Plane wing

Daily Photo

Jonathan took this picture out the plane window.

Feels so familiar


One of the things I find interesting about travelling is how much I absorb without realizing that I'm absorbing it.

When we exited customs in Sydney, I was struck by how familiar the airport felt. Sure, I had been here before, but I hadn't really paid much attention on my way through.

Or, at least I didn't think I had.

I had.

This feels so familiar

Arrived in Sydney!


Jonathan and I arrived in Sydney, he somewhat well-rested, I somewhat not-so-well rested. I managed about four hours of airplane sleep, tipped over onto his shoulder. For the record, he has comfortable shoulders. And sleeps like a rock on planes.

What is it with guys I travel with that they can sleep so well on planes?

Excited to be here!


I lost my phone


We landed in New Zealand early enough in the morning to be painful, bypassing doom, which isn't so painful, wandered through the airport, stood in a line, went through a security check, up a flight a stairs, and into a waiting room which was right above where we entered into the terminal. I was amused by all of the walking we did, commenting that we walked an awful long way to move 20 feet vertically.


Hello, New Zealand!

My excitement for my first time touching ground in New Zealand, even if we were merely passing through, was dashed, however, when I realized I lost my phone.

I remembered putting it in one of the zippered pockets in my backpack, but did not recall zipping it. I also remembered pulling other items out of that pocket, without recalling the phone was still in the pocket.

Snook has the way of it


I tell you, Snook totally has the way of this flight. He didn't sleep much last night, choosing to work late and get up early at work last night. He asked me what time it is in Sydney, and decided that the 11 hour flight is perfect for, oh, sleeping.

Me? I'm dumb.

I worked most of this flight. I'm awake at the wrong times, and will probably sleep at the exact worst times.

He's also sleeping with the neck pillow. Smart man. Mostly. He's leaning forward, so I'm not sure how well that pillow is helping out.

He's sleeping.

I'm not.

This is going to be a rough transition, staying awake until 4:00 am and sleeping until noon for the last week not-withstanding.

And we're on our way!


Jonathan and I are heading off to Australia for OSSPAC today. I had asked Kris to take us to the airport, letting him know that if he's home by 2:30, we should be fine. He arrived home just before 2:30, as I frantically gathered the rest of my items, throwing this and that into bags, realizing that I had more stuff than my carryon and personal item bags. I usually sneak on a third bag of food, since food bags aren't considered in the count (and, oh boy, did I have a lot of food with me).

As I gathered my items, Kris stood at the door, becoming more and more agitated. I ran out of the house, bags in hand, shoving them into the truck, and off we went to pick up Snook from work. He was, thankfully, waiting for us at his work's roundabout, so picking him up was easy. Kris was increasingly nervous about getting us to the airport on time.

When he stayed in the right lane, I commented that, no, he didn't want 237 West, he wanted 101 South, he asked me, "What airport are we going to?"

"San Jose."

His whole body relaxed.

Apparently, he had asked me earlier if we were flying out of San Francisco International, and I had grunted yes. The longer it took me to get out of the house, the less and less likely we were going to make our flight.

Fortunately, the 45 minute, really 60 minute in this bad traffic, airport run was actually a 15 minute dropoff, and Kris didn't have to worry too much about our missing our flight. Suddenly my cavilier attitude made sense: we were going to arrive at the airport waaaaaay early.

I tragically planned poorly for tickets, having bought tickets out of Los Angeles instead of SFO. Next time I'll be better about checking for all good times, but this time, meh, Los Angeles, here we come!

Flying done right


Kris and I are flying from Perth to Brisbane this afternoon, and I have to say, I'm remarkably relieved at how pleasant boarding the plane was.

There were no absurdly stupid "security" checks done. Our IDs, which can be faked, weren't checked. Our shoes, which were sandals and soft soled, didn't need to be removed. Our liquids, which could be any clear liquid, weren't confiscated. Our toothpaste was left alone. We had accents, yet weren't pulled aside for extra security measures. Incoming passengers were met at the gate. Departing passengers were able to say goodbye to their friends and loved ones at the gate. All of the retarded, onerous tasks that need to be done in the United States in order to board a plane, none of which make the flying of the plane actually safer, were avoided, and the reasonable ones (check for explosives and sharp objects) were done.

