I’ve been avoiding blogging because I just don’t know where to start. That last week before I left was tougher than any other, and it didn’t feel like it was in an exciting “let’s get going” way, but in a “am I making a huge mistake” way.
There have been lots of tears. Most of them hidden when no one could see me, except at the airport where I completely lost it. Thankfully, it’s not totally inappropriate to cry in an airport. It was so hard to say goodbye. Not to Melbourne, but to the people I love. I know I need this change of scenery but it doesn’t make the change any easier.
The flight was as good as a 14 hour flight over the ocean can be. I flew with Virgin Australia this time. The food was ok and I watched a lot of movies. I didn’t sleep until 10 minutes before the plane landed (the landing woke me up), but that’s the way it goes. I don’t recommend watching Pitch Perfect when lunch is being served though, that spew scene is a bit much when you’re trying to eat. Ha! I did get to watch the sun rise over the pacific as we were coming into Los Angeles, it was the colour of a Tropical Frosty Fruit!! I have also realised that 10 hours is about my limit for a single flight. I wanted off after then.
I think I may have got the nicest immigration officer of all immigration officers. He was polite cheerful and told me I was smart to get the visa for multiple entry to the States. That just made things so much easier. I thought, for sure, that they would yell at me. My checked baggage made it too, which is always a relief.
It was all so quick I had to find a way to stay awake so that I didn’t miss my connecting flight to Las Vegas. Twitter saved the day as there was a chat about taking risks for the year ahead with Jessika of Oh My Handmade Goodness, which was a whole lot of fun. I fell asleep after the safety demonstration and when I woke 45 minutes later I was surprised to see that we were still on the tarmac at LAX. There was some delay, but as I slept through it, I have no idea what it was. I did get the gorgeous views of the trip and flying out over the pacific and across the mountains on the way to Vegas, but I was so tired that I didn’t have my camera on me to capture any of it for you.
The Hotel has been a bit of a shambles, as I didn’t understand the authorisation process for the bill as the checkin agent said they would charge me per night and I understood that to be (on 2 hours sleep in 40 hours) that they would auth a bit each night, but that was not the case, and they left my account empty due to the misunderstanding and when I went to ask them to explain it to me again, the gentleman at the desk just said the same thing over and over as I got more confused.
I understand it now, but the language difference (even English to English) made me feel like they were speaking a whole different language, especially when you feel like you’re stupid because you just don’t get it.
Without remembering the time, I decided to take the bus out to the outlets on that first day and I didn’t arrive until dusk. It was ok as unlike in Australia, they didn’t close until 9pm, but I still find it unnerving being out after dark in a place you don’t know all that well. I was too over it to look in most of the shops, but I did go into Levi’s where I got the most helpful assistant who found me a pair of curve id jeans that not only fit my waist they also fit my short legs! Yes, they have different length legs for jeans here! (If you’re not from Australia, we only get regular length jeans, if you need anything else you have to have them altered. hence my excitement)
On the way back, I ended up getting off the bus one stop too early and had to walk for ages to get back to the hotel. It was ok though, I did get to see the strip all lit up. If you’ve never been to Vegas, the roads are so busy it’s not just a matter of crossing the street, but you have to walk up and down raised pathways/overpasses to keep the traffic flowing. If you were a pedometer person, you’d definitely get your steps for the day!
I managed to sleep a solid 9 hours, and was ready for my Grand Canyon Helicopter Flight, Friday morning. (that’s coming in the next post)
I always forget about the culture shock you get even when you visit other English speaking countries, and how intense and amplified every emotion is. Sometimes this makes for amazing experiences and sometimes spectacular meltdowns too. I’m glad I came, but looking forward to moving on too.