Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The LONG trip home

Sorry, I did expect to be posting this when I first arrived home, but better late than never.

 Michelle and I, both with our extra cases, and below, the bus almost loaded, and most with extra luggage to take home. (Some facts for you - I left with a large case weighing 16kg, and a carryon of 5kg! And I came home with a large case weighing 20kg, another case of 16kg, and a carryon of 5kg!! And I guess I need to add that there is a box that was posted home as well!!)

We saw a LOT of large churches like this in our travels.

Almost there......

We were packed and on the bus by 9am Saturday morning (US time), and at Kansas City airport by 10am. Our driver, Gary had to take the bus back to Nashville after he let us off the bus, so would have had a long trip in silence, after driving us around for almost 2 weeks. I bet he noticed the difference! (He said we were the most "colourful" group he had even driven on tour!? Now what exactly does colourful mean??)

Our plane from Kansas City to Dallas was due to leave about 3.30pm, so we had a LOT of time to wait, well, that is after we got through the queues of course. Some of the girls got out some stitching, some read, some chatted and of course we found some good coffee at Starbucks and a bite or two to eat.

We arrived at the next airport, Dallas/Fort Worth about 5.30pm, and of course, more queues. Pat left us here, to go to Colorado Springs to spend time with family for 2 weeks. We had to catch the Skylink to the international airport and had a few more hours to wait. Some did some more shopping, but most of us were "shopped out", and or running low of funds, or both. (Thanks to Delma for some of these photos, as I hardly had my camera out on the trip home!)

Coming in to Dallas/Fort Worth airport. I wondered what the water was, but Delma has it listed as Lake Lewisville.

One of the freeway systems in Dallas.

Our flight out of Dallas to Sydney was supposed to leave at 10pm, but by the time we boarded and then there was a "technical" problem to be sorted, it was just after 11pm by the time we left. Michelle and I had "exit" row seats, with more legroom, (which we paid extra for), which was good, except that on this trip our seats were right by the entry door, and the galley. And all the flight attendants were here, and discussing the delay, as the engineer came on and off the plane and went into the pilots area a few times. Thus we saw, (but not heard), their eye rolling and facial expression regarding the delay. So there was a lot going through my mind while this was happening!!?? Eventually all was well and we were up and away. It is amazing how they get such a big object up in the air. Not long after we were up, a meal was served, and as it was about midnight, we were all ready for sleep. Sleep was a bit ordinary on the flight across, but the timing of this was much more appropriate for sleep. I had purchased a neck cushion at the airport, to help with sleeping, as the blow up neck cushion I had for the trip was less than comfortable. (And it did not help that I could hardly blow it up, which made Michelle laugh, and then I had less chance of getting any air into it!) So my purchase was worth every US dollar that I paid, even though I then had to carry it home or dump it?? (I carried it home!)

As the flight had left late, when we arrived into Sydney shortly after 6am, (Sydney time), the pilots were instructed to circle for 15 minutes and it was after 6.30 before we landed. And the pilots did a great job, as that was the first plane landing I have ever been on where I did not feel like i needed to put the brakes on too! We got a good view of the Sydney Harbour bridge as we came in, but sorry no photo, as the camera was up in the overhead.

Then we joined the queues of thousands to go through the whole process of entering the country. First get an E-ticket, then customs, go through the Xray machine, and take my shoes off, then get your bags, and declare whatever you were bringing in, and finally the queue to get on the bus to go to Domestic airport, and be told that boarding for your flight has closed! Time for another queue to be reassigned to another flight, then to the domestic, and another wait! We had been scheduled to leave at 8.10, but now were on an 11.30 flight to Adelaide. More time to sit in the airport, with a coffee and bit to eat. (Some of our group did manage to get on that scheduled flight though!)

I did get the camera out for a few photos of the countryside on the way to Adelaide. This was the first time I had had a window seat, and some of the pics are not that clear, taken out of the window. This country of ours is so dry and in need of good rains. There was a touch of green in the hills, just before we landed. The clouds look just like cotton wool out the window.

And I knew where we were, when our "little" city of Adelaide came into view.

