Results tagged “Airports” from Kazza the Blank One

In early April I went with David and Kat to the airport open day.  The trick to avoid the worst of the queues is to pick one plane that you want to see, and go see that as soon as it opens.  This year we decided on the Qantas 737 done up in retro livery.  Then we did the tarmac tour, and then just wandered around all the planes before having to race home to meet Graham and Pam who had come to stay.

I might have taken nearly eight hundred photos.  Oops.

Waiting to get into the cockpit of the 737
Waiting to get into the cockpit of the 737

737 cockpit
737 cockpit

737 cockpit
737 cockpit

737 throttle controls
737 throttle controls

Qantas 737 VH-VXQ
Qantas 737 VH-VXQ

David on the 737
David on the 737

Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia 737 VH-YIO and Qantas 737 VH-XZO)
Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia 737 VH-YIO and Qantas 737 VH-XZO)

Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia 737 VH-YIO)
Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia 737 VH-YIO)

Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia 737 VH-YIO)
Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia 737 VH-YIO)

Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia ATR-72 VH-FVP)
Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia ATR-72 VH-FVP)

Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia ATR-72 VH-FVP)
Aircraft on the taxi way (Virgin Australia ATR-72 VH-FVP)

Qantas kangaroo
Qantas kangaroo

Little blue stunt plane
Little blue stunt plane

Qantas jet in a hangar (717-2BL VH-YQW)
Qantas jet in a hangar (717-2BL VH-YQW)

Crossing runway 35
Crossing runway 35

Firestation at Fairbairn
Firestation at Fairbairn

Wind sock
Wind sock

Canberra's weather station
Canberra's weather station

RAAF rescue helicopter (VH-VAB)
RAAF rescue helicopter (VH-VAB)

Air Force 1? :)  (A36-001)
Air Force 1? :) (A36-001)

Air Force 2? :)  (A36-002)
Air Force 2? :) (A36-002)

Prime Minister's jet
Prime Minister's jet

Canberra air traffic control tower
Canberra air traffic control tower

Canberra air traffic control tower
Canberra air traffic control tower

Eurocopter EC120B VH-VCC
Eurocopter EC120B VH-VCC

Kangaroo sculptures
Kangaroo sculptures

Aérospatiale AS 350B2 VH-LVM
Aérospatiale AS 350B2 VH-LVM

Cessna 550 Citation II (VH-FYP)
Cessna 550 Citation II (VH-FYP)

Agusta A109E (VH-RUA)
Agusta A109E (VH-RUA)

The red baron?
The red baron?

Retro Roo II Qantas 737 VH-VXQ
Retro Roo II Qantas 737 VH-VXQ

Qantas 737 VH-VXQ
Qantas 737 VH-VXQ

Virgin 737 VH-VUR
Virgin 737 VH-VUR

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

RAAF Roulettes
RAAF Roulettes

American Chamption VH-DAY
American Chamption VH-DAY

Yak 52 (VH-YVK)
Yak 52 (VH-YVK)

1989 Nanchang CJ-6A (VH-NND)
1989 Nanchang CJ-6A (VH-NND)

1989 Nanchang CJ-6A (VH-NND)
1989 Nanchang CJ-6A (VH-NND)

Connie (VH-EAG)
Connie (VH-EAG)

Connie's engines
Connie's engines

Connie leaks a lot of oil so they catch it in drink bottles
Connie leaks a lot of oil so they catch it in drink bottles

Or it just seeps down the sides
Or it just seeps down the sides

Or they use big blue tubs to catch it all
Or they use big blue tubs to catch it all

Connie (VH-EAG)
Connie (VH-EAG)

Connie's nose gear
Connie's nose gear

I wouldn't stand there if I were you
I wouldn't stand there if I were you

Catalina (VH-PBZ)
Catalina (VH-PBZ)

Old air force C47 Dakota (VH-EAF)
Old air force C47 Dakota (VH-EAF)

Old air force Caribou engine (VH-VBA)
Old air force Caribou engine (VH-VBA)

Alenia C27J Spartan (A34-001)
Alenia C27J Spartan (A34-001)

Red baron (1979 Pitts S-2A Special VH-FFF)
Red baron (1979 Pitts S-2A Special VH-FFF)

A roulette plane (A23-012)
A roulette plane (A23-012)

Me and David next to the Catalina
Me and David next to the Catalina

Butterfly on stilts
Butterfly on stilts

David taking photos over the fence
David taking photos over the fence

SQ291

| | Comments (0)

I couldn't help myself.  I had to go see it.  In the rain.

Yes I was there for the first international flights both arriving and departing from Canberra!

