Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Australia Day One

As you can see I made it to Melbourne but what a trip. First the good stuff....sunrise over the Pacific. There is no way a camera can capture the intensity of the color but it is still gorgeous. Second, notice how large my room, especially the bathroom, is compared to my last trip. The only problem is the closet so as you see I had to invent new storage areas for jewelry, shoes, and knit tops. Third and best of all, it was 17 F. in Texas the night before I left.....stepped off the plane to 89 F. Ooooh, aahhh.....how nice to be warm.
Other good news is the Jarrah House, my favorite Chinese restaurant, is still open and less than a block away from the hotel. I immediately stowed luggage, didn't upack a single item and headed down for take-out lunch and expensive diet cokes for the fridge. Upon stuffing myself with something other than bad airline food, took a shower (why do you feel so dirty when you have been sitting on a plane doing nothing?), hooked up to the internet and am beginning to feel human.
Now for the joys of traveling. We were held over in San Fransisco for two hours waiting for a flight from Chicago...gee I wonder why? United for some reason did not book my flight directly to Melbourne so I had to change planes to Virgin Blue to get to Melbourne. No problem right? Oh no, you have to get your baggage and go through customs because you are changing to a domestic flight. Problem: United still had my luggage on the direct flight so a wonderful young man at the airport goes and retrives my luggage himself. None of this calling some baggage handler he physically gets it himself. That is what I call excellent service. He directs me to the proper bus to change terminals and all is well. I check in, get my boarding and have to take another bus to the domestic terminal. Ready to go through security and no passport. Yikes! I have lost my passport....not that I wouldn't mind staying in Australia longer but at some point I have to come home. Trudge to the guest service desk where an amazing young lady tracks down my passport, which wasn't returned to me at the ticket counter. Seriously, these folks are going above and beyond, smiling all the while and reasurring me everything will be fine. I can only imagine what United would have done if this had happened in LA or San Fransisco. My young personal assistant has the passport delivered to her through some kind of magic, gets my luggage placed on the correct plane and hugs me good-bye at security. As Will put it "all's well that ends well." I am happily tucked away in my home away from home and ready to report on what I can explore and report this year.....so stay tuned for what awaits.
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2 comments:

Mrs. Mel said...

Your experience restores my faith in human nature. Have a wonderful time, basking in that warmth. I am way jealous.
lovest,
Mel

Caitlin said...

Welcome back Down Under, G! I'm so pleased that you got such good service. Once again I really wish I could be down in Melbourne taking classes but I know you'll have a ball!