I made it to LAX around 730 pm even though my flight wasn't until 11 (not taking ANY chances) after I spent the day with some cousins I hardly ever see. We went down to the harbor in Redondo beach to go ice skating on the sand (fucked up, right?) but the rink was closed, so we rented those little pedal boats instead. So bogus, I don't recommend it... they wouldn't even let us leave the harbor!
Anyways, I had foreseen 3 major problems that could potentially prevent me from getting on the plane:
Problem #1 My checked bag had to be under 50 lbs, otherwise I would have to pay an extra $50. Having literally zero dollars in my bank account, paying anything extra was simply not an option. While checking in for my flight I place my bag on the scale with a bit of it sticking off of the side (Though I'm not sure if that makes a difference?). I watched in horror as the numbers on the scale reach 45 lbs, and slowly crept up a few notches. I held my breath for what seemed like 30 seconds before the womyn behind the counter said ok and let me go. First tragedy averted!
Problem #2 My guitar could not be placed under the plane without being destroyed, but it was too large to fit as a carry-on.
So, my *new* guitar is a 30 year old Guild Banjo Killer that I bought for an insane amount, and I've had several nightmares of it being checked on the plane and having the neck snap or the body warp from the subzero temperatures that all the luggage goes through at the bottom of the plane. I had a plan, though not sure how it would pan out, to absolutely maintain that *someone* from Delta airlines assured me there would be closet space on the plane for my oversized guitar. So, I walked through security and placed my guitar through the X-ray machine. no one said anything, so I kept going. Made it to the gate, and as the man at the door checked my boarding pass he glanced briefly at the huge hard case in my hand, but said nothing. so I kept going. Then as I entered the plane the womyn at the plane door looked at the guitar in my hand, but said nothing. So I went to the back of the plane and found an attendant. Our conversation was as follows:
Me: "Hello, I need to put this in a closet. can you tell me where that is?"
Her: "If it doesn't fit in the overhead you're going to have to check it"
Me: "A representative assured me I'd be able to place this in a closet. This guitar is older than I am and it can't be placed underneath the plane"
Her: laughs "A representative of what?"
Me: "Uh.... Delta Airlines"
Her: "Ok... there's space up front for it"
So with that I shoved my guitar behind some captains jackets in a closet near the front of the plane. Second tragedy averted!
Problem #3: I had a bunch of food that I had to take through customs, and I needed all of it.
So with two problems down, and one to go I was feeling pretty good. I was unable to give an address of where I was staying in Australia for 2 months, but no one seemed to care about that haha. So I put my bag on the X-ray machine and again I was questioned. "so it says you're bringing trail mix into this country, may I see it?" certainly I said, and got it out. "oh you see, this has walnuts in it so we're either going to have to destroy it, or you can pay $30 to keep it here at the airport for when you return home". Shortly I weighed the option of paying $30 to store a huge bag of raw trail mix at the Sydney airport for myself to enjoy 2 months later, and regrettably decided that destroying it would be a better option. She let me keep my almond butter though, but that hardly feels like a victory. So long trail mix...
After Lauren met me at the airport, we drove north a couple hours to Newcastle where I currently am staying. I settled in, skated an insanely awesome skate park literally right on the beach while lauren went to work, fell asleep for a couple hours with the feeling that someone had kicked me in the head, and then ate delicious thai food with Lauren and her sister Jodie. Such a good first day!!
On another note, the dates of the tour have been moved around a considerable amount. I don't have the dates posted yet but I'll get back to you on that. I have 2 months here so I have plenty of time to reach all the places I wanted to go.
Today's plans are as follows - busking at the mall a few blocks down from here, and swimming with one of my favorite Australians Liam at a beach he's taking me to.
Missing my friends back home so much,
p.s. the birds here make crazy noises in the morning. It reminded me of going to the bird sanctuary at the zoo as a child, as shitty as zoos are. I can't wait to see a Koala!