monkeyinabox: look here....or you could just go through life and be happy anyway

the daily banana

The Last Two Days Down Under

09.25.2007

simply amazing

Here it is, the wrap up for the amazing journey and the amazing times down under. Need to do that again REAL soon.

08.17.2007 to 08.18.2007

Friday

Our last full day in Sydney had arrived. Had the past three weeks really gone so fast? I guess what they say about time flying when you have fun is VERY true. I think the final day of any vacation can be a bit bittersweet. Sometimes you are ready to go back home, or sometimes you dread going back to work and the grind, and sometimes you feel like you never want to go back home at all.

We kept the schedule much lighter today, and slept in a bit. It was now closer to lunch time so we grabbed a nice lunch in the hotel and got ready to head out into the city again. We headed back to Circular Quay and hit our first stop which was Minus 5, a bar where the temperature is cold, very cold, in fact. You have to gear up with thick parkas and gloves and everything inside the bar is made of ice (even your glasses). Very cool (literally). I tried to tell them I was from Antarctica, but it didn't work.

Even though we both had only one drink, the CEO was a bit tipsy. Was it the extreme cold, or the strong drink? The monkey himself was not affected at all. We sat down on a bench and took in the harbor view again. Simply amazing. Plus, I wanted to make sure we were both ready to handle the walking portion that we were about to embark upon. No longer a tipsy CEO. Check.

After our brief rest we walked to our next destination, which was to be one of the Harbor Bridge pylons that you could climb. We grabbed an ice-cream cone on the way (maybe the 60 degree weather was too hot after -15 degrees or so inside Minus 5). Yummy. On our way we stopped at various places to take some photos and have some general silliness. You can never go wrong with the background around the harbor.

The walk to the tower was a bit of an adventure, especially as we drew closer. It was very vague as to where you went and what was off limits. We ended up by some stairs and climbed them to get to the bridge traffic level. I'm not sure if that was the final destination, but there was an official plaque and the view was good. We both decided that we had enough fun trying to figure out where the pylon was, so we wrapped up this portion of our walking tour.

The walk over was a bit on the long side, and we were ready to relax a bit more, so we headed back to our hotel. There was a bit of meandering back through the city streets and plenty of stairs to climb down. We made it back and went up to our room to unwind and figure out our evening plans. Shoes off and feet up time, plus some other forms of bodily relaxation.

We had a bit of debate whether to try and see a movie on our last night in Sydney. Harry Potter was at the IMAX, and we thought the chance to see it in 3D might be cool. We booked it down to the ferries and had a fun time trying to buy tickets. We rushed to the booth and were told they couldn't process a credit card, and then were closed, but as we left they helped someone else. Grrrr... We ran to another booth and got the tickets, then ran back to the gate with plenty of time to kill.

The ferry we boarded was a nicer one and we sat up top for the ride. It was a bit cool outside, but the view was simply amazing at night and the opportunity could not be missed. The ride over took about 40 minutes and after we docked we walked over the IMAX. We knew that we would be skipping dinner with the show time, but we both were fine with movie treats and eating dinner later. We got our tickets and stood in the massive line.

I secured some choice seats while the CEO acquired some goodies to munch on. The theater was pretty crowded and a large tub of popcorn, M&Ms, and sodas were brought in just in time. I was introduced to the concept of M&Ms mixed into the popcorn and my was it good. We sat and chatted and munched and waited for the movie to begin. Then we waited and waited and waited. Hmmmmmmmmm. Something was up.

Technical Difficulties...Please Stand By

So, we waited and waited and waited. Nothing. The lights went out at one point, the people cheered, but nothing happened, except the theater was now dark. The lights were turned back on. Booing. About 30 minutes later another announcement was made stating a 10-minute delay. People were starting to grumble. About 20 minutes later, nothing happened. Finally another announcement was made, and now they were passing out ice-cream (about $20,000 worth according to my pricing of movie concessions). A new 10-minute delay clock was set. 20 minutes later nothing had happened, so we decided to blow the joint and get our refund. About 5 minutes later a mass exodus occurred and we avoided a huge line at the counter for refunds. Good timing on our part.

