Leaving Sydney Airport for Los Angeles - 19th November (Australia Time)

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Well, when does the holiday start? Is it the mad panic packing on the day? The rush to the airport? The time error that causes you to wait unnecessarily in the seats near Gate 33 for an hour more than you needed? Finding your seat and discovering you're on the wing but as the weather's bad and there's lots of turbulence you don't see anything anyway? 

That was actually two more choices in one. I say the holiday starts when you've safely made it to your hotel, showered and ventured out again. At the moment, as I listen to rampaging Roy Nelson on the inflight radio, that is ahead of me.

Well, the headphones don't really work (I'm travelling Qantas) and I'm worried about finding a bus on the correct route for my hotel but apart from wondering how much that credit card call home cost I'm fine.

Sitting next to two Americans who spent 6 days in Australia. Can barely hear anyone due to the sound and vibration of the wing but I'm not too bothered.

TV screen's currently playing an ITN news report and the radio ranges from classical to comedy. Looking forward to seeing Sleepless in Seattle and apparently they'll be playing lots of comedy programmes including Mr Bean!

It was 3:30pm, well it's now 9:45pm. Los Angeles is several hours behind so it's bright outside and I can just make out the sea!

Got to see Sleepless in Seattle which, even though I could only hear half of it, was pretty good. ('99 note. Wonder if I'll see 'You Have Mail' on the plane to the UK?)

I knew I was on holiday when I looked out the window and, for a fleeting instant, thought I saw a different star system. Realization dawned that I would probably see the Milky Way and the moon upside down. Wow!!!

We'd recently been handed a customs form and it looks like I'm going to have to pay another $300.00 just to bring my video camera into the USA. I hope I've misread it.

Note: Ground Speed 952km/h 592 m/ph Height 11,280 m/32,000 feet, Outside Air Temperature -50C, Distance from Departure 7467km Time to Destination 4:38.
At one stage we were moving at 1084km/h.

These are the details that Qantas show you on the main screen so you don't stop the air hostesses every few minutes to ask "Are we there yet?" 
I hadn't misread the customs declaration. They hadn't supplied all the info. Nowhere does it say 'leaving objects in the country'. So I was OK. Checked an info-computer outside the airport which dials the transport number for you and prints the details. Finally realized that I had to approach one of the van directors who pointed out the van for me. Much fairer than sticking your hand up for one. The van was $10 to Hyatt Regency and took about an hour, plus $5 gratuity. (You can guess I wasn't sure what this tipping deal was. We don't tip in Australia!) 

They let me into the Hyatt early! Room 1218. Currently 9pm after a couple of hours sleep. Realized that this'll be my only chance to record LA downtown and I missed it! (Most of the holiday I recorded on video and hope to post screen grabs from it in the near future. I did get some night shots through the window this way) 
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