We're here, in Sydney, at the end of our first day. The ParkRoyal is no Four Seasons (where we stayed eight years ago when the U.S. dollar actually meant something) and our view is of multiple freeway overpasses instead of the Harbour Bridge, but hey, it's clean and has a bed.
Jarrah is sacked out, making it only a paragraph into The Little Mermaid, announcing she couldn't possibly sleep with a light on, and then falling unconscious seconds later. Quite frankly, it seems a miracle of the extra-long-lasting lamp oil variety that she made it to 7 p.m. The kid slept maybe five or six hours on the plane, and ever since we arrived around 6:30 this morning, she's been climbing statues, running after seagulls, screaming, singing, and racing up the Sydney Opera House stairs. Aside from a shower, David and I do not allow any time in the hotel room after morning-arrival international flights--it's part of our jet lag system--but I assumed I would cave after Jarrah melted down constantly or simply sat down and refused to move. Neither happened. She was like a one-child pep squad the entire day, despite a jam-packed schedule I will describe anon. I asked David if she seemed sort of manic and he said, "I think she's always like this, but it's particularly noticeable when we're so blunted." (He didn't say "blunted," of course.)
She was also an absolute champion on the 14-hour flight, NOT ONCE asking "How much longer?" Not ONCE, Readers. Distance flying seems to agree with her--she watched about four movies, played video games, ate junk food and snoozed, and never made a peep. Uncanny, I tell you. Downright spooky. People were actually complimenting us, probably suspecting that we had her heavily drugged. (Nope, unless you count Pop Tarts.)
Strangely,the flight seemed fairly quick, distinguished only by the sweetness of the Qantas staff, the rad-ness of their extensive new seat-back menu, and the frequency of the snacks. Oh, and the way that every single person around us was easy-going and nice--how often does that happen on planes? But there were two distinctive events. One is that I left my Netbook at security (I know, shades of Yellowstone, when I left my Kindle) and took a chance letting one of the flight attendants know. Well, sake's alive if she and about five others didn't make it their mission to find and retrieve said Netbook before take-off. Now I held no hope that I'd ever see it again, let alone that I'd see it before this flight. But someone ran it to the gate with minutes to spare. It was so exciting I started cheering "YAY FOR QANTAS!" Seriously, Australians rock, but you already knew that.
The other distinctive event was far more distinctive. In fact, it was nearly surreal, and in the happiest of ways. I used David's iPhone to "check in" on Facebook when we got to LAX, a little self-indulgent gesture that tickled me to bits. My friend Carolyn in New York wrote "When are you leaving?" and for some reason I actually responded "In an hour!" Suddenly, a text came through--it was Carolyn, saying "I'm here, too." Having not seen her since our Smith reunion three summers ago and missing her terribly lately, I was over the moon that I might have a few dishy minutes to catch up in the terminal, of all places to run into each other. When I reached the gate she indicated, I could see she was going to London. But then she appeared and said she was actually going to Sydney--on our flight. OMG!!!! I ask you--what are the chances that someone whom I haven't spoken to in months but have known for 25 years was going to be on MY FLIGHT TO AUSTRALIA?? I couldn't even get my mind around it. 'Course, it would have been pushing things for her to be seated near us in the Airbus, and what with meals and sleeping I never did catch up with her during the flight, despite telling her I was going to need the full 14 hours for the scoop. The happy news is that we're going to spend some time together in Sydney tomorrow while her friend is at work, and we laughed that we've had to fly to another continent in order to hang out.
I'm proud to say that all three of us enjoyed the day in this beautiful city despite our tiredness, and are looking forward to less-haggard fun tomorrow. I'll catch you up on today's events when I'm not getting narcoleptic over my keyboard.