The trip began by picking up Todd, the person who is house sitting and taking care of the beast. Since this was his first trip to LA, I tried to show him around the area, had printed off maps of the local attractions, grocery store, etc. When you start writing down all of the things a person needs to know to keep the house running, when the trash goes out, the location of the thermostat, how to use various appliances, etc., the list becomes long really quickly!
Packing for this trip was challenging as I’ll be in Australia during their winter; however, I’ll also be in tropical climates as well, at the Great Barrier Reef. Packing finally complete, it was off to the airport for an 11:35pm flight that left about an hour early, I think. I’ve now been on the plane for at least 10 hours, but it hasn’t been so bad. The lie-flat seats in business class made sleeping significantly easier for me. And while I had weird dreams (that I was awake—was I?) I slept much better than I’ve ever slept on a plane, about 8 hours, which for me is a miracle in any location!
The man sitting across the aisle from me and up one row started drinking like a fish the minute he got on the plane. I’ve written before of my disdain for being near anyone who is drunk. He drank so much he started to look terribly ill. The flight attendants swarmed around him when he looked as if things were going to become a mess. Fortunately they removed his food before he passed out face first.
I am very disappointed that @Delta does not provide in-flight WiFi on this flight! I can’t keep up with email, my RSS feeds, or publish this post. At least the entertainment system is substantive, though everyone has iPads. We’re currently very close to Fiji but remain 4 hours and 20 minutes from Sydney.
The first flight today is supposed to be 14.5 hours. After immigration, I’ll hop another flight to Hobart, Tasmania.
Immigration was a breeze, but the Aussies are fanatical about no food stuffs entering their country. I love the accent. Changing to the domestic flight was problematic as the ticket that attaches to the bag wouldn’t print for some unexplainable reason. Getting the problem resolved took 4 people and about 30 minutes.
Even from the air, the island of Tasmania is beautiful! Now, I understand the whole opposite seasons in opposite hemispheres thing, but experiencing it in one day is mind bending. I got on the plane on Thursday night in the summer, near the longest day of the year, and got off the plane on Saturday in Hobart in the winter, not a leaf on a tree, near the shortest day of the year in the winter—that was just weird! Yes, Friday just disappeared. Perhaps it was canceled.
The Aussies are amazingly friendly and very easy going people. I just walked around the Hotel Grand Chancellor a bit without my good camera—just too tired to carry it. Hobart is about 250k people. It’s rather chilly. Apparently the University of Tasmania’s Art Center is right here on the wharf. An eclectic mix of the very old (1800’s) and the modern, contemporary. Very nice. This whole area is very picture worthy. Tomorrow, i’ll grab some pictures and then head up the eastern coast a bit. In the meantime, the picture below is of the harbor from my hotel room and was shot with the iPhone as an Instagram.