Day 0: Behold, Virgin virgins

We’re about 14 hours into this trip now. I’m typing this as we sit here in the Alaska Airlines Boardroom in terminal 3 at LAX, a godsend if ever there was one. More on that in a minute.

The early phases of the trip were a snap: no traffic facing the cab, barely a line at the Air Canada counter, and literally no line at customs so our spiffy new Nexus passes didn’t feel like major coups. But they’ll prove their worth yet, I’m sure. We had a bite, boarded and were off.

The flight went by quite quickly. The main excitement was when some crazy little Japanese man tried to force Nellie out of her seat and into his. Or his wife’s. Or something. Anyway, it got sorted and we were off. A few chapters of Game Of Thrones (I’m all caught up now!), a Saturday Globe and Mail and a couple episodes of Big Bang Theory later we were on the ground. Early, even.

Of course, early did us no good as we had a bloody long layover in LA. Not enough time to actually go into the city and see something, but too much to comfortably hang around the airport. Especially an airport as shite as LAX. Seriously, it may be the ugliest airport I’ve ever been in — at least what I’ve seen (terminals 2 & 3) and nearly devoid of things to do, especially before going through security. Luckily the Virgin Australia agent took our bags early and pointed us to the international terminal next door, which had restaurants and shops.

We were starving, so my burger and Nellie’s beef dip went down in a hurry, as did our Sierra Nevada pale ale and Pyramid hefeweizen. We took our time and observed the massive Turkish airlines queue and did a little shopping before finally resigning ourselves to return to terminal 3 and head to the gate. At this point we still had nearly five hours to kill.

Despite forgetting my Priority Pass lounge access card at home, I did manage to find my membership number, so we got access to the only lounge in the building: the Alaska Airlines Boardroom. And seriously, it’s so good that we did…comfy chairs, views of the runways and the mountains in the distance, free wi-fi, TV, snacks and coffee* and clean washrooms…it would have been a rough ~4 hours in the crappy-ass chairs downstairs by the gate.

In about an hour we’ll head downstairs and board our flight, and then begins the 15-hour flight. I’ve never been on a plane for that long, but I’ve never flown premium economy either. When I climb out from under the post-flight stupor I’ll let you know how it went.

* Apparently I drink coffee now?

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