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I thought I'd let you know what I was doing when I wasn't here. Sorry for spamming some of you on my f-list with double posts today. *hides*

Trip recap and pics under cut.

Entirely peopled with criminals or not, Australia -- what I saw of it in that whirl-wind trip -- is a gorgeous place. The travel to and from, though, kicked my ass. I left on Friday afternoon, 4:30 pm Kansas time, and when I landed, it was Sunday morning, 8:10am Sydney time. But...it was Saturday, 3pm Kansas time. Mo Chuisle thought it was crazy that I was asleep when she was awake. And don't get her started on how it was summer where mommy was, but winter where she was.

To her, I'd pretty much walked through the Wardrobe into Narnia.

I've traveled a lot -- for business and pleasure -- since Mo Chuisle was born, but I've always made it a point to talk with her twice a day. She starts her day with a call from Mommy and says goodnight before she goes to bed. With the 17 hour time difference, I was able to text with the hubs, but didn't talk to them the entire time I was out of the country. I admit it. That was hard on me.

One thing that made it easier, though, was getting to meet a 'virtual' friend face-to-face for the first time. I've had the opportunity to do so with a number of stateside friends, and I have to say, the honesty I'm able to share with friends made through fandom is unprecedented in my life. Even with some of my closest RL friends, there is a carefulness in what I reveal or how I reveal it (ironically, mostly about fandom). The friends I've been blessed to meet face-to-face felt like people I've known all my life.

Seeing lovinjackson was no different. The thing with her was, because she lives in Australia, I really didn't know when or if it would ever happen. But I got off the plane, made it through customs (without having them go through my suitcase) and found her and we basically picked up from where we left off in our last email. It was fantastic. I only had that one day of 'freedom' so we made the most of it.

We took a cab to the company-approved hotel (a Four Seasons...schwanky) and I had to re-acclimated to the whole 'driving on the other side of the road' thing. I remember it being bit of a shock to my system when I was in Ireland, too. Years and years ago. I was too early to check in, but they were kind enough to let me shower in the spa. Oo-la-la. And also, Oh-Thank-God because I'd been wearing the same clothes for two days and was closing in on zombie territory.

The only sleep I got on the 14 hour plane ride -- either way -- was during taxi and take-off. I just couldn't relax enough to drop off, even with Dramamine in my system.

Being a landlocked MidWest girl, I couldn't get enough of looking at the water. We walked around Circular Quay, took a ferry tour of Sydney Harbour, went to the zoo -- which she had never been to, much to my amusement -- where I took pics of kangaroos and koalas for Mo Chuisle (and tried to see a platypus, but it was shy) and we talked stories and Show and life. It was a gorgeous day -- sunny, bright, slightly breezy. lovinjackson and I didn't stop talking the entire time. We walked up to the Opera House and I conned her into buying me ice cream, and by then it was mid-afternoon, we were hot (and sunburned, whoops) and we headed back to the hotel. Pics for you:

Opera House and Aussie Flag from Ferry

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Me at the Opera House (see? I really was there)

View from my hotel room (26th floor)

I know it may seem wrong to some that I went all the way to Sydney, then spent an evening in a hotel room eating room service and watching TV/movies, but...I was with my friend. And I was sunburned, tired, and had two really big days ahead of me. And, sadly, I'm not 25 anymore. So, that's exactly what we did. Got in the room, got on our comfies (my favorite time of the day), watched the latest Supernatural episode that I'd missed, ordered room service, and watched a movie.

The next morning was a flurry of rush and go and hurry. I got a last minute email from a co-worker for a change in the presentation we were giving that day, my effing pants ripped, and I was a sweaty mess while trying to apply make-up. Stellar beginning to the day. *laugh* But! I think it worked out better because the hug I gave lovinjackson at the elevator wasn't 'goodbye,' it was 'see ya later.' Because I will. Someday. *misses her already*

The whole purpose for me being there -- the training bootcamp -- took place on Monday and Tuesday, both very. busy. days. But, ultimately, successful. Thank goodness. Monday was a body-numbing, brain-spinning 14-hour day that ended with a "team dinner" at a place called Aqua Dining out by the Harbour, overlooking a swimming pool and right next to Luna Park (with a big clown face at the entrance that would have unraveled Sam). Tuesday was a bit shorter - only 10 hours and we had a smaller, core team dinner at a place in Darling Harbour. Those two days were gray and overcast -- not that it mattered because I was inside -- but Tuesday night I did get to see the moon and the stars from a part of the sky I've never seen before.

That. Was. Awesome.