Boeing 777-212(ER) 9V-SRP

SQ 291

SQ 291

David said they missed the planes and got the whole airport
SQ 291

I know that 737 is a lot further away but *damn* the 777 is big in comparison - it's like twice the size!
SQ 291

Planespotters!  Not shown: the other guys with their SLRs
SQ 291

Lovely view up close on the taxi way
SQ 291

Going ..
SQ 291

Going ..
SQ 291

Gone!
SQ 291

And as an extra added bonus, the car park had free parking from 7am to 11am for the event!

So I always forget *something*. This time I forgot all the paperwork for the trip. Not super critical, but annoying. And the map. But mum brought hers. I also wish I'd brought a bottle opener. How is one meant to kick back with a beer at the end of the day, sitting overlooking the marina and typing up the day's blog entry? Unless one makes sure to get twist tops or cans. But I digress.

So I was up at 5am. The sweetie kindly took me to the airport.

The first flight was in a 717 (really a rebadged MD-95). I'd only ever been in a 717 at the Canberra Airport Open Day, and never flown in one before (I think I've been in other MD planes though). I had seat 22F, which is up near the back of the plane, as I prefer. However the wings on a 717 are *way* back. And the engines are *just there*. In fact if I'd been any further back all would have been able to see would have been the engines. Note to self: next time flying on a 717, get seats up the front, further forward than rows 13/14 which are the exit rows.

We didn't get much in the way of breakfast, just a slice of banana bread. Qantas have also relaxed the PED (Personal Electronic Device) rules. If they're switched to flight mode you can leave them on the entire trip (except laptops, they still want you turn those off for takeoff/landing). And they had these little iPad minis that you could play movies, music and tv on. Sadly no games, which was a bit of a downer. Also the home button was disabled so didn't take you home which was a bit of a poo. Anyway I watched a doco - the Twitter Revolution, which I didn't quite finish because we landed.

Also there were clouds most of the way, so the view was pretty boring for most of it.

Anyway. Arrived in Sydney then went in search of a bit more substantial breakfast. They don't have a Maccas inside T3 so I had to have Hungry Jacks hash browns :(

Then went and met up with mum. We also saw a couple that had Outback Spirit bags as well, so chatted to them a bit too. They were doing a Cape York tour.

Our next flight was on a 767. Up the back again, as per my preference. Mum was happy that she didn't have to sit in the middle seat next to a random because of the 767's 2-3-2 seat configuration.

We took off to the south, but again the clouds made the take off pretty boring.

They gave us a more substantial breakfast this time, but being at the back of the plane it was quite late arriving, so I was glad I'd had something else to eat earlier.

Watched The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (on full iPads this time) which I quite enjoyed. Mum watched The Other Woman, which looked like it might have been fun. Sadly they didn't have Frozen. They didn't even have the Lego Movie on the iPads, although they had it on the minis on the short flight. Go figure.

After our movies finished we began our descent. Came in from the north but clouds prevented us seeing Cairns before we arrived.

So picked up our bags, checked the price of the shuttle ($28 for two people), then went and took a cab ($26).

Our hotel is lovely. We have a nice view of the marina and the mountains to the south.

Now if the sweetie had been here he would have flopped onto the bed and declared it a day. But it was only about midday, so mum and I decided to go for a wander. We got changed out of our winter clothes and into something more appropriate for the tropics and off we went.

After checking out the pool we meandered past the jetty, lagoon, war memorial etc, then headed through town up to the station. Stopped in Cairns Central for a *very* late lunch at Surf and Thai. Which was more like surf and western Chinese, but whatevs.

Then meandered back to the hotel to get changed to go for a swim in the lagoon! Mum has been to Cairns a couple of times but for one reason or another has never managed a swim in the lagoon. It turned out to be quite pleasant. So stayed in there for a little while, then came back to the hotel again.

So this is where I went on a little expedition to get beer, and sat down outside to type up what we've done so far today :)

It's been quite windy today actually. Which in the tropics is quite a blessing. I'd have been dying otherwise!

Moving on. So after typing up what we'd done so far we went out for another wander. Took some photos of the trees and the lagoon by night - very pretty.

Then battled the crowds in town. It had been the Amateurs day at the races, so there were a *lot* of short skirts, crazy high heels and fascinators. We had a quick wander through the Night Markets, Cairns attempt at an Asian-style market to keep the tourists happy. Then we ended up at Coffee Club for some calamari and chocolate cake.

The back to the hotel to crash.

6.4.14

Not a regular follower of news, I had no idea the Canberra Airport Open Day was on until I drove past the sign to it on Friday night when I was heading out to the club.

But it was dilemma, because I needed to be in Sydney by 2pm.  So I decided I'd make a flying visit (arf arf) and go for just an hour and try to get onto one plane.

Coming from the Queanbeyan side of the airport was an epic win.  I turned straight into the carpark and only had to wait a minute or so to get in.  Traffic from the north was backed up for who knows how long.

