This morning I got up at 5 am for my 6 am pick up. I probably could have gotten away with asking for the car to come a little later, but I didn't know if there were going to be any complications before my 9 am flight boarded to Sydney. I did have complications, but they were minor enough that a 6:30, maybe even 7 am ride may have been more suitable. I would have definitely benefited from some extra sleep since I stayed up a little later than I had planned to hang out with my Aussie friends for the last time.
I didn't realize at first how complicated it would be for me to "check out" of my room at Halls. I made the quick and grateful observation that I actually had to get my luggage out of the door of the suit, which requires a key card to access before I could return the keys. Normally, it wouldn't have been a problem for most people. They would have locked their door with the luggage in the hallway. Left to return the keys, and used their student ID card to get back into the stairway. Unfortunately, for me I lost my ID card on the way back from my first final exam and had been using a borrowed key fob from the Residential services ever since. That had to be returned with the keys. I did get clever, though. I didn't want to walk the long way around the building to get back to my luggage since the short cut also required key card access, so I took my water bottle and used it as a stopper for the door. I did this again after dragging my luggage to a place where I could see them outside, while remaining in the common area where it was warm.
I am glad I checked the parking lot early. I thought I heard a honk in the parking lot, so I thought after planning to stand out their at 5:45 am that I should check it out. Sure enough a white Lexis was swiveling round and round the Roberts Hall side of the parking lot. I was a little hesitant to check it out though, because for all I know, someone who wasn't supposed to be around Halls was creeping around after dark.
My driver was a nice man from Egypt. It didn't take much to get him talking. The first fourth of the journey we spent in silence while listening to the news go on about local, federal, and international political issues. I had control of the volume, channel, and heating from the back seat. There were even chocolates in the middle seat console! Thank you Dad for getting me business class! For it, I was riding to the airport in style! Anyway, the driver and I chatted about the differences in weather and personality of Melbourne vs Sydney, the World Cup, and Egyptian history. However, my side of the conversation consisted of little comments here and there, as he kept up a steady pace of words that I didn't always catch with his thick accent. He had an unusual habit of using filler words at the end of every sentence, but instead of "like" or "um" it was something to the affect of "as it goes." It was early, so to be honest, I cannot recall the exact words, but I do know that they were uncommon.
On the flight, there were no celebrities. At least, I didn't recognize anyone in business class. The woman sitting next to me didn't seem to want to chat, so I left her to her own devices. I love how hour flights never seem that long. Your up, your off, then you touch down again. The food was good; I took a picture of it. I don't normally take these many pictures along a journey. It's for my Dad's benefit, because I know how much he wanted me to document my once in a life time luxury ride home. I am currently sitting in my second Business Lounge, eating potato salad, strawberries, a brownie, a simple salad of cheese and lettuce with balsamic vinegar topping, and some sort of cold salad filled with chick peas, cauliflower, and raisins.
The first thing I saw when they announced we were landing soon was the ocean. They pilot headed toward the ocean before turning around to land. There was such a gorgeous lighting on the Harbor. I wish I had been allowed to have my electronics still on. And by the time I would have tried to turn my Itouch back on, I would have had to shut it off again. I will try my best to describe it instead, though give me some slack, since I am no poet. The distant ocean glowed orange while the closer waters shinned and reflected white by the sun. The ocean that wasn't blinded by light, was a green deep blue. As we turned back towards land, you could see patches of a lighter green in the water where it was closest to shore, or where the water was shallow with patches of life and a coastal forest touching. The beaches looked perfect, though I probably wouldn't dare dip my toes in that water at this time of year. It's still quite chilly here, even though we are further North in Sydney than I was in Melbourne.
There you have it! That's it for now. I still have my longest flight ahead of me coming up in the next hour or so, and I will be utilizing the first half of the journey sleeping to try and adjust to the time difference, since at the moment it is creeping into night (I think it would be about 10 pm right now) back home. And the second half I will be reading for an assignment in my summer class. No rest for the weary. Only one day after my last final exam, my summer II course started, and the first big assignment is due Monday night at 11pm. If I don't do it on the way home at some point, it won't get done in time. The plan is to read and take notes on the plan, and sketch out what I need to write. It's only 400 words. Then, when I land, I will get back online as I wait for my flight from Dallas to Raleigh to cite the sources properly, and submit it, if it is complete at that time. Hopefully I will have enough battery life. I am charging it now to ensure that I have the most time my computer's battery will allow me on the flight.
I may write more about my journey when I return, but I doubt that will be until July 1. I will make sure to make notes of certain interesting observations that catch my eye in a notebook, though. Thee-thee thee-thee-that's all folks!