Monday, February 24, 2014

Settling (the bikes) down for a long winters nap... Wonderful holidays and our nightmare in the air.

(Sorry folks - wayyyyy behind on the blogging. But I'll catch up soon... Our internet situation is quite challenging in Australia as it is either painfully expensive and slow or just plain too slow to upload blogs/photos... 3 hours of (expensive) uploading later, this blog is ready to publish! More to come, soon...)

Our last few days in the USA were a blur. 

My last CA fuel-up for now...
(and yes, with California's anti-fume nozzles, and my
(lack of height) it is necessary for me
to climb atop my bike to refuel)
My lovely Mom flew to LA to spend Christmas with us (hotel room style) and made the logistics of our bike storage/luggage organization/airport run infinitely easier. She’s a Saint, only complaining a bit about how terrifying it was to drive behind us on the I-5 with cars speeding and weaving through traffic all around our bikes as we made our way to Irv Seaver BMW in Anaheim to settle our babies in for a little winter hibernation. 

With the fuel tanks drained, our camping gear stashed away and the assurance that our bikes would be in good company, we thanked our friends at Irv Seaver and drove to our “hotel home” with my Mom. 

Merry Christmas!
Delirium Noel... yessss

Love Christmas Day walks on Malibu Beach

She spent the next few days spoiling us with cheese, lovely wines, cuddles, Mexican food, Target/Walmart runs and beers before we headed back to Australia where all of these things (but Mom cuddles) can be procured, but at 2x - 3x the cost.
Mom & Roel on Malibu Beach

We snacked on the remainder of our holiday cheese selection in the International Terminal at LAX before boarding our 14 hour Qantas flight to Sydney. As delicious as this was, it was a mistake. 

But, yes. 14 hours. What, you ask can make a 14 hour flight bearable? Well, we’d scored some luxury Qantas tickets on sale on a flight boasting seatback entertainment, comfortable seats with ‘decent’ legroom and reasonably palatable plane food and wine. None of which we got to enjoy, mind you, as we came down with food poisoning (probably from our pre-flight cheese) 2 hours into our 14 hour flight. That is the stuff of nightmares, folks. 

We arrived in Sydney, in quite a state. Imagine how slack you feel after a long flight. Imagine how slack you would feel after 12 hours of hugging an airplane toilet. Ugh. Fortunately, we sailed through customs and into the air conditioned comfort of my friend Alex’s car, which ferried us back to her apartment where we proceeded to sleep away the rest of the day enjoying the ocean breeze that blew through the window from nearby Bronte Beach.

The next morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed at 4am and made our way to the Sydney Botanical Gardens to get in line for the famous New Year’s fireworks show. Usually, getting in line by 6am guarantees that when they open the gates at 10am, you will get a good seat. However, when we arrived at 6am, there were hundreds of people ahead of us already. Yes, the “early bird” or in this case, the “Asian bird” caught the worm, and by the time we made it into the Garden, all of the prime spots to view the fireworks were taken, (largely because money grubbers had blocked off over half of the primo locations for “seats” available for purchase at $300+ a pop)f. 

We jockeyed for a good position all day and wound up just rushing the fence with everyone else at 11:59pm. The fireworks were spectacular and we got a beautiful view, and some decent photos (if I do say so, myself) of Sydney’s epic New Year's celebration.  

A swanky catch-up with friends @ Icebergs on Bondi Beach
We spent the next few days enjoying time with friends in Sydney and New Castle, soaking up the last bits of our “holiday” before we were to return to the Hunter Valley for vintage.