Friday, June 25, 2010

America, here we come (playing Kenken)

This day was 34 hours long…(and this post has no photos, yet - but friends & family with Flickr accounts can see our departure photos in our Flickr set for the trip)

Up at 8am (Australian time), final packing, remembered I had not enrolled for course next semester, chatted with Ontario friend on MSN.

Toni took us to the Ballarat Station to catch the Ballarat Airport Shuttlebus, via Ballarat Books to pick up book for Cricket's course next semester. We were early to the station so we bought wedges and many packets of chewing gum at the cafeteria.

GUF called to check our departure time, and decided to meet us and wait with us even though we would be hanging around for three hours. Check in went smoothly although I felt a little nervous letting go of our bags which would be transferred to our international flights at Sydney. After a loo call we strolled to Subway for the boys' lunch, picked up Australian flags for Melissa’s children, then strolled back to McDonalds and caught GUF on the way - he knew where I would be.

Over lunch Cricket remembered he had not told Centrelink about his new course or going to US - okay we would phone it in.  On our way to the gate looking for a quiet place to phone we spotted strudels, so GUF bought the boys donuts, and then we spotted phones and an internet kiosk.

Unfortunately the reception over the airport’s Telstra booth was lousy so we called home again via Cricket’s phone, and while Div sought the appropriate number for Youth Allowance at Centrelink for us, we bought internet time but that was incredibly slow and we forgot Cricket's password anyway. With the number from Div and a typical (yet to see how expensive) period on hold, we managed to give relevant information over phone. Also called AAPT to confirm global roaming would be on both phones.

Finally we strolled to Gate 1 and GUF waited with us till our flight.  It was great to have his company. I began my pile of puzzles with Kenken - GUF helped me understand how they work.

We don’t recall anything about the domestic flight, but the transfer to international terminal was made easily with clear directions, streamlined check in and a shuttlebus. The international flight began well if a little cramped. There was a selection of free tv shows and movies, although I needed the attendant to press a few buttons to make mine work. Tea on the plane was ok. It was all but impossible to sleep. Long painful night. Trying not to think about return trip. Breakfast was not as nice as tea.

Was the 4x4 Kenken too easy for you? Try this one:

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