The flight out was such a sharp contrast to the rest of this trip, that it was actually pleasant. Even the large number of overhead bins that popped open during takeoff were funny instead of worrisome, as they would have been elsewhere.

Four star, my foot


When I made the hotel arrangements for this so-called "four star resort" for Worlds, I agreed that, should the need arise, the two 2-bedroom rooms we have would move into two 1-bedroom rooms, with the additional persons sleeping on the sofabed or a hotel-provided-at-no-fee rollaway bed. From the pictures on the website, the place looked roomy and cushy enough that, well, even if we did, we'd be moving for the night before the finals only, so, hey, no problem.

Several days ago, Lynelle stopped by the room and said, as per our agreement, you need to reduce rooms. To me, that meant reduce from a two bedroom to a 1-bedroom as agreed.

To her, that meant move from two 2-bedrooms into 1 2-bedroom, since weren't most of our people leaving on Saturday anyway, and, oh, could those two 1-bedrooms that I also reserved, could they move into one 2-bedroom.

Except only one person was leaving on Saturday. And the two 1-bedroom families each had infant children. My original reservation for four rooms was dropping to two rooms, and this "four star resort" was asking us, pushing us, to having seven people in one room with two bedrooms and one toliet.

I'm glad Brynne was around.

After the disaster of confusion, negotiation, and foot-dragging (oh, and a shoulder breaking by Mark), Brynne put on her hard-ass persona and gave Lynelle a one-two about moving all the rooms around. She, Megan and Katie managed to keep all of our rooms, the latter by refusing to move in the first place.

My favorite part of the whole disaster (if disasters can have favorite parts) is Mark's, statement, "I know you think what you're offering is a good deal, but it's not," directly to Lynelle, words for some reason I couldn't say.

I should probably find my notes on this issue, instead of summarizing from memory. The event was so disastrous it makes my blood pressure rise thinking about it, so maybe just spewing will be sufficient. Regardless, I think I can mark this down as another reason why it's very unlikely Kris and I will ever bother to come to Australia again.

Three oceans down


I'm a mountain girl. I'm not a water girl. Give me a hike in the mountains, through the forest, and around the lake over a swim in the ocean or a day lying around at the beach any day.

There are exceptions to my general mountain over ocean preferences: an ultimate game on the beach is preferable to a death march hike through the Grand Canyon, for example. For the most part, though, mountain over ocean.

For some reason I'm not quite clear on, I keep ending up at the ocean at these ultimate tournaments. Nationals was in Sarasota, Florida (a gulf more than an ocean, but a large body of water nonetheless), Worlds is in Perth, Western Australia.

So, in Perth, we're staying (ick! mixing verb tenses!) at a beach apartment complex, across the street from the beach, so all of maybe 50 yards from the waterfront. We wandered across the street to the beach,

"It's cold. I don't want do it, but I want to have done it." I smiled and said, "Well, the only way to have done it is to do it. Let's go."

The water was cold, close but not quite unbearably so, so we rushed out into the water, letting the waves crash higher and higher up our bodies. Eventually Kris went under, and a few waves later, I followed. I didn't go completely under, so chose to ride the next wave back towards shore.

I pushed off poorly on the next wave, but started swimming as fast as I could toward shore. Unfortunately, I also started after the wave started crashing. Instead of getting an easy ride to shore, I was dumped under the water, with the wave crashing over my head.

As I went under and couldn't find my feet under me, I kept thinking of my scuba diving qualification dive at Zuma Beach, and felt the brief tickle of panic that accompanies that memory when I'm in the water. Before it could become panic, my feet struck sand, and I surged forward, running to the shore.

I can now say, I have swum in the Indian Ocean. Kris can say the same.

I suspect I'll be heading back in the next few days, though. Once doesn't seem quite enough.