31 July 2003

The journey begins

This is the first edition of Bruggie Tales. Many of our friends and family have asked us to keep them updated, so here is the beginning of a series.

Our trip started on the Monday, leaving Country Australia after another 0 degrees (celsius) night leaving all the house and outdoors covered in a white frost. Our friends transported us and our luggage to a Sydney hotel and we had our last Australian dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Sydney, followed by a nighttime tour of the city in the Smith Tour Bus.
We left the hotel on time at 8 am and arrived at the Airport ready for the trip. Well, not quite. We had left one of our bags in the hotel room! Luckily we had plenty of time to spare and the hotel was able to send the bag on the next shuttle bus.
At the Check-in counter they were very strict on bag weights and we had to reshuffle the luggage in all of our bags to ensure the bags did not weigh more than 32kg and onboard not more than 7kg. This only took about 30 minutes! The lady at the check-in estimated I lifted about 250kg on and off the scales.
We then went through to the international departure area, where I remembered I still had the keys to my little blue car in my pocket, which I had just sold through Robert Smith. A quick placing of keys into the envelope and then popping in the post and we finally got on board.
The first leg was about 10 hours to Osaka Kansai airport. This plane had a common movie screen. When the movies came on we had to stop the children watching either film, as neither was suitable! The staff on this JAL flight were very good, especially helping Ariel who had a bit of a headache, probably from the excitement and not enough water.

Peter checking plane safety instructions.
As the picture above shows, Peter was quite calm about the flight.
The Hotel was very comfortable and once we realized that going anywhere was going to be way too much hassle, we ended up back in our rooms. Lana had a sleep and we watched a Western on Japanese TV. The flight to LA was relatively easy with the children able to watch Jungle Book 2 and Bambi or play some games on their personal video screens.
Three hours of customs/immigration awaited us in Los Angeles and and then a transfer to the next flight and we flew 4 hours to Atlanta. So, finally at 10:30pm we stopped flying, met our US friends, and drove for 3 hours (via Wal-Mart), culminating in a humid night in a hotel in North East Georgia, over 9,000 miles away from home, under different stars.

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