Melbourne to LA
Our 7 am taxi was on time. We checked in and were allocated the seats we booked. We had some breakfast, cleared security and went to the gate lounge to wait. All good up until now. The plane was sitting there outside the window but boarding time came and went. Engineers were still on board and needed another 30 minutes is all we were told. We eventually boarded and learned that something had been wrong with the gauge that measured the oxygen remaining in their tanks. They emptied and refilled them and then had to wait for the excess oxygen inside the plane to vent. Once underway, 90 minutes late we settled in for the long flight.
The flight attendant sitting opposite us confirmed our thoughts that these were the best seats in economy. We had an exit row at the very front of economy with only galleys near by. It was a quiet area we had to ourselves. Neither of us slept as much as we would have liked despite the Melatonin. We circled around LA with nice views of the city from the air as we turned and landed towards the sea.
The wait for our cases was long but other than that the customs processing was fine. We used one of the new machines. We used a payphone to dial 1800 number to call the shuttle for our day hotel. We arrived too early for our arranged accommodation. The Travelodge was 3 star (just) but was a secure place to leave our luggage, shower, change & freshen up after the flight. Despite the lack of sleep we were determined to get out and not waste the day sleeping. At the hotel room we learned of a terrorist threat that had closed all LA schools for the day today. We chose to continue on as opposed to hiding under the bed.
We bought shuttle tickets to Manhattan Beach for $5 each. Once there we walked to the pier, took in a large pile of melting snow we assume was left after some product promotion and wandered the streets taking it all in. It was nice in the sun but the air temperature was cold. After a brief stop at Starbucks and a few more holiday snaps we returned to the hotel. We checked out and used a private taxi they called for us to take us to our apartment.
We immediately fell foul of the downstairs tenant that claimed we were walking too firmly on her ceiling. We set out to buy some supplies and stopped a guy walking his greyhounds to ask where we could find a supermarket. He obliged and we found the place. We hadn't had lunch so we stopped at the Starbucks next door for a drink and a shared piece of banana bread. Darlene waited there whilst I walked to a nearby mall to purchase a prepaid SIM for my phone.
We found our way back ok, ate our dinner, lasted till around 8 pm and then crashed for the night.