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So it occurred to me tonight while dealing with the remains of a migraine that I never posted about my (entirely too short) trip to Australia to visit Cari. Which really, is a huge shame because even though I had to cancel the trip not even a few days in, was absolutely amazing.

(For those who don't know, my grandmother passed away while I was in Australia, 2 days after I arrived actually. Thankfully Virgin Australia were amazing and worked to get me back home quickly so I could be here for the funeral. So I ended up only spending 4 days there before I had to turn around and head back.)

Lets start with the flight, shall we? Leading up to the trip, that was the thing I told everyone I was the most worried about. Because 16 hours in the air? Not something I was prepared for. Last year when Amara and I went to London, I couldn't sleep at all on the way over and it ended up being a nightmare of jetlag and exhaustion that ended with us crashing and sleeping 14 hours straight when we arrived. I didn't want a repeat esp since I would be losing a day to the International Date line as it was.

My plan of attack was to take 1.5 Benadryl as soon as I settled on the plane and then to have a glass of wine with dinner.  Benadryl makes me sleepy, and the wine should help as well.  I didn't want to take a sleeping pill because I did want to be able to wake up and be cogent if necessary and Benadryl would let me do that.  The plan mostly worked, I got a few naps in that were a couple hours long, prolly 6 hours in total.  Which meant that I had TEN HOURS to entertain myself.  

The good news is that the Boeing 777 that we were flying was about as comfortable as you can expect from an Economy seat.  It was wide enough that I didn't feel like I was spilling over into the person's seat next to me and since I have short legs, i didn't have my knees shoved into the seat in front of me.  But other than that?  Your body is so not designed to sit in an airplane seat for an extended amount of time.  And since I had the window seat, no getting up and wandering to alleviate the restlessness.  Mostly I listened to music on my ipod and read on my Kindle.  Really, those were the best and most important things I packed.  I watched a few movies but honestly I just didn't have the attention to follow them.  

Now for the fun part, I left Tucson at 5:30p on Tuesday night, had a jaunt over to LAX, and boarded the plane to Australia at 11:30 that same night.  I arrived in Melbourne around 8:30a on Thursday morning.  After about 2.5 hours in Customs, I finally got out to the Arrivals area and found Cari and realized, holy shit, I'm on the other side of the world *grin* We took it pretty easy that day, I mostly wanted caffeine, food and a shower.  I don't remember much of htat night other than trying to stay awake as long as possible... I think I made it to about 8p?  

The next day the real fun started, we took a lovely drive out to Phillip Island and had lunch by the water, then we meandered around the Koala Conservation park before heading to the Penguin Parade at dusk.  Yes, PENGUIN PARADE.   

A few pics...


Maybe a kangaroo? More likely a wallaby? IDK

Not my pics, we werent' allowed to take any on the beach because it would frighten the penguins... but omg the amount of squee I felt watching them come home from the sea.  *flails and flails some more*  FYI they are so wee!  They are called fairy penguins and seriously, I just can't recommend the penguin parade enough if you are ever in the area.  Also? TOTALLY WORTH IT to upgrade to the premium seating,  We had penguins walking by that were less than a foot away from us.  AMAZING AND I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN

   No, this is not actually a picture of us there, but this is basically what our seating was, yes, they are that small and that close.

Saturday we headed into Melbourne to grab some lunch, watch some hockey (yes, I went to Australia and watched hockey, this is my life now, lol) and then we were supposed to take a walking ghost tour.  Sadly I had an allergic reaction to a soy hotdog and that cut the evening short.  Still, Melbourne is a beautiful city and I want to go back and explore properly one day.  

Pics from our walkabout...

Sunday was my last day before heading home, so we hit the beach again.  Because there is no such thing as too much beach if you ask me.  We ended up driving out to Mornington and because I was a silly girl and said sure when Cari asked if I trusted her, we ended up clambering over the rocks for a good half to three quarters of a mile instead of taking the high (and smooth, easy) road along the cliff, lol.  I can't complain too badly though, it was beyond beautiful and definitely the balm to my soul I needed after getting the call about my grandmother.  

Gorgeous beach everywhere you look...

And to give you an idea of what I mean by the rocks we were climbing....

And I stole this one from Cari's Instagram so you can see most the length we climbed

The steps we did not take...

And this is the other side of the beach...

Sadly Monday I was headed back home.  A 30 hour journey that can only be described as hell.  Left Melbourne at 6a with a connecting flight in Sydney, arrived in LAX around 8:30a on Monday, finally made it home around 9ish that night?  I think.  Long ass trip was long.  Too many hours in one day and too many planes.  I always get the worst jetlag coming home, this was no different.  

I loved what short time I had there, it truly is a gorgeous country, even driving along the highways I was entranced by the rolling fields and green everywhere.  Cari was beyond amazing, and I miss her more than words can say.  It wasn't quite the trip I had planned, but it was one that I will never forget.  And you bet your ass I am going back one day.... several years from now when I have put that plane ride out of my mind.  *grin* 

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