And I have finally heard back from my travel agent in River Falls, and she tells me there's flights still available October 18th. So I'll be leaving the day before my visa expires, provided they're still available when I visit the airport ticket counter this week (which she said shouldn't be a problem). The whole process of changing my tickets is less than ideal. First of all, it'll cost me $125 at the Qantas desk (I'm not sure if that's in American or Australian dollars; I'd hope it's Australian because it costs less that way). And the only flight from Adelaide to Melbourne that day leaves at 6:05 am. Which means if I want to be at the airport the requisite 1 hour before departure, I'll have to get up by at least 4. And the flight to Melbourne arrives just over an hour later, which gives me nearly three hours before my next flight. True, this gives me plenty of time to find the gate, and use a REAL toilet, and get a drink & maybe a snack, and a Melbourne T-shirt or something, but when I'm done with that, what do I do? Hick, all that won't take more than an hour, 90 minutes at most. I guess I'll end up wandering around the terminal endlessly since I won't get a chance to move around much on the 14 hour flight.
And once I get off the plane in LA, at 7:30 am, after getting off the plane and through immigration, picking up my luggage, going through customs, and making the customs agent's eyes bug out by the dollar amount of chocolate listed on my customs form, all in terminal 4, THEN I have to get on another plane. But it's not that simple. Since my tickets were booked through America West, I then have to go to the America West ticket desk to get my last flight changed. Which means I'll probably have to lug my baggage on the bus around the terminals. So I'll go to terminal 1, which handles America West flights, to change my tickets (and possibly be charged another $100 for changing THAT ticket). And then, because my last flight isn't actually an America West flight, even though it's booked through them, then I have to drag all my stuff over to terminal 2, next door, to actually check in for my Northwest flight.
And have I mentioned that in doing all that, I'll probably miss out on the flight leaving at 8:50, because everything I have to do between after arrival will take longer than that? Assuming the flight actually arrives on time (most of my Qantas flights have arrived a little early though, so who knows), at 7:30, just getting off the plane takes about 10 minutes. Then another 10 to get through the immigration line, 5-10 more to pick up my luggage, 10-15 to go through the customs line, another 5 to get out to the front of the terminal to catch the bus (and who knows if the bus will be right there
waiting when I get out there), then riding the bus to the appropriate terminal could be 10 minutes, getting the ticket changed at America West, checking in at terminal 2, going through security...yup, I just missed the 8:50 flight to Minneapolis. So that means I have to stick around there till 12:15 for the next one. Yippee. And terminal 2 at LAX is the most boring airport terminal I've ever seen. It's small, there's nothing there to do or explore, and the floor moves. I don't know if it's just the way the building is built or seismic activity, or the fact each time I'm there I've just gotten off a plane, but it moves, and I don't like it.
Okay. So now it's 12:15, I've gotten on the plane to Minneapolis, and my journey is almost over. And I land in Minneapolis at 5:15, and I grab my luggage, and (presumably) meet my parents there (and let my dad carry the suitcase 'cause it's so huge), and I step out the door into the parking ramp, and IT'S FREEZING! (note to Mom & Dad: please bring my winter coat if it's going to be under 50 degrees when you pick me up, or I may not be able to move further than the door.
And that's only the flight part of it. I visited a Telstra shop today to find out about getting my phone disconnected, and I can't schedule it ahead of time. I have to go see them the day I want it turned off, which will probably be the Thursday or Friday before I leave. Of course it all depends on when I'm able to move out of the flat. Time will tell...
And I started my Christmas shopping today too. Can't say what I bought, 'cause it's possible the recipient(s) of said gifts may read this.
And I wrote seven paragraphs in this entry, and started all but one with the word "and."
And every English teacher I've ever known would say not to start a sentence with "and," but I don't care. Part of writing well means knowing when you can get away with breaking the rules.
And that's all I have to say about that.