Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In the City of Angels

We arrived in Los Angeles yesterday after quite a few delays...our first plane (with American Airlines) left the ground, headed for Dallas/Ft. Worth, where we'd stop and go to L.A. from there, but it returned to the ground since there was a burning smell in the cabin and checks had to be done to see if the plane was OK.
A couple of hours later, we booked a flight to Atlanta, where we'd switch planes and head east.
The process had taken quite a while, but we finally got on the plane to Atlanta (while rebooking, we'd switched to Delta instead of American Airlines). 
That time, there weren't any problems, and since it was another fairly small (relatively speaking) plane, it didn't take too long to everyone to get seated and for us to get off the ground. I should mention that the first plane we were on was most unimpressive.
It didn't have any TV/entertainment screens and it didn't offer free snacks, drinks or anything, and there might have been even more I didn't like about it, but enough about that for now- I'm going to tell about the flight to Atlanta. The said Atlanta flight was fairly short - around an hour long - so maybe that's why no movies played. The plane had the fairly small TV screens that hang from the ceilings - one for every three rows or something. We did get to have peanuts and juice for free, though, which was an improvement over the first flight. Once in Atlanta, we got to wait for around three hours.
By the way, I think I heard that the Atlanta airport is the largest airport in the world, but I may be mistaken, so correct me if I'm wrong.  The place was so big, there was a subway we rode on for a short distance to get from one part of the airport to another.
The wait there wasn't bad, since my dad and I watched most of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - on my fifteenth birthday, I'd watched half of it, so now I got to watch most of the rest of the first LOTR movie. (I finished it on the flight) 

The Atlanta to LA flight was probably the best yet, if you ignore one thing: the fact that we didn't get off the ground for a very long time.  "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking...we'll be taking off shortly....we'll be taking of in five minutes...we'll be taking off soon..."  Anyway, since I'd gotten around three hours of sleep or less the night before we left NC, lack of sleep was catching up to me a little bit, and I slept for a little bit - exactly how long, I'm not sure - but when I woke up, we were still on the ground.  In fact, if I remember correctly, we were still on the ground for quite a few minutes afterwards.
Eventually, we did get into the air.  That plane, a Boeing 767-300, was the best plane we'd been on yet.
It had a touchscreen entertainment system in front of every seat, and the system could be used to watch various regular TV and HBO channels, watch movies, listen to music, and play games.
Some of the games could be played with other passengers in the plane (something I thought should happen years ago, when I used entertainment systems on planes before), but all except one cost money.
The one that was free to play was a trivia game (like Buzztime at Buffalo Wild Wings, if you've played that before), and anyone on the plane who wanted to could join in - but if you joined in after a round had started, you'd naturally be at a disadvantages since you'd missed chances to score.
All the movies were five dollars each, I believe, but TV and HBO channels were free.
Also, there were a variety of music channels and music albums to listen to which were also free.
This plane, like the other two we were on before it, had Wi-Fi internet access, but it was very expensive, and I didn't use it.  I listened to music from the various channels and albums for some of the time and played the trivia game (even simultaneously while watching one of my movies sometimes), but I mostly just watched movies on my mom's netbook, which I'm borrowing right now.
[Right here I'll insert something about my seating arrangements on the flights]
On the first (aborted) flight, my dad had the window seat, and since we were in the rear of the plane,  he got an excellent view of...the right engine.  I sat next to him, and the man next to me moved to another seat.
On the flight from Raleigh to Atlanta, I sat on the seat adjacent to the aisle on the left side - I had the rightmost seat of the three seats on the left.  My dad sat to my left, and a woman sat in the window seat.
She was trying to write something for most of the flight, notes for a book or paper or something, maybe.
On the flight from Atlanta, I sat in the middle seat of the middle section.  My dad sat two seats ahead of me in the middle.  [insert: I just got up to deposit a pesky beetle out the door and then got up again to do the same with another insect...for raindrops to keep falling on my head might be OK at times, but it's certainly not permissible for insects to do so, or to get anywhere near my person, particularly my face.]
OK, back to the seating.  On my left was a young guy and on my right was a young woman (well, relatively young; I couldn't tell how old she was); I didn't really say anything to them other than "hi".
So no, unfortunately I did not have a pretty girl sitting next to me to talk to  :-( , but the flight was still good because I got to watch some movies - I rarely get a chance to do so at home.
I'm going to write some more later - it's 11:36 pm over here so I'm going to try to fall asleep now (I'm already on the bed).

