Tag Archives: australia

Two Autumns

I got to thinking last night that six months ago I landed into my first days of autumn for 2015.  It was the benefits of landing “down under” in Australia.

How lucky am I that I have in this year, seen fall colors in Australia, Colorado, Tennessee and Georgia.

Fall

I Australia, there were beautiful purple flowering trees in the fall.

purple trees in australia

In Colorado, we have the John Deere fall colors of yellow aspens and green pines.

colorado fall colors

In Tennessee, the colors were just starting.

tennessee fall

And had I stayed a few more weeks in Georgia, the wedding photos could have included these colors.

georgia fall

I know it has been a lot of third season photos and talk lately, but really, can there be too much focus on beauty? Besides, this time of year seems so fragile and fleeting that it feels that more time should be focused on observing it.

Autumn is a second spring

Love Sally

Arrived in Sydney

The flight from San Fran to Sydney was uneventful.  The #1 recommendation from everyone I spoke to about a long flight was to stay hydrated. I have to say it was great advice and per instruction, I took a personal water bottle and filled it before I got onto the plane and had the staff fill it for me a few times throughout the flight.  

It is a strange thing to leave in the dark of night and stay under that blanket for the next fifteen hours as we raced toward our destination keeping hidden from any sun until we were approaching landing in Sydney.

  

It did make for easy sleeping as they kept the cabin lights off for nearly the entire journey and when I would awake and look out my window for possible bearings, the only light to be seen was the flash on the tip of the wing.

There was a vacant seat between me and the gal in the aisle seat so there was room to spread out a bit.  I ended up sleeping way more than I thought I would and arrived more refreshed than I could have hoped – save for my knees hurting for being bent for too long.

I managed to get a customs clerk with a dry sense of humor and soon there was loud laughter coming from our station which drew the familiar stares of folks wanting to know why we were having fun and they were not.  I guess guffawing at 6:30 am in customs is not the norm.

Wilma walked right by me when she came to pick me up.  I suppose I should have mentioned that my hair has grown.

Wilma lives in a suburb of Sydney inhabited with a large Vietnamese population.  As such, there are many acclaimed pho and small shops to eat all kinds of wares within walking distance.   A bonus if I stay home one day by myself.

I freshened and we headed into another part of town to the children’s hospital where Wilma’s daughter had a series of specialist appointments.  I roamed the halls checking out artwork and photos noticing that sometimes people seemed to be giving me perturbed looks. 

  

It wasn’t until walking with Wilma    from the parking garage down the ramp-ways after lunch that I realized that it was expected that you walk on the left and not on the right as we do and that is why people in the hallways were giving me the looks.

There was a bank within walking distance so after lunch I headed off alone to locate it and get some Australian cash.  Next big lesson on a busy street is to remember to look right first and then to the left as the traffic nearest you is coming from the right side. Nearly getting run over will drill that one in your head pretty fast.

There are so many species of trees that I have never seen that a simple walk down the street has me grabbing at leaves, needles, berries and pods to feel the textures and see if they have fragrant oils about them.  Wilma says that they have many many different types of eucalyptus trees similar to how we have a plethora of pine varieties.

 

Now I really can’t wait to go to the botanical gardens.

Love Betty 

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree…Part One

04/29/15 Guest Post from Bethkookaburra

I became profoundly aware that Betty has wicked research skills as she walked me around the island last year pointing out unique and interesting things that even residents didn’t know. However, I believe it would be remiss of me not to share with Betty the 52 years of knowledge that I have accumulated about Australia prior to her departure. The fact that I have both a daughter AND a dog named Sydney uniquely qualify me for this task, and I hope that Betty will find the depth of my knowledge of benefit as she travels down under.

 

  • Should you encounter a Water Buffalo along the obstacle course, take these simple steps: Look the beast in the eye while humming deep in your throat like a chanting monk. Reach out with the hand-sign of the Texas Longhorns toward the buffalo’s forehead. This will subdue the beast into slumber, and you can continue the course without incident. (The classic “Rock and Roll” hand-sign will also work in a pinch.)

