Monday, January 17, 2011

Travelling Karma - Holy mother I am in California!

"The way is not in the sky, the way is in the heart. For the traveler who knows his direction, there is always a favorable wind." ~Stuart Avery Gold

I have no idea what time it is... while I can look at the clock here and it says it's 9:39 my body clock is off. I'm still working on Trini time (it's 1:39am - already Monday there). 

Travelling is an adventure and I like it :) It may be tiring but it's never frustrating to me... it's a bit of an adrenaline rush. I'm also lucky that I have really good travelling karma... and by that I mean that things flow smoothly for me... I've never had any kinda drama with flight delays or immigration. In fact, when I'm travelling locally (home sweet home) it's fairly easy for me to get taxis or buses or reach where I need to reach on time. I am blessed. Thank you Universe for the gift of good travelling karma. 

Without this gift, I'm not sure how smoothly my trip to California would have been. I was up at 4 am. Left home at 5 am (ok.. really that was the intent - left home at 5.15). Left Trinidad at 7.30 am. After that time got messed up for me. I think Miami is an hour behind due to daylight savings time? Anyway. Miami International Airport? Seriously huge. Whoever built that or is responsible for it needs to figure out a way to move people around quickly. It's a good thing I'm friendly - I made friends with a woman in the seat next to me (I know that she was born in Tobago but has been living in Florida for the past 16 years - this was her first visit back to T&T in that time - I don't however know the woman's name - somehow did not get  around to finding that out). Thank you Lady-Whatever-Your-Name-Was. Not only did she give me a book to read on my other flights (free book!!!) but she helped me figure out the complete craziness that is Miami International Airport. International visitors are required to clear customs and collect baggage and then recheck baggage before getting the connecting flight - this would be easy if the places to do this were within a few feet of each other. Unfortunately, they are miles apart (I swear - MILES). I only had a one hour window to do this as between landing time and boarding time for the next flight was one hour (I think?) ... Thankfully unknown lady helped me figure out where customs was ... where d baggage claim was... that I'd need to race towards my departing gate. Also, thankfully, I had a nice immigrations/customs person who was not in any way disturbed by my frantic bubbly-ness (frantic cuz I wasn't sure about the timing...bubbly-ness cuz he asked what was my purpose for being in the US and I excitedly started talking about wedding & being a bridesmaid & etc... ergh)... anyway luckily this all went smoothly. Where I nearly missed my connecting flight? MIA gates are MILES away from each other. I arrived at my departure gate (huffing and out-of-breath) just as final boarding was being called. Yay. 

Dallas/Fort Worth airport was much easier to handle. Had enough time to get from arrival gate to place with food to departure gate. Santa Ana/John Wayne airport? Even easier! Like I told my mom - MIA=XXX (huge) DFW=XX (not so huge= medium-sized) SNA=X (small - time taken from departing plane to getting baggage and ready to leave airport? 10 mins max). 

The flights themselves? Pretty good... Flying is ok (and pretty - I like looking out of the windows and seeing the clouds below). Taking off and Landing? Not so ok... but manageable. 

Today my aunt took me down to the beach for a brief walk (we were on our way to church)... amazingly beautiful and there'll be pics to prove it on my flick account sometime in the future. Was surprised to find out that it's a pretty serious church-going area (today is Sunday - a lot of people were at different churches we passed along the way). Also went down to Chinatown in LA - didn't find what we were looking for really but it was good sight seeing... I like that the US is so huge... strange? idk... it seems like everything goes on forever.

We've been ole-talking too. In a way it's like being with my mom (I'm staying with my mom's youngest sister - her daughter's getting married!!!)... and in a way it isn't. It's when I'm away that I realise just how close I am to my immediate family (mom/dad/brother) cuz I'll find something I want to show/tell them and they're not here to share with. Ah well. 

So. I'm in California... It's amazing so far. :) 

Highlights of trip to date:

  • Racing through MIA towards departure gate - comfortable shoes ftw! (stopping to ask airport personnel for help and having them go 'oh u're a trini! yes i'm sure we can get u through the lines faster! bless them cuz otherwise i'd never have made it)
  • Broccoli-cheese soup and a fruit plate from TGIF in DFW (cuz of course I must mention food)
  • Getting to SNA and realising that from getting off plane to getting baggage = < 10 mins
  • Bridesmaid dress that fits like a dream (except that it needs hemming - I be short)
  • View of the Pacific ... Oh wow!
  • Serene peacefulness in a Mormon church
  • Smelling soap at Marshall's
  • Dragons painted on the road as crosswalks in Chinatown
  • Talking with girl cousin about wedding plans
I totally encourage travelling - even if you have to just cross the road and visit a neighbour - do it. 


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