Well after a lot of umming and ahing my mum and I decided last year that we would finally make the trek to the US to visit her sister and see the other side of the word. We decided to fly through Hong Kong so we could stop there for a couple of days for some last minute shopping on the way back (and to break up the trip).
The journey to HK was pretty uneventful, except for the screaming baby in the row behind us. We then spent a lazy 4 or 5 hours in the airport before getting back on Cathay Pacific for the long leg to San Francisco.
OMG the plane must've had at least 20 kids under the age of 5 - there was so much crying and screaming. At first I was sympathetic for the mothers as I know they're kids and it can't be helped.. sympathy soon turned to frustration, however, especially with one little boy who started screaming before the plane even moved, and continued screaming for a good 20 minutes, then intermittently over the next 13 hours - plus the plane was delayed by 1.5 hrs due to some volcanic activity on one of the islands we needed to pass over - my knees were so cramped by the end of it and I was feeling so claustrophobic. Even now, the thought of the smell of airplane food being heated up makes me want to puke!
I was wedged between a fat man who slept with his hand on his crotch (and the occasional twitching in his sleep - and I am choosing to believe he was actually sleeping - was more than a little disturbing at times) and who kept leaving the arm rest between us raised (er weird) and a skinny asian lady who kept reading the newspaper with her arm outstretched over my side so I couldn't do anything. Plus she was in the aisle seat, and she was never happy about having to get up to let us out (incidentally I only left my seat 3 times and the third time she actually refused to get up because she had a cup - I had to come back a few minutes later when she had finished).
Well I don't want to spend my first entry boring you with my whingeing! After an hour queuing at immigration only to find out we'd been given the wrong form to fill in and then being scanned, photographed and interviewed, we finally met up with my aunt and uncle (who had started to worry that we had missed our flight!).
At first glance, driving from San Francisco to San Jose (about 45 mins to an hour) nothing seems that different from Perth. (er except for the multistorey highways and the right hand drive) The beautiful thing that really stood out for me, however, is the weather! No clouds to be seen and it's a little more humid than Perth (I guess it's winter in Perth right now so it stands to reason) - so deliciously warm! I love the look of the mountains/hills (whatever they are) on the horizon looking out from my aunt's place. She says in winter they are sometimes touched with snow. I look at them and something about it (having seen something of it from the sky as well) just makes me want to walk and walk and walk..
It's all a bit of a foreign feeling for me, and I think the grand canyon is simply going to blow me away..