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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lets see this concrete jungle.....

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Alicia Keys, when speaking of New York says that its a 'Concrete jungle that dreams are made of.' To be honest, after a total of 20 hours of flying - just get me a bed! We can check it out another day.

The first leg of the flight was to Los Angeles. We flew with Virgin Australia which was great. The configuration of the planes were 3-3-3 in Economy and the seats were very comfortable and had an individual screen in both each seat back. But, regardless of how good VA were, it was still 14.5 hours in a plane. I think all up, I slept about three hours. 

While we were packing for the trip, Kylie and I were having an ongoing discussion about what the weather will be like in the US - we are going to New York, which is just coming out of winter (and an average of 16 degrees) and then to the Caribbean, which according to my research was going to have an average of 25 degrees. I forced her to take a coat, mainly because it was cold in Melburne the morning we left. She thanked me for the times on the plane that the AC was a little too chilly. And, she thnaked me when we stepped off the plane at JFK and this was the weather;

As much as you do research about the weather in a place you are visiting, you never know what it going to happen until you are there. And it was rainy. And it was dark. And it was chilly!

But, before we got there, there was a little 'incident' in LAX. Our bags were tagged to go right through to JFK, but we had to pick them us at LAX and drop them off at the transfer desk and then check in. So, we picked them up and dropped them off and then proceeded to check in. Have you been to LAX? It is this enormous behemoth of an airport - under construction and badly signed. We finally got to the terminal we needed to be. The check-in counters area literally had about a thousand people in it in a room that was no wider than 10m wide snaking around in aisles. We joined a shorter queue which was for the electrinic check-in. Of course, someone pushed ahead and they were grossly incompetant at the prcoess and no matter which line we joined, we waited. And waited. And waited. And, then, it was our turn. First, our reservation couldnt be found. The, the message on the screen was 'Its too late to check-in for that flight.' Um - excuse me? Our flight isnt for another three hours! So, we asked for some assistance and we were directed to another line that was about fifty people long when we joined it and it wasnt moving very fast (did you notice that I left the name of the airline off - see if you can guess which one?). Get to the front of the line and we were served by Aisha. One thing I have learned from my dear wife if that if you are nice to people, they do all they can to help you. So, we BOTH were very nice to Aisha - I even sang the song 'Aisha' from the early 90's which impressed her (who wouldnt be impressed with my singing?). Were not sure what happened with the reservation - it was confirmed and we had the booking reference and all of that. In melbourne, it was there when we checked in and our bag was tagged because we had a confirmed seat. But, when we were standing there in front of Aisha at the Delta counter (whoops! I gave it away), we didnt have a confirmed seat. She did what she could to help, but all she could do was put us on the standby list. EEEEEEEEEK! 

When we arrived in LAX, we imagined that we would have hours to kill. But, as it turned out, after waiting to see Aisha and then going through security and walking for what seemed to be kilomteres through corridors and walkways, we were waiting maybe 20 minutes before boarding began. We watched the screen. We saw our name on the screen on the standby list. We were 2nd and 3rd on the list. Boarding began. Then boarding was about to close. The hefty security guards came to the gate and made an announcement that boarding was closing in 2 minutes and the gate would be closed. The flight staff give you no indication of whether they are going to give you a set or not. They were madly moving people around and it was frantic. Then, out of nowhere, he printed a boarding pass for the both of us and handed them to us. They were at the back. And, they werent together. But a kind gentleman next to Kylie moved seats and we sat together and slept for most of the flight.

Our accomodation is really nice. We found this place on AirBNB. 
Its a cool sunny loft/warehouse apartment in Brooklyn. We had hoped to stay in Manhattan, but we left it a little too late to book. But, we are happy ..... so far. lol.

Im sorry there is so much writing in this blog post. I woke up early after sleeping a bit too much on the flight over from LA, so here I am typing away. Were off to the meeting this morning for the Special Talk and then we are off to see a Broadway show, which Im totes excited about. 

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