Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So.... Did you miss me?

I'm back! Two weeks in the good old U.S of A, and now here I am, back in my little office at Uni, having just spent the last four hours working through a frankly frightening backlog of marking, and with the half-edited draft of Daywards sitting on the corner of my desk, glaring threateningly at me.

So it occurs to me that I *really* should post something about the trip, but the further I get from it, the harder it becomes, so here's a sort of edited highlights package. Kind of like the 'year-in-review' package that you get at the end of the evening news every new years eve...

Highlight One: Meeting my nieces. Okay, one of them - Meri - I did actually met about 18 months ago when she was 9 months old, but the other - Katie - she's a relatively new addition to the family. And, oh boy, is she gonna keep her parents busy during the next few years... They're both gorgeous.

Highlight Two: Seeing my sister and brother-in-law. They're witty. They banter.Not much good at board games, though... ;) Catching up with Sue and Rob was lovely, as we don't get to see them nearly as often as we'd like . Toby had a ball playing with his cousins and, as an added bonus, we got to visit Houstin, Texas, which leads me to...

Highlight Three: Watching a 9-year-old girl get measured up for her first gun in a shop at the local outlet mall. I am not making this up.

Highlight Four: Meeting a bunch of nice folks who, until recently, were just names on a computer monitor. For some years now, we've been online friends with a whole range of people we initially met through the web forum of a particular author we all enjoy reading. When we announced that we were going to visit with them during our trip, and even stay with a couple of them in their home, people were skeptical. Hell, if I'm being honest, we were a little uncertain about it ourselves. But in reality, it turned out to be a lot like meeting penfriends. Without exception, everyone we met in the states turned out to be just like we'd expected them to be: warm, welcoming, and perfectly normal. We got to see Minneapolis, eat Bloomin' Onions at the Outback steak house (don't ask...), eat home fried chicken on the most gorgeous back lawn you've ever seen, and eat awesome Kosher food at an L.A. Deli. (Eating turned out to be something of a theme in our trip. For some reason, this tends to happen with us...) Along the way we cemented some firm friendships, and made a few new ones.

Highlight Five: Experiencing the best that American domestic air travel has to offer. (ie: Delayed and missed flights, a 16-hour re-routing, lost bags, unhelpful / incompetant ground staff.) On the bright side, we did get a completely unanticipated trip to Vegas (for about 15 minutes, but that's okay - they have pokies beside the departure gates in the airport...) and fly over the Grand Canyon. We also got to go shopping for clothes at Target in LA, and send the bill to the airline.

Highlight Six:
Coming home on the new Qantas A380 Airbus. Okay - I'll admit it, I'm the aeroplane equivalent of a trainspotter. But, damn it, this is a *very cool aircraft*. Big, too.

Highlight Seven: Clearing customs and Immigration at Sydney Airport. This wouldn't be a highlight except for the fact that it took two frigging hours! Welcome to Australia, folks - now please excuse us while you stand by a baggage carousel for 45 minutes, and in the process miss all your connecting flights...

Of course, there's a lot more I could write about: Seeing Sarah Jessica Parker in the lobby of our LA hotel (Small, kinda thin. Looked like a well-groomed stick insect) Visiting the Alamo in San Antonio, Driving our rented car (which was roughly the same size as our kitchen back home) on the Houstin Freeways. Eating Brazillian BBQ in Texas, finally discovering how to make a Starbucks coffee palatable (smallest size, triple shot, double sugar), slapping baseballs around in the batting cage, the lovely people we met at a Houstin Astros game... and so on.

Unfortunately, though, my marking pile isn't getting any smaller, and my book isn't editing itself.

see y'all later...

1 comment:

  1. I missed you...but it was worth having a fortnight-free of Eaton for that post!

    Welcome back! And as someone grappling with her own scary-tall marking pile, I completely sympathise!



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