Well, here's a day by day report on my AX trip!! The photos are at the bottom of each page!
4th July 2001
Today involved waking up early enough to get ready and pack for my flight from Seattle to LA. (I'd been on a holiday to Canada and ended up in Seattle... so I was already mostly packed. I just needed to finish shoving my toiletries and whatnot into my suitcase... then check out of my not-very-good motel-like inn - it didn't even have a clock nor a light - just some lamps near my bed that could not be turned on from the door! Bleh!!!)
The taxi was a fixed price to the airport ($25 if I recall correctly), and amazingly enough I got a limo. It was comfortable, but not one of the long ones with a bar and television and whatnot in the back - oh, well!
The plane ride itself (after a long wait at the airport - I was way too early, but I had to be in case of traffic!) was alright, I guess. It was a tiny plane with no tvs, nothing to listen to with headphones nor any food (apart from a little packet of rather ordinary snacks and a soft drink). I've got to say that the Qantas version of this American Airlines plane that I was on (between the Whitsundays and Sydney) had a television and a meal! At least the flight was only two hours...
Except I had to change flights at San Jose. For some reason, instead of getting me to catch the connecting flight, my travel agent decided to have me wait a few hours to catch a much later flight. I had time to eat and read, I guess... though it was really, really boring and I had to carry my hand luggage about with me everywhere.
The flight to LA, though, was much better than the one to San Jose. The flight, despite being exactly the same sort of plane without any entertainment or a meal (again), it was pretty good! Why, you might ask... Because there were only about 12 people on the whole flight! We had about three air hostesses between us 12! That was cool. ^_^
I was picked up at LA by Trisha, Jono and Matt (though they went to the wrong terminal first, so I just sat around and waited at the baggage claim at my terminal... but at least they got to me eventually! ^_^ ) The guys picked up my luggage for me, and we all went to her car ... and headed off to the Long Beach Hyatt!
Trisha and I were sharing a room, so she'd already checked in, so when I got to the hotel I didn't need to bother with all the trouble of hanging around with tons of luggage waiting in a queue to get a room ... Trisha just handed over my room key and up we went to drop off my bags at our lovely room! It was so much better than where I'd been staying in Seattle! (Next time I go to Seattle, I might take up Angie's (Besh's girlfriend) offer to stay at her place... she has a lovely place.)
After freshening up a little, we all headed downstairs to the hotel's restaurant for dinner. We were meant to meet up with others, but there was some trouble with not enough tables, and people not saying that they'd turn up and then turning up and such. We did have two tables outside, but our small group ended up moving inside to let all the rest sit at the two tables. Dinner, when it was finally sorted out, was quite nice... but rather expensive.
I left early to get dressed into my kimono (it takes forever to put on, with the obi - between 30m to 1 hour, and that's not even doing the obi up correctly!) so I missed out on the fireworks. At least Trisha came up a little bit after the fireworks had finished, and helped me finish dressing while she got into her yukata.
Things didn't turn out as we had planned. We were meant to have the party in our room, and have Brad and Marco next door, with adjoining doors so people who turned up could go into either room. We'd have the drinks for the party, and Marco and Brad would have the music. I don't know what on earth Brad and Marco were playing at, but they never got the room next to us... they got a room on a whole other level!! So we ended up having the party in Jono's room. Although we did see Brad and Marco, we never got the music. Oh, well! We had a small range of drinks, and everyone just sat on the two beds and talked to each other for the evening. I met some new people, and most of my friends were there... so it was nice, even though it wasn't what we'd wanted. We called it a 'Geisha Party' because of us in kimono and yukata respectively.
All up, it was a nice precursor to AX.
Here's a list of the images - select the link or the thumbnails (they have been cropped, so the largest images are shown in full) to view them!
|Almost Empty Plane - Heh, that was really nice to only have about 12 other people on the plane in front of me...|
|And No-One Behind - Even better - no-one was behind me! We could sit anywhere we wanted to (in economy class, anyway) So everyone got a window seat!|
|LA from the Plane - If you look closely, you'll see a city in that smog. That's LA. *shudder* I can't believe people can live in all that stuff...|
|Hyatt View - The view of the Convention Centre from my hotel room on the 15th floor!|
|Matt, Trisha and Jono - The first of my AX friends that I saw this year. This was probably taken at dinner, inside the restaurant - the lighting sucked.|
|Some Geisha Clients - A select group of people turned up in Jono's room for the exclusive Geisha Party... It was, of course, invite only. Sorry!|
|The Other Geisha Clients - There was some drinking, chatting and playing with silly putty to amuse the guests while the geisha were busy.|
|Geisha and Maiko - Of course the party had to be graced by the unnamed geiko and maiko, who served the men drinks and entertained them. Unfortunately they all forgot to pay their hanadai...|
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