The weirdest thing about flying from Australia to the US is that you actually get there before you left! This is because you cross the International Date Line in the mid-Pacific during the flight.
We left Sydney at about 11:30AM on Friday March 26, and arrived in LA at about 6:30AM, Friday March 26, after a 14 hour flight.
Of course, you lose the ‘extra’ time again on the way back. So, on the return leg, we left LA at 10:30PM on Thursday June 10, and arrived in Sydney at about 6:30AM on Saturday June 12.
We didn’t get much sleep on the flight to the US, although the kids got a bit. As soon as we got to LAX, we picked up our rental car and made our way to Venice Beach where we were staying. It was too early to check in, so we went and had an early lunch at the Sidewalk Café in Venice Beach. We then found our hotel and hung out in their lobby, sending some emails and having a few games of pool. Eventually they came and got us (we had half fallen asleep in the couch there) and told us our room was ready.
We tried to stay awake until normal bedtime, to acclimatize to the new time zone as quickly as possible, but had a few hours sleep late in the afternoon. That night we got some dinner at Venice then walked to Santa Monica pier. The kids were nearly falling asleep into their food! We had an early night, but got up about 4:30AM the next morning. After that, we were pretty much adjusted to the new time-zone.
On the way back it was easier, as leaving at 10:30PM is probably more conducive to sleeping then leaving in the morning, as we did on the way from Australia. Also, we were not as excited about going home as we had been about starting our trip! We all slept for about half the flight, and woke up with six or seven hours to go. We had a sleep in the afternoon once we got home, but were pretty much OK the next day. The kids seemed to have no problem at all!