Monday, October 31, 2011


saying goodbye to Mom & Dad
my flight out of California is tomorrow evening at 11:55pm. Qantas is apparently not "arranging accommodation, meals, and transfers for you" as they said in their fax that all of us passengers received, but c'est la vie. my parents have been working feverously for days to help me search for, reserve, and book flights, and for that I am so grateful.

beautiful palm trees all around!
all in all, it hasn't been a bad stay here in sunny SoCal. I certainly didn't think I would have had such a nice time as I've had.
saying goodbye to Jordan

today, I had breakfast earlier than usual, and then went shopping at the South Coast Plaza hotel right down the road. I walked there, and it took no time at all. I bought one top, one dress, 2 skirts, and 9 pairs of earrings at H & M for less than $40. AMAZING.

best ever.
then, I went to Macy's and bought perfume from Benefit that I've wanted for ages. it is wonderful. ladies, note it.

after I made it home, I had some lunch and sat at the edge of the pool and read some. currently, it's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I got it at a library sale. it's supposed to be pretty good.

veggie burger for lunch on Sunday

everyone talks to everyone here. it's easy to, because we're all in the same situation, and it's easy to assume that most everyone in the hotel is a Qantas passenger. I've made some friends, and I've had the unique opportunity to chat with some people that I normally wouldn't have had the opportunity to, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. tomorrow night marks the next leg of my adventure, and I can't wait to meet my host family, and switch Hannah's things to the other bedroom if I like hers better. after all, I was due to arrive first. only kidding! sort of. ;)

speaking of Hannah, you can view her blog here!

ciao for now!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

a glimmer

it seems that a lot of this mess is getting sorted out quickly. the strike has been lifted and planes should be in the air by midday on Monday (aka midday today, with the time difference). I would be ecstatic to have my flights confirmed and ready to go. it would give some certainty to this whole thing actually coming to an end. my parents and my sister should be relieved to hear this, as they had been working on helping me find flights when the strike first happened, and my parents have been calling Qantas what seems like non-stop. I'm lucky to have a family who is so willing to help.

in the meantime, my stay in Orange County hasn't been half bad. the bed in my hotel is the most comfortable I've slept in in a long time (the pillows are so amazing, I want to smuggle one of them in my luggage). the hotel has been great - we have vouchers for every meal and the $13 internet fee has been waived for all Qantas passengers. the hotel itself is beautiful. all the rooms have balconies, and mine looks over the pool. I've met some great people, including a crew member who very graciously gave me some hope that the strike was ending last night.

all seems to be looking up. *knock on wood*

Saturday, October 29, 2011

a panicked e-mail to my program coordinator

Hi Sherie,

Not sure if you've been following the news, but literally 4 minutes before my Qantas flight took off from LA to Brisbane, there was a strike at Qantas. We sat on the plane for 2 - 2.5 hours before we got off, and now the airline is putting us up in a hotel in Orange County called *******************.

They don't know anything. They have no idea how long we will be here. I don't know where Hannah ended up, so I hope she contacts you; I don't have a phone. All I know is that her flight to Sydney actually took off and then had to turn around and come back to L.A.

I get internet free for 24 hours.  I'm hoping that after that, the airline will pay the $12.99 charge.  They told us that they will serve us meals and give us a $10 phone credit when we were at the airport, but the hotel doesn't know anything about this yet.  They said they will pass on any correspondence via letters under our hotel room doors.

I am SO disappointed. I hope this all gets sorted out soon.


the airline told me that Hannah's flight to Sydney turned back, but I'm pretty sure she flew with Jetstar, so she's alright.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole thing. what a mess.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

14 more lbs to go

packing will be the death of me. did I think it would be easy to finish packing this late? loathing myself right now...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm bald!

got my Aussie haircut yesterday and feelin' good.

that is... a haircut that I think will work well in the abysmal Darwin heat; not resembling haircuts that Aussies have.

whatever. my hair is gone and that's all that matters. ahhh. bring it on.

Friday, October 14, 2011

counting down

In exactly two weeks, to the hour, I should be taking off on my first flight out of Michigan.