30 June, 2012

Arrived in an awesome place

Now we've landed and are settling in, I feel a little bit like I've died and gone to heaven, the Australian version, that is! This is an awesome place. I can't believe I took it all for granted all those years of living here before we moved to Japan.

But backing up a bit, here is how the rest of our journey went.

Last night, night long after my blog posting, we went hunting for food. A bit late (7.30pm), but we weren't hungry before then, having been fed a main meal on the plane from Japan at around 3pm. It isn't easy finding food in a foreign airport with kids and a budget in mind. It took some time to find something that satisfied both criteria, and then we discovered that both restaurants were shut or almost out of food and shutting!

And we nearly missed the plane . . . but not really
So, we headed back in the general direction of our gate and then, by God's providence, David heard our flight called for boarding. Way earlier than we expected! But we were still a bit hungry and knew we wouldn't have an evening meal on the plane for over an hour or more. So, as the rest of us rushed to the plane, David stopped off at a fast food outlet and bought fries.

We just caught the end of the line going through the gate, only to stop just after that as they checked our bags once again before getting on the actual plane. So, at 8pm, we stood in line again and ate fries. A crazy food day!

Overnight flight
After that small fright the rest of the trip went smoothly, figuratively and literally it was a smooth trip. With individual screens which we stared at most of the eight hour flight, we hardly heard a peep from the boys. It was frustrating, though, that the general lights in the plane didn't go out until well after midnight. I think that the two older boys and I probably got less than three hours interrupted sleep. None of us are tall enough to be totally comfortable with our feet flat on the floor, and none of us were small enough to curl up in a single seat either. Grrrr.

And yes, throughout our travel, meals were all over the place, just like any long distance flying days. We had some more dinner at about 10pm and then breakfast at 4am.

Getting up that early had one benefit. We got to see an impressive sunrise through the plane window. Oh my, it was breathtaking.

Brisbane — awesome place
It took almost two hours from when we landed to actually greeting my parents to came to meet us. Everything, but especially retrieving our luggage, took a long time. But that has been today really. On less than three hours sleep you function, but not very efficiently. Especially in an environment where you are a bit rusty. The drive across Brisbane to our lodging (a house sit . . . with so many toilets and bathrooms and toys) was quite an adventure of mis-turns. They've built a few extra roads in our two-year absence!

But oh my, we've landed in a gorgeous place: Brisbane. I don't want to make you jealous, but the space, the grass, the wide lanes on roads, the gum trees, the abundance of green and trees in general, and the blue skies and even a horizon . . . it is magnificent and a balm to Tokyo-sore eyes. And we've only just begun. We have another 5 1/2 weeks of this gorgeousness to endure :-)

Oh and the temperatures. We've left a Tokyo rainy season to a Brisbane winter, and I've got to say the Brisbane winter wins. The temperatures are about the same during the day (Brisbane's cooler at night), but the sky was blue, so blue! I understand they've had a "rotten" week, but we sure landed on a good one, probably a more typical Brisbane winter day, to be honest.

The day didn't cease to be awesome. My parents had prepared a BBQ. It took a while to find a park with a functioning electric BBQ, but once we did. Yum! Under that blue sky and surrounded by grass and gum trees. Who wouldn't be impressed!

Then we cruised home for a rest. I think I was the only one who slept, so everyone will crash tonight. I'm glad I had an alarm on, or otherwise I wouldn't have woken until the sun went down, I was so gone!

Then we roused ourselves for one more outing. Groceries. I always look forward to my first grocery trip back in the country with mixed feelings. On the one hand it is so exciting to be in the same store as all those things we have only dreamed about since we left the country. But on the other hand there are so many choices, it can be very overwhelming.

Today's grocery store had 19 aisles! The shop I usually use two or three times weekly has only three aisles, and they are all less than one third the length of those aisles I cruised today.

Probably my salvation was that we had kids with us, so we worked quickly. Not too much time for thinking deeply about choices helped a lot.

And now . . . 
So tonight, after an Australian morning tea (raisin bread, lamingtons, bacon and cheese bread) and an Australian lunch (BBQ with snags and beetroot), we follow-up with an Australian dinner — meat pies! Awesome.

Then, bed. Zzzzzzzzzz.


OliveTree said...

Have a wonderful time in Brisbane! I laughed about your description of the trip over, sounds very familiar!!!

Judy B said...

It was so lovely to read your fresh and exuberant appraisal of Brisbane! I am determined to appreciate it even more! Thanks Wendy.