7 April 2013
Brrp, Brrp, Brrp – What? 5:00 AM already?
Quick breakfast and shower then into the Pete and Jude Graham Express for the two hour trip to Brisbane Airport. Dream run with no traffic on the road – everyone else too sensible to be out of bed at this hour of Sunday morning.
Arrive at the terminal fifteen minutes before the check-in opens so we are first in line – so far so good. The nice check-in lady apologises that there are no upgrade seats available, but gives us a set of three seats between two aisles all to ourselves – cool!
Forms completed and off to security and immigration. Oops – I forgot to tell mum not to make eye contact with the lady doing the random explosives scans. “This will only take a moment madam.” “Oh – you have set off an alarm.” “Do you have any explosives in your bag?” “No” “Have you been in contact with any explosives?” “No” “What about fertilisers?” “No” “Uh – Mum – you live next to a piggery” “Oh yes” “I’ll just have to pad you down and then check everything in your bags” “All good, just sign this form to say you really are a good citizen and you’re on your way. Thanks. Have a nice trip.”
Smooth run through immigration, a leisurely cup of coffee and a few laps of the duty free shops and then we’re on our way.
Great flight with Virgin Australia to LA, though it was a bit bumpy at times. Apparently government spending cuts on both sides of the Pacific have meant that the potholes in the air route have not been repaired for a while so there was nothing the pilot could do about it.
7 April – Take 2 (sometimes you get the same day twice when you travel)
Arrived safely at LAX. Don’t know why people complain about this airport. We just had to line up in a subterranean room for about a quarter of an hour before being allowed into another room to go through immigration, and then yet another to pick up our bags so we could drop them back at a transfer desk and then line up yet again to get back to the departures area – simple.
On to Alaskan Airlines for the last three hour leg to Vancouver sitting next to Mr Kumar, a young 78 year old who was very thankful for help filling in his forms after he left his glasses in the US.
David, Kirsty and Kai collect us at Vancouver Airport at 1PM after we breeze through Canadian immigration and customs. What a relief not to have to wait in lines any more! Hugs, kisses and then our first Tim Horton’s coffee and donut stop at last. We venture out into the very fresh Canadian spring air and feel that the adventure has finally begun.