12 August 2009
Across the Pacific
So, just when I was thinking I had everything under control - bags packed and within weight limits, plenty of time to get to the airport and go through security and then grab a bite to eat, still leaving time to blog before boarding - someone else had a different idea! I didn't leave anything behind in the hotel room and I got to the airport in time. I found the Qantas ticket counter and was leisurely getting my boarding pass when the very helpful (really!) Qantas employee told me that my flight was getting in for hours, and that I could get on the earlier flight, which was boarding NOW. She checked and made sure there was a business class seat available and then weighed my carryon bags. Somehow, one gained five kilos (not possible, I'm quite sure) so I had to rearrange. But, NO TIME to rearrange, so I grabbed my computer and tennis shoes out of that bag and allowed it and my big suitcase to be checked. Then I put on my shoes, grabbed my flip-flops and the carry on that weighed less than 7 kilos, and RAN to security, where I was escorted to the front of the line and made it through. By the time I got on board I was in a tizzy!!!
But I was not too discombobulated to realize how LOVELY it was going to be to have a seat in business class!! I was in the middle row (three seats) but on the aisle, and no one came to sit in that middle seat, so we had plenty of extra room. The seats also TOTALLY reclined - flat out, like a BED! - so I knew I was going to be in for a treat. My only worry was dinner - I had enjoyed a lovely beachfront lunch of shrimp ceviche and fish tacos, but that was hours before. Nothing to fret about, though - dinner would be served shortly after takeoff; if I would be so kind as to peruse the menu and make my selection. Let's see, halibut with sugar snap peas and fingerling potatoes or beef tenderloin.... I opted for the halibut, with a couple of glasses of a lovely Australian Shiraz, a salad, and a roll, and it was DELICIOUS!
After dinner, we prepared for bed. They even gave us PJ's!! My seat didn't want to recline, though, but John, the expert seat fixer, got me set up straightaway. Off to dreamland I went! I slept for three or four hours, woke up for a bit, then went right back to sleep. I woke again at a little after 4 AM to the smell of bacon. YUM. I freshened up a bit, then was served the meal I had ordered the night before (better than room service!) - scrambled eggs, bacon (much better than our bacon!), sweet onion relish, fruit, a croissant, and English Breakfast tea. Then I had a cup of hot cocoa for dessert! I ate every morsel!
The next thing I knew, we were filling out our declarations forms and preparing for landing! I didn't even read half of my book (The Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) and I had slept all night! I got my bags (hooray!) and made it through customs with no problems (and they didn't even ask to see my $39 visa that I got at the LAST MINUTE...) but then I couldn't find Shelley! I knew she had gotten my frantically sent messages that I was now on a flight that arrived at the ungodly hour of 6 AM instead of 7:30 AM, but where was she? I was sure I would recognize my facebook friend!
After about 30 minutes of looking, I went to the help desk, and the nice lady there let me use her phone to call Shelley. And there she was - only a few meters away from where I had been! Once found, we were on our way for a fantastic day in Sydney!
More to come, but for now we are off to Darling Harbour!