Okay, here's what happened. The Southwest flight from Sac to LAX was a dream. We even got there early. Which I guess is good, but it made the wait for the night flight longer. So I arrived at LAX on Thursday the 5th at about noon. My night flight wasn't leaving until 10:10 p.m. So, I basically hung out at LAX for a really long time. Hours later the flight is finally ready to board... and we waited. And waited.... and waited... Around 10:45 p.m. it is announced that the plane we were supposed to take to Aus had been grounded by the mechanics. There was some serious icing damage to the electrics in the wings (we didn't find that out until later) and the flight had been rescheduled for the next morning at 9 a.m. They had to wait for a plane to come in from Australia. So they put us up at hotels for the night. I think I got stuck at the Crown Regency??? It was after midnight by the time we got to the rooms, and we were all exhausted and annoyed. I got maybe 45 minutes of sleep, then woke up with a rash all over my forearms and the right side of my face. Apparently I'm allergic to whatever they washed the pillow cases in. It was fun. I thought at first that the place had bed bugs, because the rash initially presented with pinprick red dots. But within a half hour I had full fledged hives. It was great. I finally fell asleep on the couch around 4:30, and the wake up call to get us back to the airport came in at 5 a.m. Not a happy camper.
We all got checked through security. Again. And then we got loaded onto a plane. And were told that the flight was waiting on three passengers to show up at the gate. We waited for 20 minutes. Then were told that the passengers had been found! We cheered! Then we were told the passengers had decided to take a different flight to Sydney... and we'd be delayed another 20 minutes while their baggage was located. We groaned. Eventually we got off the ground. Smoothest take off I have ever been privileged to experience. We climbed up to about 25,000 feet before all the alarms in economy class went off. Fire Alarms. Some of us were alarmed. Sorry. Bad pun there. Actually lots of us were a bit freaked out by this, especially when the lights dimmed down to nothing, then blinded us when they came back up. Then off again and one again, and the alarm is going and the kids are either laughing or screaming... Then the alarm stopped, and the lights went back to normal. The stewards were still rushing around like speed addicted ferrets however, so we all knew something was up. The captain came on over the intercom a few minutes later and apologized to us all for the delayed flight, all three delays, and let us know that the plane was just fine, but that there was some sort of electrical fault with the economy cabin. *sighs* So, for the next six hours we got to deal with lights dimming and brightening, extremely loud music getting blasted through the intercom, the entertainment computers on the backs of the seats going down without warning and lastly (which didn't really affect us) the off duty area for the stewards had no air conditioning. Which meant that the poor stewards couldn't get away from us for 15 hours. We only had to deal with 6 hours of electronic weirdness. The stewards got to deal with 15 hours of severely irritated and pissed off passengers. What made it worse, was that it was a day flight. You can't just sleep and wake up in the morning. We got into Sydney a full 11 hours later than we were supposed to. It was great. Honest.
From the airport I had intended to just take a shuttle into North Sydney so I could be dropped off at the place I was going to stay for a week. Except by the time I trudged out of customs, I didn't want to bother with trying to figure out how to use a shuttle, let alone try to hail one. So, I went for what I did know. Which was the train system. I got a week pass for Trains, Buses and Ferries from the ticket counter. I love that all I have to do is get a pass for a week. Saves a lot of time and money. Then I took the elevator down, climbed on a train to Town Hall, and got off at Circular Quay. Got on the Ferry to go to North Sydney, and got off at my stop. The only hitch I had was that I had completely forgotten about all the stairs. Heh. Fortunately a very nice gentleman who was going out with his family helped me all the way up to the top of the stairs. From there I was able to just roll everything to the top of the street, take a left, and then up to the Lodge. I checked in, went up to my room, with the help of the front desk clerk, and pretty much just passed out. I was totally exhausted. I only got about 45 minutes of sleep on the plane, and then I was awake. I think I watched most of the movies they had on the flight. And TV shows. Given that I hadn't been sleeping well even before I got on the planes, I think I was awake for almost 3 days straight. I've done it before, but it is not something I am willing to repeat in the future. Although, given my track record, I probably will end up pulling marathon days again.
I'll get back to the second Sydney adventure soon. :)