Tuesday, August 11 Well, it's actually day two but we'll call it day 3 as that's the reality of it for us. Arrived in LA with no dramas. Went through customs and collected or luggage for the domestic flight to Atlanta scheduled for 1040. After picking up our luggage we had a quick luggage drop off around the corner and headed for the domestic gate. The flight was scheduled for 1040 as I said earlier and as the last person who bought tickets was loaded on we waited patiently for our names to be called. Damn, no seats. So, the next flight to Atlanta was at 1210. Again, waiting to hear our names called for a seat after everyone was boarded. Success! We got on. We were worried because we were scheduled to fly to Rochester from Atlanta at 2056 (8:56pm) and its a six hour flight. Arrived at Atlanta and didn't have to pick up our luggage as it was forwarded to Rochester because it was a domestic flight and the final destination was Rochester wether we made the flight or not. It was a loooong way to the gate and we had to take a train. That was convenient because if we had to walk we wouldn't have made the flight as we were already late. No worries... got on the flight to Rochester (and it was also full and we were the last seats again!) That got us to Rochester, NY at 2311 (11:11pm). I don't think we will be going directly to New York again. Too long flying and waiting; like at least a full 24 hours if not 27. Did I say too old for this shit already?
Tuesday, August 11 Get up at 0745 to get ready to catch the 0830 bus to Sydney international. All is good and we go to the Delta check in. Massive line for the flight to LA and we are on "buddy passes" which is standby so we are a little nervous. The flight leaves at 1105 and by the time we got through the line it was about 0945. So after we checked in we had to wait at the check out area until our name was cleared for a seat. We listened as other names were called out thinking shit, are going to make it? It was a full flight and we just made it on. Getting too old for this shit.... it was a good flight actually (coach) and seemed to go quite fast. We left at 1105 Tuesday and got to LA at 0800 Tuesday. Still weird after flying for fourteen hours and getting there the same day but earlier. Free booze, food, movies and snacks.. yay Delta! Watch the movie PK.
Monday, August 10 It's been awhile now since we were in the good ole US of A. Day one starts with the trip from Tasmania to Sydney. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a routine flight then we check in to the (budget) Ibis hotel. Clean rooms, comfortable bed and only $100.00 for the night. Krispy Creame doughnuts is right across the parking lot and you can see it from our window on the fifth floor. No, we do not go to eat doughnuts...
Friday June 13 – Day 44 We landed at Sydney at 7:05am and had to catch a flight on Tiger air the leaves at 9:45. Now that wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that the plane to Sydney left an hour later and now we had a lot less time to catch the flight to Melbourne. I will say Delta Airlines is a good airline and we will definitely fly with them again. Exiting the plane was quick and going through customs was just as quick. Getting the baggage also took no time but we had a bit of a wait for our guitars to come from oversize baggage. After a bit of a kafuffle with the busses and where to catch one we decided to get a cab to the domestic terminal about fifteen minutes from international. What a dumb layout at Sydney airport. They should have a quick train to the domestic terminal. We made it to the baggage check in at Tiger Air with five minutes to spare before they closed the counter! Got through security and got on the plane to Melbourne; an hour and fifteen minute flight. Our friend Nathan kindly picked us up and took us to his place where we will stay until Monday I think. Well, that’s the USA RECORD AND PLAY diary. It was a great trip and the recording was fantastic. We also had some fun gigs to play in each state we visited and met some great people along the way. We will miss our friends and family till next time. This IS rock and roll life. Many photos will be posted on reverbnation.com and our website thesign.com. Hope you enjoyed reading our adventures and please come back for more in the future. )(
Thursday June 12 – Day 43 35000 ft, 700 mph tossing and turning, watching many movies, eating food, drinking Bloody Marys and Gin and tonics, playing video games and having no luck sleeping for fifteen hours. Are we there yet?
Wednesday June 11 – Day 42 We got up at 10:00am and we are packed and ready for the trip to Jack & Stacie’s house before going to LAX for the trip home. HOME! Yay! We left 29 Palms at about 11:00am and it was a good trip on the US10 till we got near to LA. We always wonder; where the hell are all these people coming and going to? Five lanes on one side and five lanes on the other totally full and slow moving! We made it to Jacks just a shade over three hours. It was a nice break to see him and his family again before going to LAX. We had a chat at home for awhile then he took us out for some Chinese dinner. After dinner we left for the airport and made it with no dramas or heavy traffic. I (Paul) dropped Jo off at the terminal and returned the car to FOX then got the shuttle back to LAX. We checked in and got on the 10:15pm flight to Sydney with no problems except it left an hour later due to a late arrival from JFK that had 26 passengers who needed to get on. Woo Hoo! On our way home.....