I parked and hurried up to the gate just after opening.  I headed straight down to the 717 as I'd never been in one of those before, and there didn't look to be much of a queue.  As it turns out, they were still securing the plane so noone was allowed near it yet.  I was there less than a minute when they opened it up and I was in the second group of people to go through it!  Win!

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Got to set in the pilot's seat too :)  I asked the copilot whether it is "ok" to poke my head into the cockpit after flights as we're getting off, and he said generally it is, so might have to do that some time :)

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Then I walked up and down the line of planes taking photos and generally marvelling at being up close to planes :)

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

Canberra Airport Open Day

The crowds!!  It was super super busy this year.  Definitely getting more and more popular.

Canberra Airport Open Day

So then I headed for Sydney.  The traffic around the airport was INSANE.  Every approach to the airport was completely choked.  Traffic on Majura Road was banked all the way back to Mount Majura - probably nearly ten kilometres north of the open day entrance.  Hopefully the airlines were a little lenient with late arriving people to the airport...

Canberra Airport Open Day

My Dad turned 70 on Sunday.

So we trundled up to Sydney.

And I figured if I was going to be in Sydney, I'd try and catch up with some of my Sydney friends for part one of my birthday bash.

Stu wanted to fly (to get points so he can get Virgin lounge access).  So we spent obscene amounts of money on flights and a hotel.

But let me backtrack a minute.

I'd decided that we should go to the Löwenbräu Keller, as it was central for everyone, it had pork, and it had beer.  I thought that we could have a lunch, and people could stop in for a drink afterwards if they weren't able to make it to the lunch.  Except when I made the tentative booking they said that they were a restaurant and everyone had to be dining.  This they underlined.  Well actually they said that everyone who made a reservation had to be dining.  And they wanted a $20 deposit for everyone.  And we had to order off one of the very restrictive set menus.  So that was my drama last week.  Anyways.  I got my RSVPs and made the final booking and paid the deposit, and fortunately on the day everyone showed up who said they would, and no surprises.  But more on lunch later.

So Saturday morning we got up and got ready and headed to the airport.  And after complaining a couple of weeks ago about Stu getting to fly in one of Virgin Australia's ATR 72-600s, I got to go in one :)

Virgin Australia ATR 72-600 VH-FVP

Took off to the north, with a view of Canberra and the new Majura Parkway, but a lot of fog around still (delays all over the place because of heavy fog in the morning, and was a bit stressed that our plane would be late or cancelled).

Majura Parkway

Majura Parkway

Actually to say was a bit stressed was putting it very mildly.  I was totally stressed out all morning - about the lunch, who would/wouldn't turn up, the restaurant being bumheads, getting to the airport on time, the plane being on time and on and on.  Was feeling quite queasy until we got to the airport and our plane was going to be on time .. 

But carrying on ..

Because it's such a little plane, they don't have the full food service where they sell food/drinks.  Instead they have complimentary drinks and snackages for everyone!  So that was pretty nice of them.

Virgin Australia in flight snacks

Flew almost right over the top of River Island (it was on the other side of the plane)

Wollondilly River

Then up over Campbelltown and in from the south-west.

M7-M5 junction
M7-M5

Holsworthy
Holsworthy

Look Mum I can see your house from here.. and mine (under the clouds).  Looking into the sun, so not much more in the way of good shots for the rest of the flight.
Shire

Bate Bay looking very blue
Bate Bay

So off the plane and onto the Airport Train.  I've never actually taken this train before.  Reason being: it's a complete rip off!  $31 for the two of us to get to the city.  Absolutely ridiculous.  And of course, there was trackwork, so we had to change trains at Central.  At least there *was* a train to Circular Quay - when Stu went a couple of weeks ago, there were no trains at all in the CBD.

Carnival Spirit
Carnival Spirit

Walked up to our hotel, and were able to check in.  Fairly basic hotel room, but very nice and a pretty decent view.

Shangri La hotel

Shangri La hotel view

Then we wandered down to the Lowenbrau, and even though we were fifteen minutes early, we were only *just* the first ones there heh.

James and George

Liz and Luc

Chris and Stu

Fiona, Stu and Me

Peter

Sami and Cathy

Fi and Daniel

No good photos of Marc/Ryan and none at all of Emma/Charlotte.. doh!

So everyone arrived and they brought out meat.  So. Much. Meat.  This times four!

Lowenbrau meat

We got the "Schmankerlplatter" which was $39.50 and the cheapest of the options we were forced into having by the Lowenbrau.  I was really annoyed by this, as it meant people couldn't go for a lighter lunch if they wanted to.  One thing's for sure - I'll *never* be booking to go to the Lowenbrau again.  If opportunity arose I'd still go there, but I'd never organise an event there again.

*Fortunately* they were happy to package up all the leftovers, and Stuart R and my brother took them home.  So at least a quarter of all that food didn't end up going to waste.

