Melbourne! Auckland!

Mar 28, 2010

While I was on a 14 hour flight bound for Melbourne, Australia, my good friends Ran and Angie become parents to a beautiful baby boy named Riley! I'm so excited and happy for them, and I can't wait for the chance to visit home and meet him and bring him cute little souvenirs from around the world! Congratulations, you'll make amazing parents!
After what seemed to be a never-ending flight, we finally arrived in Melbourne. I was fighting serious fatigue as I checked into my hotel room, and debated taking a short nap. I decided against it, well aware of the fact that a 2 hour nap would turn into sleeping for the entire day and missing out on exploring a brand new city. Instead, I showered, got dressed, and ventured into the city. I found a coffee shop and grabbed my first of many espressos that day. I wandered through downtown Melbourne, taking in China Town, the Greek area, and watching trams drive by. I picked up snacks and coffee as I happily strolled through the city. After a few hours of aimless wandering, I decided that I'd head back to my hotel before I collapsed from exhaustion on the street. For a moment I wondered if I was asleep and dreaming when I spotted a Lindt Chocolate Cafe across the street. I pinched myself to confirm that I was in fact awake and marched inside. Walking by wasn't even an option... it was LINDT! My favorite! I ordered a delicious mocha... half espresso, half Lindt chocolate... pure amazing. Back at the hotel I fell asleep almost immediately. I woke up at 5 am the next day to prepare for my flight to Auckland. For those of you who remember, I was meant to go to Auckland last month but the flight was cancelled. I secretly wondered if I'd ever make it or if I was cursed to never see New Zealand. I was even more convinced after I found a note under my door informing me that the flight was delayed. Much to my surprise, the flight was not cancelled and we arrived in Auckland later that afternoon. On the way to the hotel I was thrilled to pass by "Canada Street" and to see a Wendy's for the first time since leaving home. I knew where I was headed for lunch! I quickly checked into my room and then headed for a junior bacon cheeseburger. Much to my surprise and happiness, it tasted just like home! Greasy, crispy, BACON! With a map of Auckland in one hand and a camera in the other, I set out to explore. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time before the sun went down and it got dark. I managed to make it to the harbor and see the water filled with tons of sailboats. Apparently Auckland calls itself "the city of sails". There was so much to see and do in New Zealand, but 24 isn't nearly enough to see Auckland, let alone the entire country. I hope to come back one day for longer, preferably with my adventure loving boyfriend. New Zealand is an adrenaline junkie's paradise... right outside of my hotel was bungy jumping, and you can jump from the Sky Tower as well! Back to my hotel I headed, another early night for me. The next morning I woke up and since I'd already ate terrible the entire layover, I figured there was no sense in trying to be healthy now. Off I went to McDonald's for a good old Americanized breakfast. Mmm. I had a few hours to kill before my flight, so I decided to go up to the top of the Sky Tower. I stood nervously holding onto the railing as the elevator traveled to the viewing deck. Glass floors in elevators?? What a crazy idea!! The elevator operator got a good laugh out the fact that I was a flight attendant, mildly afraid of heights. I stepped onto the viewing deck and went snap happy, taking pictures of the view. I could see the ocean and the mountains and despite the dreary clouds that hung over the city, it was beautiful. It reminded me of Vancouver, and I stayed up there for quite awhile before heading back to the hotel to get ready for my flight. It was the 3rd flight of our layover and by the time we'd boarded the passengers we were all feeling the effects of jet lag. We arrived at our hotel in Melbourne around 10 pm, and I was ready to fall into my bed for many hours. Instead, I got changed and headed downstairs to meet my friends Maz and Simone. I'd met them when the 3 of us worked on Fraser Island 2 years ago. We helped each other to cope with the boredom and insanity that come with living on a remote island made of sand. We reunited in the lobby of my hotel before hopping into Simone's car to go do what we do best... overdose on unhealthy food. They giggled at my accent, which is apparently much stronger now than it was after I'd lived in Australia for 8 months. Exhaustion was beginning to overcome me, and I felt terrible that I was nearly dozing off as we sat at a table catching up after 2 years. It was a short visit, but I was glad that I was able to see them while I was in their city! Unable to stay awake any longer, I returned to my room and called it a night. The next day was my last before the long flight back home to Dubai. I was determined to stock up on Aussie essentials... makeup, hair spray, nylons... and of course Top Deck chocolate and Tim Tams. Once my shopping was complete, I took in as much of Melbourne as I could in the short time that I had left. There was a Greek festival going on, so I wandered through the markets and listened to the music, wishing that I hadn't just ate lunch... the food looked and smelled amazing. I wanted to get a bit of sleep in before my flight, so I reluctantly headed back to the hotel. On the way, I strolled through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, admiring the trees and green and nature, as I always do when I escape Dubai. I walked past 5 weddings! Yes, 5! The photographers worked their magic and made me think of Ryan. He takes great wedding photos. You should hire him. I made it to my room, slept a couple of hours, and it was time to go. After an extremely long flight and 6 days away, I was finally home in Dubai!


Anonymous said...

:) You have such a sweet life! your text formatting is weird again though haha. :D LOVE YOU


Amber Cavers said...

I plan on making a pilgrimage to New Zealand someday, as my Nana had my mom there and my mom backpacked there when she was 16... I think it is my duty to go

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