We traveled to the Central Coast, the day before departure, to leave our car with Stirls.
He dropped us off at the airport and we settled in for the 24+ hour trip.
Despite the recently increased terror alert, there was no noticeable increase in security at Sydney International.
The first leg was just over 12 hours across the Pacific with United. They have changed the planes on this route from Boeing 747s to 777-200s which are smaller and slower but have the advantage of a modern IFE system which was missing in the older aircraft so we were able to get our movie fix. But I must admit I miss the Jumbo. Despite having the same economy seat pitch, 31 inches, it did seem a little more squishy. However our flight was not full and we had spare seats beside us so it wasn't too uncomfortable.
We arrived 35 minutes early in San Francisco but had to wait until a medical emergency that had occurred a few hours out got evacuated. We then made it through immigration, customs and domestic security without problems.
After quiet sit, relax, people watch and read for a few hours in T3 (the next flight was delayed), we were then off to Denver in an Airbus A320.
Time there for dinner at Wolfgang Puck.
Then it was onto Sioux Falls in a really new Canadair CRJ700.
The planes always get progressively smaller on this particular trip.
Another delay as they couldn't reconcile the passenger list numbers.
We arrived in Sioux Falls about an hour late. Our bags arrived with us which is always nice.
Quite a temperature difference from Sydney, around 45degrees C. BBBBBBRRRRR!
We were pleasantly surprised that family was there to meet us and take us to our hotel.
Thanks K2 and Carin.
We were more than happy to fall into bed at our airport hotel and slept well until mid morning.
Door to door the trip was around 31hours.
We have just had a very late breakfast and will soon be off to pick up our rental and begin the visit rounds.
But it is obvious jet lag is going to be our company for the first few days.