Whilst I was away on holiday, I managed to read a few of my usual blogs - one in particular sticks, it was by our favourite girl, Lynne - I think she might have been guesting somewhere else, she was talking about being a good blogger, and how to build a good blog. One of her tips was to be yourself, you know, not to give the impression that life is always perfect.
I follow a couple of blogs that adhere to this principle and I think this makes the bloggers come across as very genuine and more like the rest of us.
In this spirit, I continue with a few holiday memories - but tonight, I am not emphasising the "holiday of a lifetime" slant.
As I said a couple of days ago, my OH wanted a couple of stopovers to punctuate what we knew to be a long, long flight. So, we came up with Singapore on the outward journey, and decided to return home via San Francisco, all sounds a bit rock and roll doesn't it?
Going out was fine, we were full of anticipation and excitement. Even going through Heathrow was ok, we had a cracking meal in an airport Italian restaurant. The flight itself, courtesy of Qantas, was excellent with super onboard personal entertainment.
We were due to fly from Singapore to Cairns with Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas and we were a little apprehensive - never heard of them.........The flights with them were ok, apart from not understanding a single word that any of the cabin crew uttered, not just us either, several other passengers shared this concern.
........somewhere between booking and flying, our schedule was re-arranged to include a drop down and change of plane at Darwin - no biggie???
There now follows a quick picture break to alleviate the boredom.
Before leaving Singapore, I bought a nice bottle of whisky for my big sister, who lives in Cairns.
Dropping down in Darwin, we did not clear customs, and to cut a very long story short, my duty free was confiscated, all to do with being more than 100mls of liquid etc, etc. To say I was livid is putting it mildly- welcome to Australia!!
(Later on in the trip I was to witness an Aussie having 2 jars of Vegemite confiscated - shocker)
Sadly, air travel these days is a huge chore. We had shoes off, jackets off, Kindles out, laptops out, belts off, fingerprints taken, faces photographed, hands waved in our faces, and all done with an amazing lack of personality or even basic courtesy.
My prize for the nicest official goes unreservedly to the young man in Cairns airport who singled me out for an "explosives check" - all he found was some loose cheese that had escaped from a roll in my bag!! Big cheery grin, top man.
After just 4 days we were on the move again, we were on the home straits now but still had a whole continent to conquer. We were due to leave Sydney about 1pm, eventually arriving at San Francisco at about 1pm - the SAME DAY. Yes, that fact was blowing our minds ('Frisco talk) and we knew we were going to be pretty wiped out.
Unfortunately as we checked in at Sydney we discovered they were issuing meal vouchers, never a good sign.........flight delayed about 4 -5 hrs. Oh well, it was the first real hiccup, and Sydney airport was very comfortable, free wifi etc. But we knew that this delay meant we would miss our connecting flight as we were flying to SF via LA.Our flight to LA lasted about 13hrs)
Qantas were excellent, they had made alternative flight arrangements for us and on arrival at LA we picked up our luggage and started a whole new check in. Our new flight was with a different airline and we had to walk a good half a mile to the correct terminal ( husband/wife relations now straining a bit). Finally we got to our gate and awaited our new connecting flight, due out at 4.30pm (still the same day) As we waited, the departure time kept sliding by a few minutes at a time - we were awaiting an inbound flight. Obviously the guy with his finger on the clock button got bored cos he just whacked it in one fell swoop to 8pm! We left at 9pm and got to SF about an hour later, we could probably have walked quicker.We had been awake for approximately 30hrs.
(On the bright side, I had watched 6 straight episodes of "Revenge" and glad to see I can pick it up here, at home.)
Although this post is mainly about air travel, I have to show you this pic of us leaving for the airport to wend our way home.
So our last big flight was SF to Heathrow, but unfortunately in a BA aircraft with decidedly less leg/body room than our other flights, with onboard entertainment from the ark, and in flight breakfast that included a giant polo mint!!
Our final flight, Heathrow to Glasgow was delayed by an hour or so - past caring by then!!
We arrived back in Glasgow to rain, no surprise there then.
We did actually have a brilliant holiday but 9 flights in 4 weeks, (that is 9 take-offs and 9 landings) - too much.
We have now been home for 5 days and still feeling a bit jet lagged, never had that before.
So my friends, it wasn't all cocktails by the pool.