 

  • Kookaburras sit in gum trees. They fancy themselves royalty, and laugh a lot. Kookaburras are gay.

 

  • If you should find yourself glowing at any point during your trip, do not be alarmed. It is typical in the land down under for women to glow, and men plunder.

 

  • If you should find time to refresh yourself along the banks of a large river while wearing a one-piece body thong, remember to remove your canteen! Crocodiles are forever snatching canteens from about sexy women’s necks!

 

  • Occasionally, a man may smile and give you a Vegemite sandwich. I highly recommend that you eat it.

 

  • Dingos eat babies.

 

To be continued….

woman on croc

Last Minute things to do and first flight

04/28/15all my bags packed

I awoke this morning and  said a little prayer that I would be guided to remember what was needed throughout the day.

The bags are packed, but all of a sudden I start thinking of the little things that should probably be checked, done, or calls made before I go.

There are the checks that need to be mailed – I know, no one mails a check these days, but that rent check for the kid in Ohio still has to go out.

Not wanting to leave anything in the fridge at work that would be left to grow for two weeks, I heated up the ham and bean soup that I still had in there.  That is when the celestial guidance kicked in and reminded me that maybe that wasn’t the wise choice to have on the same day that I would be spending 18 hours in an enclosed space.

I might have made a page in a 4-H manual though.  I gave it to my boss to eat.  I should be leaving before that makes it through his system.

4-h air quality booklet

I set Beth’s guest blog to post the night of 04/29 since I will still be on the plane.  I won’t be able to put the link on my Facebook page, so a couple of you might need to do that so it gets distributed.

Someone please check on Karen P.  as her comments in the blog yesterday suggests she might have had a stroke or needs someone to guide her through her channeling of Sven and Olga, or it’s just a cry for help.  We’ll have a Mom’s night when I get back to really make fun of that one.

Wilma phoned me this morning warning me for the nth time to not bring any food into the country with me.  What’s a bag of jerky? Fine, Fine, I will leave any uneaten snacks or portions thereof on the plane.  It’s not like it won’t be cleaned and still be in the country for Pete’s sake.      

I’ve made it to my gate in plenty of time. Barney and Bam Bam drove me here and came in for one more meal together.  It was adequate–nothing to blog about.

Say prayers and keep good thoughts for pleasant plane rides.

Wilma, see you soon!

Okay. Adding a bit from the first flight: just because I can.

 

 The flight to San Francisco gets off quickly.  I love the feel of the jet engines as they roar into full power and you feel the G forces as if to leave the last remnants of where your leaving behind and forces you to feel the propelled momentum of the destination your suddenly hurling towards. 

I don’t think that I have flown westward in almost eighteen years. We went to San Diego over Barney’s 40th birthday.  Of course I completely forgot it was his birthday until we returned – but that is just a chapter in a whole book of stories where I mess up a birthday.  We’ll save those for another time.

I am totally engrossed in the landscape below me – window seat- as the plains give way to the mountains with still fresh snow.  We get to the Divide and the setting sun is lighting the majestic peaks that are so rugged and glorious right there that I nearly get teary eyed at the shear beauty of them.

I try to figure out the landscape as we fly over mountain ranges and bodies of water and can guess a few times where it is that I’m viewing but am never quite sure.

I have resolved that I am to stay awake on this flight so that my body is more willing to succumb to  sleeping on the long leg to Sydney.  I start the audio book that the library sent to me just before I left.

My seat is just behind the wing and so the drone of the engines is loud.  With the volume turned up and clouds gathering beneath us obscuring my view, I decide to close my eyes so that I may concentrate on just the words of the narrator.

Soon I become aware that there is another voice outside of the deep rich baritone of my reader.  I open my eyes to see the stewardess stopped just a row away with the snack cart.

I straighten up and realize that I have a huge kink in my neck and perchance I  might have missed a few minutes of story.  A quick check of the time and Dang it if an hour hasn’t gone by!

We chase the setting sun all the way to the west coast

  

Love Betty