Long Way Home

Midway through a flight it’s rare to think, “Shit, we’re going the wrong way!”

wrong way

Such was our plight from Buenos Aires back to Australia. Solely for monetary reasons – about 2000 of them – we’d spurned the directish Qantas route in favour of a 45-hour Delta hellride home via the US of A.

First stopover: Atlanta, with time for some good ol’ airport grits and a little light Georgian reading.

airport grits     light southern reading

Second stopover: LA. And with 8 hours in the city of angels, only one thing could ever be top of the list.

in-n-out time
Top, second top, third top, forth top, fi….

For those poor souls who don’t know, In-N-Out Burger is a WEST Coast institution peddling perfect freshly made burgers and fries. Best of all, they have a (not so) secret menu allowing dozens of customisations, additions and variations to seriously pimp your meal.

And who knew, there’s one right next to LAX!

always busy
I knew.

Love for this place is not far short of a cult and I’m happy to admit we’ve drunk the Kool Aid Neapolitan shakes. I mean FFS just feast your eyes on this glorious Double Double.

double double

Hang on…

wait one sec

…no, I’m not dreaming.

It was everything I’d been pining for since I last had one. Nursing an epic burger-belly and with about 6 hours to kill, we jumped on a bus into Santa Monica for some light shopping.

santa monica boulevard

And happened upon this.

santa monica sunset

sunset junkies

We’ve seen some gooduns in the last 5 years, but that’s right up there.

Fittingly, the final act of this tale is all about food. Again. Back at LAX Kate’s insatiable eavesdropping at the check-in desk revealed that famous food truck Koji had just opened a pop-up AT THE AIRPORT. We’d been super keen to get in on LA’s revered food truck scene, and now they’d driven perhaps the best of the damned things right to our door! Or… so we thought. After slogging through security, we wandered past generic airport bar after generic airport bar, eyes peeled for the famous taco truck. A complete lap of our terminal revealed nothing. Devestation set in. Was this to be our final experience? A taco-tease? But hark! Where do those sign-less steps lead?? A tunnel beneath the tarmac! Could it be… a Taco Tunnel?!

taco tunnel

Down and along the rabbit hole we went, emerging bleary-eyed in the AA terminal. Right next to this baby.

lax food truck

I could have wept with joy.

Still reeling from our earlier burgerthon and facing 15 hours at 40000 feet, we compiled a modest tasting plate: short-rib and calamari tacos, and pork sliders.

taco time

taco heaven

Looking at those pics, I can’t think of a better meal to end our trip. Although to be honest I can’t think of anything but how fucking amazing those tacos were.

All that remained was to wander back down the magical Taco Tunnel and board the last flight of the whole trip. LA – we nailed you.

15 hours later we hit Oz, where our welcoming committee had gone all out.

the welcoming committee
A sight for sore eyes.

There were hugs, there were laughs, there were even tears – all from Kate’s Dad.

The epic journey was over. Door to door it had taken 51 hours. But looking at it another way, it even took a bit longer than that….  it took 5 wonderful years.

And though our packs were heavy, you might say that it was our hearts…. that were truly full.

And tho – what, too much? Right. Roll Credits!

6 thoughts on “Long Way Home”

  1. In & Out is west coast. How dare you even think that the east coast is somehow related to something that is purely Californian!

  2. Thanks so much Mike and Kate, loved every minute of it and had some great laughs at your Cool Runnings and LOVED hearing All about the food. Nailed it!

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