On our way to Auckland…

Tuesday afternoon, we left Guadalajara for LA with a five-hour layover until we boarded our long flight to Nadi, Fiji. This time, we took Alaska Airlines instead of Volaris, our usual airline for its schedule and non-stop flights to destinations we visit.

By the way, the Guadalajara airport is STILL going through renovations and many restaurants are slated to be opened in the near future but near is a very loose term. We parked ourselves near our boarding gate (B10), hoping to get a quick bite or a sandwich. I left Jim with the bags and literally walked a half a kilometer each way to the nearest place to get something to eat. The Subway was beyond the baggage claim exit around gate C31, with at least 20 people in line. That was a no go. Fortunately, I found a lackluster chicken wrap and a tepid ham sandwich for Jim and made my way back to where he was. He almost sent out a posse to locate me! Mission accomplished but do not assume that previous services are available now until construction is completed… hopefully in our lifetime! Happy travels.

Our seat-mate to LA was a young man who turned 31 today and manages a band that travels a lot, including Monterrey, Pueblo, and Guadalajara, Mexico. The band is traveling to the UK and France next month, so dealing with the logistics of transportation of people and instruments has to be daunting.

The reason I mention him is because when Jim was using his neck pillow, he realized that one of his hearing aids was missing. With the light on our phones, this lovely young man, Jim, and I scoured the floor and seats to find it. All to no avail. Considering that hearing aids are costly and the missing one was really needed for his right ear, a little panic ensued.

After much chagrin, Jim checked the carrying case and lo and behold, the right hearing aid was still in the case. It seems that he forgot to put it in while getting ready to go to the airport! Whew and double whew! A friend uses a very subtle and unnoticeable “leash” that connects to hearing aids to you keep them from getting lost by accident. It sounds like an inexpensive and necessary addition to consider. Our new friend was so helpful and kind, especially at his age. 

If you haven’t ventured through LAX, take a tranquilizer (and perhaps a wheelchair) before you have to go from one terminal to another. We arrived at Terminal 6 and had to go to the Tom Bradley international Terminal. Yes, there is a shuttle but it goes all around the airport before getting to our destination. So, we walked and walked, about 15-20 minutes to check our bag on Fiji Air. 

Once inside the terminal, there is a dance to get to security. There was a huge line to go to the escalator to go to the security area. They have someone checking boarding passes and passports. We noticed that the escalator wasn’t working. All of a sudden, the person checking boarding passes told the long line thAt they had to go to the other end of the terminal to get to security. Many began running, as they didn’t want to miss their flights.

We were able to go attach ourselves to a family with two strollers at the nearby elevator, only reserved for wheelchairs and strollers. They let us oldies on the elevator with a wink. When you get to security, you have to walk three at a time so security dogs can sniff if you have any contraband. The poor dog had to walk back and forth with the handler hundreds of times. It is quite a challenge to go the this process.

Finally, we boarded our flight to Nadi. I hope to get some sleep during the 11 hour flight and maybe some interesting food… We’ll see.

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