Monthly Archives: March 2009

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I’m here!

Right now I’m struggling to stay awake. My laptop says it’s 4pm in Melbourne but it’s 10pm here and I’m so jet-lagged it’s not funny. So this will be quick. Feels like it’s been an eternity since I had a decent night’s sleep.

I knew the A380s were big, I just didn’t realise how big. They’re ginormous! To illustrate the point…

I didn’t even manage to get the whole tail in the photo. What you can see sticking up behind the A380 is the tail of a A320. Obviously there’s a bit of distance between the two planes and the 380 was much closer to me but it still significantly dwarfed the 320.

The flight itself was a little delayed and once we got going, it was rather bumpy. My belly has been grumbling away since the second bout of turbulence even though it didn’t seem to be that bad. It wasn’t anything worse than the bumps I used to experience every day on the train (except when it dipped – that wasn’t so much fun). I actually broke out in a sweat because I felt so nauseous which is really unusual for me. I think I might’ve overdone it on the sugar though and that does funny things to me now. In an effort to avoid the nausea I decided it’d be a good idea to try to get some sleep. I kinda did. I never really managed to get fully asleep but it was better than nothing.

Anyhoo… I arrived in one piece.

I found my way to a cab and made my way to Tim’s house. Tim was out on his front lawn when I finally arrived which made it easy to find the right house. There are so many wonderful pieces of art hanging on his walls. I have to admit that at first all I cared about was the fact I could lie down. Once I was in a safe place I became so tired it was difficult to think straight.

After an hour and a half kip, Tim woke me in time to go to lunch with Quinton, Lisa, Jackie and the adorable Daniel. The company was brilliant and I had a fabulous time. But I couldn’t eat anything. My belly was churning and I ate just two mouthfuls of my fantastic looking tuna melt before I had to stop. One of the wait staff came over to see what was wrong and I felt so bad saying I couldn’t eat it. Any other day I would’ve been shoveling it down with enthusiasm. I should’ve used my brain and asked if they had peppermint tea when we first arrived. But jetlag = brain not working properly.

Lunch with (L-R), Tim, Quinton, Daniel, Jackie, Lisa and me.

After lunch, Tim and I zoomed back to his place (he has a MX5 and he put the top down so I ended up with interesting hair) where he took me on a tour of his house and explained all the art he has. I am so jealous of his Bruce Timm collection – five pieces!

Then came the big moment of seeing his studio. It was crammed full of stuff. I would’ve loved to have poked around but that would’ve been rude. He has so many books it was brilliant. I think I could’ve easily spent a day in there just flicking through the various books.

Proof I was really there…

Tim’s coffee table/workspace in his front room.

Dinner was at the lovely Christina’s place with her two children. That was highly entertaining and the roast chicken she prepared was delicious. I managed to eat much more than I thought I would and it’s helped my stomach settle down. I’m feeling guilty right now because I’m tucked up in her daughter’s bed! How mean am I, kicking a 13 year old out of her room? But it was lovely of Christina to offer to put me up. It’s great to be in places I feel safe in.

That’s enough for today. I’m exhausted and I really need some sleep. Tomorrow is a big day with Lisa. She’s driving me from L.A to Oakland where I’ll be staying with Steve for a few days. I’m super excited about this part of the trip. Road trips are something I should do more of but I never seem to find the time when I’m at home. Well, I’m doing one tomorrow and I think it’s going to be brilliant. I’m sure we’re going to take much longer than it should because I’m going to be constantly asking her to pull over so I can take photos.

Counting down the hours now

Yes, I really am awake at 5.30 in the morning. And yes, I haven’t been to sleep. It’s all part of my crazy plan to get some sleep on the plane. Fingers crossed it works otherwise I’m going to be seriously trashed when I arrive in L.A.

Northcote is remarkably noisy at 5.30 on a Monday. I can hear a garbage truck making its rounds and a couple of trams have already rumbled past.

It doesn’t feel real. In a few hours I’ll be on a plane. My suitcase is packed (the only thing missing are my toiletries), my passport is in my backpack already along with my camera and a novel. I’m just killing time until I can get up and have a shower.

I think part of the reason it still feels so surreal is that it’s come up so quickly. Last time it was 15 months in the planning. This time it’s been six months. Not nearly enough time to get my head around the fact that I’m going overseas again. I can feel the excitement building as time ticks down. I’m going overseas again. I’m going to get to experience another country and see things I’ll never see here, be in places I’ve heard and read about. I’m going to be there. I’m going to get to spend time with people I enjoy being around and who I feel I can be myself with.

It’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait to see everyone.

A touch of reality

I hopped into my car and drove up to my parents’ place after work. We’re still on daylight saving time here so it wasn’t dark when I hit the freeway. I haven’t been up this way for awhile and it was shocking to see the destruction caused by the fires from a few weeks ago.

Trees that have been green for my whole life are now black sticks. A pine plantation had been decimated. The trees were still standing and they had foliage on them but it was burnt to a crisp. The leaves looked like they had been petrified by the heat from flames that moved through so quickly it didn’t burn them away.

Normally when we have fires here, the bush comes back to life quickly. But this time there hasn’t been enough rain so everything is still charcoal and black.

The other shocking thing is how abruptly the landscape changes from burnt to green. I drove under an overpass and the landscape was suddenly its familiar green again. There were houses with scorch marks right up to their doors but the houses themselves were untouched. I knew the fires had torn through that area but I didn’t think it’d be so close to the freeway. There were so many places where the fire had actually jumped the freeway and raced across paddocks and up hills. It must have been so frightening to be there on the day the fire swept through.

However, there was one small thing. There’s a small cluster of gum trees that looks like a chicken from a distance. I always look for it when I get around a particular bend. I was happy to see it was still there and hadn’t be razed by the fires.


Messing about in the dark at a rest stop on the highway…

Into the dark | Stripes

What’s in the box?

Open the box to find…

Yummy, yummy mini cupcake goodness from Little Cupcakes. Good for what ails you when you’re feeling crappy like I am today. Keen eyes will notice that there’s enough room in the box for two more mini cupcakes but I did eat them before taking the photo. The one with the tiny teddy cookie is a white chocolate cake and the other one is cookies and cream.

I can’t decide which one to eat next…

Trying to get excited about the fact that there’s only 13 days til I go.

28 days and counting

It doesn’t feel quite real but this time next month, I’ll be in California. Right now, I’m having problems believing that I’m really going. I’ve bought all my flights and I’ve got American cash in my drawer at home but it doesn’t feel real yet.

The last few months have been a bit bumpy for me so maybe that’s affecting my attitude towards this trip. Part of me is so excited about going but another part isn’t so sure. It’s a strange way to feel. Unlike last time where it was all new and I had to find out how to do things, this time I’ve got a much better idea of what I’m doing. There’s still an element of the unknown (going to different cities) but it’s much less than last time where I had no clue at all. I also wonder if it’s because I know I really shouldn’t be going. I’m not going to have half the money I had last time, which is a little alarming. Hhhmm… does this mean I feel guilty about going? I don’t know.

Still, I’m really glad I’m going. It’s going to be a huge treat for me and I am so excited to be catching up with my American peeps. I know that I’d rather have the debt and the great memories than regret not going.