Thursday, April 17, 2014
Dream Vacation - Day 34
Once again my bag was stopped and checked. They removed an aerosol can of suntan lotion (which I never used) and I was good to go. I then had to make my way to the US Pre-Screening/Customs section. Here I had to feel out my customs form and claim the stuff I'm bringing into the US. I then got in line to talk to a custom agent. Some folks looked like they were being grilled, finger prints being checked and such. But for me the guy looked down at my custom form, asked me a few questions, verified that the bag on the screen was the one I checked in and then let me through. But this wasn't the end.. I now had to go through US security check point and do a full body scan. This one I had no issues with.
I finally got through it all with an hour left before we started boarding. The good thing is now when I arrived in Chicago I don't have to go through all this again. Glad I arrived to the airport 3 hours before my flight.
Boarded the plane and found my seat. I was sitting in the middle aisle but luckily it was an end seat and there was no one next to me. The flight was fairly uneventful. I watched 3 movies.. Matrix, which of course I have seen many times but it always fun. Highlander which I have seen bits and pieces but never the entire thing.. I enjoyed it. And finally The Devil Wears Prada, which I had never seen and again it was a fun movie. I've heard good things about it and it lived up to what folks said about it.
I found my gate and sat there for an hour or so. I noticed that this flight was full and there were a good 20 people on standby for it. I went to the bathroom and when I got back I noticed that many of the people that were sitting around me were gone. I looked up at the flight data on the monitor and saw that there were empty seats, then I heard one of the employees make an announcement that my flight had been changed to a different gate. I grabbed my stuff and made my way halfway through the terminal to get to this new gate. I sat there for about 20 minutes when a guy next me to said.. you need to exchange that pass for an official boarding pass, I asked if they announced this and he said no but he's flown enough to know this.. so I went up to the counter and asked if I had to exchange this and sure enough you did. We boarded 10 minutes later.
They moved us to a larger plane but this plane didn't have any video screens in the seats so there was no entertainment for the entire 4 hour flight. Luckily I had my ipod so I listened to podcasts but not knowing the distance we had flown or how close we were to LA kind of drove me crazy. About the last hour of the flight I needed to get off the plane. I was so done flying.
We landed in Los Angeles and I made my way to baggage area. As I got close to the carriage I saw my buddy Doug and my best bud Chris holding up his iPad with the world "Baggins" written across it. It made me smile...
Doug dropped Chris and I off at my apartment. A few things had fallen from the numerous earthquakes that we have had the past month but for the most part everything looked great.
We went out and grabbed some Taco Bell (this is Chris' favorite fast food and he hadn't had any for over six months) and I only had it once in my travels... it was very tasty. We came home and chatted for a few hours. It was around 9pm when I got home and I wanted to stay up to 11 to try and fight off jet lag.
IT'S GOOD TO BE HOME!!!!!