Posted on November 5, 2009
From Arizona to Australia: The Beginning of Our Trip
On November 1st, we arrived at my mom’s friend Jan’s house. That evening we went out to dinner in Gilbert and enjoyed some creme brulee. Ummm. The next day, Sebastien did some work and I ran errands. Mitch (my car) got a good cleaning and I repacked for the 15th time. In the afternoon we headed to Alexa’s and enjoyed a nice dinner with her and Jeff. That evening we took the scissors out and started to play with Sebastien’s hair. Snip snip here and a snip snip there. (Wizard of Oz song) Here are some pictures of Alexa and my work.
The next day, November 3rd, Sebastien went to a real salon and had an expert shave it off.
After we were clean, waxed, and packed we headed to the Phoenix airport for the first leg of our flight. My big backpack was stuffed and my carry on backpack was full as well. A little heavy but doable. Our flight to LAX was about an hour with no complications. Once in LAX we had walked about a half a mile to the international gate. Qantas had a very small area for check in and the lady at the counter was not very friendly. I had to eliminate a book from my carry on because I was over the carry on limit. The most you could carry on is 7 kilos.
Once we had our bags checked-in Alison picked us up for dinner. I am bummed that I will be missing watching her transformation over the next 9 months. After some food we returned to the airport and tearfully said “good bye”. Now it was just Sebastien and I on our puffin adventure.
We quickly made it through the security checks and headed to Chili’s for some beers. There we meet two New Zealand guys who come to the states about 4 times a year to buy old cars . They were very interesting and I only understood half of what they were saying. However, they were able to inform us that instead of our flight being 16 hours (which is what we had initially believed) it was only a 12/13 hour flight. YIPPEEEE!!! After a few laughs with them we boarded our sold out plane towards Brisbane.
I sat next to this gal who had flown from Brisbane to New York City to run in the marathon. I couldn’t believe she had flown all that way just for the marathon and then back within 5 days. She provided us with some hints and tips for getting around Aussie. The flight on a whole wasn’t to bad. We both got about 4-6 hours of sleep and the food was decent. It was a good idea to leave late at night. We landed around 8 AM on the 5th of November. We lost a full day somewhere over the Pacific.
Once we landed we gathered our belongings and conveniently took and train and bus to Burleigh Heads. Which is a beach town south of Surfers Paradise. We are staying in a Quality Inn like hotel called Outrigger Hotel. It is decent. It is a block from the beach which after we dropped off our stuff we checked out. The sand here reminds me of the sand on Coronado. Very beautiful stretch of beach. There were a ton of clear jelly fish on the beach. We asked John, the lifeguard, about the dangers of them. He chatted with us for about 10 minutes about this and that. From surfboards to his motivation in life. Again, we understood about half of what he was talking about.
We also went grocery shopping which was a shock! Food here is very expensive. We purchased a loaf of bread, hummus, some fruit, chicken, and a few other things which cost bout $50.00. A 4 pack of Guinness was $15.00. After making ourselves some dinner I was exhausted and we feel asleep pretty early. Our bed is very hard but it didn’t seem to disrupt my sleep.
Since we fell asleep so early we were up around 6:30 this morning. After doing our morning routines we walked to the beach and eat our breakfast. We noticed a dark sky far off the coast and as we watched it the darkness grew closer and closer. After about 30 minutes it was upon us as was the rain. So we returned to our hotel and was able to skype with my mom and Alison.
Here are some pictures the view we have of Surfers Paradise and the area where we are staying.