In the morning I ended up rushing - even though I'd set the alarm to get me up more than two hours before I need to go. By the time I'd packed, got my gear out of storage, and gone to the bank to get some more money I was half an hour later than I'd wanted to leave (and probably an hour later than I should have). Plus I'd been planning on checking email and having breakfast! The taxi driver was brilliant and took me through a lot of small streets that I'd never been on before - back roads all the way to the airport got us around the worst of the traffic and we made up more time than I'd lost. While checking in I find out that I can only check two bags - I had three, so I had to take my dive gear as carry on - kind of a pain to carry it around. The flight went quickly - I just watched the movie and we were almost there.
Since I wasn't flying China Airlines we got to use the new terminal - a much better Taiwan experience than the last two times - lots of cafes, and lounge areas, and even two internet centers. Even better I only had an hour to waste. I checked my email and found that my parents are thinking that I'm arriving tomorrow and can't come pick me up. I sent a note telling them that I would be in today. At the security check they made me check the little dive knife on my BC separately (even though the EVA officials in Bangkok had insisted it was small enough when I asked expressed worry about carrying it). Then at the gate they made me check the entire bag (like I wanted to do at the start) because on this flight only one carry-on was allowed. This was a long flight and I was unable to sleep - I watched four movies (For a total of five: Delivering Milo, The Contender, The Mexican, Josie and the Pussycats, and Monkeybone)
In Los Angles immigration was easy with only a ten minute wait. Then I waited nearly an hour for my bags, and mean while three or four other large flights came in and customs was a zoo - at least a 30 minute wait. I finally walked out of the airport nearly two hours later than I had told my parents. I was worried that they had been driving around in a circle waiting so I rushed out and waited on the curb until I started to recognize the cars driving around then went back in to call, only to find no one was coming to get me. Luckily I didn't have to wait to long for a shuttle and traffic wasn't bad, but with four other stops first it still took and hour and a half to get back to Laguna. By the time I got home I'd been going for well over twenty hours and was a little wired. I hung out and talked, then we had Mexican take out for diner. Amazingly I ended up staying up late reading the pile of mail that had been collected for me.
This is the end of my travels and after four plus years the end of my journal. So until I give up and hit the road again, Thanks for reading, Tony