December 15th, 2006:
After living in Sydney for nine months, I've come to the conclusion that I have become too much of a local(!) It's been ages since I organized any tourist activities and its been all parties and social events for the last couple of months. However, to rectify that I popping home for Christmas and am stopping off for a couple of days in the Big Apple: New York, USA.
There are no direct flights from Sydney to NY (apparently its too far), so a quick stop over in LA was required on the way. Or at least, it should have been a quick stop over...! The flight over the Pacific towards the US was as expected and I was surrounded by The Sick (sneezing, coughing, somebody with Whooping Cough, etc.) while we had The Screaming Baby (looked about a week old, but had a good pair of lungs) who kept us company throughout the night. However, as we arrived into LAX, things took an unexpected twist: LAX was closed due to fog(!) We had to divert to a nearby freight airport ("Ontario", not the Canadian version) and sat in the plane for about two hours while Qantas organized buying more fuel and a landing window at LAX for when the thick fog which blanketed the area disappeared. Its company policy not to serve refreshments while we sat on the runway(?) and also due to the engines being switched off, it did get quite warm but I chose to enjoy the tropical conditions as I figured that it would probably be the last time I would experience the like for a while(!)
So, while the first leg of the trip wasn't ideal, the second leg of the trip, from LAX to JFK is (as the locals say) awesome! I have my own row so I am currently lying out across the row, with a nice glass of wine watching movies on the TV panel at the back of the seat in front of me. The in-flight entertainment system works (its one of those "in-demand" systems which offers over 20 movies and allows you to pause, rewind, etc), the Sick are asleep and The Screaming Baby is absent.... Bliss!