A Travellerspoint blog

Merryland

Yes People - they let me back in the states and back in Merryland. May all be Well and Merry here!

overcast

Check in for fly home was not without a little drama. I had bought a few food items to bring back home for folks to try; but they labeled them as liquids and threw them out. If I had known that I would have put them in my carry on luggage. I've been toting these food items around for the last couple weeks and they passed the domestic flight security... so... needless to say I was a little upset about this issue..... i don't give these security Aussies a very nice person rating. Hindsight I should have just gone to the Post to mail them but not sure I had enough time...

Uneventful long Qantas plane ride from Sydney to LA. Extra seats on this flight so was able to spread out a little bit. Not much excitement to report. Did meet a movie producer/camera man who was on his way to Las Vegas to film an Aussie Reality show called "Wedding day". The stint he was orchestrating in LV was to film six rich rich rich gals going to Vegas for a "Hen Party" (called Bachelorette party here). Like almost all the Aussies I've met here; they have been to the states at least one time or the other as was this case with this guy.

For some reasons I was processed quickly thru immigrations and for some reason my suitcase was not subjected to customs search as everyone else had to do.... so happy that nothing else was thrown away from my food lot..

Beautiful day in LA - was happy to switch on my cell phone once again. LOL Was going to try to meet up with Richard and Cindy Stone again - we chatted on phone. but they were unable to make it.. we'll have to plan a future gathering.. Thanks for you both darlings for trying!

Typical hang around the terminal for a layover that was suppose to be 4 hours that turned into almost 6.... plane was late due to bad weather in DFW. Sat beside a pretty neat woman.. never dd get her name.. but she was dressed to reflect her Muslim beliefs.... we ended up having a very nice conversation about many things which made the five hour plane trip go by very fast. Most gracious to my ride Paul for picking me up at a much later hour than originally intended..

Hope to see all my mates soon!!!!

Cheers!

Posted by cyntiast 23:36 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney to LA to Merryland

Time to start the journey home

overcast 21 °C

I eave for the airport soon to travel home. I have a 2:10 pm Aussie time flight back to LA. Four hour layover in LA and then traveling back to Dulles.

A nice holiday; a great experience. Learned a few Aussie terms I can't wait to use.. but I already know people will get annoyed... LOL oh well, I am going to try them anyway a bit. :)

I forget to mention that per the one guy I was chatting with on the airplane is that Tea is not to be made with just "hot" water; but you need to boil the water to make a proper tea. Looking forward to cuppa opportunities back home. There are electric waterpots everywhere here.. may have to get one for work.... LOL

Also the great "tiolet" myth buster....... Was curious if the water swirled the opposite direction in the Land Under. Lots of observations and in my unscientific opinion I did not see any swirling but straight on water flushing down the pipe..

See ya all soon when I get back!

Oh another tidbit.. to experience some aussie life back home... The Melbourne Cup Horse Race Australia is coming up... Apparently everyone stops what they are doing when the race starts and watches... The Celebration That Stops a Nation...

http://www.melbournecup.com

Posted by cyntiast 15:25 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Brisbane!

and the flight down to Sydney

semi-overcast 26 °C

Very early start today in Brisbane checking out by 7 am. Walked down the street to Bretts Wharf and caught the City Cab ferry into Brisbane Riverside. There is a large river that flows thru the city of Brisbane and the City Cab ferry is an excellent way to ride the river and see the city. My ticket cost $5.80 for an all day ride on the ferry.

I absolutely loved Brisbane. It is hard to explain but there is just something about this particular city. Once you step on the Ferry and start down the river it is a very picturesque experience. I was on the ferry early so I was able to experience the hustle and bustle of folks going into the city for work. We passed lots of gorgeous houses along the river bank with very nice docks and boats. I got off the ferry at Riverside and walked down to the Eagle Nest Pier. I was going to meet Liz for a tour of Brisbane, but was in the city much earlier than when I was to meet Liz. I decided to just walk up some of the streets of Brisbane to check it out. There are lots of coffee shops and cafes (indoors and out) and they were busy. I walked all the way up to George street and was able to experience the markets (like farmers market) being setup. There lots of beautiful fruits and vegetables; unfortunately I couldn’t purchase any since I was traveling soon. I did get a cheese and parsley scone that was very good. There were some unique kangaroo art pieces along this section that are made of bolts and other similar materials. I witnessed a guy walking around with a bag on this head in some sort of protest. I couldn’t read exactly what his bag said, but something about unions. When I passed this person I turned my head in reaction; there was a guy behind me that saw the look on my face at the paper head guy and he started laughing. We ended up walking down the street and chatting; like most Aussies’ I’ve met here.. he has been to the states before. He turned off to go to work and I walked forward but it was nice to have the conversation.

