If I were completely accurate, I would have to say my journey started when I told Paris I wanted a ticket to WWDC even if the AUC weren’t going to give me one for a scholarship. But in actuality it started last week when I decided to shift my sleep schedule in order to make the transition to US Pacific time smooth. Easy: because my alarm clock is really my Mac Mini and a combo of iCal, iTunes, Automator and ABC Classic FM streaming radio, all I had to do was shift the events in iCal and all was good to go. That, and pack.
This brings me to Friday the 5th, Tasmania time. The night before, I hit the sack at 6pm, and awoke right on schedule at 2:30 AM… leaving me a good 6 hours before the time I planned to be at Hobart Airport and 8 hours before the first flight. So around 5:30 AM I got bored and went for a walk around Sandy Bay.
With the added moisture to wake me up further, I proceeded to work on packing remaining items into my case and try to get some 60IV webmaster requests out of the way. Fast forward to coffeetime at Hobart Airport:
And who should we run into at Hobart Airport, also going on the same flights to the same conference? Our old lecturer and tutor Mark Hepburn! Despite Paris’s foreshadowing that Melbourne air traffic control were hours behind and the plane would be delayed, we got boarded and sent off on time. So began our journey in earnest.
Now I have never travelled internationally before, so my expectations of what would happen at customs and immigration was, shall we say, influenced by my dear friends who were travelling with me. But on reflection, the whole process was quite smooth.
We got into Sydney domestic with no bumps from the plane and proceeded to the transfer bus that took us over to the international terminal. There were many possibilities for fantastic shots of rows of Qantas jet tail-fins but nobody had a camera out. Then, we stood in a queue for about half an hour to have our passports looked at and our departure cards examined. At this point nobody was allowed to have cameras or phones out.
In the queue I was with Tony, and naturally, the number of Tony jokes was pretty big. I’ll spare the reader.
So then after the queue, we made a promise to wait for each other while going through Security 2.0 before heading through the duty-free stores and to the gate. Of course, I lost track of everybody, thinking Tony was somewhere ahead of me, and decided going to the gate was a good idea. Little did I know everybody was looking for me! So I called and they called and the whole lot was sorted out with time to spare. Sorry guys, won’t happen again!
Thus I boarded a 747. Another first for me. We had prearranged the seating back in Hobart, and I was with Jess and Jess in row 60, on the port side. I got 60C-–aisle seat.
Between the decent movie selection, horrid crackling in the sound system, PA announcements every five minutes, inter-seat phone calls, and awkward leg-bag interplay, I managed at least four instances of unconscious sleep.
We landed in San Francisco and disembarked in very good time, and proceeded to the US side of the customs and immigration joy we had experienced back in Sydney. Again, after a half-hour queue, we tried the meet-up-just-after- trick again and it worked this time. But adrenalin shot up as the computer that the US immigration agent was using, at the booth I was at, decided to freeze up, so I had to do my scans twice.
Then we collected our luggage and went through customs. This was surprisingly less painful than I anticipated-–of course, who would have been feeding us stories of cavity searches and probing? (Hint: His name starts with ‘P’) and in fact less painful than anybody anticipated since none of our luggage was checked. I think Andrew had some kind of handerchief trick in his bag that he was anxious to try out on the wary US customs agent, but he was deprived!
So what next? Tony took the lead and we all went to catch the BART train into town. Another minor hiccup occurred when the gate ate my ticket, but this was sorted really quickly and we were on our way. Still not many choice photo opportunities, but hey, I’m pretty much the only person on this trip without a non-phone camera.
After the train, however, there were some photos to be had.
We checked in, had showers, rehydrated, and met back in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott.
The rest of the day is summarised thusly: we went to Moscone to check out the Apple display,
We checked out Yerba Buena gardens, and went to have tea at the Samovar tea place there…
We set out from Samovar towards the Embarcadero…
We looked around the port, then moseyed past the piers towards Fisherman’s Wharf…
We had a burger and drink at Johnny Rockets and then things went uphill from there, as we walked up Hyde St and Powell St, watching the cable cars roll past…
Then we walked down (and up and down and etc) to Union Square…
Then to the Apple store…
…and back to the hotel. Which is where I am now. I’m zonked. And with that, I’ll be off to bed. |-)