Thursday, March 27, 2014

From Paris to Los Angeles

Every expatriation begins with a trip and ours was quite epic ! L.A.-Paris is not really like we were going in the middle of Australia, but we experimented every mistake. Mistakes that we will tell you how to avoid.

1/ The moving

Firstly the moving began badly. We had planned to stay only one year at the beggining, so we decided to take with us only the basics (2 bags each) and to stock the rest. In Paris, we used to live in two tiny rooms, so you can easily imagine that we didn't have a lot of stuff. Moreover, we sold/gave much of it, and we thought that the moving would be quick. So, I planned only 3 days for the sorting and the packing while Jibouille was still working. Well, I can tell : this is not enough !!! For packing, it's fine, but the sorting took much more time than expected ! I wanted to take everything (and specially my comics and books, which obviously were too big for my bag...) and I had to sort at least four different times (not including the last time at my parents just before leaving !). And of course, we had planned a party which turns into a cleaning/sorting party...not really fun of course !

  • Advice n°1 : Prepare your luggages and pack beforehand, even so you have to camp then !

2/ The trip

For the flight, we had a direct one, because it was not much more expensive and we didn't want to risk losing our stuffs (specially after spending so much time to sort them !)
Nevertheless, even so we were very early at the airport for once (3h early !), we had so many troubles that we almost missed the flight !

  • Advice n°2 : Arrive very early (more than 3h before the flight). This is too important to stay stressed !

Indeed, we had planned to pay our extra luggages wih our miles, but instead of the 15 000 miles announced on the web, we had to pay 40 000 miles !! (That we didn't have of course...) As a result, we had to pay 70€ for an extra luggage (instead of the 56€ on internet).
Furthermore, we thought that we could have 23kg each for the luggages so 46 for both of us, but....wrong !! We were allowed to have 23kg EACH, so 23kg + 23kg and not 32kg + 14kg as we thought... And here is a second extra fee of 100€ !!! (second added luggage for the extra 9kgs...)

  • Advice n°3 : Pay all your extra luggages on internet and read well the rules (often 23kgs by person)

We went consequently annoyed to the border, when we got arrested to check our cabin luggages (already checked on the counter). I'm used to travel always with my purse, my computer and my small suitcase and nobody ever checked them. But, of course, they scale everything this time, even my coat and I had to send one of my bag in the aircraft hold...and also to pay...200 € !!!!!! (I was extremely upset, specially because I could have put my bag in the valise for which I already paid the extra fees !!!!!!!) What a rip off, no ?????

  • Advice n°4 : Check your hand luggages : it's only allowed to have 2 bags and 12kgs maximum with you.
However, golf bags are free and without weight limit (or if there is one, it's over-estimated), so you could use it to put your stuffs. Kind of stupid by the way, but at least, we can use it.

After this, the flight was really good : the A380 plane is really awsome, the crew was really nice and even the 11 hours flew too fast ! For the Y-generation, you could even watch old eighties cartoons like "Il était une fois les explorateurs" or "Lucky Luke" !!

You can even take a look on your plane (and check if the wing is not burning ^^)

Here are some picture of L.A. I took during the plane :
Youhouuu !!! There is snow. !!!
3/ The arrival

After this long trip and many ice cream and salty butter caramels, we finally arrived in USA...or almost !! We had to wait an other 2 hours for the border and then the customs.

But after, we could at least leave the airport (which is, by the way, quite ugly and disappointing for such a big city), smell the ocean and above all pick up our huuuuuge rent car !!!!! (probably not huge for americans, but for us, it was really enormous !)

It changes from our Renault Clio !!!
Then, we drove to Beverly Hills to join our hotel and rest a little before going in Pasadena for the moving. We didn't take any pictures, because Jibouille was to focus on the road and I was to focus on the map, but we didn't really appreciated this area and hoped Pasadena was prettier !! Anyway, everything is huge and we were very happy to have the tablet and mainly the map downloaded on it !!!

  • Advice n°6 : If like us, you arrive without mobile network, don't forget to download the map on your phone or to have a paper map ! It's too easy to get lost here !

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