China 2010: Days 1 and 2: LAX-HKG-Macau
Pre-trip activities: opening night of Harry Potter 7: Part 1 at The Village theater in Westwood with Alicia, Karen, and Mike. FFFUUULLLLL of students. Awesome and noisy and enthusiastic!
Spent the next few hours at Gate 106 at LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal, eating overpriced refrigerated airport food 'cause it beat starving on the airplane or trying to fill up on Cathay Pacific's cup-o-noodle snacks. Then, herded like cattle into economy class of a Boeing 777-300ER for the 15.5 hours from LAX to Hong Kong. Cathay's got pretty decent seats, power outlets, and 8" or 9" LCDs even in economy, plus decent food, but 15.5 hours is still awfully long. Not to mention the power outlet and the inflight map (at least at my seat) didn't work.
With only myself to talk to and "only" 10 hours of battery life in the laptop, suffice it to say I was about ready to go crazy about halfway through the flight. Landing in Hong Kong was a welcome relief, then my next challenge was trying to remember the names of all of the cousins I was about to meet.
Grabbed some snacks with my Dad while we waited for the ferry to Macau, a fairly decent and quick ferry ride to Macau, and then into the clusterf**k that is Macau immigration. The less-traveled cousins in the group got a very quick introduction to just how "lines" or "queues" in Asia operate-- every man for himself, push push PUSH to get ahead... then our tour guide picked us up to the sound of screaming BMW GT2 and other Formula 3 engines. (cool!)
Turns out the last day of the Macau Grand Prix was that day. SWWEEEETT! Walked the few blocks to the hotel, said good-bye to the guide (we'd see her tomorrow), then wandered the few blocks around the hotel to the Sands Casino, Fisherman's Wharf (not a wharf, a tourist attraction/mall-- a very very very odd place!), and a few other areas. Couldn't get too far due to all the streets being closed for the F3 race.