Wednesday treated me to another 'virtual' friend encounter -- the always amazing yasminke met me for coffee at my hotel, and then we spent the early afternoon together before I had to go to the airport. Now, let me tell you, where I've seen pictures of and Skyped with lovinjackson, I'd never seen yasminke before. I know I posted pics of the fam and I, so she knew what I looked like. But for some reason, I never once thought about it, or worried about how I was going to recognize her.

Wednesday morning, I checked out, dropped my bag at the bell station to hold until I left, and turned around. Across the room I saw a woman with shoulder-length dark hair and a pink T-shirt relaxing on one of the lobby couches. There were probably, oh...forty? Other people in the lobby. Somehow, I just knew it was her. I pointed at her, she pointed at me, and I crossed the room to give her a hug. THEN I saw she was wearing a Supernatural T-shirt. *laugh*

As with lovinjackson, it was as if yasminke and I picked up from our last virtual encounter, though there were facts about each other that she and I didn't know, so we got to do some more in-depth "getting to know you" conversing. She's a fascinating person; I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. We walked around The Rocks where I bought the hubs and Mo Chuisle some souvenirs (your basic, my mom went to Australia and all I got was this lousy T-shirt souvenirs, but still, it was something).

Then we had lunch at a place called Peter O'Doyles -- again, right on the water...I seriously couldn't stop looking at it -- where yasminke had never been, so I'm two for two with my Aussie friends. *grins* It was a wonderful lunch -- I've decided I very much like barramundi (I had it three times while there), which is sad because I can't get it in the States -- and we talked stories and Show and work. I parted with her at the hotel where she took a bus back to work and I took a cab to the airport, thus beginning the longest Wednesday in the history of ever.

I left on Wednesday at 4:30 pm Sydney time, flew 14 hours to San Francisco, landed at 10:00am Wednesday San Fran time, went through customs, survived a 4 hour lay-over (God bless the makers of Kindle Fire), and got back to Kansas City at 9:30pm on Wednesday.

The flux capacitor was definitely...fluxing.

Amazing experience, wonderful friends, but next time? I need MORE TIME. *laugh* I was okay on Thursday, but Friday felt like I'd been hit by a really big truck. The best part, though, was that hubs brought Mo Chuisle with him -- in her jammies, so cute -- to pick me up at the airport and when she saw me she launched herself at me calling out, "MAMA!" and we were both smiling and teary and I felt like I'd been away for 10 years. I couldn't hold her tight enough.

There you go! There and back again inside six days. :) Admit it. You missed me. *wink*

Oh, PS. My brother recently jumped on the Supernatural bandwagon (finally). He's finishing up Season 1 via Netflix and texted me to say, "This show's really good. Now I get what's had you so crazy all this time."

Yeah, bud. We'll blame the show for that. It's safer. *wink*


( 46 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )
Feb. 16th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
It's crazy how fast things go. I cannot wait to get over there to see you. Can. Not. Wait. We definitely needed more time. There was so much to discuss, so much to fangirl over with tv shows and so much just hanging out and chatting about anything or everything ... but have I told you yet how grateful we got the small chance we had regardless. How grateful that you included me in that whirl wind trip ... SOOOO grateful. Glad you survived all the travelling. I was tired after 2 short little flights so I cant imagine how dead tired you must have felt. *hugs*

I love the story of you and yasminke :)

So happy you got to do this ... and remember not all of the country came from criminals ... dont have a damn convict in my family :( LOL
Feb. 16th, 2012 11:53 pm (UTC)
and remember not all of the country came from criminals ... dont have a damn convict in my family

You mean Princess Bridge got it wrong?!?! *laugh* Well, I'm sorry you don't have a miscreant in your past, but you still turned out okay. ;)

That Sunday was such a blast, my friend. I smile every time I think about it. :) You were wonderful company. *hugs*
Feb. 17th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
"Tuesday night I did get to see the moon and the stars from a part of the sky I've never seen before."

That sentence just jumped out at me--something I'd never thought about, and it's so awesome you stopped to appreciate it!

"I left on Wednesday at 4:30 pm Sydney time, flew 14 hours to San Francisco, landed at 10:00am Wednesday San Fran time, went through customs, survived a 4 hour lay-over, and got back to Kansas City at 9:30pm on Wednesday."

That made my brain hurt!

I will get a minor taste of that when we go to Germany in April to meet the new grandbaby. And my family gave me a Kindle for my birthday just for the plane, and I have figured out how to load fanfic stories on it!!!

