Sleep!! Yay, I was able to sleep in until I woke up, no alarms, no commitments.
The conference was over and all my friends had already left or would be leaving soon. I was leaving on Sunday afternoon and so had some time to kill before I would travel back. Catching up on sleep was one of the priorities to help me hit the ground running once I got home.
It was about midday before I surfaced and caught a bus back down to the Meadowood Mall to do a bit more shopping. While the Australian Dollar is currently weaker against the US Dollar, some of the clothing items are just so much cheaper that I am still ahead.
On the way back to the hotel, I took a photo to show some of the detail on how the Peppermill was decorated to look like a Roman Palace.
Once back at the hotel, I was very sad and spent the day in my room working on some blog posts and also on some coding that I had been putting off while at the conference. Just to give you an idea of how sad, I had the TV showing undercover boss and ordered a club sandwich from room service.
On Sunday, I slept in again, but could not stay in the room and checked out at about 11am. I then went down to a quiet, smoke free section of the hotel where I could find a table and chair and power outlet. I then sat down and did some more coding to my products. Then it was time to get my bag out of storage and catch the shuttle to the airport. I took one final photo of the Peppermill.
At Reno airport I checked in for the 3 flights back to Perth. My bag was overweight at 60lbs (the limit is 50lbs, whatever that is!). I had expected that my bag would be over and knew that I was allowed two bags, so I had packed some of my clothes inside a secondary bag. I offered to split the bags, but said that I would prefer not to as the secondary bag was not as robust.
It turned out that the staff at the counter had been working for US Airways and had only transitioned to American Airlines the day before and were still learning all the new systems and rules. They were very polite, but spent about twenty minutes on the phone obtaining the official word from head office before it was decided that I should split my bags. It was good that I had allowed plenty of time at the airport.
Anyhow, when it is time to board, I get into the queue and hear the person in front of me being given seat 16D…. the seat number on my boarding pass. I made a comment and was told that I had been shifted to 2D!! Nice. I know that the first flight from Reno to Los Angeles is only short, but getting upgraded was a pleasant surprise.
Once at Los Angeles, I was able to transfer to the international terminal and get through security fairly quickly and the flight to Brisbane went very quickly. I actually slept a lot more than when I flew to the USA. I had used points to request an upgrade to premium economy, Jennifer said I deserved a more comfortable flight home after my month away.
Arriving in Brisbane took an interesting turn as the passport control and customs took a lot longer than usual. It turned out a couple of other flights had arrived earlier than scheduled and so the number of passengers to be processed was much higher than expected.
Note: We arrive in Brisbane, Australia rather than Sydney, Australia as the aircraft don’t have enough fuel to get to Sydney due to the prevailing headwinds coming back to Australia.
Once I was finally cleared through, I went to check in at the domestic transfer desk to be told that there was no longer time to make my flight if I checked in there. They needed at least one hour to get the bags transferred across. The staff member said, grab your bags and get to the domestic terminal as fast as you can.
I went to grab a taxi, but just then the transfer bus arrived so I jumped onto that and after what felt like an age later (probably wasn’t) arrived at the Domestic terminal. I ran inside and told the first Qantas staff member I could find that my flight to Perth would be boarding very soon and that my bags were checked through and just needed a bag drop. She took me to a counter with a senior staff member and even though the sign says that 30 minutes is the cut-off, he let me do the bag drop with about 25 minutes to spare. The staff then rushed me to the front of the security check point and I went through and arrived at the gate as they were starting to board.
After that excitement, I am pleased to say that I made it to Perth without further incident AND both of my bags made as well. Good job Qantas.
Jennifer had come through the security checkpoint and was waiting for me at the gate. After picking up the bags and a short drive, I was finally home and the trip was over.
PS: Except for the writing up the blog articles which took another 2 weeks!!
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.