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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Frankie Goes To Gold Coast

I probably didn't mention that my Fatbit had crapped out just prior to the trip because it wasn't germane to any self deprecating stories - up until now.

Yes it did crap out, and I managed to finagle a deal whereby they would sell me an upgraded model at 50% price, even though my old one was out of warranty.

I got the Blaze. It has a screen. It does things I don't need, want or understand. And it shows teeny fireworkses if I make my 10,000 Fatsteps in a day.

I woke with just enough time to pack, have coffee, eat breakfast, and head to the airport. For some reason, this particular morning, I immediately started doing the chores that must be complete before leaving - i.e. packing.

It took a little longer than usual, but I still had time to make breakfast, shower, shave, read the headlines, and tidy the place before summoning an Uber. I punched the 'Start Reactor' button on the espresso machine.

I'd just sat down with my first cup of firewater when QQ casually remarked, "You know we have to be out of here in 15 minutes, right?"

I almost did a spit-take. I looked at my Fatbit.

"We have 55 minutes, not 15 minutes. The clock on the microwave is wrong."

"Oh no it's not."

Uh oh.

I looked at my piPhone 3.14 which was charging on the desk. My Fatbit had gone totally stupid in the time department (it's main useful function, other than piling additional guilt on top of the already piled on guilt that I place on my state of fit).

I could understand if it were some number of hours off - but 42 minutes or whatever it was?

It didn't matter. All of a sudden, I was scrambling to get out the door in a mad panic - just like always.

Checkout was at 10:00 and we just made it, and I went to summon an Uber. My app wouldn't work. It gave the helpful message "Oops. Something went wrong." just at the moment after I agreed on the surge pricing and confirmed our ride.

I tried again and Oopsed again. Now what?

Just then - and this is Flusher's honest truth - a guy walked by heading into the Waldorf and said, "Are you the Kays?"

I waved him off.

He went in to the lobby, looking around.

Then I looked up at the street and saw... an Airport Shuttle. With its doors open. Holy Sweet Kadoodlecrap.

I went after the guy and buttonholed him.

Yes he was 'Mr. Airport Shuttle Man'.

Yes he was going to the Airport.

Yes he had room for two more passengers.

Yes the Kays could go fuck themselves and take an Uber.

The price? $44 for both of us - cash.

Guess what we had on us? $50 exactly. Done and done, he loaded our luggage into a little trailer attached to the van, we bundled in, were on our way to Auckland Airport for our Virgin Australia flight to the Gold Coast.

The Auckland International Airport experience was pretty laid back.

Check in and security were a breeze.

And the airport is gorgeous.

The flight went pretty fast. Once again, I took the middle seat, and enjoyed a conversation with a local. This fellow, a New Zealander originally from the UK, won a lottery back in the day, which set him up for life.

But he was also a very smart and talented guy and he would have been successful regardless. He's retired now but still in demand for consulting - thus the trip to Gold Coast.

We had a lot in common with similar background in grommet manufacturing and the time went quickly.

Airplane iPhone Stand Hack 
Before I knew it, there we were!

Australia's famed Gold Coast, with Surfer's Paradise, tons of attractions, and featuring miles of sand, surf, sun - and toilets.

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