The morning of the cruise was actually pretty calm. I really wasn’t feeling stressed or anxious at all. Just excited (which was actually a bit surprising. I would have expected myself to be a bit nervous, but I really wasn’t). I headed to the airport with my Grandparents and even though we were early, we ended up cutting it pretty close because they were having trouble finding my grandma’s visa for Australia in their database. So we had to wait around a while as they contacted the Australian government to get it sorted out.
We boarded and headed to LAX. The flight went by pretty fast. That airplane had wifi in it so I was just on Facebook and chatting with my family the entire time. Once we landed in LAX, it was a bit odd. The two escorts waiting for us (my grandparents need wheelchairs for getting around the airport) were a little off. We had told them where we needed to be and they were having a little bit of trouble figuring out how to get us there (I think mainly because it needed to be wheelchair accessible the entire way though). So, they ended up taking us this really weird way. We were literally walking through the entire airport, going back where they keep the cleaning supplies and through giant hangers where they keep plane parts and the luggage. Then they called a shuttle to pick us up, which literally drove us on the tarmac all the way to the other side of the airport. We were passing right past planes and stopped a few times to let one pass (it was really weird but also kind of cool).
Anyway, once we finally pulled up to the right place, the driver was having a little trouble figuring out what to do next. He spent ten minutes talking to various people because the only way to get to the terminal was up three flights of stairs. And from the conversations I heard, the original people to let us through the airport had taken us a really strange way. Finally he managed to work out a path to our terminal using a service elevator (which opened up to revile a man with a load of trash. Classy). To top it off, they only sent down one wheelchair! I told the guy to go get another wheelchair but my grandpa insisted on walking (luckily it wasn’t too far).
The whole LAX thing was really bad. I don’t know if it was just the section we were in or what, but the place was really dirty, oddly laid out and just super unorganized. Still, we finally made it onto the plane. We were flying Virgin Australia and the plane was huge! It was a really nice ride. The staff was super friendly and helpful. They had theses touch screen TVs with a ton of free movies, TV shows, games, music and stuff. They really helped to make the time (14 hours!) fly by. The food wasn’t too bad either.
It’s still too early to tell, but I don’t think I’m going to have much issue with jet lag. The way they set up the flight really helped to convert you to the new time (even though they are almost completely opposite from the states). The lighting in the cabin adjusted on schedule to help you fallow a specific sleeping pattern. Basically, we got on the plane in the evening, ate dinner at what would have been 1am in the States. Then we went to bed at around 4am. Which meant that we simply slept for about 10 hours (waking up every now and then for breaks to walk around, watch a movie, etc. By the time breakfast came around, you were pretty much lined up with Australian time. So I thought that was pretty neat!
I’m writing this as we are about to decent. We’ll have a few hours in Sydney and then board the ship!