 We finally arrived in Adelaide about 1.30pm, and it was great that Raylene had come to meet us. Thankyou Raylene, and I hope you and Margaret enjoyed your "trip" to America!!

Fortunately there was no queue to pickup our luggage, and it was not long before Michelle's husband was there to pick us and our luggage up for the ride home. He asked us were we wanted to go next, and we both said HOME! And after a brief stop at Tailem Bend for a good coffee and lunch, we arrived back in Bordertown at 5.05pm!!!!!! 40 hours in transit, and by golly that shower was great.

Val had been housesitting for me while I was away, and we had a good catchup. I started the unpacking process, and put some washing in the machine. I found a nice little card in my extra bag, that said it had been opened and checked. Michelle said I must look dodgy!!

I enjoyed the first cup of green tea in two weeks, and a slice of toast with vegemite!
This is the total of US money that came home with me, and will be divided up for my grandchildren as souvenirs. (The grand total of $12.90US!!)

All my goodies spread out on the kitchen table. And there is still one box coming in the post!!!

I slept well Monday night, but was awake and up by 5am. Having slept well on the plane, I did not expect any "jet lag", but by 4pm on Tuesday I was wilting fast. I had turned Max on earlier, but not taken a stitch, before he was turned off again. (The thought was there, does that count?) I did get all the washing done, and the bags unpacked and the STUFF sorted though, and had some visitors call during the day. And by 6.30 last night I called it a day, and went out to it. I vaguely recall the phone ringing, and this morning I found 2 messages, so must not have heard the second call!! After a good sleep, I was awake and up at 4am this morning. Wonder how I will be this afternoon?

Still have some bookwork to catch up on, the mail to sort through, and I downloaded 320 email messages. When I have done that, I might turn Max on again??

In summary, it was an amazing journey, with a fantastic group of gals. Thankyou to Heather for your organisation and to Cindy and Gary for showing us your country and telling us of some of it's customs and history. The people we met were so friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

I will finish off with a photo I have "borrowed" from the facebook page!

Better get busy, I and will be back soon. I am now looking forward to a great weekend with family. Miss Billie is coming to spend the weekend!! She is 8 weeks old now, and I have not seen her since she was 2 days old, so can you tell I am excited. (And, of course, it will be good to see other family as well!!)

Thankyou to all those who have journeyed to America with me, and thanks for reading.

Blessings,   From Jude


Hellie said...

Great job Jude. Thanks for the trip

Raylene Edwards said...

Thankyou for all NEWS FROM JUDE in QUILTING COUNTRY USA. I’m sure there will be a competition to guess how many photos you took & how many words you blogged. It was a fantastic effort, I loved every bit of it. ­čĆá

Sue said...

Really enjoyed the journey with you and especially the photos. Welcome home Judy

Sue SA said...

Welcome home Judy! The jet lag will wear off...eventually!

Michele Hill said...

Welcome home Judy.....what a wonderful journey you had with special friends and it was so nice to see it all through your eyes. The long flights are a killer and you can see why I have called it quits - I did it five times in six years!! But how lucky we are to have these experiences.....but there is definitely no place like home! Glad you are safe and sound and catch up next week on the phone x

Cindy Brick said...

Welcome home, Judy! You and your buddies are already missed.

Last night was the first that I didn't dream about the tour continuing. Glad you made it back safely, with a minimum of shenanigans.

You always have a spot to stop here in Colorado.

Susan Smith said...

Welcome home!!! Although I've followed along I've not commented, but all in all it sounds like you had a great time. Leave Max snoozing till the jetlag has really passed, as I've found that this can be the cause of all sorts of errors in whatever you are doing once you get home. Take care, relax & just enjoy some family time.

Linda Steele said...

Welcome home, I've enjoyed following your wonderful trip of a lifetime!

Joy from Days Filled With Joy said...

My goodness, and I thought 27 hours from Mexico was bad!! Of course living in the middle of a city helps cut down travel time... it's good to be home, isn't it! I'm looking forward to hearing more stories of your wonderful trip next month :) xx