Wednesday 27 June 2012


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.
We spent 2 relaxing weeks in Cairns and from there we travelled to Sydney - all very uneventful.
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.)
We had only 3 short nights in San Francisco - what a bonkers place, worthy of its own post. I really enjoyed being there, something to being an old Flower Child I suppose.
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.


  1. I've fallen foul of that clearing customs and confiscation crap in the US too, barstewards! Loving the ride to the airport though!

  2. International travel is not for the faint hearted! You write about your adventures with humour, good for you. I am leaving for London , England tomorrow, after only 24 hours notice, and am a bit apprehensive. I'm going to borrow your positive attitude!

  3. Sounds rather miserable. I generally have better luck than you had with air travel, I fly a fair bit for work. My trip to London and back was a breeze.

  4. Travelling by air is horrible. I always get pulled for a body check and it takes all my will power not to thwack them. I hate my person being so intimately patted. Yuk! The holiday has to be good to make the travel worthwhile. I think that your hols outweighed the flying! Di x

  5. Oh I love Revenge too- it sounds like they're further along over there than we are though, I think we've had 4 episodes so far...

  6. I've been cross eyed after particularly long long-haul flights so I feel for you. Many an hour of my life has been sat on the floor of one airport or another. Don't miss that part at all!

  7. Just reading about all that travel makes me feel jet lagged!!! I do'nt suppose you saw Mr Monk when you were in SF?!

  8. Just stopped laughing !

  9. Oh Sheila, it's for all those reasons that I hate travelling! Perhaps a trip to London for FQR next year might be easier! Jxo

  10. Transitting Dubai is hell on Earth, NEVER do that, especially with 18m twins and a 3 year old - I am glad you came through relatively unscathed; just remember there are some jobs were a sense of humour or common sense are not allowed!

  11. Woops . . . Apologies that you couldn't understand a word those Jetstar Aussies uttered! Thats Queensland for you!
    I am wondering whether Darwin has beefed up its patrol because the Yanks will soon be inundating that shore? Sorry we didnt meet :)

  12. wow, what an epic journey! I hate air travel: and couldn;t imagine doing a trip like that. Such a shame there are so many miserable bug###s out there in a customer service type role

  13. flown 4 times, twice to America, it's not for me, well past retiring age and the wanderlust hasn't yet gripped me, don't think it's gonna happen!! So pleased you all had a good holiday

  14. Jetstar is the budget (read cheap) arm of QANTAS. I never fly Jetstar as they are often delayed or cancelled. I don't think it's as bad as flying RyanAir but not far off it. I also don't fly QANTAS any more either, too many really bad flights with crappy staff who don't care. That sucks about the alcohol being confiscated. I've given up buying duty free alcohol on any multi sector flights.
    I get pulled over for a drug and bomb check, whether I'm flying or meeting someone at the airport, every time. It's supposed to be random, ha, I think they have my photo on the wall as a possible suspect.



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