Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Friday, July 21, 2006

International Date Lines

Just prior to takeoff, we discovered that our personal viewing screens were located on a metal extension that folded into the right arm rest of our seat. That meant that as things then stood, only if we developed eyes in our ankles would we be able to access the viewing and listening database that could be our distraction if not salvation during the 14 hours travel that was before us.




My passenger neighbor across the aisle to my right, an Aussie woman returning from a vacation in Las Vegas with her husband, commiserated by saying that they had been stuck in our seats on a previous flight to America. However, even she could not recall exactly how the viewing screen was made mobile and swung into position.

So, while Wendy was squatting on her knees trying to finesse the viewing arm, I was trying a combination of pressing here and pushing there, and swearing. Finally, a bit of pressing this way and pulling perpendicular caused the desired result, (which I was able to successfully replicate for Wendy too), although maybe I hit upon the correct "words" and that was the ticket.

Actually, this Qantas flight was one of the best I have ever been on even though it was certainly the longest. For our comfort, they provided blankets, pillows, head sets, and a small kit with eye shades, socks and a toothbrush, toothpaste set. Dinner was served about an hour after reaching cruising altitude and was a grilled chicken breast with Spanish rice, a side of black bean, corn and sweet red pepper salsa. A three bean salad, a roll, a dessert and the beverage of your choice (free beer or wine for those so inclined) rounded out the meal.

After the stewards picked up the remnants, they then passed out gift bags with a water bottle and a variety of snacks. The water bottles could be refilled at a filter by the rear galley whenever one desired.

It was then lights out in the cabin and we were free to view from their archives of films and TV shows or sleep, read, etc.

Since we left at midnight, it was actually dark for all of the journey until about two hours before we landed, so it was very easy to sleep. I spend the first couple of hours viewing episodes of the cable show Myth Busters and watched an Aussie movie that was supposed to show up at the Twin Cities Landmark Theatres this summer, Sommersault. Wendy watched Brokeback Mountain and then an Aussie comedy, The Castle.

She gave me all kinds of crap about Brokeback when she was done viewing, and I really needed my coworkers there at that moment to explain why it was a good movie. Where were you guys?

Suprisingly, It was only after about 8 hours in flight that we realized that the People to People children were in fact sleeping


(and never did get out of hand at all) and that the baby and her mom were awake but not disturbing a soul. In fact, the baby was having a good time, and we played peek a boo with her and she smiled at us and would even arch her head to see us from out of her carrier seat when her mom lowered the lid. In fact, Wendy struck up a conversation with the mom who told Wendy about some really good places to go in Sydney, and one of the tips lead us to a great day outside of the city (more later on about that). The baby only had one brief bad moment, and that was when we were landing and her ears hurt her from the changes in pressure.

What can you say when your fears do NOT come true at all? I guess that we should have had children ... ? No, but it does mean something.

So, getting back to what you all really want to read: about ten hours into the flight, and only four hours out from Sydney, the stewards rolled out an Aussie breakfast. You could choose a cold or hot meal. The hot meal was eggs, sausage and fresh fruit with juice and the cold substituted cereal for the eggs. It all tasted good to us, and I figured they OWED it to us for stealing away Bastille Day by crossing that International Date Line in the middle of the night while we were asleep.

7 Comments:

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous wendy said...

Wait a minute. I gave him no crap! I fell asleep!
It moves slowly, that's all and because I slept through part of it, I was (and still am) confused. It is a beautiful film and the actors all do an excellent job.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Janine said...

Hi Don and Wendy!
Thanks for creating the blog. This is fun!! I will check in often :) Keep writing, writing, writing!!!

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous min said...

So is it thumbs up or down? I still haven't seen it.

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Wendy and/or Don said...

Thanks, Janine,
Do you think he'll ever gt to anything about Australia? I have this sinking feeling he is just leading us on and on and on.....

 
At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Wendy in Oz said...

Well, since the thunbs fell asleep (due to sleep deprivation) I'm not sure what to tell yoiu. Do me a favor, watch the WHOLE thing and then let me know if its worth oing back for the middle

 
At 9:46 PM, Anonymous pim said...

I can't believe you have baby pictures on your blog. Couldn't you have dressed him up a bit?

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger Wendy and/or Don said...

Baby pictures!! Yikes, I thought it was a koala bear, honest!! I was told they aren't very intellectual, they sleep or eat all the time and fall down a lot. Are you sure that isn't a Koala bear?

 

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