DTW to LAX
I enjoy arriving to the airport 2 hours or sooner before my flight takes off. I like to be there early because I bring my electric scooter that goes through extra security precautions. And since I have a disability, you have to be patted down and checked in the screening process. But let’s not get too far to that part..
Uh Oh… Too many items
This was my first time checking a large luggage so I knew there may be some trouble. My bag was overweight by 17 pounds.. eek. The limit was 50 pounds for $25 fee and anything over that weight limit is $100. I quickly wheeled my large bag back over to the area where my carry on & scooter were planted. I grabbed as many shoes and heavy items from the larger bag, stuffing them into the carry on – in hopes that I would make the weight limit. I wheeled back over to the weight station and missed the cut by 1 pound!
Oi… the attendant was really nice about it and didn’t mind that it was still overweight. He even comped my fee. Wow, what a nice guy.
I didn’t have my VISA yet – which was a bit of an issue according to the representative at the baggage claim. However, I researched the Indonesia government rules online that mentioned I could purchase a short visit for $35 USD upon arrival to their airport. I explained my research findings to the attendant who made a note in the computer system when scanning my passport. As soon as I arrive in Bali, I have to ensure that I gather that short term or I may not be able to return home to the USA.
Important note: research as much as you can to understand the VISA rules and how long you can stay in the country without paying the price later.
I will keep you posted on how I got around this and what is needed to do to get access.
Fly high in the sky across the world
My first flight departed from DTW to LAX, about 5 hours or so of flying. In order to get to Delta, I had to take a tram that ran thru the airport. It was a bright red subway like transportation that was above ground… I thought this was a clever way to get across the airport quickly.
— Melissa DiVietri ♔ (@Missydi) August 1, 2016
Do you believe in signs…
I’m always looking for signs to tell me that I’m doing the right thing… I was skeptical about traveling this far away from everyone. This trip is something that I desperately needed because I’m constantly on the go. go. go and I wanted to relax. I need to get away from everyone and just do me.. As easy as it may be for some people, it’s not for me. I have so many people that are depending on me.. like they can’t do things for themselves because they don’t try or have the will power.
I arrived to my gate — GateA20… and boom. Starbucks! The SIGN!
Coffee…Coffee… COFFEE! I love Starbucks coffee. I began to think.. yes, this trip was meant to be. I ordered my favorite cup of coffee, Grande Vanilla Iced Latte and went straight to work on my laptop. I had a lot of time to spend until the flight was going to leave so I wanted to crunch as much social media scheduling as possible. I was crushing it! So focused.. so driven.. the flight attendant had to grab me because I was in the zone.
— Melissa DiVietri ♔ (@Missydi) August 1, 2016
First One On… First One Off.
There are some nice perks when you have a permanent disability… the staff treats you so nicely and wants to make sure you are comfortable. I honestly love flying Delta because they have the best customer service. The gate attendant bumped me to the second row in the airplane and helped place all of my luggage above my seat.
Even more impressive… the technology advancements in this new aircraft! It was so comfy with an interactive screen filled with music, TV, movies, music and more! I decided to watch “Billions” which is another TV series about successful business men / women. This was something that I could relate too because i sit in the same type of meetings where you have to know how to talk.. the talk. I enjoyed 3 episodes before the plane landed in Los Angeles. I even wrapped up 3 months of content curation for a client + custom graphic designs.. See what you can do in 5 hours of not being distracted? Me.. a lot!
LAX to SYD
Well, this adventure was quite interesting…After I gathered my electric scooter from the baggage area, I had to be shuttled across the airport to the Virgin Australia area. In order to get to the shuttle area, you were required to go down a flight of stairs.. which was impossible to do because of my electric scooter.
Full Escort Service – Coming Right Up
I had an escort dispatched to walk me back to a restricted area. The restricted area was where the pilots slept, worked out, rested and enjoyed downtime in between flights. I thought this was interesting to see because it wasn’t something publicly discussed. After looking into the different rooms, I started to imagine the pilots resting, laughing and hitting the weights.. it was cool!
My escort was so informative during this short journey to the bus shuttle area. I was loaded on a lift to the bus.. it was a full house. I remembered many of the faces from the waiting area. I apologized for making everyone wait but they didn’t seem to mind. They asked what my name was, where I was from and where I was headed. Some of us had the same flight.. which didn’t leave for another 5 hours so we had some time to explore. The bus drove on the tarmac :O Yah… we came to a halt when a large airplane started to roll across the road. Here’s a video of how close this airplane was to our bus… quite amusing actually.
