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.