Liz got to the city around 9:15 and she met me back at Eagle Nest Pier. We quickly moved to get a tour of the city with official “local” tour guide. Liz showed me buildings where she had worked previously in the city. We work our way back up to the Farmers Market. There is a building next to the markets called Treasury Building that is a very nice “pokie” establishment. We walked thru the building and it was very nice. It was too bad I only had a half a day morning in Brisbane didn’t get to experience the night life of this pokie.

We walked to the South Park section of Brisbane by walking over a bridge. This is the artsy section of Brisbane. We walked down a very nice floral park with a rainforest walk section. There is a large ferris wheel there as well; that cost $15 per passenger, I guess if you ride it gives some type of birds eye view of the city. There were several groups of school kids out in this park today. We heard the BSHS (Brisbane ?? High School) playing the Australian anthem. Brisbane has a smaller version of the Airlie Beach “lagoon” in this section of town which is very nice.
We walked back into the City Central and caught the train to “the village”. That $5.80 ferry ticket I had also worked for the train so that was a great deal!! Liz showed me the Village area; this is where she works and goes out at night. It is not that far outside the city, but it has a different feel. We walked around and saw the different night clubs and eateries. We walked down thru the “Chinatown” section located in the Village. There is a lot of construction in this area right now. We walked thru some additional shopping areas which just reinforced that there are plenty of nice places to shop and eat in Australia.

There was a storm brewing so we decided to go back to the city and get me back on the ferry to get back for my ride to airport. I am very appreciative that Liz took time from her day to come into the city on her holiday and show me around. She is a very nice gal and it is nice to have another Aussie friend.

The ferry ride back to Brett’s Wharf was a nice ride despite the looming dark clouds. I got back to the hotel and since I was the only one needing a ride to the airport we left about 20 minutes earlier than planned. There is a couple that maintains the hotel where I stayed. The husband is the one who took me back to the airport.
I go to check in for my flight and I keep getting an error message that I had no reservations. I asked the Qantas helper and she said “Oh your flight has been cancelled”. What???!!??? She had me get into the customer service lane and they got me on a Qantas flight to Sydney that would leave and land 30 minutes earlier than my original flight. Well, that was the plan at least. The plane ended up being late due to the late arrival of the plane. It was further delayed as they had to pick thru the luggage to find a suitcase that was not suppose to be on our flight. I was sitting between two (married) Aussie guys so struck up a conversation with both. The one guy was asking me about Halloween celebrations at home. His family was having a Halloween party at their house; but he was not sure of all the logistics of how it worked. I explained a few things to him and he seemed very interested. They don’t have candy corn as best as he knew which of course is a popular back home. Of course both of these guys have been to America already which has been the case of almost all the Aussie folks I’ve talked to. Lol

Made it to Sydney and now settled in hotel relaxing. The room is nice but very small. Very trendy décor per say; interesting bathroom that is this odd shaped room that sits up on a platform with a round wall

So it was a very good day and in less than 24 hours will be on my way back to the states!

Posted by cyntiast 04:29 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Airlie Beach to Brisbane

Last day at Airlie Beach with move on down to Brisbane for short stint

semi-overcast 25 °C

Fairy lazy and almost boring day....... had to pack up and check out by 10 but plane didn't leave until almost 7 pm. It started pouring rain the morning. Took my luggage to office for them to store for day and they lent me an umbrella so I could walk into town. I did NOT go to McD's today. LOL Just wandered around the town and had Indian food for lunch. Liz the gal I met from Brisbane called and said her flight the night before was delayed for five hours and she warned me to check my flight. So I wandered back to the resort but it was too early to tell if flight was going to be delayed. Took a little nap by the pool and then walked around town one more time. When I got back to the resort the "caretaker" was talking to someone about "Boogins" (not sure if spelled right). Apparently Boogins are the equivalent of US Rednecks..... she said there were a lot of Boogins staying at the resort right now.. (she quickly clarified I was not one of them).. she was going to rename the resort Boogin Haven instead of BoatHaven. LOL

