coming back we go through u.s. customs before we even leave canada (in a nice quiet airport with green carpeting and first nations inspired artwork). we managed to find a really nice vegan burrito at LAX and then slept for most of the LA-sydney flight. the only annoying bit was sitting on the tarmac for 40 minutes in melboune(after landing 15 minutes early) cuz a plane at our gate had mechanical issues and there was no other free gate for us. it also took a while to get through customs-- as soon as we got off the plane they lined us up 30 or so at a time with our carry on against the wall behind us and they sent "noah" the sniffer dog (who seemed very puppy-ish and playful) up and down the line of people and our bags. then we had to go through a couple points of quarantine as well as customs. we were very happy to get out and go get wombat (who seems to have done really well this time at the kennel-- a different kennel than last time. she looks very healthy, clean and happy-- just very tired).
some shots from our vancouver-LA flight:
the tsawwassen ferry terminal from above:
view from the tarmac:
our one picture from the sydney-melbourne flight (somewhere over the snowy mountains):
oh, and the other annoying thing that happened on the way back is as we were walking to the car i noticed my padlock missing from my suitcase. i just figured cheap (i think), small lock probably fell off somewhere along the way. when i opened my bag at home i discovered the cut lock sitting on top of my clothing along with a note from the TSA saying my bag had been chosen to be opened and inspected. because i had a lock on it "the officer may have been forced to break the locks on [my] bag. TSA sincerely regrets having to do this, however TSA is not liable for damage to [my] locks resulting from the necessary security precaution." if i had known they might cut my lock i probably wouldn't have bothered locking it but i didn't see and definitely wasn't told they would cut my lock to make sure my books and clothing weren't actually some dangerous or prohibited items.
i think next time we may fly thru taipei again (or maybe just do the direct melbourne-vancouver flight)