So after a good night celebrating with friends at the Rockaway Beaches, we headed for bed. You see, it was a very familiar bed, since we were just in Queens NY in January celebrating and photographing the bar mitzvah for Jake, who is Stu and Jodi’s son. Its funny that once you get to know your friends, visit their house several times over the years, a feeling of warmth and home comes over you.
Too excited to sleep was the mantra for the night. My internal clock went off at 0600 and I was ready to get this day going. Since we had to rebook our DC to Jberg flight too, we ended up going out of JFK, which happens to be a 15 hour and 10 minute direct flight. Thats right, no stops like we would have had to do on the DC flight (landing in Accra Ghanna for fuel), which shaved 2 hours off the total flight time.
Jodi had Saturday Criminal Court to oversee, so since she was headed in the direction of JFK, she provided our drop off with plenty of time to spare for the 11:15 AM EST flight. Yes, she is a Justice, and her name is Jodi and yes, we call her Judge Jodi (or Justice Jodi). Its a riot! And yes, I downloaded the Trip Case application and loaded my newest/current/most-recent/exact itinerary into it. Yeah, thanks for the tip, Kelly and everyone else that poured salt in my humiliated wounds.
There we were, checking in with a lot of time to spare, bags under regulation weight and plenty of time to get through the security line. We stopped for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee and ate while I finished up the blog post from day 1. Yeah, glad that day is over!
The airplane we ended up getting was an Airbus 340-600, so it has two aisles with 2 seats on each side and 4 seats in the middle, which is something like this (xx_xxxx_xx). Guess where our seats were on this lovely flight… yup, right where the big X’s are (xx_xXXx_xx). The cool factor of this plane is 1), we got free beer and fed once we hit about 20,000 ft, 2) each seat had its own radio and TV, which played current movies, and 3) it was headed to South Freakin Africa.
We played around with the TV and found that Kathy’s didn't work quite right. So, we broke out the laptop and played American Sniper, which we had not yet seen. Quite a movie, I must say. I recall that the movie was supposed to portray actual facts that Chris Ryan dealt with on his four tours overseas. All in all, the movie made me very proud to be an American, though there were some pretty horrific scenes in it. Props to Clint Eastwood for directing it they way he did.
Sleeping wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be. We both received sedatives for the flight, which we both took. However, the seating arrangements weren't quite as comfy as they could be, since we would each have to disturb one or more people just to get out of our seats to get up. We did get a breakfast with about 2 hours to go on the flight. Pretty modest breakfast I might add as well. Actually, the food was great and plentiful throughout the whole flight. I event went back and got a bag of Fritos and a wrap to split with Kathy midway through our flight.
We landed at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at 8:00 (UTC+2), which is 1:00 AM CST, we left gate A to go to B to be told to go to E. And yes, we had to go back through security… The good news is that we found a watering hole called Airport Craft Breweries Pub and Restaurant. Kathy started with a Mojito and I with an Airport Craft Brewers Tasting Tray (7 sample beers).
|Good plane! Plesae dont wreck!|
|The Detour - oh my!|
We are still trying to get our internal body clocks working right, since we were basically up since 6:00 AM EST on Sunday and its now 9:00 PM ZA Monday night (which is 3:00 AM EST - 45 hours) with very little sleep on the plane rides. Heading to bed early tonight so we can get ready for the 8:00 AM ZA Photo Safari. Should be a hoot!
|Not a bad price for beers|
|Someone is tired!|
|Someone is tired|
|Bus Ride From Jberg Terminal To Plane - Sardine Style|
|Boarding the flight in Jberg|
|On the flight headed to Richards Bay|
|Our kick ass room at Zulu Nyala|