Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I wander, as I wander

So I wandered as far as JFK. After 4 hours on a plane, de-icing and getting as far as the end of the runway, it was over -- for now. An hour for reclaiming luggage, an hour for the Airlink Train (which stopped operating in the blizzard -- the 5th biggest in NYC history), another hour and half waiting for shuttles that never came; bartering with a limo driver waiting to pick someone else up; a harrowing 1.2 mile ride that took another 1.5 hours to get the the Howard Johnson's by the airport. There... that's 12 hours summed up in a few sentences. Then another 18 hours waiting for a ride back to Connecticut.  It simply wasn't meant to be now. So I'll wander again in a few weeks, or months.  Stay tuned.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Prepping for "dan Unda"

When I was a mere boy of 12, my sister Sallie and  I applied for pen pals through a teen magazine to which she subcribed. Sallie influenced me in some great ways, and some not-so-great ways -- like telling me  to grow my hair out to look cool, when all it really did was make me like Dorothy Hamill  in drag (but I digress). I got a penpal from Ireland, she got one from Sydney. My correspondence lasted maybe a year. Her friendship with her Aussie penpal has lasted a lifetime.

So the long and short of it is that I always wanted the penpal from Australia and never got one. As I grew older, I did book reports on Australia, class projects on the Outback, and wrote to the Australian Embassy for insights on koalas and kangaroos. I wanted more than a penpal from Oz. I wanted the experience.

So to celebrate my 50th birthday (which I just did on 12/19), my wife gave me the perfect gift -- 10 days in the land Down Under. Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne. It really is a dream of a lifetime. So I thought I'd share my travels on this blog.  If I'm not eaten by a great white shark while snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, or knocked unconscious by a kangaroo and put in a coma for a few years, I may just be able to put future travels on here as the Wandering Yank.

It's two days before departure and I haven't packed yet. Little thing called Christmas first. Stay tuned.