On the plane to LA I am not going to lie I was really nervous about the trip. The more the hours went by, the closer I got to my destination and the start of this epic adventure across America.
It was really hard saying goodbye to my family and can’t believe that I am actually going to be away for 3 months it really doesn’t seem real. I know I will feel like a stranger when I come back as so much will have happened and changed me I hope. I think it will be like emerging from my own little bubble when I’m back as if someone has popped it and brought me back to reality, especially when I have to find a job and get back to being a grown up. Anyway I’m trying not to think about that yet as have 64 wonderful days of blissful ignorance!
I like flights for the very reason you have time to think about things, contemplate what you want from life. After all it was a return trip from USA to the UK in April that inspired me to travel and actually follow my dreams and here I sit starting that very adventure. Yes I know it isn’t backpacking in Asia or South America (although that could be on the cards in the future) but I feel like it is a new beginning to something, but I am not sure what.
They say “change is as good as a rest” I have had so many changes in the past and I am not sure what I want anymore. I’m hoping this trip will give me some ideas. By that I mean what I want to do job wise and where I want to live. I have conflicting thoughts about having to do what I am meant to do and what I want to do. Part of me thinks can I ever be truly happy with the decisions and the path ive choose or am I just kidding myself? Is the grass always going to be greener on the other side?
So far …
It was a nightmare checking in and at security at Heathrow as two flights had been cancelled to San Francisco which meant the queues were huge, as people were trying to get on my flight it took about 1.5hrs to get through all in all. With all those people you can imagine my surprise when I entered the departure lounge and it was really empty and quiet. Terminal 2 at Heathrow has recently been revamped and now know as “The Queen’s Terminal” I can say that it is very swanky and the choice of places to eat outweighs the shops. I had breakfast at Heston Blumenthal’s The Perfectionists cafe and the food was wonderful. I had a bacon sandwich and was asked so many questions I thought they were going to ask me to go and choose a pig to eat! – did I want it with back or streaky bacon, brown, white, rye bread toasted or untoasted and what sauce? Albeit all the questions it was a really good sandwich. The rest of the time I just chilled and when it was time, took the 15min walk to the departure gate.
I am actually surprised how good the flight was. I got that awful seat in the middle which I hate even when I travel with my family, but it was actually ok and I had lovely “neighbours”. The lady next door and myself had an issue with the air con and almost froze to death even with if off we were freezing, to the point I had to get my jacket out of the overhead lockers as the blanket was cutting it. Nothing really else happened, watched a couple of movies but essentially a flight is a flight and all a bit boring.
Immigration was ok when got to the States but massive queue, didn’t get questioned too much (anyone who has ever travelled with me will know I always get questioned a lot) although they were very concerned about the length of my stay especially as I was only here in April. I saw the immigration agent pause before he stamped my passport as if debating whether he was going to let me in or not. It was hot when I got out of airport and I managed to find the shuttle service straight away, they were everywhere and couldn’t really miss them in their blue tops. I would really recommend them for those who don’t mind sharing and taking your time to be dropped off they are called Super Shuttle. Very friendly,helpful and cheap. As I was sharing with 9 other people they let me know when my bus arrived and when we reached the hotel. The drive to the hotel was amazing and was a great way to see LA. The views were spectacular coming along the freeway into downtown LA with the hills in the background and millions of houses and offices. It really showed you how big it is. One of the drop offs was to the University of South California (USC) where we went down a road full of sorority and fraternity houses with every single Greek letter imaginable, really stunning buildings and very like the college films.
Once at the hotel I checked in and went into my room which was adequate for what I needed it for. I will be sharing with another girl who hasn’t arrived yet and looks like she will be here tomorrow. Quite pleased as I got the room to myself. Haven’t seen anyone else yet who is on Trek America but hoping to meet some people tomorrow. After I’d settle in thought I better go in search of water and food as was getting on for 5pm so I headed left out of the hotel towards Grand Central Market and Historic Downtown LA this being my first taste of LA on foot. I had a quick look in the market but as it was crowded and still nice out went for a walk further down South Hill Street. I went past the Angels Flight (the shortest railway in the world) from what I can gather is a small vernacular railway (see below) for lazy people who can’t walk up a hill (sorry that sounds harsh but true). Looks very odd in the middle of the city. I read when I got back that it is only 298ft and dates back to 1901 it is currently closed due to safety issues after accident in 2013.
Grabbed some water and melon whilst I was out as didn’t want much and headed back to hotel as was beginning to feel the jet lag. It’s now 8.45pm and I’m off to bed I can barely keep my eyes open. Very long day and excited about exploring tomorrow.