Padinago's trip to the USA in 2010

Day 1 - Arrival in Phoenix, AZ

Today the time has finally come to leave for our trip to the USA.

A short moment of stress when our taxi driver rings at our door about 15 minutes too early.

We leave to pick up Luso and drive to Zaventem airport. Everything goes smoothly, our luggage is handed over at the check-in desk, we pass through customs where Lucien is being searched and finally arrive at our gate where our plane is awaiting us to fly to Chicago. Suddenly we hear Patrick’s name being called to present himself at the front desk …with his hand luggage (full of photo material) in order to be searched!

Once arrived in Chicago we go, by shuttle, to the gate where our second plane will bring us to Phoenix. We have to go through customs and again, Patrick is being searched. This time it is also with a search for drugs… Fortunately everything is fine and we can start our flight.

After flying for about half an hour the intercom in the plane is asking if there is a doctor on board… Apparently a person became ill at the back of the plane. A doctor is presenting himself, he is checking up the patient and gives his ok to continue the flight…YES!

Once arrived in Phoenix, we pick up our luggage and get on the shuttle to the Alamo desk where we pick up our rental car. We do not have to wait long as the airport of Phoenix is almost empty. We take an extra insurance, which costs us 5 $/day, in case we should have a flat tire. We do have a problem with the fuel. It was planned that we would receive a full tank and bring it back empty at the end of the trip. Now it seems that our voucher mentions a wrong code due to which we will have to fill the tank before returning the car… We cannot change that but the dysphoria becomes euphoria when we hear that we will get a Chevrolet Tahoe! The car is beautiful until we open the trunk. There we see that seats 6 and 7 take much of the space so we cannot get our luggage in the trunk. As we will be returning our car in Las Vegas and not in Phoenix it is impossible to leave the seats here. After a short conversation with the Alamo employee he gives us a Ford Expedition where the seats 6 and 7 disappear in the bottom of the trunk so we have lots of space for our luggage.

We have to get used to drive such a big car but after a short drive we arrive at our destination. We check in and as it is already 5pm local time we go for a dinner at Don & Charlie’s where the steaks were fantastic! After dinner we go back to the hotel for a quick shower and go to sleep. The quick shower is not a success in PaNa’s room as we are not able to get the shower to work. We try everything (it seems the previous guests had the same problem and also tried everything as all the parts are already loose in the shower). Well, a quick wash by the sink and we will see tomorrow…

In the middle of the night we wake up due to lots of noise! In the room next to ours they are having a party with lots of teenage girls talking and laughing. Patrick goes knocking on their door – but they do not open – so he shouts through the door that they are not alone in this hotel and that other guests are trying to sleep. Suddenly everything is quiet so we can enjoy the rest of our well deserved sleep.

Daytrip approx. 15 km

I think we are ready to go... I think we are ready to go... On the plane Getting our rental car @ Don & Charlie's Steakhouse (it was a long day!) @ Don & Charlie's Steakhouse (it was a long day... time to go to sleep!)