Posts Tagged ‘Enroute’

Bound For Australia

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

The Princess and I are traveling to Melbourne, Australia today – a short trip to surprise my father for his 75th birthday.  My extended family know that I am coming down but Dad is in the dark – he will be rather surprised when we arrive unannounced!

I finished work around 0700 and after writing up the training reports I ventured over to the airport for an early morning coffee and to await the arrival of The Princess.  There wasn’t much value in going home and turning around to come back to the airport.

The Princess arrived at the airport around 0830 and we checked-in for our flight to Melbourne.  The loadings were quite light so this meant we were able to secure the seats we wanted in business class.

With no reason to wait outside in the departures area, we proceeded through immigration and headed for the Starbuck’s outlet just inside – another coffee was in order after my midnight to 0700 shift at work.  I was looking forward to getting on the aircraft and laying the seat down for a long sleep!

We walked out to the departure gate (a rather long way at the huge Hong Kong airport) and used the time to finish our coffees and to keep me awake.  We didn’t have to wait too long for the flight to start boarding and before long we were seated in business class with a refreshing orange juice in hand.

The flight departed on time and breakfast was served shortly after we leveled off at cruising altitude.  With a full stomach and a change of clothes I was ready for a long sleep.  In fact, I managed to sleep for about 5 hours during the 9 hour trip to Melbourne – perfect.

We arrived in Melbourne on time (around 2130) and after picking up some duty free goodies for the family we made our way to the Europcar desk and sorted out the paperwork for the hire of the car.  The staff were very efficient and after 15 minutes we were packing the Hyundai hatch and setting course for my brother’s place in Yarraville.

The roads were almost devoid of traffic (must be something to do with people living in suburbia) in and around the city so the trip to Steve’s place took less than 30 minutes.

We were welcomed by Steve and Casey at the front door around 2230 and after unpacking the car we settled into a couple of glasses of wine and some “catch up” talk.  Steve and Casey were due to start work early tomorrow so around midnight we all retired.

Great to be back in Australia and to spend some time with family.

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Bound For Perth

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

We checked in online for our flight to Perth and received confirmed tickets however, when we arrived at the airport we were informed that we might have to relinquish the business class seats for economy.  Fortunately Perth is only a short flight (7 hours) so we were happy to take economy if it turned out that way.

We checked in (with business class seats) and asked to report to the gate for any changes.  With no one to say goodbye to us (where is that fan base?) we went through customs, grabbed a Starbucks and headed for the gate.  As it turned out we were able to retain our business class tickets (yeah!) so we boarded the A340 Airbus and settled into our seats.

The flight departed on time (around 23.50) and before we knew it we were sipping on the first glass of McClaren Vale Shiraz and taking in a light meal.

I watched a short documentary before retiring for the night – The Princess was about an hour ahead of me.  We managed to get around 4 hours of sleep on the way down to Australia.  The relatively smooth air, a night cap of port and the 4.00am start the day before ensured that I slept soundly.

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HK to LA – August 2010

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

After two trips to the Hong Kong airport yesterday (trying to get to Vancouver) I decided that I would give up on the idea of flying directly to Vancouver and take the first available flight to North America.  It turned out to be a flight to LA.

I secured a business class seat on the Boeing 777 and departed on the early afternoon flight out of Hong Kong – all good!  The flight was smooth and reasonably quick (picked up some tail winds) however there was a family that included four obnoxious children that literally did not stay quiet the whole trip.  They used business class as a playground (jumping from one seat to the next) and their parents effectively ignored them for 14 hours.  Fortunately I was on the opposite side and didn’t have to contend with them jumping around me.  It was nice to arrive in LA!

I passed through customs quite quickly (based on previous experiences), picked up my suitcase and headed off in the direction of Terminal 2.  Fortunately, I was cornered by a “officially approved” charity collector that informed me that I was heading off in the wrong direction.  She earned her $US10 donation because I would more than likely not have made the next flight to Vancouver had I headed off in the direction I was going.  LAX is a big place and the signage is not that user friendly – it always pays to ask before you set out in the direction you “think” is right.

So, after heading the right direction for Terminal 2, (and not before being approached by several other collectors) I found the Air Canada check-in desk and asked for a listing for the next flight to Vancouver.  Because I hadn’t listed pre my departure for LA, I need to call Air Canada reservations (whilst waiting at the AC counter) and list.  Whilst I was doing this the duty supervisor came over to the desk and managed to access the back end of the system and get me listed for the flight – loved her work!!  Maybe this is one of the reasons Air Canada just won Best Airline In North America for 2010 (albeit that the staff were a bit puzzled about this when I congratulated them!).

