Tuesday, August 10, 2010

American As, Part Two

I already talked about my time in California, but should I back up a bit and explain how I got to SF to begin with? Yes, I suppose I should. 

I actually decided towards the end of June that I'd come home early. The idea was born with the homesickness that sank in deep after Will left Sydney. I'd been road weary for awhile before then, but with homesickness and seriously dwindled funds added in to the equation, coming home early really wasn't a hard decision to make. ToadMama asked me once when I'd know it was time to come home. I told her that I wasn't sure because I hadn't felt that way yet. But by the end of June, it definitely felt like it was time.

Researching flights is always a good first step to getting home, so I started doing that right away. And remember when I accidentally bought two tickets for the exact same flight, same day and everything? That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Originally I thought I'd fly back to the US from Auckland, but in a conversation with the Melbourne hostel owner about the ticket snafu, he mentioned that flights to the US were usually cheaper out of Sydney so maybe I could use the Jetstar credit for a flight back to Sydney. I ended up getting a refund and didn't need to do that, but the flight really was cheaper out of Sydney (by about $600), so I decided to go that route anyway.

So, on 29 July I boarded a flight from Auckland to Sydney (leg #1). I left Auckland at 3:30pm and, after a four hour flight, I arrived in Sydney at 5pm where I had a three hour layover. The next flight (leg #2) was 14 hours long and left at 8:30pm meaning I arrived in LA at. . .5:10pm? Yup, 5:10pm and it's still the same day. Another two hour layover (plus a little bit of a delay) and an hour and a half long flight, and I was in San Francisco (leg #3). If you're keeping track, I got to SF less than six hours after I left NZ, but it actually amounted to 24 1/2 hours of travel time. It's good that I'd planned to be in California for a few days because when it came time for my fourth and final leg from SF to BWI, I don't think I could've handled another nine hours of travel time (two hour flight to Phoenix, layover, nearly five hour flight).

Will told me it took about a week for his sleep schedule to be back to normal when he flew back from Sydney, but I must be much more awesome than him because surprisingly enough, I haven't really been experiencing any sort of jet lag. I didn't sleep at all on the first leg and decided to delay sleep as long as possible on the second leg, so I watched two movies and about five episodes of Glee. (Btw, if you have to do a long haul flight and have the chance to fly V Australia, a subsidiary of Virgin, I highly recommend it. The in-flight entertainment is great, the staff were awesome, and the food and snacks were good and plentiful.) I slept for about six hours, but it felt like much less because of the three rows of children sitting opposite me who somehow felt it necessary to be awake and yelling at each other in the middle of the night. Then I woke up, watched five more episodes of Glee, and had breakfast before it was finally time to land in LA. No sleeping on the third leg and I was up for about four hours before going to bed in San Francisco. Do you have any idea how surreal it is to essentially gain an extra day? Sooo surreal.

Anyway, now that I'm back on the east coast, I think jet lag has been a little worse flying from CA to MD than it was NZ to CA. I'm not sleeping at super odd times or anything, but I am going to bed later than I probably should and am feeling sluggish mid-afternoon, early evening. Ah, but that could have more to do with all of the excitement of surprising my friends and family with the news of my early return.

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