Sunday, March 19, 2017

home at last....

Tuesday - Thursday, March 14-16
The weather gods finally said enough of that good stuff, let it rain! We’ve had almost a full month of fabulous weather, so can’t complain. Two more days and we go home! Walked to Darling Harbour and around that area. Had breakfast on the way - organic granola with homemade berry sauce, Greek yogurt and a long black (that's what they call an Americano - 2 shots expresso with hot water). Janet had French toast.
 Lunch was a shared Portuguese chicken sandwich to get out of the rain. Spent a couple of hours in the hotel catching up on my blog while Janet had a nap. Out for another little walkabout and then down to the CQ for crepes for dinner.
One thing I forgot to tell you about is this strange vending machine they have all over here. I took a closer look and realized it’s selling flipflops at $35 per pair and there is a size chart below. We pondered about this and came to the conclusion – there are at least 4 to 5 cruise ships in Sydney Harbour at any given time. Most of the women are trotting around in the most ridiculous high-heeled footwear and I have thought to myself – where does she think she’s going in those? Well, obviously someone realized a huge sales potential – think about it – what would you pay if you were a mile away and your feet were killing you?
I finally finished that lame book, 'My brilliant friend' and just as I thought, it didn't get any better and had a really crummy ending, like someone ripped the last 50 pages out of the book or the author just gave up. Thanks Janet! Am starting 'Hillbilly Elegy' by JD Vance with higher hopes that it will at least keep me interested for that almost 24 hours of travel time going home...Janet is half way through my Elvis Costello, ‘Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink’ - she says it's a good story but he’s not a very good writer - she spent several years in England in the late 60s, early 70s so there’s some nostalgia there.
Thursday and we are at the airport - I have a strategy for getting through this flight...on the trip over, my knees were killing me before we got to Vancouver and by the time we got to Sydney I seriously thought I might have to stay rather than going through that again. Anyway, my plan is to slather Voltaren on my knees just before boarding – I know I won’t be able to do this on the plane (I have a 100g tube so it’ll make it through the scanning in case I need it again and you know, only WestJet in Toronto caught it but did let me go) and take a couple of Advil just as we get underway and repeat the dosage as necessary. Lucky for me, I scored a window seat and I'm not sure if that's the big difference - I can actually raise my legs one at a time and put them out to the side relatively straight every now and then and it's going well, no issues at all. The flight to Vancouver seems shorter than the way there, it's only 13.5 hours flying time which seems much less than what was supposed to be 18 hours of the way over (I didn’t keep track then – now I’m feeling totally anal!) but we still have to get to Toronto, another 4.5 hours - can't be too bad but Janet decides she should have the window seat this time. Home sounds really good about now!
I finished ‘Hillbilly Elegy’- based on the number of lumps in my throat and the tears welling up, my goodness, what a read – one of those books that you’re sorry to turn the last page and the thoughts that will return for some time – this is one of MAO’s picks!
Things I’ve learned for next time:
-Don’t take Elvis or any big book or one that you want to keep – make sure it’s disposable. The Elvis book is like 2 inches thick, it was a Christmas present that I haven’t read yet and at the airport in Toronto, set for Thunder Bay, after collecting all that stuff I left behind at Janet’s, that big duffle bag is extra huge – it weighs in just over the 50 pound allotment and the guy is going to charge me another $75 on top of the $28.75 I already paid unless I can take a couple of pounds out. I take out Elvis and the camo hoodie and stuff them in my backpack. It works but I can barely move with this thing on my back now!
-Fly to Vancouver, stay a few days (other sister Marnie lives there). Get in a visit and fly out of Vancouver, breaking up the lengthy flying time – not that I’m going back to Australia, but just saying…
-Pay whatever extra to get good seats.
-Pare down the wardrobe even further – I had an extra pair of heels, a dress, a pair of dress-up jeans and 4 tops that I didn’t wear – who am I kidding? Take a smaller suitcase!!
-Biggest lesson, when booking something on Airbnb, if it seems to be a real deal, no matter how good the reviews are, if it’s suspiciously inexpensive, do not fall for it!

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