Packed and Ready for Takeoff

10 10 2010

We’re all checked into the airport and cleared through Customs and ready to go on our flights back to Seattle via Los Angeles.

We’re both exhausted from a late night and a heinously early start to the morning, but at least my Qantas status allows us both to access the Business Class lounge and enjoy the free Internet access, breakfast and other facilities.

So far I’ve had a bloody mary, which was delicious and a bowl of porridge, all very civilised. But, the vodka has started kicking in already, and my eyelids are starting to slide down my face. At this rate I’ll be asleep the moment I get on the plane.

Thanks to everyone who made our trip so memorable, it’s sad to go, but we’ll be back soon enough.

Next time you hear from me I’ll be in Los Angeles, and reliving the same day again. Fortunately it’s an auspicious one; 10/10/10, and due to the timezone changes, we arrive before we left and get to do it all over again.

Twice as lucky? We’ll see.

Farewell and love to everyone!

Last Day…

9 10 2010

It’s the end of a very long day and I’m lying on the bed at the Airport Hilton at Melbourne winding down in readiness for my flights back to Seattle in the morning.

The morning started with breakfast with Mark’s Mother, brother, and Step-Father, then a couple of hours spent packing the suit cases.
We now have an additional suitcase as there was no way everything we’ve acquired was going to fit into the original three.

Paused for a break and a coffee and caught up with Mark’s sister Danielle, driven down to Carrum to say goodbye to our nephew Taylor, then off to see my Grandmother, who always manages to make me cry when it comes to saying farewell. It doesn’t matter how hard I try not to, the minute her eyes tear up, so do mine.
Back to my Mum’s to say farewell to her, my sister and nephews, then back to get the last of our luggage and head to the airport.
On the way we stopped off to see Mark’s other sister Alida, her husband Steve and our gorgeous nieces, Jasmine and Chloe and brand new nephew “Baby Karro”. His name is top secret until his Bris.

Mere minutes after arriving at the airport and checking into the Hotel our friends Scott and Leandro picked us up and whisked us back into Melbourne for a later dinner (we’d not eaten since breakfast as we’ve been so busy) then back to the Hotel.

It won’t be long now until it’s morning again and we’ll be boarding a plan.

Farewells are always sad, but I’ve had an amazing time!

xoxo to everyone!

Out and About in Melbourne Town

28 09 2010

Today has been a whirlwind. Firstly I’ve dropped Mark off at the American Consulate for an interview for his Visa.

I already have mine, it arrived in the post the other day, unfortunately for him there was a problem due to an “administrational stuff up”.

Coffee and lunch with the lovely Tammy who recently turned 40, and her son Aki who I’ve not seen since he was a couple of weeks old when I was here last year.

Then we dropped off the car and caught a train into the city to see the Tim Burton Exhibition at ACMI in Federation Square in Melbourne. Sadly there’s no photos as security and staff were adamant that people not have cameras or phones.

SHAME! The display was pretty amazing, covering all his work from the early 1970’s to current. Loving me some Burton!

Home, quick nap, then off to tapas, drinks and catching up with my good friend Pete, then hot spanish chocolate, churros, hugs and back home to bed.

Believe me, bed is a very welcome location now, I’m exhausted. But very happy to be home with friends and family. 🙂

Football Fanatacism

25 09 2010

It’s been football mania all day today here in Australia as it was the day the Australian Rules Football Grand Final was played between Collingwood and St Kilda.

The whole country pretty much comes to a stop, if you’re interested in Football that is…
But, for the first time in my life, the game ended in a draw. So everything’s destined to fire up again for next weekend.

In my mind it’d be so much easier to just toss a coin and call it that way. Although I’m sure that would insight violence on some level or another. 😉

Now the end of game madness begins with everyone fighting their way home anyway they can. Fortunately I’ll be going against the flow of traffic. Phew!

Still Lagging

16 09 2010

Today was a much quieter day for us. A sleep in, leisurely lunch out in Elsternwick, post off our Visa applications, then head out to check out the Costco Warehouse at the Docklands to compare it to what we’re used to back in the U.S.A.

Overall, it’s much the same. Alcohol is definitely cheaper back in the U.S.A. but otherwise most things are comparative. Some items are even cheaper, especially the Australian products such as Maltesers and Milo.

I do believe we’ll be stocking our cases before we fly home. 😉

Then we grabbed coffee with a friend, another coffee at Mark’s brothers house, then home to his Mother’s house.

Mark has headed out for the evening to play the role of “Good Uncle” and see his nephew perform in a school concert. Since there was only one ticket available, I’ve made the supreme sacrifice of staying home.

Perfect! I’m all showered and in bed, and it’s going to be an early night for me as I’m still stuck between the time zones…

G’day World, I’m Home!

14 09 2010

We touched down this morning around 8am after our flight from Los Angeles. The flight itself was amazing, and touchdown, we never felt, the people we were travelling with… ANIMALS!

Economy is definitely called “Cattle Class” for a reason.