And the pork was pretty damned good.  And there was other meat too.  For those that wanted it ;)

The band

So after lunch, since the Lowenbrau were being buttheads about not wanting people to drop by casually, we headed up to the Argyle for drinks.  Fiona, Stu, Chris, Daniel&Fi and me and the sweetie went, and were joined by Fran, Jake, Ric, David and Yvonne.  Where we stayed til early evening :)

The Argyle

The Argyle's unisex bathroom.  The funky pods at the far end are the urinals!
The Argyle's unisex bathroom

Fran

Jake

So all in all it was actually a wonderful afternoon.  I hadn't seen Chris in twenty years, and I'd never even met Stuart R (except online, and he had actually thought I was a boy which gave everyone a good laugh ;) ).  And all sorts of lengths of friendships in between.  The only sad part was not having enough time to catch up with everyone for as long as I'd have liked.  Oh well.. will have to make more effort on future trips!  And convince people to come visit ;)

Stumbled back to the hotel.

Argyle Cut

Picked up some snackages on the way back to the hotel, thinking we might get hungry later on.  But we never did.  Too much meat!

However the hotel had put out a little bit of cake and a macaron for my birthday - how sweet of them :) (when they asked at checkin if I was up for a special occasion I said I was :) )

Hotel cake

Enjoyed the view briefly before collapsing into (a very soft) bed.

Hotel view

Queensland 2012

| | Comments (0)
As is now a yearly tradition (slightly late this year), the sweetie and I headed up to Queensland to visit Chay and David.

Thursday

We left work just after lunch on Thursday, as our flight was 4pm.  Two flights for the day - Canberra to Sydney, then Sydney to Brisbane.  So weren't scheduled to arrive in Brisbane til after 7pm.  Then our flight from Sydney to Brisbane was delayed for half an hour due to heavy traffic in Brisbane.  We did three big loops around the coast off Ballina/Tweed Heads.  But to keep us entertained, they announced that Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm were on the plane, and they wandered down the aisle showing off their medals!  It was amazingly cool!  Got to touch Emily Seebohm's silver and gold medals!  They were very heavy!  But not as shiny as I thought they'd be! heh.  Finally arrived in Brisbane, picked up our hire car then headed out to Chay and David's.  Fairly quiet night.  Only stayed up til 12:30 drinking and chatting :)  But did get to meet their new bird - Ichy - an Indian Ringneck, who is amazingly cool :)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love flying? :)
Queensland 2012
Pretty clouds over NSW
Queensland 2012
Sydney shining
Queensland 2012
Look mum, I can see your house from here!
Queensland 2012
This dude is taking this plane for a walk
Queensland 2012
I was quite surprised by the *glass* bottles!
Queensland 2012
Cate Campbell and her gold medal
Queensland 2012
Emily Seebohm and her two silver and one gold medal
Queensland 2012
Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm on our plane!
Queensland 2012
The girls had some cool "Australia" luggage
Queensland 2012
Brisbane Airport
Queensland 2012
Mine!
Queensland 2012


Friday

After a fairly slow morning, we headed out to Ipswich for lunch and went to the Hog's Breath Cafe for lunch.  I didn't feel like anything too heavy, so had a "side" of caesar salad, and a "side" of curly fries.  Because if you go to the Hog's Breath Cafe you *have* to do curly fries :)   Stu had a pretty awesome "finger food" platter.  On the way back, we stopped in at Dan's to pick up supplies for the rest of the weekend.  Dinner was lots of Eagle Boys pizza.  There was drinking.  There was Buzz.  There was Singstar.  And it was very good.

Finger food platter
Queensland 2012
Caesar salad and curly fries
Queensland 2012
Supplies for the weekend
Queensland 2012
Stu and Ichy
Queensland 2012
Ichy!
Queensland 2012
Ichy!
Queensland 2012

Saturday

Saturday after a bit of a sleepin (and the sweetie had headed out to meet a friend), C&D and I headed over to the markets next to Orion.  But they were pretty boring, not much there.  So headed into town to wander around South Bank and the markets there.  Was a very lovely wander.  Dinner that night was some roast chicken that we picked up from Chay's mum, along with the kids who were quite sick with the flu.  (David did his "best potatoes in the known universe" which were pretty decent :) ).  Their friend Storm came over after dinner too which was pretty cool.  There were mojitos.  There was drinking.  There was Buzz.  There was Singstar.  And it was very good.

