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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AUSTRALIA- The Beach July 30

I let Julie sleep in a bit, I was up at 730. Sam and I had  breakfast and I had a cup of tea, watched TV and blogged. After Julie got up we headed to Cronulla (the beach). Julie lives in Gymea about 15 min from the beach. We walked from North Cronulla Beach to the South, and ate Fish and chips and potatoe scallops, she had calamai rings (no thanks). Then we walked around the shops and I found some prized for some of you readers. Took alot of pictures and I wish I could bottle the smell. MMMM sand, salt and water...

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Sam cooked us Veal parmegiana very nice and way too much!

Off to bed again at 930...hard to stretch that out...

AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE: the Surprise June 29

We begin the drive home from the airport and hit "Maccas" (McDonalds) on the way. I had a "Brekkie Wrap" very good and latte. We then ran to the little grocer a block from Julies to get some groceries. Then, Julie got a text from Sam asking  if he could use the internet. he was supposed to be at church working on movies! we were going to go there and surprise him infront of the whole staff. So Julie text him saying her could use the internet if he met us outside to carry in groceries. His text...(typical Sam)..."no pants". So we arrive and Julie goes in with two bags of groceries and berrates him until he will go out and get the rest. (britches on now). He complains he has to get the trash first, so grabs the recycle tub and steps out the door...I am waiting just outside the door. He looks at me takes a step and looks again! "What are you doing here?!!?!?!?!" he is so dazed he cant put the recycle tub down, "I have to take the trash out"...and walks on...(note: he is blinking his eyes alot, sure sign of tears) I go with him cos I can't keep my hands off him, and after the dumps the recycle he hugs me.....YAY!!!!! Totally surprised, and sooooo many people knew I was coming both in US and OZ! Great secret keepers all of you!
Me and My Boy moments after the surprise!

We then unpacked all the surprises, clothes, food, Jif...and this is what we discovered...

Jif or Jif...

I got a massage, yay...always welcome after a 23 hour flight! and we ate Chinese for lunch.(by now I am getting a little tired). Came home and tooka  shower because we are having "Family Dinner". Family Dinner is dinner at one of the "Family" homes. It consists of Julie (and now Sam and me) ALison, her daughter, Sarah, Ali's friend, LIsa (an old flatmate), Madeline (old flatmate), and Matt (Maddies husband, Sams good friend) and anyone who is a part of one of those peoples lives. So Julie cooked a nice stew (remember it is winter) and we ate and argued, coverbands, politics and taxes. Good times. Dessert was a blueberry crumble with icecream topped with strawberries and passionfruit....
Ali and I cut Sam's hair
   This is Ali with her new doo-rag and hat...

This is Sarah (SaiSai) and Julie.

I flaked out at 930 and that was really pushing it. So off to bed I went.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AUSTRALIA - The Departure June 27 and 29 ( I lost June 28)

After a long drive to Atlanta, Rick, Joy and I were headed to Marietta Diner to eat and "OH NO!" I have forgotten my passport"....I was all planning the 12 hour drive there and back then Joy took over. Thank you. We called Janet (good buddy) and she overnight/Saturday deliveried it to us. Phew! So I spent Saturday with Mum and  then  Sunday afternoon we headed to the airport. Joy couldn't go with me (she has no passport!!!) So she and Mary made a "Flat Joy" who is coming with me.
                                                                                                 So here is Flat joy going thru security...

I managed to ride an escalator alone (twice) without my escalator buddy Ronda. She did however text me thru the second one. I was on concorce A so only one stop on the tram and then gate 18 the first gate, yay! Those of you who have been thru the Atlanta airport know things are never that smooth, in fact, I think this was the first time I have not had to run thru the airport!o after hanging out for a couple of hours, and watching a total of 4 bags left unattended! pet peeve. We began to load. Right before I was to get on, the guy took my boarding pass and held it while he let the line go down. Of course, the 100+ passengers behind me were secretly cussing me for holding up the line....Then, 5 long minutes later he scanned it to start the line again and it popped up "check passport". so then he stopped the line again. he had me step aside (fond memories and feelings for Ronda!) while the 100+ passed by and gave me dirty looks! Anywyay they needed a home address?!?!!?

                                                                      Here is Flat Joy waiting at LAX

So we board. I pass a poor lady trying to lug a car seat, stroller and 2 year old who wants to undress her dolly NOW! 
SIDE NOTE: Here I have a suggestion here. Make the seats two, two, two - and widen the isles.  Just a thought. If the flight attendant, who is a size 0-7 can't go down an isle straight, it is too small!!!
Also, delta charges for the headphones to the TV and music, so bring extra and make a travelling buddy.

Watched The Wedding Singer. this other guy was reading how to live among the astral plain...with his Bloody Mary.  Sat next to an Australian lady who had moved to NC to marry her best friend and he had a stroke one day after she arrived and died 5 days later. She was taking his  ashes to Australia (can you say LOST!) I was so sad for her and sort of creeped out at the LOST paralell for a moment. Then I reminded myself that I was just flying to LA with her. Got off the plane at LAX and the gate I needed to get to was right next door! Great! So I got some McD's and settled down against a wall to plug in the phone and charge up.
SIDE NOTE: the airports are going to have to do better than a plug in the wall every gate to charge up! They had installed this tall bar thing sponsored by TMobile or someone but it had four, yes four plug ins....

                       Flat Joy in the airplane waiting for the "valve" to get fixed

Two hours later the gate is jumpin'. It went from about 5 of us at 7 pm to full gates at 930! Loaded up the plane and sat for 30 min some airconditioning valve was faulty, but working and not showing it so just another 30 more. But it wasn't hot and we were just reading. Dude across from me was wearing khaki shorts, different khaki shirt and black sox. These are the men that give Aussies a bad fashion name.Does something snap in an Australian male when they turn 40??
.....Sleep. read, movie, tv, sleep, tv, movie.....

Getting ready to land and Poppy Baldwin is standing the isle! Srsly! Looked just like him. Long line at immigration, I did get in the shorter of the long lines cos I am an Aussie, but still long. Then to customs, I declared all my food items (bisquick, peanut butter, life cereal, grits, chocolate) and she waved me on thru, no rummaging thru the bags! YAY! Texted Julie, hugs, kisses, exchanged money and off we go....
                                                                                                                    Flat Joy hugs Julie at arrival

Drove home and then we walked thru Gymea shops and got some grocery, and stop in at "Distractions" a friends shop (go to HERE to become a fan) 

I thought this picture might help Ronda understand why Tirane
 is like "home" for me...we shop in little shops too!

That is the Departure...on to the SURPRISE!!