Saturday, November 26, 2011

My trip to Australia - Day 1 and 2

G'day mate! I had a terrific time in Australia. Today begins a series of journaling a few details of my trip, along with a few favorite photos:

Day 1
Made it to the airport during rush hour without any incident. I was prepared for TSA: no belt, no metal, no jewelry other than my wedding ring, wore a tank top with a built in bra. I also wore slip on shoes. But they still directed me, DH, and 2 others through the scanner. I think it was the line we chose. There were 2 choices and we were standing there thinking ‘which one do we use?’ They had the new images up, the cartoony ones.

We flew to Dallas for our connecting flight on Qantas. It’s a 747! OMG! I haven’t been on a 747 since I was 5 years old! If it wasn’t a 747 it was pretty darn close to one. And the flight attendants were so nice and attentive. I felt like I was flying in luxury! No one had a bad attitude - which we deal with on domestic flights in the US all the time. The dinner wasn’t bad either for airplane food. They also had travel pillows and blankets on each seat. The pillows were larger than the US ones, firmer; and the blankets were full sized. There was everything, except WIFI, on this plane!

Anyway, here I am typing and a flight attendant just offered me a chocolate bar. It tasted a little different but then I realized why when I looked at the wrapper: organic. I swear the attendants are walking around here like butlers. It’s a pretty neat experience. And best thing, Qantas has a very good track record regarding flights and rare crashes. I’m not worried if this plane is going to suddenly fall from the sky.

The landing
We’re here! WOO HOO! So far I’m doing ok with the jet lag. It was 10 AM on Sunday – Sydney time - when we arrived, and I think 2 PM Saturday back in Houston. We relaxed a little bit at first before walking around a little bit in downtown Sydney. 15 ½ hours is a long time to be on a plane. By the time this trip ends, including the flights to and from Perth, we will have spent almost 45-46 hours in the air. My feet were horrible swollen, which I learned happens when you spend 15 hours in the air; it looked like I was retaining water or something.

It amazed me that there were so many American companies here in Sydney: Woolworths (which is not only a department store here but a grocery store as well), McDonalds, Kmart, Target, and many others. Burger King is Hungry Jack because apparently the reference to monarchy is offensive to the Queen; yet there is a Storage King so I’m not certain that’s the real reason. Australia is still a commonwealth of England. Oh, and Red Rooster is their version of Chik-fil-A. And Pie Face is a popular chain in Sydney. They sell meat pies which is VERY popular in Australia. In Perth many bakeries sell meat pies. Oh! There’s a Krispy Kreme here! But many Australians are health conscious and do not eat donuts. And an Aldi’s and Baskin Robbins.

We started to feel a little jet lag around 6 or 7 PM. All we did was find somewhere to eat, Guylian, which wasn’t great food and even worse service. We also walked along the bay a little bit passed the Opera House and a great view of the bridge. There were some people on the bridge, which is not only incredibly expensive ($200 per person) but popular and highly recommended. Oh, some of the architecture reminded me of that in Chicago.

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