First day of the big adventure and I got to fly out of my hometown for the first time. The plan was Toowoomba – Sydney -San Francisco-Portland. When bookings were made 8 months ago that seemed to be very logical. The Toowoomba flight went great but I am sure we laned somewhere on the actual Western Distributor because we would have taxied for 10 minutes to get to the gate. We spent more time on the ground than in the air.
Once there we had I was able to check into the American Express Lounge. Food, coffee, wine and beer – whatever your need, they had the answer.
So I decided an elegant cheese platter and coffee was the best place to start, followed by some beef rendang and rice (with complimentary curry puffs).
The good news is I have 7 spare hours and a pass into the same lounge on the way home … (join the dots on that.)
We had to change terminals in Sydney. I know Alan Joyce has cut some costs but this was ridiculous:
Nobody was keen to push me… fortunately there was a bus, so I channelled my inner Year 10 self and sat right up the back. The stupid thing about that was I was amongst the last to get out.
The flight to San Francisco was over an hour late due to “security checks”. However it was an A380 with all the bells and whistles. Case in point, the economy menu:
Sure, some stuff sounded better in theory, but it kept me occupied during the 13 hour trip.
After the San Francisco leg, the good folk at Alaska Airlines took us to Portland. The only problem is nobody told the pilot. We were on the tarmac for over an hour until the pilot turned up and explained his tardiness (he slept in).
Once in Portland visited Bailey’s Taproom. These are people who are obsessed about beer.
Twenty-five taps of local goodness. I tasted beers made with coconut, ginger and mace. Then went upstairs to the “secret” bar, “The Upper Lip” and had the award winning “Matt” (named after the brewer).
Was told from a reliable source that our PM, Malcolm Turnbull is also in Portland for the day, so I reached out to him on Twitter:
No reply as yet (a missed opportunity for our nation.)
And after a few quiet drinks with some old friends, that was the end of the first day. Thirty hours of flights/transit made fot a big day. The news mentioned nipple-hardening temps and heavy anti-Trump protests tomorrow. Will wait and see.