Saturday, April 2, 2011

Australia ...adventures on the way and Day 1

You would wonder why anyone complains about modern air travel, if you could have shared my experiences at JFK Airport and my flights to Sydney this time.
There was no line for me at JFK when I arrived early Friday morning. The agent said ( for the third time I was assured of this...) that my bags were checked through to Canberra Australia. My lightweight ( only 15#s allowed on flight to Australia) carry-on and I slipped easily through security. I was not x-rayed, frisked, poofed, wanded or anything. I did see a fellow getting the much talked about pat down that looked quite thorough indeed. My American flight from east to west coast was quite an eye opener. Apparently my reserved seat was broken, so they put me in the first row of economy. This way I witnessed every detail of the service in first class. The coats were hung up in a "closet" just across the aisle from me. There was real crystal used in place of plastic cups for champagne, wines and cordials. There were several courses served. There were pillows and blankets and personal entertainment devices. In economy they did lavish us with 3 or 4 courses of water or soft drinks, you COULD purchses a snack if you asked early.
In LosAngeles airport I had a 7 hour layover. It afforded me plenty of time to get from where I was at LAX to Thomas Bradley International Terminal...a shuttle bus away. The shuttle wouldn't run for a coupke more hours so, as I milled around, who walks, right past me? Mick Jaeger! He was chatting with someone as they walked along. It was surprising. Haven't you always imagined that celebs like Mick would have their own planes or at least be sequestered in an entourage of security? Nope, there he was, just regular, making his way through LAX.
The 16 hour Qantas flight was the best it could be in economy class. There was a lovely woman in the window seat, no one in the center seat and me on the aisle. Luxury. We could each encroach a little on the empty seat, in our ambition to sleep as much as we could. The fight atendants were kind and attentive. The cabin was dark and pretty quiet for the most part, during those hours after our meal until the breakfast snack just before arriving. We DID sleep, fitfully and restlessly, but sleep none-the-less.
In Sydney, despite the 3 assurances to the contraty, I DID have to retrieve my luggage, get through customs with it and then recheck it to the domestic terminal, a bus ride away...and within a little over an hour! Who is at the carosel picking next to me, as I await my luggage? William Shatner. How I miss Denny Crane and Allen Shore (Boston Legal). He went his way and I went mine only to converge on the public area at the same time. The Paparozzi lay wait.

I'll spare you the frantic tale of getting to the gate for my departure to Canberra. Suffice it to know that I made it on time and arrived here safe and sound.
My hostess for the couple days I am teaching for Canberra Regional Feltmakers, Joy Robb, met me at baggage claim. One bag didn't make it to Canberra with me but, was delivered a few hours later. Joy took me into Canberra for a little look around, some marketing, and a walk in the park area near the National Gallery, Reconciliation project and former Parliament building. It happened to be the first day of the dragon boat races so we got to watch some of this excitement.
On our way to Joy's we took an excursion to Bungendore. We enjoyed the leather shop, Bungendore Wood Works Gallery and visiting with Xanthe Gay in X Gallery.

[I am finding the wifi a bit overwhelmed by the photos i have tried to send from my ipod to my ipad. The one photo here is from a website about William Shatner visiting Sydney. So I'll skip ahead to today, hopefully with those photos from my camera, and i'll fill in these missing pics when possible.]

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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