Feb. 17th, 2012 04:01 am (UTC)
It was a gorgeous sky. I've always looked up and known exactly where to find Orion and the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia...and looking up to see constellations I didn't recognize was awe-inspiring.

That made my brain hurt!

LOL! Exactly! :)

OOOO!!! Congrats on the new grandbaby!!! That's so exciting. I got all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. And having the Kindle Fire/Kindle with you will TOTALLY help. Just make sure you have an adapter for the plug in so you can recharge it for the return trip. :)
Feb. 17th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
*iz jealouz*
DUDE. I always wanted to go to Australia. It's on my bucket list. Ever since I watched "Finding Nemo." I wanted to go but something tells me that I won't find any vegetarian great white sharks if I go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. lol

Tuesday night I did get to see the moon and the stars from a part of the sky I've never seen before. That. Was. Awesome.
-I LOVE that line. ;)

Soooooo.... no iocane powder, then? Bummer.:P

Feb. 17th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Re: *iz jealouz*
I'm right there with you, only for me I've wanted to go ever since I saw "The Man From Snowy River." The Australia I saw wasn't the 'Snowy River' country, but the accents worked for me. :)

No iocane, but it was a very pretty night sky. :)

Talk soon!
Feb. 17th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
Sounds (and looks) amazing!
Feb. 17th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Thanks! :) It was fast, busy, but yes, amazing.
Feb. 17th, 2012 01:44 am (UTC)
I'm just so incredibly thrilled that you got to do this!!! YAY!!!!
Feb. 17th, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)
*grins* Me too!! :) Thanks, Nana!
Feb. 17th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Sounds like you had an amazing time. I've always wanted to go to Australia, so color me jealous (in a good way)!
Feb. 17th, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)
Well, if you ever get to go, make sure you have more time. :) It was fast, busy, but amazing. :)
Feb. 17th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Sounds like an amazing trip! And you took some great pics of fantastic scenery. Australia certainly looks like a great place to visit. :)
Feb. 17th, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)
It was -- and a gorgeous city. :) I loved it -- and I hope you get the opportunity to go sometime.
Feb. 17th, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Thanks for the trip report! And yes, we did miss you very much!
Feb. 17th, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
:) You're welcome. Thank you for reading! :)
Feb. 17th, 2012 05:50 am (UTC)
I have had a few occasions to meet people I have met online and I have marvelled at how easy it is. Once you get over the physical appearance (nobody ever looks like how I picture them, even WITH pictures!) it's like nothing has changed. They are still the person I got to know online. I'm just grateful that I've met people who are honest and open about themselves online, so it HAS been a positive experience.

I know that when you're sent out for work, it really is WORK, but it seems so exciting to be able to go to foreign exotic places. I hope to get the chance. My man was supposed to be sent to France next month for work, and I applied for the passport to go with him. Unfortunately, it now looks like they are sending someone else. That's okay, because someday he will be on tap to go again, and we'll just save our pennies to make sure I can go with him. And no, it won't ever be Lawrence, Kansas, because my husband writes simulators for docking cranes and that always means a port city somewhere. I'm still holding out hope that Kansas holds a storytelling festival and decides to invite me :)
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
You, my friend, are one 'virtual' friend I very much hope I get to meet one day. :) Maybe even with our "Rowan"'s :)

I hope you guys get to go to France. If I were able to bring the hubs with me -- even if I were working -- it would really feel like I was somewhere different. He makes it real.

Still, that said, it was a fabulous opportunity and I'm grateful to have had it. :)
Feb. 17th, 2012 08:37 am (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean about the friendships with SPN freakettes - so far all the virtual friends I've met in person have been pretty awesome, whether we'd already prepared the ground with personal info or not. There seems to be something just - magical I guess - about the show!
And I feel your pain on the time travel - I just can't imagine going all that way for just a few days. When we went to Sydney for the Olympics, we had a stop over in Bangkok on the way there, but did the return trip in one go - deathly!
Next time, I want to go for a month and travel round, go see my lovely SPN friends in Perth... One day.
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
so far all the virtual friends I've met in person have been pretty awesome, whether we'd already prepared the ground with personal info or not. There seems to be something just - magical I guess - about the show!

I agree! Isn't it great? :)

I think a month would be a good amount of time in Australia -- gives you a chance to get acclimated and absorb it, not just glance off of it. I hope you get that chance!
Feb. 17th, 2012 09:10 am (UTC)
So glad you had a good time Gaelic & made the best out of this short trip :) Read Tara's recap of your meet & now yours, it's beautiful how thanks to our show such strong friendships were made. & how you recognized Yasminke is so cool! Gut feelings are rarely wrong - but good thing she had SPN t-shirt on - just in case ;) By the way did she teach you some Yiddish? ;)

LOL your brother is one of us now! "Come join the dark side" Muahahaha!!! & he's partly right about the crazy, is he not? ;) I blame the show for SOME of mine :)

Feb. 19th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
Hee -- she didn't teach me any Yiddish, but she did use some phrases that caused me to ask, um...what? LOL!