Time to spare…
I had a lot of time to spare before the flight took off. I took this time to explore the airport.. it was like a mall! Burberry, Michael Kors and many more! The large LED screens were so beautiful – the graphics were epic. There was an electronic clock that told the time and instantly turned into an aquarium with fish swimming a mermaid! I heard beautiful tunes coming from the 5th floor.. I followed this music to my ears. Two men from Venice Beach were playing their hearts away with soft tunes. I found a place to sit and enjoy the music. I somehow ended up at LuckyFish.. and I am allergic to shellfish lol.
Ramen it is!
I ordered the ramen noodle because I knew this would be the only item on the menu that was in the safe zone. I sat in the front area with my ramen and glass of Chardonnay soaking up the moments of this airport. Wow.. LAX is one of the most gorgeous airports that I’ve ever been too. It was almost time to depart so I headed back to my gate. I ran into my new friends from the shuttle and we chatted for a bit. I was the first one on the plane again.. it’s always nice because I can get situated before the madness arrives 😉 It was a HUGE plane so it took awhile to load everyone in. But we were settled and ready to go!
Am I ready for the hardest part of my journey?
It was about that time for the longest flight that I’ve ever been on.. 15.5 hours to Australia. I was ready to do this! No, not really actually. Thankfully, I had a few glasses of wine in my system. I slept for 9 hours! I was so happy.. I was woken up by a crazy woman next to me. She mixed Volume with Alcohol and started screaming about ketchup! I was getting really annoyed. She threw up all over the place which smelled terrible. The crew had to control this woman by buckling her into a seat. I was concerned for her.. why, the f** would you mix a drug like Volume with alcohol? Geez.. she had some real issues going on.. and I was lucky one that sat across from her 😐
Luckily, I keep it real on the internet.
It wasn’t so bad
The last few hours of the plane ride were spent watching Housewives 😍😍 and starting monthly reports for my clients. At the beginning of each month, I create monthly reports that summarize how well search results & social media programs performed. Since I had many hours to go, I jumped into taking care of business. As always.. I can’t sit still.
Look at this beautiful sunrise in Sydney.. just gorgeous!
When arriving to Sydney, my electric scooter somehow magically disappeared… it was frustrating as ever because I personally spoke with the gate attendants to bring up the scooter to the airplanes; as they normally do. This was the same process as every other flight that I’ve ever taken. Over an hour of searching for my scooter.. from international transit, to going thru customs and baggage claim.. no luck. I was starting to panic.. where was the scooter? The other couple got their stroller which was carried down at the same time as my scooter.
Finally.. there was someone on the radio who found the scooter, geez. It was on it’s way to another airplane! I was beyond irritated. I was already tired from dealing with the drugged up lady on the airplane and annoyed because my scooter was broken in the front after it finally arrived. It was not handled with care when it went underneath the plane. The front area was scratched up and there were pieces missing for the handle bar area. I will need to write a complaint on a different day to discuss the handle & care … & frustration that this took.
Look on the bright side
The scooter was found.. this airport was the worse though. There was alcohol everywhere.. and I am not exaggerating. Apparently it is cheaper to buy it at the airport instead of elsewhere. I wasn’t impressed with the lounging areas or food selection. I immediately wished I was back at the LAX airport.
The WiFI sucked.. it kept spotting and making me re-enter my information over & over. I hardly had the chance to check emails. I was ready to go.
I sat in the wrong gate for over an hour.. even after confirming with Virgin Australia on where to be. It was a gate way across the airport. I barely made it to the terminal before boarding started. It’s either my tiredness or just lack of people knowing what their doing.. I wasn’t happy by this point.
Turn that frown upside down
Thankfully, the staff at Virgin airlines was so great. They bumped me to the third row in the plane so I could have better leg room and a place to work on my laptop. I was beginning to feel the bright side of things. I don’t want my jet lag to bring me down when I arrive to my final destination.
The group is waiting!
I have been communicating with the group in Bali during my travel.. keeping everyone posted on where I am / when I will land. I will have less than 2 hours to gather my visa, baggage and make it to the hotel before our dinner at 7PM. I desperately need to change my clothes… I’ve been wearing the same outfit for two days. I brought an extra set in my carry on but I want to freshen up as I was a hot mess on my flight from LA to Sydney.
Let me hear you say — “Hello, Bali!”
Here I am… on the final fight to Bali, Indonesia. I do not know what to expect when I land but I researched in advance so I know that I am ready for this. Sometimes you have to put yourself out there in the most extreme ways to see how you collect your thoughts and deal with what is in front of you.
*Due to unforeseen circumstances, our pilot was forced to turn the plane around and go back to Sydney. A volcano erupted near the airport and we are not sure how long it will take until the air clears to fly back. This is the most upsetting news that I’ve ever experienced but I will do my best to keep everyone updated on my travel.*
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