Results tagged “Flying” from Kazza the Blank One
Airgaps in the flights are because A380s walls are so thick it's hard for the GPS to pick up the signal.
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.
Didn't sleep all that well on Saturday night. The bed was definitely too soft. And my mind was still going from the excitement of the day. The curtains were pretty good and kept the light out really well, so we had a bit of a sleep-in.
Went to The Scottish Restaurant for breakfast after checking out, but they took forever and I was worried about missing the train we needed to catch. I was thinking we'd have to catch a City Circle train to Central and change, but the train we caught at Circular Quay went to Hurstville! How weird is that!?!? So did that and changed there, as it was less far to walk than Central. Although more than Sydenham, but I wanted to go as far as we could. That, and the novelty factor of catching a train directly from Circular Quay to Hurstville!
So yeah arrived at the parents' then went out to Tradies for lunch. I had a reasonably decent caesar salad for lunch, and then there was cake! Two of them :) One for dad and one for me.
Lots of people came. Around seventy! Lots of people I haven't seen in years. Lots that knew me but I had no idea who they were. But quite a pleasant afternoon. Dad's not doing so well at the moment - very unsteady on his feet because of all the zapping they're doing to his brain :( But he did well and I think he had nice time.
After everyone left, we went back to my parents'. Stayed there for a while, before dropping Dad back at the hospital and Mum dropped us off at the airport.
Had a pretty good flight. Took off from part way down 34L and banked round to the left, which gave a great view of my local neighbourhood. In fact because the ATR planes are slower than the jets, got a really good long view. Couldn't document it because it was too dark, but was able to locate heaps of things, so that was lots of fun. Also got to see the Antonov that David saw yesterday. It was just sitting at the international terminal. I thought it had already left Sydney, but there was definitely a huge plane with wings on top and a blue tail, so what else could it have been?
Got home with a sore throat and exhausted. Definitely feeling like I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend ..!
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 :)
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).
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.
Flew almost right over the top of River Island (it was on the other side of the plane)
Then up over Campbelltown and in from the south-west.
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.
Bate Bay looking very blue
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.
Walked up to our hotel, and were able to check in. Fairly basic hotel room, but very nice and a pretty decent 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.
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!
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 ;)
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's unisex bathroom. The funky pods at the far end are the urinals!
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.
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 :) )
Enjoyed the view briefly before collapsing into (a very soft) bed.
So Thursday we had a nice slow morning. Saw Fiona off, then got ready and headed to the airport.
Took a Virgin Australia flight because it was $20 each cheaper than Qantas. Stu even got a spare seat next to him which was nice. Got some snackages on the plane for lunch.
Canberra from the plane
Gulgong - the town on the $10 note. Well it used to be.
Turns out I even got a couple of pics of Chay and David's suburb, and the reserve (middle) that we did a couple of walks around.
Had the nice approach into Brisbane, and I think pretty much the only time I've done this approach, in daylight, with a window seat.
Picked up our hire car and then headed into New Farm to have a look at the city, get something more to eat, and have a look at Stu's old house. (I took my jumper off after I got off the plane, and didn't put it back on again til we arrived back in Canberra!)
Then we headed out to Chay and David's.
We've driven past this pool a few times, but this was the first time I'd ever seen anyone in it.
For dinner we picked up some beer and pizza. I had pepperoni and feta, with a couple of pieces leftover for breakfast.
We played a few games of Buzz and did some Singstar.
Fairly slow morning. I'd had awful trouble sleeping because of the heat, and also the bed sagged in towards Stu so felt like I was lying on a slope all night.
After my pizza leftovers for breakfast, we eventually headed out to Orion, where we got the sweetie a coffee and had sushi for lunch.
In the afternoon I worked on a jigsaw Chay had picked up for me, and we all pretty much just chilled out.
Later in the afternoon we all went for a walk in the nearby reserve.
We also had a look at the memorial to Jeremy Wackrow (spelt Jeremy Wacrow on the memorial), who had been found dead there in October 1995. (The next day on the same walk we even ran into the guy that found him).
Had some very nice fish and cauliflower bake for dinner.
Then we headed over to Storm's where we played quite a few games of Emporer-Scum, and then some Singstar til very late.
Better sleep last night! I had leftover cauliflower bake for breakfast. Continued to work on the jigsaw, where I had to defend the pieces against Ichi stealing them!
We were going to go to the cafe in Springfield Lakes for lunch, but it was closed! How rude!
So we went back to Orion for sushi again.
After lunch we went for a drive to go see Helen's amazing new house.
Came home and finished the jigsaw.
David cooked up the rest of the fish, as well as a whole stack of yummy veggies. Yum!
Watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was good, but it was very strange seeing Emma Watson try to do an American accent! Then played a bit of Singstar.
Woke up at 5am, then couldn't get back to sleep :(:(:( Got up and we headed off to Sizzler for breakfast. All you can eat bacon FTW! Except the bacon ran out, so it wasn't all you could eat, unless you wanted to wait. So waited, but the bacon wasn't as nice in this batch. Mushrooms were almost gone the first round, so had to wait for those too. Didn't have a croissant cause they looked pretty doughy. The potato gems were really nice though. And had the added bonus of not needing to eat again til dinner time.
Picked up another small jigsaw at Crazy Clark's on the way home.
Did a bit of the jigsaw, then had a long afternoon siesta.
Had another walk around the reserve, but it wasn't nearly as nice - heaps of trail bikes making a whole tonne of noise :(
Had corned beef that had been in the slow cooker all day.
After dinner played a couple of games of Buzz, then watched Sherlock, then some Singstar.
David and I tied in "Who Wants to Live Forever"
Quiet morning. Had muffins for breakfast and finished the little jigsaw.
Then we headed out to the airport and had some snackages in the Qantas club.
The flight back was also pretty good, and most of the back of the plane was empty, so Stu got a spare seat next to him again. Flew right over the top of Sydney, then into Canberra from the south.
Cessnock (with the Crowne Plaza where we stayed at Christmas at the bottom left)
Lake Macquarie and some of Newcastle
Gosford and Brisbane Water
Eastern Suburbs of Sydney
So as always, a lovely weekend away!