Day 1 of training is complete and I’m sitting in my cosy little room before dinner. So far the course is ok – nothing to challenging but today was only Day 1 so expect things will pick up as we go.
Sunday morning started off quite stress free. Qantas had sent a text the night before saying the flight had been rescheduled to 10am so that meant an extra hour in bed! There was no traffic so we arrived at the airport quickly. Having checked in online I was able to skip a huge queue at the airport so there was plenty of time for a Maccas breaky before heading through security. Then, when I went to go through the security gates thee was a massive queue!
In total it took about an hour to get through immigration and security. I then queued for another 20 minutes to get a refund on the GST for my new camera, only to miss the cut off time by 2 minutes. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do about that, but to make it worse the flight was delayed a further 45 minutes so there should have been time. After all that waiting we left Melbourne at 11am.
The flight was good. I watched a lot of TV shows and a couple of movies. There was also lots of food and before long we were in LA. Since the flight left Melbourne late I couldn’t make my connecting flight to Chicago so I was moved to another flight at 11am. At first I thought the 3 hour wait was going to be a long one, but it actually took about 2 hours to get through immigration and customs, then walk to the domestic terminal (number 7 way off in the distance in the photo below), check in to my next flight and go through two more sets of security (I had to take off my shoes to go through the scanner – not sure what I could have been hiding in them) . In the end I only had 30 minutes to kill at the gate.
By the time the flight took off I was exhausted so I slept through most of it. Julie and Jess were on the same flight so we caught up in the airport at Chicago. We met up with a few other girls from Melbourne and caught a limo together to Q Center.
Once at Q Center we checked in to our rooms then went down to dinner. I think I’m going to get pretty fat here – there were three different buffets to choose from! Q Center is massive, with hundreds of rooms to stay in and plenty of conference facilities. There’s also a fitness centre with gym and swimming pool, games room with pool tables, Foosball and table tennis, and heaps of outdoor activities. We went for a walk to the lake after dinner and checked out the facilities.
After that it was well and truly bed time, with an early start on Monday (8am in the training room). I had a delicious breakfast of waffles, bacon and scrambled eggs, before heading to training. My body is still on Melbourne time and wanted to go to bed at lunch time, but after a few coffees I made it through the day. It’s almost time for dinner then we’re heading to the pub for karaoke! There are a couple of locals here and we’ve been collecting ideas for the rest of our trip. It’s going to be a busy few weeks!