So I know everyone is dying to know what my trip was like and, honestly, I'd say it was a bit uneventful but that's only because I was there for three days. The other days were just me traveling and we all know how long flights to Australia can be. So I'll start with day one.
I was already packed for the most part to leave and all I needed left to pack was my last minute stuff. My toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, deodorant, all that good stuff. And would you know it the only thing I managed to forget while I was gone was my toothbrush, my hair conditioner, and my medicine. But! I'm such an efficient packer that I manged to fit everything (including my clothes) into one carry-on bag so I didn't have to worry about checking in any bags and baggage claim.
So Steph and Mere drive me to the airport and when I get inside I swear someone that looked exactly like Snoop Dogg walked by me to get to the escalator. I had to do a double take and even openly stared at the guy to see if it was him or not. And I'm still not sure. Honestly, I don't know why Snoop Dogg would be in Norfolk I have no idea. But it looked like him and I'm sticking to that. Getting through the airport was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I haven't been in an airport in a LONG time, let alone by myself, so I wondered how things worked. Especially since I bought my tickets online.
Thank you for kiosks because that made things go by a LOT easier, especially since I didn't have a bag to check in. I just walked up, put in my confirmation number from my email, put my passport into my machine and it spit out all three of my boarding passes. And because it took me a lot of trouble to get my passport rushed to me I made sure that I stuck my boarding passes in my passport and held a death grip on it the entire time so I wouldn't lose it. The Norfolk Airport is tiny so it was easy to find my gate. I got there within a few minutes, texted my Mom and sisters that I had made it to the gate and waited for my flight. (It was a recurring theme throughout my trip that I got to the gates of my flights so early I could've gotten there at least ten minutes before and I would've been fine).
I get a text that my gate gets changed to the one across from the one I'm already at and then move over there and keep reading. And then I get on the plane (which is probably the tiniest plane I've ever been on) and continue to read. Until the toddler beside me keeps saying 'hi' to me over and over again, obviously wanting to play. So I asked the parents if it was alright before I played with him a little bit and it was a short flight into the Newark airport. The Newark airport is alright. There's construction going on at the time and it's not always very clear how you find your way to the terminal you need, but the flight attendant let everyone know what gate we were coming into as well as where the shuttle to the next terminal was if we needed to get there. So I get to Terminal C and walked a ways before I found the gate I needed to get to. And I continued to read.
And this is where things get a bit annoying. Middle Schoolers. Middle Schoolers everywhere. Not only were they all going to be on my flight but they didn't seem to understand that you DO NOT EVER leave your bag unattended if you're going somewhere. It doesn't even matter if you leave your bag with your chaperone, a bunch of bags sitting unattended make people nervous. And the people that were sitting around me for my gate got incredibly nervous. I could see the guy next to me constantly looking at the bags over and over again and then there were some airport security that continued to walk by, checking them. Even their chaperone kept yelling at them over and over again not to leave their bags and they kept leaving their bags. Then when we could finally start to check in (which I've forgotten that you need to do by groups. Group 1 and 2 are for first and business class, and groups 3, 4, and 5 are for economy. My seats were usually in the middle and back so I was groups 4 and 5) and they keep pushing in front of everyone's way so they can get to their seats faster, obviously not understanding the whole group thing. Finally their chaperones yelled at them once more and they settled down.
Until they got onto the plane.
I know Middle Schoolers can be really obnoxious and I don't even think my grade was that bad when we were their age. I haven't heard a plane so loud in my entire life. So where I sit there's a guy to my left that's kind of quiet and a guy to my right that wouldn't stop talking. Honestly, I think he might've been high because he had an incredible amount of energy, wouldn't stop getting up, and slowed down the flight attendants because he was talking to them so much. This flight was okay, I watched a lot of The Big Bang Theory and Superstore episodes they had on the in-flight entertainment as well as continued to read. There was some turbulence, to the point that the plane actually fell a few times, but it was otherwise an uneventful flight.
Finally, after about 5 hours we landed in LAX. The best part was where I landed was the same terminal I was leaving from with my gate only a few feet away. So I texted my family again that I landed and where I was and talked to Justin a little bit and was finally able to get onto Wi-Fi. Thanks to Wi-Fi I was able to get on Skype and talk to my sisters a bit as well as check my email and other things that I might've missed because I didn't want to use up my data and because the first two airports didn't have any internet. Then I walked around a bit, checking out the stores and stuff and I'm sorry, but airports are so incredibly overpriced it's not even funny. I mean, I had some granola bars and water in my bag so I didn't have to worry about being hungry but I couldn't help but break down and get some fruit snacks and water. Honestly, I wanted McDonalds but couldn't find any and the Rolling Stone cafe type thing they had was too expensive.