Anyway, with the listing complete and a ticket in hand I proceeded through the lengthy but thorough scanning procedure and settled into my first North American Starbucks for the trip – ah coffee.

After a short wait at the gate “mustering” area I boarded one of Air Canada’s “E” jets (Embraer 190) and settled in for the flight to Vancouver.

I was a little “bushed” after the rather sleepless flight from Hong Kong so I dozed a little on the flight to Vancouver.  Unfortunately (a result of flying in business class) I didn’t have a blow up “pillow” and these days you have to pay for one when flying Air Canada (ah yes – the low cost model) and you can only pay with a credit card.  The joys of flying with a full service carrier that is trying to adopt a low cost model.  Did I tell you that they won Best Airline Of The Year for North America?

Anyway, fortunately I woke up as we were flying over the beautiful San Juan island area of Washington state and, with the perfect visibility, I was able to enjoy the bird’s eye view of this beautiful region.  A must visit on a future trip – mental note!

The flight arrived on time and, after a quick “welcome to Canada” customs process I was back on “Canada Eh” soil and ready for a feed of King Crab at Gary’s place.

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Reunited With Cowtown

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

I have just spoken with The Princess and she has arrived “home” in Calgary safely.  She was aiming to depart Vancouver around 1.00pm today however, due to a delayed aircraft arrival into Vancouver it took her three attempts before getting on a flight (one must go with “it” when one staff travels!).  She enjoyed the downtime in Vancouver airport by reading some books and listening to her iPod. After all the exercise and adventure in the past couple of days she deserved a break!

Two excited children (niece and nephew), along with a happy Mom, met The Princess at the Calgary airport just after 5.30pm this afternoon and they are now dining out. Enjoy being  home with the family my darling.

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Princess In Vancouver

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

The Princess arrived in Vancouver just after 9.30pm today.  She had a wonderful trip across the Pacific in First Class on one of Cathay’s Boeing 777 aircraft.  A nice way to fly for my Princess.

Our good friend, Gary, met her at the airport and, after a short 20 minute drive, they were back in Gary’s house in White Rock.

It is always nice to hear that your loved ones have arrived safely and after learning that my darling was back on Canadian soil I had a nice big smile on my face!

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Return to the Great Southern Land to bid farewell to Nan.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Earlier this week, on our way to Lamma Island, we received a call from my brother (Steven).  Steve was rather distraught and passed on the sad news that my Nan had passed away.  You may remember that we paid a visit to Australia in September to celebrate Nan’s 100th birthday.  Unfortunately she fell about two weeks ago and broke her pelvis and after the fall she became progressively weaker and until she opted to return to Pa and Mum (her daughter) on the 26th October 2009.  She passed peacefully in her sleep and she wasn’t in any pain.
Today we arrived back in Melbourne after an overnight trip from Hong Kong (again via Adelaide).

We opted not to hire a car this time around because we decided to stay in the city and make the most of being in the central business district of this beautiful city.

We caught the very efficient Skybus  from the airport to Spencer Street station. The station, now known as Southern Cross station, has been completely renovated and is a far different building than the one I remember from not too many years ago.  From the station we were transferred to our hotel by a smaller Skybus service.  All very efficient and highly recommended if you are going to visit Melbourne for a few days.

We opted to stay in the centre of the city at the Rydges Melbourne. This very centrally located hotel is in a perfect location and means that we can walk to all the locations we want to see during our stay here.

After checking in we had a short lie down before going to work.  Work?  Well, I have been asked to write and deliver Nan’s eulogy (a privilege) and I need to coordinate the inputs from my siblings so I needed to connect with them.  My eldest sister (Julie) also called and asked if I could attend one of the funeral planning meetings however she thought this through and decided that I did not need to be present.

After starting on the poem that I am going to write for the eulogy The Princess and I went out in search of a restaurant that my sister recommended.

The weather was pleasant, albeit a little cool, and we enjoyed walking around the local area and taking in some of the night sights and sounds.

In the end we didn’t find the restaurant that Julie had kindly recommended however we did find an outstanding place to dine called Rosati’s.  This cavernous establishment (an old factory of some sort) had a fabulous atmosphere and the service (by Galan) and food were both outstanding.  We shared a selection of food that came in small servings.  We ate some beautiful veal, feta cheese on eggplant and calamari.  We also enjoyed a “spalsh” of Australian red wine. The Princess really enjoyed taking photo’s of this beautifully decorated buidling. Again, we would highly recommend a visit to Rosati’s if you are in town.

After supper we took a different route back to our hotel and retired for the evening around 11.00pm.

A sad reason to be back in Australia however, we intend to celebrate the wonderful life of an inspirational lady and enjoy our own lives in the process.  Be in the NOW – it is all you have!!

Roey and The Princess

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