32, and is currently showing 9:41 to land, which I think I can deal with. They apparently begin boarding that flight at 9:40, even though we are not scheduled to take off until 10:35pm. I am just crossing fingers and holding my breath that I catch it. Yes, it's not the end of the world if I do miss it, but I just want to be done with this travel and there, and if I get bumped to a later flight, or at the worst, the next day, it will just be more to deal with. Also, I am getting dried out from this constant recycled air, so I have to battle between toughing it out and drinking water, which will inevitably leave to needing to pee. Such is my current situation. Anyway, I will be checking in again soon, hopefully on my way to Sydney! YAY!
10:06 am EST Sept. 9th: I think I am beginning to understand why they refer to Australia as Oz. I feel like I have been traveling through several Kansas tornadoes over the past five hours, and between jet lag, the fact that I have been traveling now for almost 24 hours, and the fact that it has been dark outside the entire LAX flight has added to the confusion and deprivation. And the fact that I was fed dinner at 10:30 pacific time, or like 1:30 EST, then was fed again just just now, of which I could only eat the apple and milano cookies, adds to the weirdness (How can I ever get on Sydney time if they wake us when we’re supposed to be sleeping and fed us at insane hours?) I can’t decide whether it is better to have it dark outside during this turbulence or not. I have slept less than three hours, I think. When the turbulence wakes me from sleeping, I have been dreaming I am riding on a bumpy road in a car, which is what it feels like. You just have to keep the fact that this car is a jumbo jet, and instead of being on a bumpy road, it is 30,000 feet in the air out of your head. The couple next to me, also making the trip for the first time to vacation for two weeks, called me “ballsy.” I think that’s about right. Anyway, I will update again once I get to Sydney, through customs, and have a clearer plan. I am hoping, nay, demanding that this update occur over some type of coffee drink, the stronger, the better.
7:45 am (Sydney Time) on September 10th: I am sitting in Sydney airport, having been completely waved through customs (maybe I have a nice face?) and taking about 30 minutes to clean out my pack in the bathroom- my shampoo and conditioner completely exploded, and my soap detergent leaked a little. I managed to salvage the soap, but I think I will just pick up little containers of shampoo and conditioner as I go along. I had to use one of my shirts to mop up the mess because the bathroom had only air dryers for your hands. I wrapped this shirt in one of my plastic bags, I will just have to wash it before I wear it.
I don’t really know what the plan is. I cannot check in until 2pm, which is 6 hours away. Should I get a prepaid phone? It’s kind of cool to be unreachable, but at the same time, if I do make friends within the country, I will not be able to reach them. I think I will hold off on the phone for now. Also, I stink! I guess it’s been over 24 hours since I showered, and I’ve been sweating a lot, running from plane to plane and fretting endlessly. Also, there are already a lot of hotties around me, and I am just in the airport. I think I’m going to like it here.