Near Orion
Queensland 2012
Southbank
Queensland 2012
Brisbane from Southbank
Queensland 2012
Southbank
Queensland 2012
Southbank (taking after Japan, much?)
Queensland 2012
Bored lifesaver. The water looked lovely.  I'd have liked to have gone for a swim.  But I didn't have any swimmers.  And I think they'd have arrested me if I went skinny dipping!
Queensland 2012
Brisbane from Southbank
Queensland 2012
Lizard at Southbank
Queensland 2012
Nepalese pagoda at Southbank
Queensland 2012
Chookens!
Queensland 2012
Mojitos!
Queensland 2012

Sunday

After a bit of a sleepin, we packed a picnic lunch and headed out to Wivenhoe Dam.  We'd thought of this too late last year which was a bit sad as we would have seen it spilling over.  As it was this year, they'd closed off the viewing area so you couldn't even see the front of the dam.  But I did walk over most of it while the others took photos of me heh.  Dinner was roast pork, along with a stack of pork skin.  But after dinner I started feeling a bit off-colour.  Thought I was coming down with the flu the kids had.  But also felt quite queasy.  Didn't even feel like drinking!  Tragic I know!!  Storm came over again and we played a card game called "Frustration" which I think I'd like to play some more.  There was no Buzz.  There was no Singstar.  There was no more drinking.  And it was very sad.

Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Extra spillway at Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Blue-faced honeyeater
Queensland 2012
Isn't he a cutie? :)
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
Wivenhoe Dam
Queensland 2012
er..
Queensland 2012
We'd bought a big bag of purple carrots.  If you boil them, their water turns bright indigo!
Queensland 2012

Monday

The last day is always a quiet day.  Didn't really do anything before heading off with ten baby plecos and three baby guppies in tow at 11:30am.  Pretty uneventful trip home (two flights - Brisbane-Sydney then Sydney-Canberra, and Lake George looks very full!).  After a long weekend of entirely t-shirt weather it was a bit sad to get home to the freezing cold.  

Jaffas at the Brisbane Qantas club
Queensland 2012
Citrus lemon shortbread on the plane
Queensland 2012
Northern beaches of Sydney
Queensland 2012
Drinks with Libby Trickett at the Qantas Club in Sydney
Queensland 2012
A-380 taking off
Queensland 2012
Been to a couple of parties down there
Queensland 2012
Sunset over Botany Bay
Queensland 2012
I've never seen Lake George completely full!
Queensland 2012
Home!!
Queensland 2012

I dumped all the fish into the two-foot tank.  The next morning (Tuesday) I couldn't see any of the new fish at all - alive or dead.  Wednesday morning I saw one of the plecos swimming around.  So who knows if any others have survived.

Also fought the infection for a couple of days, but I think I have beaten it and not really gotten sick.

As always, same time next year guys, it was fun :):):)
Thursday

Managed to squeeze in one beer at drinks before being picked up.  Made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  Had already checked in, so just needed to drop off bags, but no automatic machines that I could see at Canberra airport for plebs, so went to counters to drop off bags.  Went into the Qantas lounge for drinks and snackages.

Qantas club snacks

Then Stu got a notification on his phone that flight was delayed.  Oh well, more snackages.  And delayed again.  Flight was nearly two hours late by the time we got away :(  Got a beef stroganoff of some description for dinner on the plane.

People please, stand back from the luggage carousels so other people can see the bags going past and actually get to the carousel to pick up their bag!!  Sheesh!!

Rude people

Because the flight was so late, the car rental place was closed.  So had to walk all the way back into the terminal to pick up the keys, and back out again.  At that time of night it wasn't much fun.  And their computer system was down as well.  Hurrah.

Finally got the car and headed off, thinking we'd use the toll roads and get there a bit quicker.  

Big mistake.

Traffic jam on the M1

Night roadworks on the M1 meant we were stopped for long periods of time in several places along the motorway :(:( 

We had a hybrid car, so the stop start traffic was kinda quiet and fuel efficient.
Hybrid
Finally arrived - very very late - but still ended up talking til around 2am before going to bed.

Friday

Mog

Latish on Friday morning we headed down to Springfield Lake for brunch.  Although someone misheard it as Bugger Lake and so that's what it then became known as :)

I had a reasonable caesar salad, although all the pieces were in separate sections..

Caesar salad at Springfield Lake

Boat racing on Springfield Lake

Dropped into the Springfield aquarium and got a new heater for the aquarium, and Chay got a good deal on some plants on logs and a big sunken ship.

Fish tank

Headed out again after setting up the fish tank and went to a few different aquariums looking for fish.  We ended up getting eight ghost mollies, six male guppies, four sucking catfish and a betta.

Ghost mollies

Dinner was lots of Pizza Capers pizza.  Then we played Buzz (they have some different Buzzes we don't have, must go looking for them) and SingStar.  

Saturday

Saturday morning is garage sale time!  Mainly looking for books for Chay's business, but picked up a few other bits and pieces as well.  Got some sushi for lunch and saw Batman on a segway!!  

Batman Segway

Headed back out again in the afternoon and ended up getting some female guppies, and another betta for K (who had picked up a small fish tank at one of the garage sales that morning).

K's fish

K playing her saxophone

Dinner was chicken pies with mac&cheese - yumm!

