Sorry it has taken me a while to start writing the posts about my trip to the USA and Mexico. The issue is one of time. It takes time to write blog articles and time is something that I have not had much spare since the trip started.
So far the trip has been fantastic and very rewarding. I am currently in Mexico but more details on that later.
I spent the day on Thursday 15th September getting ready for the trip, finalising and backing up work, and packing. Even though I have made similar trips before, I always feel like I am going to forget something when I pack. So at the suggestion of my wife, Jennifer, this time when I packed, I made a list on OneNote. Hopefully next year will be easier now that I have a list. And yes, now that I am overseas, there were a couple of minor things I forgot to pack!!!
By the time everything was sorted and I could get some sleep it was 11:30pm. After a “long, restful sleep” my alarm woke me up on Friday at 2:00am so I could get ready for the taxi booked for 3:00am. My first flight was at 5:30am, so I did the right thing and planned to arrive two hours ahead of schedule. Infact the drive to the Airport was a little fast and I arrived at around 3:20am.
What I did not realise was that Perth Domestic Airport closes between 12:00am and 3:30am and so I had to wait a few minutes before the terminal was even open. Once open I went to the front of the queue (no, I did not push in, I was first there) and waited for the Check-In counters to open. They did not open until 90 minutes before the flight, so I had to wait another half an hour. Remind me next time that if I am starting with a domestic flight, I can sleep in a bit more. 🙂
Anyhow the flight from Perth to Sydney took about four hours and I was able watch a fun movie from New Zealand called “The Hunt for the Wilderpeople“. It is worth watching if you get a chance, even though the ending is a little corny and predictable.
After a fairly quick transit from Sydney Domestic Airport to the International Terminal and through Immigration and Security, I was able to board the flight from Sydney to Dallas for the fifteen and a half hour trip across the pond to the USA. My technique* for seat selection worked as I was able to have an empty seat next to me for the journey.
When doing long haul flights I try to sleep as much as possible, but also like to watch movies when meals are served and when I am not tired enough to sleep. On this flight I was able to watch four more movies of varying quality. Below are my thoughts (Note: I am not a movie reviewer):
X-Men: Apocalypse: A little far fetched as it shows massive amount of destruction without considering the lives lost/affected. Also destroyed the Sydney Opera House. Had some fun action and fight scenes.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Rather ordinary and not making much sense. Highlights were any scene with Gal Gadot as Diana Prince or Wonder Woman. Not being sexist, but she was the best part of the movie.
American Sniper: This movie is based on the true story of US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and I think it does a great job of depicting the horrors of war and how it affects those involved, both the fighting men & women and their friends and family back home. If you haven’t seen this one, go watch it.
Me Before You: This is a charming story about a paralysed man and the woman employed to care for him. I know the ending has upset some people, but I don’t think it could have ended any other way. I really enjoyed this movie, but it pulls on the emotions both up and down.
Let me know what you think about the movies if you have seen them in the comments. 🙂
After arriving at Dallas and moving through Immigration and Customs fairly quickly, thanks to the automated system, I had a long five hour layover waiting for the final flight from Dallas to Fargo.
I was trying to not fall asleep as I did not want to miss the flight. The fact that they changed the gate number three times while I was waiting helped to keep me awake. Finally, I boarded as was on the final two and half hour leg of my journey.
Arriving in Fargo, I organised for a taxi to wait for me while I collected my luggage and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that my friend Sheila Jefferson-Ross had just arrived on a separate flight. We shared the taxi I had organised to get to the Home 2 Suites by Hilton which is just next door to the Hilton Garden Inn.
The journey from Perth to Fargo was over after an elapsed door to door transit time of thirty-three hours.
After quick freshen up, Sheila and I went to dinner at a new restaurant (at least for me) which was only a short walk from the hotel. The Porter Creek Hardwood Grill had great food and great atmosphere and we enjoyed a nice light meal before retiring for the night.
Quick aside: We spent some time trying to contact Ian Grieve MVP who had posted on his blog that he was already at reIMAGINE 2016: I’m at reIMAGINE 2016, so he could join us for dinner. But it turned out that he had posted the article while still in the UK and had not even left yet.
Stay tuned …
* Technique for getting empty seat (works if flight not full), find a row which has two empty seats and take the one you want (for me: the aisle seat). These vacant single seats are always filled last.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.