Having been in the wonderful LAX of Los Angeles before with my travels to and from Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji I knew that when I got there things would get interesting. Fast. But before we get to the LAX shenanigans there was a stop in Calgary’s YYC.
Flying in to Calgary from Regina was a really good flight until we went to land in Calgary. It was raining and windy in Calgary as we went to land. It felt like I was sitting in the back of a school bus that was driving too fast down a gravel road as it slide side to side and dipped and jumped over the uneven road. It wasn’t the worst turbulence ever but it was probably the longest sustained turbulence I have experienced. Despite this turbulence we did land safely in Calgary and I managed to find my way to the baggage claim and through international customs.
Once I got to my gate I had just under two hours until I boarded my flight. That gave me time to eat and do some people watching. It is amazing how complicated people can make the simple act of ordering food. I found it quite entertaining, possibly due to the fact that I was no longer in the line-up. None the less I enjoyed watching people go about their tasks. The other thing I like to do is listen to people. No I don’t mean I eaves drop on conversations. I enjoy just listening for different accents and languages. Now, I can’t tell you what languages I heard but I can tell you that not everyone in the airport on this day were speaking english. There is a bit more about this and a few other things I enjoy about airports on my other blog in a post called Enjoy the Little Things: Airport Edition .
Leaving from Calgary was much smoother and the flight went by really fast. I managed to have a bit of a nap and read about 3 chapters in my book. Once inside LAX gathering my bag was easy. Little did I know things were going to get complicated and expensive in a hurry.
Walking around outside the airport for about 10 minutes got old pretty fast so I figured I would give inside a shot. I then walked around inside for about 5 minutes and found my way to the help desk! Score! They will be able to help me….if there was someone at the desk. After standing there for 10-15 minutes I gave up waiting and went back outside to talk to….. well anyone who wasn’t another plane passenger. I ended up talking with some taxi drivers about how I could get to my hotel using buses and trains. The verdict was that it would probably cost me about $30 but it would take me anywhere from 2-3 hours, and I would have to walk a bunch. OR I could hop in the taxi, get drove straight to my hotel, and it would cost at least $100. It’s official. I hate LA’s airport, it is terrible! So because I already wasted close to 45 minutes walking around and talking with these taxi drivers I bit the bullet and got a taxi.
On the plus side I got to learn a lot about LA and my taxi driver Rachel. Rachel is from Mexico and came over here to help her sister. She planned to stay for one year but ended up staying for 30! Haha! Just a slight difference. I also found out that Friday at this particular time that I am trying to get across the city is the worst time in the whole week to try to get out of the city. If we were going into the city it would be way faster. Just my luck, going the wrong way. Damn it! An hour and fifteenish minutes and $110 later I finally made it to my hotel. Rachel let me sit in the front, talked with me almost the whole way, and was such a wonderful lady I made sure to give her a good tip and thanked her repeatedly. Had it not been for her I would still be standing at the airport.
Upon getting to the hotel the staff was super nice! Ric helped me map my way out to the place where the seminar is being held this weekend and gave me tons of options of great places to eat too. The best part is they have complimentary breakfast in the morning, coffee and tea all day, fruit basket at the front desk, AND complimentary COOKIES at 3pm! Incase you were wondering, the cookies were very good. The room was almost as good too. So once I had taken my 30 minute walk to find the gym where the seminar was being held and then walk back, I went and had supper at one of the restaurants Ric had suggested. I spoiled myself a little and got a Root Beer float with my meal. It’s been so long since i had a float I just had to have one. That was pretty much the end of day one for me, and in comparison to tomorrow had in store for me it was a pretty good start actually.