Friday, April 6
Well, my final official day in the city arrived, but since I would have to carry my luggage with me, I decided to take it easy. My plan was to go to Victoria Buildings and just wander through the shopping center, enjoying the architecture, and stopping to rest my shoulder whenever I needed to.
Things didn’t go according to plan, though, because I found that most of the shops were closed because it was Good Friday. Now, I do have a working knowledge of what this day is for, but my family has rarely paid attention to Good Friday itself. The day of Easter is what we really celebrate, not the whole weekend, and not bunny rabbits and candy (though who would say no to chocolate?).
The true reason for celebrating at this time of year is Jesus Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. So many people forget that. Including the girls that were running around McDonald’s in bunny ears and one carrot suit. And they weren’t little girls, either. Though the birth of Christ is a wonderful thing to remember, too, it was His death and resurrection that allow us reach for salvation. And how beautiful a gift is that?
So, if it’s normal for all the shops to open late on this day, I didn’t know it. So, I wandered back to McDonald’s for breakfast and began to figure out what to do next. Several other factors were at play, so heading to the airport even earlier than I had ever intended, well, I was starting to lean that way.
With one last stop at a gift shop to get a few shirts, and having to carefully maneuver my bags, to avoid breaking anything, I got back on the train for the airport. I knew exactly which platform to go to, which left me feeling proud of myself. I was not thrilled to have to pay $12 to get through the gate, upon arriving at the airport, however.
Another stick was thrown in the works, when I found that I could’ve checked in online, but couldn’t officially check in at the airport, until the day of my flight. Which would be early Saturday morning, by the way. And since I wasn’t willing to sit in the outer lobby all day, nor go back into town, I got my laptop about, looking for an internet connection, hoping to check-in out there.
Eventually, I found that I could check e-mail and Facebook, but the Qantas website wasn’t cooperating with me. So, I got a friend on FB to check me in, an then attempted to get my boarding pass again. Nothing doing.
Turns out, though, that I didn’t have to throw away my toothpaste or razor, in order to get through the Domestic Terminal gate, with my bag that I intended to check later. It’s only at the International Terminal that I’d have to do that. I was thankful, because I wasn’t sure where they were in my bag, and I didn’t want to have to repack that entire bag.
And here I am, seven hours later, comfortably ensconced in a chair, occasionally checking my e-mail, reading things online, or going back to reading my book. I’ve had plenty of coffee, enjoyed some nasi goreng (fried rice) for dinner, and explored most of the shops. But really, I’m just enjoying being off my feet, at last, and getting my future blog posts organized.
Because as you already know, I can post to my blog from the airport, but the free internet service is too slow to allow me to upload photos. So, now I’m going to go finish my book, because I’m close to the end, and probably catch a nap here and there. Around midnight, I’ll go back out into the front atrium and check my bag. And then, at 6am, I’ll be headed for Brisbane.
Have you enjoyed my trip to Sydney as much as I did? You’ll have to excuse my seeming laziness for today, but I had several reasons for it, that I won’t go into.
So, enjoy it while it lasts! Soon, I’ll be back to complaining about packing to return to the U.S.! : )
So, my day hasn’t finished yet. Forty-five minutes ago, an airport official came around to tell me the terminal closed at 11pm. Sydney Airport, for crying out loud! Don’t red-eye flights go in and out of the Domestic Terminal? I was completely flabbergasted, and too tired to think straight.
To give you the short version, after debating whether to sit on a bench outside of the terminal, instead, I took a taxi to Formule1 Hotel. Yes, I spelled that right, I checked. It was only a five minute walk from the airport, but I wasn’t risking myself or my directional sense, at that time of night.
The desk clerk was very nice, which helped, after the taxi driver joked with the airport guy about the “short drive” that would earn him about $5 from me. I was too tired to care, and ignored some guy complimenting my hat, in the lobby. I have no idea if he was being serious or sarcastic, but I was in no mood for conversation.
Surprisingly, the hotel wasn’t a hole-in-the-wall kind of place. Very spartan in its furnishings, but very clean and nice. Former housekeeper speaking, remember? Despite bursting into tears after arriving in my room, I wasn’t far enough gone to not get my camera out. I knew this would be an adventure, eventually. If I’d known the terminal closed at night, I could’ve been in my hotel all evening.
Now, to sleep four hours, get up and catch the shuttle bus to the terminal, and finally head to Emerald.
I hope you enjoyed my week as much as I did! Yes, even with the unexpected happenings of Friday night, I had a great time in Sydney. I hope you felt like you’d been there, too. I’m also including a few pics of Sydney, right after we took off. If you look closely (especially in the 2nd pic), you can see a very tiny Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
And I highly recommend visiting Australia (some time in Sydney is assumed) to all those “I-hope-to-visit-Australia-someday” people. Stop wishy-washing, and decide to make the trip! You’ll never regret it!