Well here I am in Australia…finally. I woke up the first morning here in Beechmont and was convinced that I was in heaven. It was certainly worth the slow trip!
Corinna and I met up in Miami last Friday with the plan to fly toward the east through Frankfurt, Vienna, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and then on to the Gold Coast. Well, while we were in Miami we realized that the flights going west were looking less crowded. So, we changed everything and just decided to meet up in LA on Sunday and go straight from there. Sounded like a nice idea at the time, but it wasn’t as simple as it sounded. We couldn’t get on the Sunday night flight to Syndey because apparently United Airlines would prefer to take cargo over passengers. Despite the fact that there were something like 20 seats available, they wouldn’t let us on the flight because of “weight restrictions”. Of course, they weren’t soooo weight restricted as they took our luggage (supposedly by accident). Well, we worried that the same thing would happen the next night, so we hopped on a flight to San Francisco thinking we could get out of there a little easier. Ha! Exact same problem Monday night. Lucky for us Brian Porter lives about 10 minutes from SFO. In his usual easy-going manner, he offered to pick us up, he took us to a great Mexican restaurant on the Bay and then put us up at his place. We had a blast with Brian and all of his amazing collectibles. We got the grand tour of Museo de Porter, complete with an interesting shopping spree that can’t be elaborated on here (if you’re curious, just call and I’ll tell you the story – it is hilarious and a great example of ultimate justice).
After enjoying a day with Brian, we finally decided that Honolulu would be the go. As you can imagine, if we made the flight from there to Sydney, great, if not, well, that’s still great. We arrived in Honolulu just after noon and then had all day to skulk around the island before our midnight flight. We drove the coastline counterclockwise from Waikiki. It’s just gorgeous and we were fortunate enough to come across some hang gliders that had just landed next to the beach. One of them was Walter, an old flying buddy from Marina Beach who moved to Oahu several years ago. He offered us a place to stay and gliders to fly the next day in case we didn’t make the flight that night. Lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it) for us, we made that flight and were finally on our way to Sydney.
So here we are now in Canungra. I am writing this from the Mt. Tamborine launch and as I said before, I have most definitely arrived in heaven. I have to say that the scenery may not be as majestic as Austria, for instance (my other favorite place). But, the Durand family and the warm friendly people here more than make up for it. After having spent so much time in European countries, it is refreshing to hang around “normal” people who don’t believe that they are superior to the rest of us. Everyone is so down to earth…I’m loving it! The Durand’s have an amazing house up on a hill surrounded by critters of all types, good and bad. Although Jonny denies it, I’m still convinced it was him that planted the snake out on the deck to greet my the first day. I am assured that the poisonous snakes can’t climb (and the house is on stilts), but that doesn’t comfort me much. The Wallabies were out munching on the grass this morning and every day there are different exotic birds at the feeder on the deck.