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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Shoving off for Australia-Land

The past few years I've been wondering why we ever needed travel agents.

Now I know.

Fly the Creepster Skies!
I did all the planning and booking for this trip to Oz and it took forever. Maybe the problem is there is too much information out there.

Example. I go to, say, I put in one word - Sydney.

Within four minutes I have 37 different tabs open across 9 different sites, and three or four popunder windows have quietly opened with the intention of annoying the fuck out of me at the very moment I can't take it anymore and try to close the entire browser.

That's when they show up with just one more incredible deal that won't last long that 3928 other people have just looked at and are probably about to book out from under me.

And the airfare watching! It can be a pricey flight to Australia but - when do you book? Is it the best deal? Can you afford business class? (No, you can't.) Can you survive 15 hours crammed into a seat - starting at 10:30pm after a full day? (No, you can't. You book premium economy at double the price.)

Mrs. Flusher keeps bringing up all kinds of concerns that I have to allay, too.

One day we were sitting on the deck, watching the sunset, having a cold bee-yah, and wondering what Australia would be like at sunset.

"Do we need to bring some Australian money over there?" she asked.

"We might need some. I'm not sure if they have credit cards. Or ATMs. But you don't tip over there, so we won't need too much."

"What about New Zealand money? And entry visas or whatever?"

"Quad Queen," I explained, "It's the same. New Zealand is just like Australia, they use the same money. They are like the same country except one is an island. It's like going between Canada and Newfoundland."

She didn't say much.

"It's like a big theme park. Once you're in, you just do whatever and they share everything. It's like... today we are in Australia-Land. Tomorrow we are riding the Small World train to the Shire in New Zealand-Land."

We got up on Monday morning, excited for the travel adventure ahead. Our response to this was to gamble.

We talked to our cocktail server about our trip.

"Oh, I just love koalas! I hope you are near koalas!" she said.

"I love them too. I am hoping to eat one. At least, that's our plan," I deadpanned.

Shit disturber.

I had a huge breakfast at the Cal coffee shop - because when world travelling, you never know when you are going to run into a three egg veggie omelette, three sausage discs, hash browns, wheat toast, and Conspiracy Jumbleberry jam again.

My play didn't go well at all as I think I mentioned and I shut it down early so that I could go and pack and shower and catch up on the blogging.

The Quad Queen attacked the ten play machines and topped up her trip coin in to $24K. I'd managed a measly $10K coin in and half an hour of winning blackjack, so our total was $34K. Not bad for 36 hours in Vegas. Our host would be happy - and we'd actually justified the limo and Gold Card.

The only use we got out of the Gold Card was to skip the line for breakfast - which saved us probably half an hour or more. It wasn't a big deal because we'd had such a yummy steak dinner with Kevin and his wife the night before anyway. So that box got very well ticked.

Somewhere back in an earlier like, some voodoo princess cursed me, I'm certain of it.

"If air travel is ever invented, I curse you with bad flying juju. Aloha."

Travel Accursedness Item - I got an email saying that American Airlines' caterer in LAX had listeria in their facility and that they would 'do their best' to provide food. Great. Remember what I said about travel and topping up and emergency cheese and such?

Travel Accursedness Item - Our host had booked our limo for 4:00pm instead of 2:00pm. We caught this gremlin and squashed it.

Travel Accursedness Item - Our 4:00pm flight was delayed an hour and a half.

It wasn't a huge deal - I'd rather be waiting at McCarran than at LAX, and our flight to Sydney wasn't leaving until 10:40pm.

The limousine was right on time and... I started feeling hungry. Stupid eggs.

All the airport indignities went wonderfully and we find ourselves with time to kill. We needed to find some activity that we could engage ourselves with. What could that be?
Did you forget your laptop, clock radio, 19 car keys or 1995 cell phone? Your luggage? Your pants?
Neither of us hit anything on video poker and we had to give in yet again on the dream of an Airport Royal. We had more fun on Wheel of Meat, because I got to spin five times and won $20.

We found Chili's (or I should say 'a' Chili's) and oddly enough, I almost had a reader meet-up with someone arriving at the same time, but at a different set of gates. The burgers were acceptable and the pickles were exceptional.

How is it that an airport restaurant has the best dill pickles I've ever tasted? They were made fresh-style, not stuffed in a jar for months. Lots of garlic, tasty and crunchy.

We hung around for quite a while and I put the time to good use... writing a blog post. There's never a dull fucking Flusher moment.

The flight to LA was uneventful. We got to explore the beautiful architecture of the terminal, which is really 39 terminals in one.

The Long March Hallway, where you walk in extreme comfort past murals depicting mediterranean scenes towards the rotating knives.
We found the gate from which our Sydney flight would leave and did a reccy. Everywhere there were signs from AA saying that you should enjoy a complimentary snack before boarding. I spied a rack of such snacks and saw the usual prepackaged crap.

We found a place to sit and charge devices and I spent some time... writing more blog post stuff. Never a D.F.F.M.

The food in our terminal was pretty dismal. We ate 'dinner' off of some fake food truck thing and it was fucking godawful. I had what was purportedly a Chicken Parm sandwich.
One half of a $12 sandwich. ($6 worth.)

There was I think about 3 ounces of chicken on it total, and two puny slices of cheese. They even chintzed on the sauce. Nice dinner for $12. Mrs. F. had a bacon and egg bun sandwich thing but she said the egg had been covered in salt.

Airport food.

We didn't know the status of the food for our 15 hour flight, so we erred on the side of caution and loaded up on sandwiches and snacks and little packets of mustard and mayo. We spent about $100 on this crap.

At least it included some emergency nuts!


    1. Two weeks from today, I will be on a 15.5 hour flight. Parallel lives my degenerate friend. Looking forward to your posts!

    2. ROFL.. I'm not picturing RF in a New Zealand 'Pub'.. describing this thoughts of New Zealanders being 'just like Australia...but being an Island'... that'll go over VERY well. ;) I'm planning on looking into the NZ Papers for 'International Incidents...' ;)

    3. ...where you walk in extreme comfort past murals depicting mediterranean scenes towards the rotating knives.
      Thank you! I LOVE the Python reference. "The Architect Sketch" is one of my favorites!


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