|Salt Lake Mountains and The SLC->Lax Flight|
The flight from Salt Lake to Los Angeles was short and bumpy and typical. Arrival in Los Angeles was met with the realization that I would be spending the next eight hours in the airport. The large layover gave me time to appreciate the giant suck-salad that is LAX's terminal system. My co-worker Tony put it nicely by saying that LAX is not one big airport, it's eight little airports holding hands. There is no way to get from the domestic terminals to the international without not only leaving security, but literally leaving the building entirely and walking along the sidewalk to another building.
|Fancy Digital Screens at Tom Bradley Intl Terminal|
I paced around the non-mall for about 3 hours waiting for the rest of my team to show up, and then we had our first food experience of the trip -- Umami Burger. Overpriced, high-concept burgers, flavorful and a bit overwrought. I didn't manage to take any pictures because I was so burned out waiting that I was devoured the social interaction with my coworkers more than I the truffle burger with sweet potato fries. (It was good, so, there you go.)
|Fancy Lights in Virgin Australian Flight|
The flight was 15 hours. If you haven't been on a flight like that, there's no describing it. You get into a zen state of numb anticipation...of waiting, contemplating the various parts of your body going numb, and thinking about when the next meal service is going to be, regardless of the quality. I stayed up until LA time 4 am so I could try to force myself into Australian time. I played a lot of video games, watched some movies, the usual thing.
When we finally *did* land in Melbourne, we had to wait for about 20 minutes on the tarmac for another flight to clear out of our dock. Then we exited into immigration, where we were met with a *monstrous* line that could have easily held us up for 3 hours. Fortunately it was for people that didn't have our lovely modern chip-based passports and we got to subvert the entire process and walk right through to baggage claim.
Baggage claim. Damn the words. People that know me know that I don't normally put bags through baggage claim at all. It's a torturous process waiting for the bags to come tumbling down the chute one at a time, and somehow, against all the odds, your bag is always the very last one, isn't it? I know It sounds like hyperbole, but this very thing happened to me this time. I decided to check my bag because I didn't want to drag it around LAX. It was the *LAST* bag to come down the belt, on a flight with hundreds and hundreds of bags. Ryan, I say\id to myself -- that was the last time. Never, ever again.
My coworkers and I shared a cab to St. Kilda, the beach-side neighborhood of Melbourne's central business district where both the hotel and the game studio at we are training are located. The hotel is the Seasons Botanic Gardens, so named because it is located across the street from the Melbourne Royal Botanic Garden.
|Shrine of Remembrance in St. Kilda|
This blog entry is the last brain-flexing activity I will do today. I feel like I've been up for 48 hours, and considering how well I slept on the plane, that might be close to accurate. I have my photo editing software on my laptop, so I'll be posting images more as I go this time.