After dinner we attempted to watch Seven Samurai but I was restless (so was Chay, who couldn't actually sit there) and then David had to go drop some stuff off at Chay's mum's, so we gave up.  Sorry sweetie, I'll watch it with you one day..

So played Buzz again, and more Singstar.  Not as late that night, and I set some pretty insane scores (9720 for Where the Wild Roses Grow, 9727 for Come As You Are and a whopping 9837 for Heaven is a Place on Earth!!).  Helped being mostly sober I suppose heh.

Singstar score

Sunday

Headed out to our favourite Brisbane cafe for brunch - Ascot Provisions.  Driving around I was actually surprised how everything had recovered from the floods.  In a lot of places you'd really never know there'd ever been any flooding there at all.  Amazing stuff.

I had the big breakfast.  They're still doing the mini cheese kranskys (I preferred the bigger ones they used to do).

Ascot Provisions big breakfast

Saw some interesting things on the drive back.

A staircase to nowhere..
Staircase to nowhere

Brisbane CBD from the Story Bridge
Brisbane CBD

And a human aquarium.  This is a swimming pool at the top of a building opposite the Gabba, with windows so you can see into it!
Human aquarium

Dropped into Hardly Normal to look for Buzz games (didn't find any, but did find this sign)
Harvey Norman sign

Did some more shopping at Orion.  Found a couple of Buzzes.  Also did some food shopping for dinner.  

Jungle cat

Dinner was a super awesome roast pork and veggies with an amazing apple sauce.  I swear David can cook about ten times as well as I can :/  I did my (fake) violet crumble cheesecake for dessert.

Night three of Buzz (the new ones) and Singstar.

Monday

Much of Monday was just chilling out, watching Big Bang Theory, reading news feeds etc.  Did a Bunnings run to get some new runners for the front sliding door.  Then packed up and left.

Again made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  Which was a good thing, because all the new works around the airport terminals, and a truck going down the wrong way towards us in the lane we were trying to drive down, meant we missed the sign to the rental car return (because the truck was in the way).  Second loop around we went to a different part of the parking (luckily didn't get charged for the long stay carpark).  But we did see the sign this time (after it was too late to change).  Third time around we finally got it right.  Lame lame lame.  Returned the car ok and used the electronic bag drop gizmos for the first time.  Took a lot longer than handing them to a human, but I imagine it'd get a lot quicker once you got the hang of what you need to do.

So the plane was delayed.  Again.  What else is new.  We had an hour wait in Sydney on the way back, but as the plane got later and later it was looking like we wouldn't make the connection.  So they got us onto the preceeding flight, but even that was going to be cutting it fine.  They brought out a beef teriyaki for dinner.  We got a lovely view of Sydney as we flew past it, then flew waaaayyyyyy out to sea before finally swinging around and landing from the south on 34R.  We finally arrived at the terminal pretty much as the other plane was due to leave. Fortunately it was only four gates down, and several other people were transferring too.  So we raced down and got on the plane at the very last minute - they closed the doors a couple of minutes later.  I was thinking there was no way our bags possibly could have made it..

Flight to Canberra was pretty quick and uneventful.  Took off from Sydney to the west and straight on down, approaching Canberra from the south in very windy conditions.  But the landing was a lot smoother than I thought it would be, considering how much we were getting buffeted.

Had to walk out onto the tarmac (love it when that happens :) ) - where we'd just gone from beautiful t-shirt weather to suddenly cold and wet and windy.  Craziness.

Went inside and then waited to see if our bags had made it.  Which, miracle of miracles, they did!!  Was very impressed with Qantas making *that* happen :)

So got home very late and pretty much just crashed.

Had a lovely few days.  A nice relaxing weekend, good company, fun times and even read plenty of my very behind news feeds.

Same time next year guys :)
In yet another attempt to get our step count up, and to do a walk I've wanted to do for several years, today did the Mount Majura to Mount Ainslie walk.  Not that there's actually a defined trail.  In fact between the mountains there's tracks criss-crossing all over the place.  Definitely a two-car job (unless you really want to walk all the way back again as well!)