It was a great trip and wonderful opportunity.

And my brother - he's so funny. He's the most like me of all our sibs and I TOLD him he'd like it...just took him almost 7 years to pay attention to me. He's a slow learner. ;)
Feb. 17th, 2012 10:21 am (UTC)
Just stop feeling guilty about the things you can't change and enjoy every single minute of your life - where ever that might be. Life's too short honey for tearing yourself apart trying to be the BEST mom and the BEST breadwinner and the BEST wife. When you do the best you can to do all of those things and I know you do. Then guess what? That does make you the BEST at all of them. Your little girl is growing up in a loving home and that's what she'll remember throughout her life, not the times you were away, or the odd arguments, or a couple of missed phone calls. This is the now, your life, your present and your gift and I'm so pleased you had a great time in Aus - beautiful photos, absolutely stunning. I'm not surprised you're exhausted!
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
I know you're right -- your words ring true. But you know how it's one thing to 'know' it and another thing to 'live' it? That's me. I even watch myself doing things, holding on to the guilt for no good reason, and I can't seem to stop it from happening.

*sigh* Silly, Gaelic.

I did have a great time in Australia, as fast as it was, and at the same time, I was really glad to get home. :)

Thanks for reading. :)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
And it was definitely work, let me tell you. Whew.

Also, you never know. I would never have guessed this time last year that I'd be in a position with my job to make a trip like this. And it's not like I'm rich and live in a mansion. The possibilities life tosses our way are innumerable. Sure, it may not happen...but then again, who knows? It could....:)
Feb. 17th, 2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
Oh you must've had so much fun! I always wanted to go to Australia but I'm nto sure I'll ever be able to, sigh. But I really enjoyed your post and especially the photos, which are AWESOME!

Also, lol at the longest Wednesday:-)
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC)
It was definitely fun -- I'm grateful for the opportunity and at the same time was so glad to get home. :)

Yes. It was seriously the longest Wednesday ever. :)
Feb. 17th, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)

And stars on the other side of the world? KICK. ASS!!

Ohh, how I wish I could have been there with you...but home again with a family that loves you?


*hugs you tight*

Thank you for sharing this sweetness!!

*Twirls you*
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)

I am so grateful for the opportunity, but you're right -- there's no place like home. ;)

Thank you for reading!
Feb. 17th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
I'm soooo jealous! But it sounds like you had an awesome time and I'm really thrilled for you! Australia is so, so on my to do list - GOT to get there next year - I'm already booked solid for travel this year...
And Sunday night? With room service, SPN, and a good friend? Sounds perfect to me...
I adore anywhere with water. I've been lucky enough to have lived on both coasts now - and grew up on the shore of a great lake - so I always put my love of water down to that...
Did you fly business class at least? I think I could live on a plane in business class.... LOL!
And of _course_ we missed you!
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC)
Put Aus on your 'to do' list for next year and I would bet the farm you'd make it there.

I have a fear of water - mostly being in it when I can't see the bottom, or having Mo Chuisle anywhere around water deeper than 2 ft - but at the same time I love looking at it, hearing it, just...being around it. I want to go to the beach SO BAD.

I flew economy. I KNOW. The way there, I was in the middle seat between two business men. Can you say cramped? There, I knew you could. :)

I missed you, too!
Feb. 18th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
Wow - I was really right when I called it a "whirlwind" trip! I was out of breath reading about it. ;) Love your pics - seems like it was a beautiful day to see the sights. And it is SO NICE to meet a SN friend in person!

Australia and New Zealand are definitely on my travel list. Maybe I'll take the plunge in a couple of years. Yeah, star gazing, ocean everywhere. Summer in winter - what's not to love? The only thing I can think of is that you had to work. :) Next time see if you can get some more time for fun!
Feb. 19th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Love the Celtic Cross pic, btw.

You pegged it, my friend. Whirlwind indeed. But I'm so happy to have been able to meet those friends and to have had this opportunity.