Tuesday June 10 – Day 41 Well, the car is not back yet so I don’t know what the problem is but my bro will let me know. We play at 29 Palms Inn tonight 6:00pm till 9:00. We arrived at the gig at around 5:30pm because it is an acoustic only gig. No PA or amps. It was quite pleasant to play totally unplugged. As it was way too hot outside by the pool we played in the restaurant and had a great time. Made heaps of $$ in tips, got food, drink and got paid. What more could you want? At about 9:45pm we were winding down to finish the owners came in because they heard all about us from their customers and staff and wanted to hear us play. We played for them till about 9:15pm and they thoroughly enjoyed it. They shouted us a Bloody Mary each and they asked us to come back again and next time they will give us a free room at their hotel! Cool.... We visited the new casino in 29 Palms where my brother Russ works as a card dealer and it may be possible next time we come to the desert we could play there. We have to fill out a job application as if we are going to be employed by the casino and they do a police check on us. Could be interesting.. 2:00am and it’s time to pack and get ready for the trip back home.
Monday June 9 - Day 40 Russ woke me up at 9:00am to help him push our Chevy Malibu on the mechanics tow truck ramp. Apparently there is another problem with the new (used) engine he put in last week. When Russ was driving the car it over heated and when he tried to start it again it would not start. The mechanic guaranteed it for four months so all is good. He took it away and is going to fix it (again). Today will be another day just to relax before we play the gig at 29 Palms Inn tomorrow.
Sunday June 8 – Day 39 As usual we only got a couple of hours sleep and we were off to the Rochester airport at 4:30am to catch the flight to Atlanta. We have to arrive early at the airports because we are on buddy passes (standby). It is a bit tense because we never know if we are going to make the flights at the time. We did make the 6:00 flight to Atlanta and we got First Class! After we landed in Atlanta (2 hour flight) we made it to the gate to catch the 8:50 flight to LAX. That flight was very close to being full but we did manage to get on the flight. All the other flights leaving for LAX that day were full so we were lucky. We had seats right at the end of the plane! From the front of the bus to the back of the bus LOL. It was about a four hour flight to LAX and we had to turn our watches back three hours because of the time difference, so we arrived and hour after we left. I did manage to get an hour sleep on the plane. After we landed we got our luggage the off to the car rental office at the Sheraton hotel on Airport Rd by the shuttle. NU Car rentals, DO NOT rent from them. They offer a price on the internet but when you go to get the car, all of a sudden there are hidden insurance prices you have to pay making the REAL rental price almost THREE times the price you were offered. Needles to say I was pissed! We were really tired and wasted from no sleep and travel and the WiFi at the hotel was trouble and the iPad battery died and this and that happened but I managed to call FOX car rentals who I hired a car from a few trips back. They gave me a good price so we had to take the shuttle back to the airport then get another shuttle to where they are on Century Blvd. We waited at the airport for their shuttle for about fifteen minutes but no on came around. Another car hire bus driver told us that Thrifty car rental was right next door to FOX so we jumped on the next Thrifty bus and we were there! I got a small car and when I went to get it the person who doles out the cars saw me trying to pack everything into this little car laughed and he gave us a full size car upgrade for nothing! FOX is in my good books for car rentals in LAX! We drove to 29 Palms in a couple of hours with no dramas and settled into Russ and Kathy’s house for the stay till Wednesday, when we go home. A word to the wise... any foreigner who rents a car in the US has to have liability insurance of some kind. So the prices you see for the car rentals DO NOT include insurance. NU Car rentals said it was MANDATORY but it is not and makes you pay for it. FOX said I did not have to have it but the ramifications of not having it is $$$$$$$$$ in lawsuits. So it is advisable to pay the extra $20.00 or $25.00/day for insurance especially when the car rental is $13.00 or $17.00/day.
Saturday June 7 - Day 38 The Volta reunion party started about 2:00pm. It is always great to see relatives and friends we love so dearly but don’t get to see for years. Nieces and nephews are getting older as well as great nieces and nephews! It was great to see my (Paul) mom who is going to be 89 years old this August. She is in good health and getting around with no problems. It all wound up about 9:30pm and it was time to get packed and ready for the 6:00am flight out of Rochester to Atlanta, and then off to LAX.