The bookings were made many months ago and the countdown seemed slow until this week but finally departure day has arrived (if you get my gist).
Departure from Sydney Airport was delayed nearly an hour because of congestion in outwards immigration (there I go again) and a different form of congestion with birds sucked into an engine, thankfully of another plane, not ours. Despite the delay we still managed to arrive at LAX (Los Angeles) before we had departed Sydney. It was about 2pm 30 August as we raced down the runway for takeoff at Sydney and it was 10.20am 30 August when we touched at Los Angeles today.
Having mentioned congestion at Sydney Airport I won't nonetheless accept criticism of our facilities without argument given the even worse crowding here. It took nearly an hour to navigate the snake queue for Border clearance and once there you are photographed and they take a print of every finger and thumb. After baggage collection and customs clearance I walked along a series of tunnels and into the public area.
I looked without success for any information on the options for getting to my hotel but there was no such assistance apart from several cursory overhead signs which frankly are of no help. I did notice there are upgrades of the airport in progress and maybe these facilities will come with time.
In the end I joined the taxi rank. An Iranian cab driver drove me efficiently - as best I could tell - to my hotel. He was a friendly fellow but the journey was somewhat ruined by his persistence in questioning me on how he could get to Australia for work. Interestingly he mentioned that his cousin had gone to Indonesia and from there by boat headed for Australia but that he had been taken to Manus Island. The Government may have 'stopped' the boats in its view but not the interest.
Anyway - enough of politics; this is not a political blog - on to the vacation.
This is my hotel right in the centre of (luxury) things on Rodeo Drive.
Brand names on every corner.
Brand names side by side.
Even on Rodeo Drive brand names have clearance sales; like Brooks Brothers here offering 60% off for the Labor Day holiday.
But even on Rodeo Drive there is the ominous sight of a vacant store.
So what purchase did I make as a memento of my stay on Rodeo Drive? What do you think about this subtle little number?