Now those of you who know how traumatic the last flight was for me when we flew from NZ back to the UK will understand the nerves with which I approached the flight to LA. If I add in that I was also not feeling too well, then this combined with Heathrow's security procedures...let's just say I was tense.
Cue near hysteria as I get in a state approaching the first round of security desks. By the time I got through to the queue for passports etc I was beginning to lose any sense of perspective.
Then, probably the best thing that could have happened, happened.
I met someone who needed support more than me.
Now this may seem a strange impetus for changing my behaviour, but as soon as I saw someone else in near-tears, expressing anxiety, I was immediately able to switch gears. Hey, there's a reason I do the job I do: it's because I do it anyway, instinctively.
Within seconds, my focus - indeed our focus - was totally on her and offering her the hankies, hugs and reassurance needed to make the journey. To Emma from Heathrow, you have no idea how much in some ways your difficulties helped save me. Once there was someone else to concentrate my energies on, I was fine. We kept an eye on her throughout the journey - she was on our flight too - and sent her off to her hotel at LAX. I hope she had a thoroughly wonderful holiday because she deserved it comeplete.
Anyway, once through security and the pointless parade of spending that is duty-free, we headed for food. Yes folks, I was hungry. I don't think THAT had helped minimise crankiness. Whilst eating, Neil noticed a young boy - almost small enough to fit into the large hand-luggage bag he had with him - in the company of an older male.
Neil promptly chuckled and muttered to me "that's Brian and Rauri". Archers fans will understand our muffled giggles here.
From there, things got better: I was fed and watered and on the plane. We didn't have the veggie option (NZ Air, I doubt they're worse than any othger airplane food provider, but man I could not face more insipid versions of tofu being served!) so the food was decent if unspectacular (hey, it IS airplane food!). But the views?!
WOW. We flew over Greenland and the ice-flows were grand (you can see pics here). We also snuck in a viewing of Fight Club (always good for plane journies!) And then we had the most smooth landing imaginable down to LAX. Good job, since we then had to spend around 2 hours getting through customs thanks to a short delay, a long run in to the gate and another flight arriving. Grr. Still, at least the drugs spaniel had a treat when he found some sarnies in a bag!
From there it was off for a hotel bus in the sultry night of LA off to Marriott hotel. We ordered room service as it was already 9.30ish and we tried to get some sleep.
Remember though... we've been pretty awake since 6-7am ish in London. It's now 11pm in LA.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz versus body-clock...