Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Very Long Day

Day One

The flight from Seattle to San Francisco was uneventful as usual.  Now just remember, we
tarted this trip on the 11:00 am ferry.  The flight to San Francisco is only about an 1.75 hours which left on time @ 4:10.

The plan was to enjoy the two complimentary passes to the Alaska Board room during our layover. well, so much for that idea.  When we checked the monitor in San Francisco for the flight to Sydney, the yellow flashing "DELAYED" greeted us.  The 10:30 flight is now departing at 11:59 (why not just wait until midnight).The flight is overbooked, and they are asking for volunteers to take tomrrow's flight (now there is only one flight on United from SFO each day). 

The anty for taking the next flight is $400 cash, an overnight stay here in SF and food vouchers.  We respectgully descline.

The plane pulls away from the gate, the engines are started and we taxi a quarter of a mile and the pilot announces a problem with a hydraulic valve that controls the air conditioning and the pressurization. He hopes it can be fixed quickly. By the time we get back to Gate 94 (we circle the airport 10 minutes to get there) a crew is waiting. We had a good view of the work from our window and it was quite a show: Ladders are brought out, hydraulic lifts are engaged, cars, trucks and bicycles come and go. Two hours later everyone appears to be finished. We prepare for takeoff...and do so at 2:15.

Dinner -- a pretty sad combination of beef, potatoes, a warm salad and dreadful roll -- is served and eating is an interesting exercise in balancing as we rock and roll our way across the Pacific. Turbulance -- some of it severe -- continues for nearly half of the trip.
Four movies and several TV shows later we land in a warm, 82F and humid Sydney about noon January 13.

A quick taxi ride drops us off at our hotel -- the Medina Grand -- in the middle of the "city center" and instantly we're among thousands and thousands of beautiful people of all sizes, shapes and's amazing...and well worth the ordeal to get here.
Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park

We wandered around for four hours before exhaustion sets in --- and now we're back at the hotel, watching TV, looking foward to a good of sleep. Australin beer is REALLY GOOD!
Flowers at Hyde Park

St. Mary's Cathedral
Queen Victoria Center
Darling Harbor
The flooding is horable in parts of Queensland Australia, but this is one country that is proud of who they are, and stick together, watching the news paints a very sad story.

Enjoying a new treat, Lamingtons, and much more to come.

Our day is done, we are ready to turn in, it is only 6:30, the sun is still shining, but 36 hours is enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment