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Down Under

Started: 2007-08-02 10:09:35

Submitted: 2007-08-02 10:42:00

Visibility: World-readable

This evening I fly from Denver to LAX to Sydney, landing in Sydney at 06:10 on Saturday morning, local time. I get the weekend to figure out which way is up (it's up-side-down, obviously), find the Southern Cross in the night sky, and try to recover from jet lag before showing up to work miracles at 09:00 Monday morning (which happens to be 17:00 Sunday afternoon in Boulder). I spend two weeks working miracles before flying back on 18 August; my flight leaves Sydney at 14:20 and lands in San Francisco at 11:00 the same day -- three hour before it departs. I have Economy Plus seats, which means I get an extra four or five inches of leg room than normal sardine class; four inches times fourteen and a half hours over the Pacific works out to fifty-eight inch-hours, which seems like a pretty good deal. It's like getting a lay-flat bed for a one-hour flight, just spread out for almost fifteen hours.

I now have a Nintendo DS and three games which may amuse me on the flight when I'm not trying to sleep. Plus noise-cancelling headphones with extra batteries, my aging third-generation iPod (with its notoriously short-lived battery), and Darnassus with its spare battery. (I was briefly concerned by my inability to locate the spare battery until I remembered to look for it in my coffee table drawer at home, where I stashed it when packing to visit Washington, DC in June.) Plus entirely too many books, which I'll have to cull when I go home to pack this afternoon.

This will be my first time to fly in a 747, my first time to visit a destination west of the Pacific Ocean (I have flown over the Pacific Ocean, briefly, while departing Los Angeles and San Diego, before turning to reach my continental United States destination), and my first time to visit the southern hemisphere. I'll be the first person in my immediate family to visit Australia.

It does happen that it's currently winter in Sydney, for definitions of "winter" that come from being 35 degrees from the equator on an ocean. Saturday's forecast calls for a high of 61.

This whole thing has "fantastic adventure" written all over it. Which is only partially bad.