Well the day finally came to depart. We headed to the airport after leaving our car at our good friends near the airport. The first leg was a codeshare on United. I was worried because we hadn't gotten seats or how to check in but it went smoothly. Just a swipe of the credit card and quick read of the passports.
It was on one of those smaller 2x2 seat Canadian air jets. We had a great view over the Cascades and Sierras before landing in LAX. Then a 15 minute walk from the United Express terminal to the main International Terminal. We went up to the food court and had some lunch. Crappy selection. We then went for a walk around in the sun. There is a cool building in the middle of the airport - it houses The Encounter restaurant and an observation deck. We decided to check it out. We happened to go up to the restaurant by mistake. The elevator music and ride is wild. They have this spacey 60's lounge music going on during the ride. We were not there for the lunch but wanted to go to the observation deck. So we took a different elevator. Great views of the airport on the deck and watching the plane spotters.
We were going to get a beer before leaving but found out that we needed to check in again. Doh! By time we got through checking in with a little bit of hassle regarding our carry on. I had to take some items out to the backpack - it was off to security.
The flight itself was not too bad. It was a 777 so we had our own entertainment unit. Food was okay. We had a couple of Efes beers to start off. After dinner we curled up and tried to sleep. The plane had a 3-3-3 configuration but fortunately the woman next to me moved up to the bulkhead and I had some room to spread out and get up during the night.
We got in about 1 hour early. First stop was at the Visa. The line went really fast, hand them your passport, $20 and you get a postage like stamp. Then it was time to queue up in the really long line for passport control. That took about 30 minutes. Then exit and our driver was waiting. It was raining and the drive in was interesting. The roads were packed and you definitely had to be assertive and defensive. It took about 30 minutes before we were driving across the Ataturk bridge and we could see the Galata Tower.
The roads were steep, narrow and one way around the tower. We were met at the door and led up the curving five - yes five flights of stairs to our apartment. It felt a little sparse at first but it has everything we need, full kitchen, internet, washer dryer. We had thought about going out to eat but with the wet street and encroaching darkness - we decided just to hang out.
We heard the evening call to prayer just as we drifted off to sleep.
LAX - Observation deck and building housing the Encounters restaurant