Australia, Trip Home
Remember when we went to Sydney, we left on Wednesday afternoon and 24 hours later it was Friday morning? Well, on our trip home we left on Monday afternoon and 24 hours later it was Monday evening. Puts your brain on a slant, don't it?
We did most of our packing the day before, so just had a few things to throw together that morning. Always so sad to leave a vacation. We took a cab to the airport, checked in without incident, bought some things at the duty free, got to our gate. The biggest treat of the trip home: we had a two-seat row to ourselves. Heaven! I would guess coach was about 3/4 sold, maybe not even that sold. Lots of people sprawled out over three seats and sleeping. I watched a few movies: the only one I remember is *Room* - - very strong, but a little too fairy tale for my taste, for such a disturbing subject. I wish I could remember the other movies I watched, but it points to the blurry brain you develop on a 15-hour flight. Or maybe I just need to write these things down. But really, does it matter?
We weren't as lucky with our flight from Vancouver to Newark, we were once again at the window and on the aisle. A bit of a drag. I watched at least one movie, and of course can't remember what it was.
We were due to arrive at 4:57 PM. We landed at 4:30 PM, which was a treat. But, typical - - we sat there on the freakin' tarmac, waiting for our gate. 4:57 came and went. Then around 5:05 the pilot made an announcement about our new delay: these two yahoos were on the flight that was leaving our gate, and they weren't on the plane. Their luggage was on the plane, and the airline policy is they won't take off with the luggage on the plane and the passengers not on the plane. So they had one set of airline stooges trying to find the yahoos in the airport (I hope they checked the bars first) and another set of stooges sorting through the luggage to remove their bags! Too funny. Of course the pilot didn't use the words "yahoo" or "stooge" in his announcement, I have supplied those myself.
We were finally let off the damn plane at 5:25. I don't want to go into any details, but Richard and I were both rather desperate to use the bathroom. Funny how an hour trapped on a plane magnifies that kind of thing.
Our car was there within ten minutes, which was a treat. The biggest windfall of our trip home was the weather: we saw news reports in Sydney about a record blizzard in the northeast US, the subway shutting down in NYC, galoshes pulled on and undies in a bundle, etc. We were a little skittish. But thankfully all of that had settled by the time we got home. Big whew.
One last detail: I like to pack as light as possible when I travel, and one of my hard-and-fast rules is that the only shoes I bring are the shoes I wear on my feet. I almost never pack a second pair of shoes. I had a bit of a dilemma with this trip though, since I was leaving in the winter but spending the whole trip in the summer. But really, the only wintertime walking I was doing was from my apartment to the car and from the car to the airport, and the reverse on the way home. So would I really need shoes? I decided to wear sandals with socks for these two trips. The socks were also nice to have on the plane, so much more comfortable than wearing sandals for a long flight. Well, this idea seemed somewhat less brilliant when we arrived, and my sandal-and-sock-clad feet stepped into three feet of snow. Delightful. Welcome home.
One last video clip: I can't remember what day it was, but Richard and I were out and about one day in the middle of the trip and he said, out of the blue, in the middle of the day, a propos of nothing, "I think when we get home we should watch 'The Great American Soup'."