So we get onto the flight and I'm ready for the long-haul. 15 hours to Sydney from LAX. I was supposed to have the entire back middle row to myself (which would've been great to stretch out) but a couple came on board last minute and took the seats next to me. That was perfectly fine with me, they were about my age and they were really cool to talk to. We got to talking and they said that they had been visiting the US for the past couple of weeks (and we got into a long conversation about where they had gone and where they should've gone) and explained how every flight they had gotten on had been delayed. Unfortunately our flight was then delayed for an hour (supposed to leave at about 11 and we didn't leave until midnight or so) and all they wanted to do was get back to thier home in Sydney.
This was a LONG and eventful flight. I knew that I wanted to take up as much time as possible so that I didn't notice how much time had passed so I watched as many two hours movies that were on the in-flight entertainment. I watched Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Tarzan, Iron Giant, Hancock, Man of Steel, X-Men First Class, and some others I can't remember because I watched so many and fell asleep during others. They gave us dinner which was chicken, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. Those mashed potatoes were disgusting. DISGUSTING! They weren't potatoes at all, they were grits disguised as potatoes and I know that for sure because I don't like grits from the texture alone. (Though Cheese Grits and Shrimp is fine, I'll definitely eat that). Then there was a kid on the plane that passed out and we nearly had to make an emergency landing for it, some woman who was sick kept coughing on me when she went to the bathroom, and the flight attendants kept stepping on my feet. But otherwise it was a good flight. In the morning we got breakfast and I got eggs and hashbrowns and fruit.
Again the food was disgusting. I usually don't like eggs that's different from the way my Dad or I make them anyway but this was bad. Here's the thing; my package was already opened when they gave it to me. But at the time I didn't think much of it, partially because I was tired, partially because I was hungry, and partially because I thought I had pressed my thumb into the film as I was taking it and popped it open. No, it was open and I ate it and it was bad. I felt fine as we landed, got off the plane, and went through customs. Oh, here's a side story, I thought I was going to be deported at some point. When going to a different country and back into the US you have to fill out a customs card and it asked 'do you have any food/grains that you're bringing into the country' and I checked off 'no'. And then I remembered I had some granola/Kind bars in my backpack and my paranoid brain immediately shifts into 'Oh God, they're going to search my bag and find my food and then I'm going to get a penalty and they're going to deport me'. And the couple next to me wondered the same thing about the candy they brought along with them and we all freaked out until we finally managed to get through customs with no problems.
That would've been a story: deported due to a stupid granola bar.
So I make my way through the airport, get AUD for whatever I was going to need money for while in Australia and got a taxi. Once I get to the taxi and climb in I immediately get the strong smell of cigarette/cigar smoke. For someone who has asthma as well as for someone who forgot their asthma medication over 7000 miles away I knew I was in some sort of trouble. You see without my medication my allergies of cut grass, pine trees, strong perfume, strong cologne, strong incense, cigar/cigarette smoke, and smoke in general, gets bad. So I knew something was going to happen. Sure enough I started to feel really, really hot and my stomach started to roll when we left the airport only a few minutes before. I knew I was going to be sick and willed myself to wait until I got to the hotel. Thankfully I made it to the hotel just in time to ask the receptionist where the bathroom was before running in and getting sick in the toilet. (It wasn't until I got back that I realized it was because of my mishandled food on the plane that I got a slight case of food poisoning). I checked into my room, checked the time back home, got onto the internet to skype my sisters, and then read and watched TV and caught up with everything on my computer when my sisters went to sleep.
The hardest part of being gone was knowing the time difference was so big that I didn't have anyone to talk to because of the time change. But it was good to know it was only early in the morning while it was late at home so that I had plenty of time to sleep and watch the shows I had missed without having to worry so much about falling asleep.
So that was day one. I was able to get through the airport to each of my flights very, very easily and was excited to see if Australia was like everything I imagined. And I could learn more with the conference starting the next day.
Loves anything red. Rock music, playing the guitar, drawing, writing, tattoos, and sports are some of my interests and hobbies. I like to laugh, I like to think I'm funny. I talk a lot...just a warning.