Friday, April 17, 2009

The Long journey begins.

After spending the day at Moyes packing my luggage is was off to the airport. I had with me 2 harnesses,1 glider,1 sail, spare parts and my luggage plus carry on bags. Hmm I was in for some sweet talking as I was flying the all new V Australia airline that had probably never seen a glider on board before. I arrived and immediatly starting working my charm on at the check in counter. I told them that one of the oversized bags was my kitesurfing gear and that I had another long one which was still outside on the car. I brought in the glider and they were all looking at me like they had seen a ghost. After some measuring and calls to make sure it would fit on the plane they informed me that I was going to need to pay excess baggage. I already knew that the minimum should cost me $400 dollars and that they would not except anything over 2.7 metres. Well I managed to convince them to take it as I was competing for Australia and I needed my glider. While I was waiting a nice young girl was checking in next me to and could not lift her bag onto the scales so I kindly offered to help. Her bag weighed 36ks which was over the weight limits and she was forced to pay $135 for the excess. They ground crew helped me carry my glider and other oversized baggage to the other end of the airport where they needed to go down the straight conveyor belt. We then returned to the counter where I managed to get the seats next to me blocked off for more comfort and escaped with paying only $135 for all my excess. I then decided on having a hot chocolate and to my suprise was the yong girl that I helped at the checkin. I joined her and we began chatting as she was curious why I had so much luggage. This is one of the best things about traveling meeting people and seeing how others live their lives. Tanya was quite an intersting person so I told her that I had spare seats next to me on the plane and if she wanted she could sit next to me to help make the time fly. Once on board the plane I noticed the exit row seats were free as they charge $450 extra on virgin for these seats. I thought well time to do some more charming so I got up and went to the alley where the hostes were and began my charm. One blonde said to me straight away what are you chasing and I said I am always chasing something and she laughed and said me too. I knew then that I had already won her over and continued chatting before asking the real question. After sometime I got the answer I was looking for and shortly after takeoff moved into the exit row and invited Tanya to join me through the new seat to seat chat on the entertainment system. Here is a pic of Tanya and I on the plane. We enjoyed watching some movies before falling asleep and waking up at LAX airport. As we went through Immigration Tanya got taken away as she had an identity mismatch cause her finger prints did not match her ID. I got through fine and then spent the next 2 hrs waiting for my bags. LA airport I would have thought was very sophistacated but as I learned all the oversize baggage comes down from upstairs via an elevator. So sure enough my glider would not fit in the elevator and it took 5 people the next hour or more to figure how to get my glider down as they did not know any other way. After lots of calls they figured it out and I had all my baggage and all I had to do know was get through customs with all this. I lined up carrying the glider on my shoulder and all the other bags stacked on a trolley like a leaning tower. I got to the customs agent and he asked me what I had and I told him he looked at my immigration card and said were neighbours. I looked strangely at him still holding my glider he said yeah I live in Chino Hills too on Maroon bell street. I said ohh right that is not my place that is a friends of mine and I did not know Chino that well. He said well I live across the road you are the guys that have them things set up in the park all the time, I said yes that is us and off I went without even putting my glider down. Meanwhile Kraig was outside doing laps of the airport for 2 hrs waiting for my arrival thinking that he had come on the wrong day. However it all worked out and on the way home I got to enjoy the pleasures of Taco bell for dinner.. I will be here with Kraig until after the weekend before heading to Florida for the comps.