I flew from Dublin to L.A. yesterday, with a short, stressful stop in Newark, NJ. The flight from Dublin to Newark wasn’t bad. It was on a nice new 767, and I had an aisle seat. The in flight movie was Madagascar, but the screen and sound were terrible, so I didn’t watch it. I chose instead to play Gameboy and read. The plane took off an hour late. The incoming plane landed late in Dublin, then there were delays with passengers disembarking. The plane was overbooked by one; a volenteer was sought to take the flight tomorrow in return for $500 and a night in a hotel. A large bearded American took the offer, and we had to wait on the tarmac while his bags were taken off the flight. Then we had to wait even longer for two people who didn’t make it through U.S. immegration in Dublin. The two never appeared, so the man’s bags were put back on the plane, and so was he.
Because we were an hour late landing, my 85 minute time for transfering to the LA flight was looking very tight. Getting our bags took far longer than it shoul have, and I had to run from one end of Newark airport to the other, and up three stories to get to my gate (gate 96 is the last gate in a very long hall). I ran onto the plane, while the man checking boarding cards shouted ‘Go go go!’. I had made it onto my plane, only to learn that 55 people were also connecting from the Newark flight, and the LA flight waited for them all. It took another hour before they closed the doors. I imagine that it would cost Continental far more to re-route 55 passengers than to delay one flight to accomodate them.
Alex collected me from the Airport, and we drove south for an hour on the freeway to get to Newport Beach. Every road here is four lanes wide in either direction, and every other car is a jeep or a pickup truck. Driving down the freeway for an hour was odd - there is no visible change - one minute you are at LAX, the next you are in Newport Beach, yet both look identical. I had a bird’s eye view of LA as I came in to land - the whole city is dead flat, and everything is grid aligned. Flying over London is a competely different experience. While driving down the freeway we drove past a castle and there was a pyramid on the horizon. I got to Alex’s appartment at about 6pm local time, and I had been up for close to 24 hours by the time I went to bed at 8pm. I slept until 10am the next morning, and I seem to be quite well adjusted now.
Today we went to the beach to go surfing. The beach was really nice - just like the baywatch beach really. Very wide, lots of white sand, little towers for the lifeguards every 200 meters. The waves were the biggest that Alex, Aoife and Geoff had seen since they arrived in June. After about 10 minutes spend mostly being dragged along the sea bed, we gave up and went to sunbath. We left the beach at four, and later on we went to the cinema to see Four Brothers, in which Mark Walberg pretends that he is black.