We caught a taxi ride back to the hotel. Sort of an odd experience sitting in a movie theater but not seeing a movie. Oh well, the company was great. As we drove back the city was alive with Friday night energy. From our room I could here a DJ pumping dance music at a nearby club (I suspect). We weren't super hungry, so we split a sandwich from room service. We talked a bit and did a bit of packing up. We had to be at the airport early the next day, so it was hard to go to sleep, yet we knew we had to. This was one of those nights you never wanted to end.

Saturday

I think the alarm was set for 5:00am, but it didn't matter, noon would have been too soon.

We finished getting our bags together and headed down to the lobby to checkout and be ready for our 7:00am shuttle ride to the airport. We formulated a plan since she was on domestic and I was on international. The CEO got off at domestic and had the plan to check in, then come back over to international, since she had time to kill and I had a much earlier check-in time. So, I continued on the shuttle to international.

I got there plenty early and was able to get an exit row assigned to me. I then waited around for the CEO to arrive. I waited and waited and waited and waited. I started to think something was up. I sort of wondered if our quick good-bye on the shuttle was going to be it. That would have sucked. The time was getting a bit tight and finally I looked up and there she was walking towards me with tears in her eyes. Turns out when the CEO re boarded the shuttle they drove her back into the city. EGADS!

Simply put, saying goodbye at airports is sometimes a happy thing and sometimes a sad thing, or other times a non-event. Well, this was one of those - I don't want to say goodbye times. I guess it was good that we didn't have much time to really think about it. I tend to like to think about the next visit forthcoming and not the present one ending.

We kissed, hugged and she walked back to taxis to return to domestic. Sigh

This is the time where a long plane ride back helps numb the emotions. Blah. Well, on to the fun of customs and immigration again. Of course, I was in the customs line and forgot to grab a required form. Great. As I entered the end of the line, I was able to get one and fill it out. Thankfully, I didn't have to get back and start the line again. Back through security, with no issues and over to my gate. A short wait and it was time to board.

I took my seat in the exit row, in economy. Hmmmmmm.. no business class upgrades this time. Oh well. I was seated next to a few friendly guys and one of them was ready for the free drinks to start. And man, oh man, once they started, he never stopped. I knew the prospect of sleep wasn't going to be good, so figured I might as well try to keep the water intake high and the alcohol intake low.

The flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, is one where you travel back in time. I departed Sydney around 11am on Saturday, had lunch and about 13 hours later it was still Saturday and I was being served breakfast before arriving in Los Angeles. I cranked through about 4 or so movies on the flight and slept about as much as I had anticipated: zip. The flight itself seemed to go faster ( I swear it always seems that way with traveling - the second time is always faster).

Arriving in LA, I had to go through customs, collect my bags, go through immigration, go over the domestic terminal and check back in. The process was not fast and after finally getting my bags I was ready to check in again and grab a bite to eat. Good plan. However, as I walked over to domestic I discovered the Horizon/Alaska terminal to be an absolute zoo. Adding in the fact that I had two large suitcases, it didn't make it any more fun. After finally getting checked in, the time was getting close to my boarding time. Wonderful. I was able to check my bags in and secure and exit row seat, then booked it over to the gate.

I actually arrived about 10 minutes after boarding was supposed to begin. Of course they weren't ready. There's nothing greater than rushing like mad and then having to wait. I had been up for about 20 hours at this point and it wasn't even 9am. No time to grab some food, and I knew the flight to Redmond wasn't going to be feeding me anything beyond a light snack. Finally we boarded and my last flight was underway. Overall, the flights back were easier since I only had two flights to deal with instead of the four coming in.

Touched down in Redmond, with no problems. Home at last. Well, sort of. ;)

I made it until about 9pm that night before I crashed hard. Truly a journey like that takes a lot out of you, but this one also put so much into me. It was simply an amazing country to visit. The time went too fast, and I can say that having twice as much time still wouldn't have been enough to do all I wanted to do. As soon as I landed back here I was ready to recharge and go right back. The CEO showed me the time of my life and we had so much fun, so much adventure and so much romance. With that I can simply say, thank you Heather. I LOVE YOU. Until we meet again.

GOTP


Posted by monkeyinabox ::: |

Comments

Mrs CEO said:

OH my! My heart is beating so fast. I miss you terribly and look forward to our next meeting. ;)

THANK YOU, for you coming here, to my home and for being part of my life. It was beyond wonderful to show you my world.

Of course, I am going to have to install higher ceilings and stock the freezer full of steak, before your next visit... but you are so worth it. ;)

I love you.
LYD




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