You can't drive very far up Majura Road before the road is blocked
Gate blocking the road up to the top of Mt Majura
They didn't have enough chains so used lots of padlocks instead
Chains (locks) on the gate
Pretty cool view of the airport, but not many planes, it being a Sunday and all
Canberra Airport
Looking toward Dickson and Black Mountain
Looking toward Dickson
Looking toward Belconnen
Belconnen
Aircraft radar at the top of Mount Majura
Radar on Mount Majura
Obligatory spider shot for Tony ;)
Spider
It was quite crowded around Mount Majura, lots of walkers out and about
Top of Mount Majura
We just need to go straight over there - no need to go down first, right?
Mount Ainslie from Mount Majura
Spikey flowers
Spikey flowers
Spikey flowers
Virgin Blue 737 taking off
Virgin Blue 737
Now here's something you don't see every day (anymore)!  There were a whole heap of them near the top of the trail on Mount Ainslie
Old-fashioned ring-pull
Made it!!
Mount Ainslie sign
Aircraft beacon on Mount Ainslie
Aircraft beacon on Mount Ainslie
Canberra airport from Mount Ainslie
Canberra Airport
Obligatory Black Mountain Tower photo
Black Mountain Tower
Canberra
Canberra
Houses of Parliament, so to speak
Canberra
The fountain was fountaining
James Cook fountain
Canberra Centre and part of Civic
Canberra city
Magpie portraits
Magpie
Magpie
So this was the whole trip around the mountains, showing where you have to park on the north side of Mount Majura as the red waypoint at the top.

Majura to Ainslie GPS track
Here's a close up of the walking part itself from the top of Mount Majura (top) and Mount Ainslie (bottom)
Majura to Ainslie GPS track
The GPS track of the walk itself is here if you want to look at it any closer.

8.4km, ~13000 steps, nearly three hours of walking (with lots of stops for photos).

Airport

| | Comments (1)
Had to go out to the airport tonight to bail someone out of the carpark.  

I swear every time we go to the airport it's different.  It's like Airport: Fantasia.  Since we were there last they've made some funky new ramps to the upper level.  But the best part is they now have a whole stack of 10 minute free parking spots.  It's in the right-hand carpark, next to the multi-story car park, relatively well sign-posted.  Sure it's a couple of minutes walk away from the terminal entrances, but hey - free parking at the airport!  How cool is that!?!?  So was pretty happy about that and glad that sanity has prevailed!

Stopped in at Dumpling Inn on the way home and picked up some takeaway .. yumm :)
Thursday morning (1st July) we had a bit of a sleep in. An hour before we had to leave I thought I'd better pack heh. Left on time and arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare.

We had an Embraer E190 which is one of the smallest commercial jets flying. Two seats each side of the aisle. And surrounded by screaming kids. Yay. So a very noisy trip. And no music to listen to either - no headphone sockets. There was cloud cover over Eastern Australia so didn't have much of a view so ended up just reading the Virgin Blue magazine which kept me occupied the whole trip.

Our Embraer E-190
Embraer E-190
This sticky tape on the wing tip was a little disturbing
Wingtip
Canberra
Over Canberra
Interior of the E-190
Interior of the E-190
Brisbane
Over Brisbane
Brisbane Air Traffic Control Tower
Brisbane Air Traffic Control Tower

Arrived just before 2pm and went and picked up our hire care. Took the scenic route through Brisbane so we could drive past Stu's old flat. There's so many new bridges and tunnels here now it was a little bit freaky!

New overpass being built near the airport
New freeway overpass
Stu's old flat
Stu's old flat
Go Between Bridge - opening the next Monday
Go Between Bridge about to be opened

Got to Chay and David's around 3pm and then we chatted for ages before going on a booze run. Had beer and ordered pizza and ended up watching V for Vendetta. Then the others went to bed and David and I stayed up til a bit after 1am Singstarring.

Friday had a huge sleep in (10:30!!) and got to up to find we'd kept everyone awake :( Decided to go out for coffee and shopping. Went down to the lake for coffee and other drinks. Then went to the Orion shopping centre. I got a couple of Singstars for $20 each. One of these days we'll have to get a Playstation...  Had a look in BigW at Lego prices and wandered round looking at other things too. Had a sushi snack. Looked in the Reject Shop. Then did some food shopping in Woollies. Got home at 15:45 oops :)

Boats being raced on the lake
Yachts on the lake
Kailyn on a mall ride
Kailyn on a mall ride
Feeding the guinea pigs
Feeding the guinea pigs on the way home

So David and Daemon cooked a roast chicken for dinner which was highly nom. Started watching The Backup Plan but lost interest in that and ended up just playing Mario Kart and then some Singstar til midnight.

Miss Mog
Miss Mog

Saturday had another reasonable sleep in. Went out with Chay to a few garage sales so she could look for books, but they were all pretty crap. Mostly clothes.

Feeding the guinea pigs again
Guinea pigs again

Played through the 50cc Mario Kart cups to unlock all the locked ones for them then played a few rounds with the kids.

Chay made a fantastic lasagna for dinner - better than any of the lasagnas I've ever made.

Then we went out and saw Toy Story 3 which was pretty awesome but a bit dark for a G rating I thought. Came back then played some Buzz. First the general one which I was an epic loser at, then the music one which I was still a bit crap at but at least the scores were a lot closer. Then the others went to bed and David and I stayed up and did a couple of ten-course Mario Kart cups.

