We woke up at 8am this morning, after not enough sleep. We had to be at the airport at about 9:30am, so we had enough time to pack up and have a bit of breakfast. The hotel had a buffet breakfast options for $35 each. It was a complete rip off, however we still had credit left over from Qantas, so what the hell. All I had for $35 was a juice, croissant, and a few hash browns, lucky it wasn't my money!! We then caught a cab to the airport and waited in line to check in, with all our very heavy bags that we were quickly getting sick of carrying around!! When we got to the check in desk we again explained our situation and what had happened. The check in lady was very sincere and sympathetic to our situation. It was so nice to feel heard and valued as a customer. She tried everything she could and gave us options via other cities, however everything was booked full, and nothing would get us there earlier. She saw that the seats we had been assigned for our flight to LA were terrible, and knew we would have a horrible flight if we stayed in them. She called up the person who assigns the seats and told them she had some very tall customers who had been severely disrupted, who needed exit row seats! They were able to move some other people out of some exit row seats and put us in them. She also gave us an express pass to get through immigration quickly and apologised for everything that had happened. She is an amazing employee and a credit to the company. When then flew through security and went back up to the lounge. We explained that we had purchased a pass to the lounge yesterday, and because of the disruption we did not get to fly out, and they let us back in!! We only had about 20 minutes before boarding, but enough tim to get a nice coffee and breakfast, much nicer than the hotel!! We then boarded, and as we were on the upper deck of the A380, we got to board with all the business class customers, which was way faster than economy!! Our seats were so good. We were in a cabin of just over 30 people and had unlimited leg room. Because there were so few people in our cabin, the service was really quick and personalised. It defiantly didn't feel like economy!! The meals were exceptional too. I had a chicken salad with sesame soy dressing, that actually tasted fresh, and fruit salad and yogurt for breakfast. The flight is terribly timed though. leaving at 11:30am, you fly through the day, then arriving at 6am in Los angeles, your body feels like it is 1am. That means that breakfast is served at 11:30pm Australia time. Because of this, i didn't get much sleep, just a few hours rest here and there. upon arrival in Los Angeles, we had to clear immigration, along with about 1,500 other people from Australia coming from other flights. Despite this, it only took about 1.5 hours to clear immigration and drop our bags off for our next flight. We decided we would go to the Qantas Business Class lounge in LA and try and talk our way in there. To our surprise we, we managed to get in!! It was another really nice lounge and a great way to kill 3.5 hours. Our American Airlines flight to San Francisco was delayed by about 1/2 and hour, but we were so tired we just slept in the terminal, and on the plane all the way to San Francisco.
As we were in San Francisco a day later than planned, we had missed our first day to rest and recover. We had hired a car for this day to drive and camp in Yosemite National Park. We were both so tired, but we decided to get the car, and drive as far as we could. The rental company upgraded us to a very large SUV, a Toyota 4Runner. We then drove to Walmart to buy food, a phone plan, and snow chains!! everything in one shop, how convenient!! By this time it was 5pm, so we weren't going to get to Yosemite. We drove as far as Thomas could safely handle and got to a small town called Merced, and stayed in a cheap motel there.
It was quite nice, and had two queen beds in the room. For the price we payed it was a great motel!! It was certainly a long day, and defiantly not what we had planned to do, but glad we finally made it to the USA!!!