I think this will be my last post before we go away. I’ll be off the air for at least 7 weeks and will pick up the pieces again when we get back at the end of September.
Every couple of years we have a long trip away; over the past 10 years for various reasons – family celebrations and Dh’s RAF reunions being the main ones - it has been to England and North America (USA and Canada) however for this year I said no to overseas and yes to seeing more of Australia.
So if you’ll hang on (might be an idea to make a cup of tea as well) I’ll tell you why.
The past two trips have been doozies. To get the best from our airflights we buy a Round the World ticket. Can travel a set distance and stop off in lots of places only stipulation is you must travel in one direction only. East to Europe via Asia and then across to North America and home via the Pacific is the direction we seem to take although we have done it westwards. It’s an open- ended ticket valid 12months so you can take your time and get to see lots of people.
For some reason I found these two trips very tiring, so many things just seemed to happen and each time I was glad to get home to Melbourne.
2004 was a lovely summer in the northern hemisphere, my sister’s girls had a double wedding, it was a leap year and they surprised their partners by asking them to marry, there was the sadness of visiting my Mother’s grave – when I last saw her in 2000 she had been hale and hearty – more sadness on leaving England as I knew I would never see my darling brother in law again, (his prostate cancer was very advanced by then).
It was hot in Nova Scotia and we had a great time with rellies and friends. I met an Internet friend for the first time (a cousin’s square dancing friend who I’d been emailing for a while) and was pleasantly surprised that we clicked, laughing and chattering in real time same as on the computer.
We caught up with long time air force friends in Toronto and Calgary and then spent another very wet week in Vancouver. It always seems to rain when we go there lol
As well as visiting indoor attractions we watched a lot of baseball that week – I think it was something called World Series and from recollection a New York team and another one with Red Socks were playing.
After rubbing the U.S. Immigration Officer up the wrong way at 9am the day we flew out of Vancouver to Los Angeles to pick up the flight across the Pacific to home – well he asked me where I was going and I answered ‘Home’ – he wasn’t amused and made it very apparent by calling me by my full name and telling me to stand in front of his desk and not move – I wondered what else was going to happen
The flight from there to LA was bumpy – we met up with a storm along the way and ‘cose we went miles out of our way to try and avoid the storm we had to land at Las Vegas to refuel, oh yes, that was after we got hit by lightning.
The plane sat on the tarmac for over 2 hours whilst they got someone out to check it over and give it more avgas. We could see all the casinos in the distance and these huge great limousines parked outside the terminal but it was classed as an international flight so we weren’t allowed off and had to stay put.
Apart from it being very uncomfortable inside the cabin we didn’t bother too much as it was cutting into the 6hrs waiting time we were supposed to have at LA and when we finally arrived there it was funny to see people getting off planes from all over and standing around the terminal watching the game in progress instead of hurrying off home as is usual. I think some of the bars made a profit that day. :)
Arrived back in Melbourne after the long Pacific flight to be bailed up by customs who wanted to search our luggage. ALL of it lol
Everything out of cases and lots of fossicking and digging around and when I asked a question all the officer said was that the dogs had picked them out and ‘Madam somewhere your luggage has been in contact with narcotics’.
Tell you what you could have heard a pin drop - I was never so scared in all my life and so pleased to see family when we came out the doors after being told our bags were cleared.
Could you see me as a drug runner? – the very nice man said they come in all shapes and sizes and not to laugh at the idea of a middle-aged woman being one.