Sunday we got up at a more normal time, dropped Kailyn off at a friend's place and the four of us grown-ups went to breakfast at Ascot Provisions (Stu got random breath tested on the way which was a bit.. random). I tried the "breakfast pizza" because its toppings of cheese kransky, hashbrowns, cheese, egg and onion relish intrigued me. It was pretty good actually :) 

Clem 7 Tunnel
Clem 7 Tunnel
Breakfast pizza at Ascot provisions
Breakfast pizza


Next we headed to South Bank. Went on a bit if a scenic tour if Brisbane cause we didn't have a real GPS but even if we did, so much has changed recently it probably wouldn't have worked anyway. So we got there and managed to find parking in one of the parking stations. Unfortunately it's a flat rate $15 which is a bit rude if you only plan to be there for a couple of hours :(

Victoria Bridge, Brisbane
Victoria Bridge, Brisbane

Brisvegas!
Brisvegas

Anyway, wandered our way past a Scottish festival and up to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) to see the Ron Mueck exhibition. It was pretty awesome, I'll post pics in a separate post.

Kurilpa Bridge
Kurilpa Bridge
Scottish Festival
Scottish Festival
Scottish Festival

We were all pretty tired and peopled out at this point so headed for home (via a short detour past The Jazzy Cat Cafe where I first met Stu five years ago but it wasn't there anymore!)

David and I went and picked up Kailyn and then to Coles for supplies. Came back and reheated the leftover lasagne with some pan bread and we made up a salad too. Watched Merlin and then Waynes World (party time, excellent) which the kids didn't appreciate nearly enough ;) Played some Mario Kart then some Singstar Eighties.

Sunset
We dressed up Wallace in Kailyn's clothes
Wallace

Monday morning Chay cooked up a pretty awesome breakfast of bacon, tomatoes and cheese, spaghetti and toast. Then we played a little Mario Kart before packing up our stuff and saying goodbye.

Wallace enjoys breakfast

Gateway Bridge(s)  (didn't realise a second one had opened earlier this year)
Gateway Bridge(s)

Returned the rental car to the airport then caught the first of two planes of the afternoon. Was a bit bummed that our seats were over the wing (I couldn't get anything further back - looks like a young sporting team had already booked out most of the back of the plane). Then someone from my old job said "Karen" and then just stared at me. Most awkward. I of course was a bit thrown, and she wasn't any help reminding me who she was. Hrmmmmm. People. They suck sometimes.

Qantas 767
Qantas 767
View of a wing, and the Brisbane River
Brisbane River
Gold Coast
Gold Coast
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney CBD
Sydney CBD

Had a snack in the Qantas Lounge in Sydney but the creamy sauce I put on my salad was actually really really hot horseradish. Hurt my mouth :( Sigh.

Last plane home was a 737 and we were right near the back, but it was too dark for photos. And the flight was so short that they'd only just come round with snacks/drinks before we had to put up our tray tables. Oops. In the end I brought the little bottle of wine home unopened.

These beetroot chips were cool, but they make your poo purple - which is pretty darned freaky!
Beetroot chips

So had a really nice trip. It was very relaxing and *warm*!! Winter is definitely the time to visit Brisbane! Really not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow though.. The stress is a little bit ridiculous at the moment....

If anyone's interested I've put some more photos up on conspiracy - Canberra Airport Open Day 2008, Booze Train to Tarago 2008, and Canberra Festival Balloon Fiesta 2009.

The Airport Open Day last year was totally awesome.  And yet for some reason I never blogged about it?? Go figure.  The best part was getting up close and personal with some of the jets that I've flown on.  My favourite of course being the 767.  They told people not to touch, but I couldn't resist.  I was walking under its belly and it was *just there* so I had to give it a pat :)

The Booze Train to Tarago (actually the "Dance Train") was definitely an experience.  Me little brother begged us to go to make up numbers, so we went along.  Fortunately Y was there as well. Unfortunately for her she had a sprained ankle at the time, but it did mean she sat with us the whole night ;)  I have to say though, I've never seen so many Canberra bogans in one place.  Most of them were pissed before they got on the train.  They drank what they could all the way out to Tarago where they all got off to go down to the local hall with their entire eskies full of booze.  We stayed behind and enjoyed the atmosphere of the train with the staff who were all having their dinner.  Then the power went out and my brother scrambled off to fix it.  Then all the bogans came back.  Some of them continued to dance in the dance car, and others passed out in their seats.  If we could get cost price again and good company again I'd probably go again.

Sleepie

| | Comments (0)

Japan.  Narita.  Very tired.  It being 10am where I was, and having next to no sleep all night.  It's 5pm here.  Getting in an overnight plane later on.  Wonder if we'll sleep any on that.  If not we're going to be an accident waiting to happen on the long drive home :(

 

At the free Yahoo internet cafe to use it for a bit cause there's not much else better to do...

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

Kazza the Blank One home