[continued: 4-9-10]
My dad and I helped my grandparents begin to put in a wood floor - or rather, my dad did the working and I handed over tools or did stuff like that, but anyway, progress is being made.
In & Out has very tasty burgers.  Yesterday I ate my first In & Out Double-Double.
Right now I'm at my other grandmother's house (my mom's mom).

[continued: 4-10-10]
Well, now I'm back at my grandparents' house again.

[continued: 4-11-10]
We went to my grandparents' house this morning.
OK, here are some photos taken with my cellphone camera over here in the LA area.
Even though this is the City of Angels, as of yet I haven't seen any angels (or if so, I didn't know they were angels) or even any girls that were pretty enough for me to call angels (like in the James Blunt song, You're Beautiful) except for some in my cousin's PS3 game, Final Fantasy XIII and some in some movies I've watched recently...But anyway, back to my main topic; I get sidetracked from my main point a lot.
Here are the photos taken from the City of Angles - excuse me, the City of Angels - and some other places I've been.  

1) In & Out Double-Double and vanilla shake
In & Out has tasty burgers

2) LA
3) The Ritz Carlton

4) At the Palm Restaurant with my cousin and aunt

5) The Staples Center

6) Chili pepper at a Japanese noodle restaurant

7)  My Strawberry lemonade and multiple photos of my 8" tall Motherlode Sandwich at Claim Jumper ("The Big One")
I only ate half of it there - the other half is still in the fridge right now with my lemonade (there were free refills).
One thing that can be said about Claim Jumper is that if you have the money to pay for your food (much of it is pretty expensive), it's pretty unlikely that you won't go away hungry - as you can tell by my photos, you certainly get large portions at that restaurant.  My uncle's calzone was huge too, but I didn't get a photo of it.

[update: 4-12-10] 

Today my dad, grandparents and I briefly visited with my great-aunt and great-uncle (and also one of my second cousins) at their house and had breakfast with them at an oceanfront restaurant (my second cousin stayed at their house). 

Later, my dad and I went to Speedzone, a go-kart/arcade/mini golf place.  Unfortunately, the track with the big go-karts was closed because it rained yesterday and it was still muddy or something.
However, the other tracks were open, and my dad and I went on two of them: the regular go-kart track and the one for the drift karts.  The former wasn't too difficult, but a lot of other drivers and myself did get stuck after spinning and hitting a wall (there's no reverse on the go-karts).  It didn't help any that there was a large wet spot on the track that caused a lot of trouble.
Sadly, my dad beat me at racing on the track; racing games in the arcade; pinball; Dance, Dance Revolution :D , and air hockey.  I did beat him at air hockey once (7-6), but that was more like him beating himself, since the last shot was one he hit that bounced and went right into his own goal.
Oh, well.  Some things I don't seem to have a talent for, while to be good at other things, like driving, I just need more experience.

While over here in LA, I've seen a bunch of nice cars over here, including a BMW M3 coupe and several M3 sedans (both old and new), a BMW M5, an Aston Martin, a Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG, a Cadillac CTS-V, and more.  It's probably not too surprising, since lots of wealthy people live in or nearby LA (in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and elsewhere).  However, as was to be ex[ected, I didn't get to ride in or drive any of them. 
As for the people, well, there are lots of Asian (particularly Chinese) people over here. 
-Max out...for now.  I'll write more later when something even remotely worth writing about happens.