Finally it was time to catch the bus to the airport. These Aussie places rely so much on tourism for their living and they have an incredible transportation system established. Very impressive. Saw some more Kangaroos in the fields with the cattle as we were traveling at dusk so that was cool. The Whitsunday Coastal airport is very small. It reminds me of Long Beach, CA airport but even smaller. LOL It has outdoor seats for you to wait for the plane which is nice. When we pulled into the airport I could only see dirt "roads" so wasn't sure what kind of runway was there. The Aussie airline Jetstar does fly a pretty big plane in / out of there so big enough for that. The plane was packed this evening. The flight was smooth and fast. Quite different than what Liz experienced the night before. I met a pastoral husband and wife team who have a church in Perth. (they sat beside me on plane)

Arrived at airport and quickly retrieve luggage and went to get taxi for hotel. There are lots of backpackers in Australia and this young gal had just missed the train to get to her hostel. So the Taxi Dude at Airport said it would be good if we both shared a taxi to get to our destinations to save money for both. This young gal was from England. She originally was traveling with someone else; they got homesick and went home. So she was traveling a lone for now... I asked her how her parents felt about that and she said her mother was very worried. You know me.. i told her to make sure she kept in touch with her mum. The taxi driver had a hard time finding the hotel which resulted in an overcharge that he and I discussed and came to compromise on the cost; not that he was happy about it but it wasn't my fault he doesn't know the city and no excuse since he had GPS system. The hotel is ok... lots of couples maintain hotels in Australia so greeted by the couple who were very nice. The husband carried my heavy suitcase up two flights of stairs as there is no elevator in this section of the hotel. The room is "ok"; but not the greatest for the amount of money it cost. Plus it smells really which I hate with hotel rooms... lol But it'll have to do.

Tomorrow is a tour of Brisbane in the morning - lucky because Liz is a local gal and she is graciously going to give me a tour of her city!!! I leave for Sydney in the afternoon to be ready for the flight home on Thursday.

Posted by cyntiast 13:33 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Airlie Beach - Sunday

Still just hanging around this beachie resortie type town...

sunny 25 °C

Another day started with my ritual of walking into town and dining at McD's and using their free internet. It is in a good location right in centre of town. Can watch the early morning hustle and bustle as I sit outside.

Talked to receptionist at Hotel as I scheduled a couple more excursions. She was born an Aussie but grew up in the states. She returned to Australia to get away from the stress. We talked about how much her family hates Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. They think it is disgusting to mix those two items together and she spoke on behalf of Australia that most people here feel that way... lol

Spent time doing more walking around the area. Walked way out of town the opposite direction to see what was that direction. And the answer is Not much! LOL It is part of the Conway National Park that direction so I think if you had a map and knew where you were going there are bushwalking treks around the area. I walked back into town and climbed half of the big hill that has all the properties. The view from there was gorgeous! Once I walked back into town happen to run into Liz whom I met on the boat trip the other day. She came back down to my resort to check out where I was staying and we chatted on the balcony quite a while. We walked back into town and went to the "locals favorite" fish shop and picked up lunch of fried Barramundi and chips (fries). Took lunch down to the park by the shore and sat and chatted for a long time there while enjoying the sites around us. It was very nice temperature sitting in the park and very relaxing.

I had to get back to my room to get ready for my Sunset Cruise that came with my hotel package. This was a very nice two hour cruise on the waters right around the parameter of Airlie Beach. We had our "sparklys" and veggies and just relaxed on the cruise. It was a gorgeous sunset and once it got dark the sky was just gorgeous. There were some folks there from Canada, England, and Melbourne on the trip. Once we got back I hustled down the walkway back to the main town as they had live music that ended at 8 pm. It was a one man band really. The musicians name was "Wahu" and he is from New Zealand. He came over and chatted with me for a while when on break from performing. He was right out side Liz's resort so she came down and we chatted some more (girls talk a lot huh?) After enjoying a drink called "Beautiful" at Cactus Jacks and some nachos I headed on back to my resort for the evening. Internet was not working at my resort though...... :(

Overall a very nice relaxing day!

Posted by cyntiast 00:34 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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