Moving on… We got through Customs and Immigration without event, not that there should be of course…

Mark’s Mum met us at the airport where we grabbed our first real coffee in over a year, and drove back to her house where we’ll be staying. The Melbourne skyline has changed quite a bit since I was here last, which was only 15 months ago!!!

The day itself was a blur of activity, and potentially blurred all the more for the fact that both of us have had absolutely minimal sleep in the last couple of days.
But, we’ve seen both of Mark’s sisters, his Mum of course, one of the nieces, Peter my father-inlaw, my Mum, sister Kate, brother-inlaw Trevor, my nephew Jack and met my new nephew Lindsay. What a handsome little man he is. Dark hair, blue eyes, and cute as a button.

It’s amazing to be home, but I have to confess I’m exhausted. Thankfully I’d already decided not to drive today and we’ve caught the train, so there’s been no chance of accident, other than being murdered by one of our fellow passengers – lol.

Off to bed now, I’m knackered!

Sunday Up and Away

12 09 2010

To say I’m tired is an enormous understatement today. I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 2am, and was awake at 6am.

A late night and an early start, but that ensured that we were all organised to fly home to Australia. I’d have preferred to have slept in somewhat but our ride to the airport was scheduled for 7.30am.

Since then we’ve flown from Seattle to Los Angeles, hired a car, driven to Santa Monica, been on a two hour Segway tour, driven back to the airport, checked in for our flight, installed ourselves in the Oneworld Alliance Business Class Lounge (Thankyou Qantas Frequent Flyers!), had a bite to eat, and will in the next hour or so, take a nice hot shower, put on some fresh clothes, board the plane, get some sleep (I hope!!) and not too long after that land in Melbourne.

One catch… We don’t get a Monday, we lose it when we cross the International Date line…

Oh well, look out Melbourne, here I come. 🙂

Saturdays Maelstrom

11 09 2010

Today has been absolutely insane, and still hasn’t come to a close.

I was up at 7am to tidy up the yard, and move things back into their proper places post painting, then I attacked the garage to tidy it up, and now, for the first time in the two years we’ve lived in this house, the car actually fits in the garage. I performed a minor miracle.

On top of that all the pets have been installed in their accomodations, house tidied, last of the laundry completed, final Visa photos taken, paperwork completed and printed, coffee had with my friend, the lovely Christine who gave me some awesome clothes for my new nephew, back to the house to get our luggage organised, off for a quick break to a friends house for a party, where Derik (said friend, and my Pilates instructor) performed some Yamuna body rolling magic on my neck which I hurt this morning, and now I’m fit to fly tomorrow. Woot!

Now, it’s time for me to pack the cases finally (everything is organised, just not in the cases), weigh them, place them by the door, go to sleep, wakeup, lock up, and head to the airport.

First stop Los Angeles where we have enough time to go check out the town, and take in another Segway tour, back to the airport, bite to eat, shower, change, board the plane, and next stop HOME; Melbourne, Australia.

Now I’m finally getting excited! 🙂

Counting Down

9 08 2010

There’s only four and a half weeks until I’ll be on my way back home to Australia, and I can’t wait. I’ve been gone far too long!

Not only will I get to reunite with friends and family, I’ll also get to meet my newest nephew Lindsay.

I’m not quite checking off the seconds, but if I could snap my fingers and be there now, I would!

When Blog Worlds Collide

25 03 2010

Today was a momentous day, I finally got to meet one of my readers and fellow bloggers; Rhonda, of At Random.  Rhonda is also an Australia, and the last two times she has been in Seattle I’ve been back in Australia.

But, not this year.  This time we finally got to meet in person.  Sadly time was limited, but I have to admit that I was thrilled to meet someone who has been reading my blog for almost 4 years, and who I’ve communicated with electronically via my blog, her blog and email.  Rhonda, you’re even lovelier in person, and it was a pleasure and a privelege to finally meet you.

Initially we’d arranged to have brunch, after which I was to drive her to the airport for her flight back to LAX commencing her trip back to Australia.   The day started fine, I was up early, got into Seattle with plenty of time to spare, so sat in the car for a short while listening to the stereo, only to have the car battery die.  Murphy’s Law.

Fortunately I’d managed to park right outside the hotel, and AAA (Like RAC in Australia) arrived in 20 minutes, so it wasn’t long before we were back on the road.  That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me, and I hope the last, as instead of having the car “jump started” I had the battery replaced totally.  One problem solved.

Of course after the disconnection the radio required resetting, I have the code for that.  I don’t have the code for the GPS which apparently also needs to be unlocked.  Doh!  Fortunately I knew where I was and how to get to the airport.

A few laughs ensued, and we had plenty of time to talk while we toured quickly across the 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.  I don’t think Rhonda was too impressed when I pointed out that I’d seen a documentary that displayed in the event of an earthquake that the bridge would rock, sheer and sink to the bottom of the lake.  Sadistic story telling timing on my part. 😉
Needless to say that trip was one way and we went around the lake rather than across it to get to the airport.

So overall, and a day of new connections (in person) and adventure.  The fun never ends here. 🙂

Rhonda, travel safe, thanks for the Tim Tams, and please keep in touch.