I hope you're able to see ANZ! And that you get to spend enough time there to be able to take it all in. :)
Feb. 19th, 2012 10:45 am (UTC)
Great pics! I'm glad you had a good time even if it was rushed. Meeting virtual fan friends is the best! There is apparently a mass of guys catching on to Supernatural due to NetFlix. We'll take what we can get. XD
Feb. 21st, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was really great to see them. :)

And yes! I love that guys are watching SPN now. :) There's one fella who comments on my rambles -- from Australia, ironically enough -- who always titles his comments "from the fanboy demographic." I love hearing from him and his perspective as a guy on all that's going on. :)

Thanks for reading!
Feb. 19th, 2012 11:56 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed your short time here. And I'm glad you got some sun, there hasn't been that much around this summer.

Was your girl bummed that you got to see the kangaroos and koalas and she didn't? Did you happen to meet some emu's? There were rogue ones running around when I went there last.

Love the convict line... my family came out on those boats, so I can't really rebut that sentence.

Don't feel guilty that you couldn't stop staring at the water. Sydney Harbour, and Circular Quay in particular, are just gorgeous. It's a pity you couldn't have spent more time here but maybe, someday, you might be able to come back and bring your girl and hubs with you. Maybe.

You had an amazing view, just gorgeous. I remember being disorientated when I looked at the sky in the Northern Hemisphere too.

Glad you enjoyed your time. Will have to send more Aussie stuffs to you soon.

Feb. 21st, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Hi you! I wish things had worked out so that you were one of the virtual friends I got to meet -- but we still have some more opportunities when you come this way.

Mo Chuisle was pretty excited to see the pictures. She wanted me to have held a koala, but I said they didn't let me get that close.

I would love to come back with her -- show her more of that country that I didn't even get to see.

Thanks so much for reading -- and if you do decide to send some Aussie stuff, could I request TimTams? :)

Talk soon!
Feb. 19th, 2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you had some wonderful if brief experiences in Australia. How cool to meet online friends in person!
The only time I've been to Australia was a 10 hour layover at the Sydney Airport on my way back to the States from New Zealand. I spent Thanksgiving 2008 stuck in the airport but I was with 2 dear friends so that made it worthwhile. I definitely want to go back & actually get to spend some time there outside of the airport!.
I loved that your little one was there in her jammies to welcome you home!
Feb. 21st, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
It was so great to meet some virtual friends in person -- and from so far away! :)

Being stuck in an airport is no fun...UNLESS you're with friends. Then it's an adventure. :)

Thanks so much for reading. :)
Feb. 21st, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
Awesome pictures! Everything looks so pretty and blue!

...I have to say, the honesty I'm able to share with friends made through fandom is unprecedented in my life.

I feel the same way with the friends I've made as well. Whether it's the bond over shared interests or the ability of typed words and rare face-to-face time communication to break down barriers, it's one thing I don't take for granted. Thank God for the internet! Otherwise we'd all have to have penpals still!

Even though it was a go-go-go trip, it sounds like you definitely made the best of it (both for business & pleasure)!

Thanks for sharing all about your time!

Feb. 23rd, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
It was definitely a fun trip, even with all the busy. And I'm with you in the 'thank God for the internet' feeling. I don't know where I'd be without it these days -- especially when it comes to friends.

Thanks for reading!
Feb. 23rd, 2012 07:24 am (UTC)
What a great post/ journal entry! You had such a nice time and coming back was wonderful too! :-D
Feb. 27th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
And I just figured out that Mo Chuisle is how ma kishla is spelled. I had no idea!
Feb. 27th, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
LOL - yeah, that's how you pronounce it. A lot of times people will say "Mo Chew-s-lee" but, you got it in one. :)
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:43 am (UTC)
Wow! I just found this post email notification buried deep within my email inbox. I thought I had commented already, but alas, not. Sounds like you had a great trip down under and your pics are beautiful. Definitely a place I would love to visit some day.

So cool about your brother jumping on the Supernatural bandwagon. Of my brothers that know of my obsession over the show, they just kind of ignore me anytime I talk about the show, which is rarely when I'm with family. One of my brothers I won't even tell him about what my favorite show because he will just make snide comments to me about my obsession. My other two brothers are totally oblivious to it so, whatever. Brothers! I love 'em but sometimes I just wish I could trade them in, you know? Nice to know that you're brother understands the crazy now.
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
My brother is up through Season 5 now, can you believe it? I told him to go read some of my Rambles to see if he agrees and apparently I crack him up. LOL! I love being able to talk with someone in my family about this -- and he and I think most alike.

And Australia was gorgeous. If I ever get to go back, though, I'm definitely allotting more time. :)

Take care of you!
( 46 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )

Time is Relative, Stories are Forever

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