Well it is now 8p.m. June 9 in Rochester NY and I have enjoyed two fabulous days. The trip across was tiring but very interesting. The Sydney to Los Angeles leg was long , thank goodness I got the extra leg room. Didn't sleep - they had the video going all the time and the flashing lights kept me awake. Sat next to an old rocker, friend of Brian Eno's - had been out to Sydney for the VIVID festival - and we shared a lot in common- exchanged details and will now keep in touch.
Was tired by LA and needed to rest. Fortunately Immigration and Customs was a breeze - absolutely no stress - couldn't have been more helpful. Had 3 hrs before connecting flight to Chicago (O'Hare) and was beginning to stress but slept most of the way to Chicago. Met a young girl from Rochester on the plane who had also flown in from Sydney - she studies at ANU. She showed me the ropes at Chicago - huge airport - had a sub and then popped on a 54 seater (jet) to Rochester - arrived here at midnight and got the shuttle to the hotel and crashed - slept for 9+ hrs.
Got up at 10.30 and rang the College - Catholic Chaplain came and collected me. Have a room in a four room unit - brand new and beautiful. Walked the couple of k's into Pitsford - beautiful - that wonderful evergreen of cedars and firs surrounded by squirrels - everything so green and lush - the houses are apple pie and mum's hugs - every one with a white fence and USA flags flying - just beautiful.
Found a shop called Fido's Place (and yes there is a Fido!) and bought Monty (our dog) a new NY Yankees collar and bandana (all fully licensed merchandise would you believe).
I then walked another 2 miles out to the mall and went to Stein MArt - like DJ's. Got 3 new summer shirts (two Harley Davidson shirts and one plain) plus a pair of shorts plus a brown belt (at last) and a red ball cap. Walked back. Had a Guinness at the Pittsford Pub and chatted to the locals and then dinner at the College and am now at the dining hall where there is wifi connection.
Have found the US locals the MOST friendly, laid back, helpful and wonderful people and considering most of them have been Govt officials I am impressed. There are 300 people coming to the conference, seems me and the Kiwi are the only Southern Hemispherers - some coming from China but most from USA. Should be amazing. One of the key writers on Merton will be here - William Shannon - he is now 92! Looking forward for it.
That's about all. Talk to you all tomorrow.