[update: 4-18-10]

Right now I have a headache, and one of my little brothers is sick.
One of my sisters wasn't feeling better, but she's better now. 
Well, I arrived in Raleigh at the RDU airport last Tuesday evening intact.  Which means, I came in peace, not in pieces.
I'm going to get ready for bed now, so I'll finish this post when I get the chance.

[update: 4-20-10]

OK, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  The day we left to come back here.
Well, I'm going to take a shower in just a few minutes, but I'll try to tell a little of what happened right now.
I got up early that day (maybe at around 6:30 or something) and we drove to the LAX airport, which took a long time because of traffic, but we still arrived long before our plane left.  My grandfather likes to be early.
I'll finish this post later, since I have to go now.

[update: 4-21-10]

At LAX, we got on the plane without difficulties.  Our first flight was to Chicago's O'Hare airport, which took quite a few hours.  
Anyway, I watched movies for a good portion of the flight as usual...but this time although as before there wasn't an attractive girl in the seat beside me, there was a girl who was kind of pretty (in fact, I think she quite strikingly resembled Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia) in the row ahead of me, and in that row there was a man in the aisle seat, but the seat directly in front of me was vacant.  I have said something along the lines of the following many times before: "If your circumstances are unfavorable or you simply don't like them, if possible, try to change them."  So as you can guess, I did move up to the seat ahead of me, but I only sat down after asking if it was OK with both people in the row, so no, I didn't just go "Hey, thanks for the seat!" and sit down" while the other people look up in slight surprise, annoyance, etc.
It took quite a while before I got a chance to attempt to start a conversation with the girl I was now seated to the right of  (trying to talk to someone while they're watching a TV show or when they're listening to music is generally not particularly polite, I would think),  but she wasn't particularly talkative.  The conversation consisted of not much more than an exchange of names (hers is Abigail), destinations, and a bit more.
I guessed she was 20 and asked something like, "I hope I'm not being rude, but are you 20?"
The answer I got was, "Do I look 20?" I'm not sure how that was said, but it turns out my estimate was wrong; she was 24.  I said something like, "I thought it best to guess conservatively." in response to that.
But after all, I think it's often difficult to guess people's ages accurately.  As you might imagine, I did not choose to reveal my age.
The rest of the flight passed without much incident, and we arrived in pieces...just kidding; we arrived safely at  the O'Hare airport.  

[update: 4-24-10]

In Chicago, my grandfather got us some food for lunch from one of the highly overpriced restaurants in the airport.  He thought that the food there was superior to the adjacent McDonald's and worth paying more for.  I suppose it was; although I could have made a better choice of sandwiches, I'm guessing most food is better than McDonald's food.  Some time later, we got on the plane for the last leg of the trip.
This time, I did not get to talk to a pretty girl (or any girl, for that matter) on the flight, so once again, I watched some more movies, which was still pretty good (I rarely get to watch the movies I want to watch at home).    

[update: 4-29-10]

We arrived at the RDU airport some time in the evening, where we were met by the rest of my family.
Then, well, we drove home.  And that's the end, I guess.

-Max out.


Lillian said...


~Miss Rose~ said...

Yikes! It's been a while! How are you? For whatever reason you're in LA, sounds like you were having fun! I've never been on a plane...weird, eh? I'd love to, though. Although I don't like to travel TOO much, I would like to travel some. Oh well. Dream on, right? :)


Max said...

Lill, yeah, that thing was huge.
I only ate one half at the restaurant.

I'm back, and I did have a pretty good time, Hannah. Thanks for asking.

~Miss Rose~ said...

Welcome! btw, are you guys going to be at Memorial Day? I'm not sure if we'll be making it...our horse Belle is due RIGHT. ON. THAT. DATE. XP

Max said...

As far as I know...
You never know what can happen, and due dates are rarely accurate to the day, or so I seem to have heard.

~Miss Rose~ said...

That's true, actually. Belle's SO fat right now, and I can feel the baby moving, and she's laying down a lot, which could indeed mean that she'll have it really soon. We're kinda thinking she'll have it before May 31 since she's so big.