#53 - phase 2 of my travels....on to australia

Melbourne Travel Blog

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View from Steve & Naomi's roof deck.

Well, I had quite an eventful day getting out of Christchurch.  I thought I had it all perfectly planned out.  I was going to leave my hostel around 4:15 (UGH!!!  WHY, oh WHY, did I book such an early flight?!?  It made sense at the time...but I need to remember NOT to do that again if I can avoid it!), drive to the airport, drop my car off & be at the check-in counter by 5:15 for my 7:15am flight. 

So, I left at 4:15am, as planned, and drove to the airport, as planned.  But then, that's when it all started to fall apart.  I drove into the "return your rental car" area and there was no Ace Rental Car section to be seen.  There was Thrifty, Hertz, etc....but no Ace.  Shit.  What was I going to do?!?  I literally contemplated just leaving my car in one of the other rental car company's spots and calling Ace & telling them where it was.

Naomi & Steve outside Minh Minh, a yummy vietnamese restaurant in the Richmond area of Melburne
  Ah!  What to do?!?  And actually, I did try to call them, but their offices don't open until 8am.  Fabulous!

THANK GOD - I found the NICEST taxi driver.  I asked him if he knew where the Ace rental car spot would be.  We took a look at my contract & it listed "Christchurch Airport" with an address next to it (I can't remember it now) - that was NOT the address of the airport.  So, it was at an off-site location.  Crap!  I then felt like I was on the Amazing Race.  I asked the cab driver if he could drive in front of me & take me to the Ace rental car place & then I could get in his cab & he could take me back to the airport.  I only had $27 on me - so I told him that & he said it would be fine.  So there I was - at 4:45am - following a cab driver to a rental car company SEVERAL km away from the airport.  I really don't know what I would have done if I hadn't talked to that cab driver.  Also, I have no idea how they expected me to drop it off & get to the airport!  I KNEW I should have called to confirm everything yesterday - oh well - chalk that up in the "learn your lesson" category.  SO, he brought me back to the airport & I was standing on line at 5:15am.

Then, when I got to the front I was thinking - oh geez, I didn't call the airline either, do I have a seat?  Am I going to get stuck in a middle seat?  And the woman at the counter said, "So, I can offer you the emergency exit row with extra leg room...and would you like the window or the aisle?"  YAY!  Woo hoo!  I was so excited!  So, I went from almost not making it on my flight to being checked in & booked in a window seat in the emergency exit row.  PHEW!!!! 

The flight to Melbourne was easy peasy.  Nothing to report - other than I had no idea it was a 3 hour & 45 minute flight and that there was a 2 hour time change between Australia & New Zealand.  I just hadn't paid attention to any of that.  I realized I had poured over my New Zealand Lonely Planet for weeks before I left the US, but that I hadn't done any planning or figuring out for the rest of my trip!  Anyway, I know it will work out - I'll figure out the next couple portions of my trip in the next couple days.

So, I am now sitting on a comfy couch, in a great apartment in Melbourne.  Shira & Dan Halperin were kind enough to connect me with their brother & sis-in-law, Steve & Naomi Halperin.  It really feels so good to be in someone's house instead of a hostel right now.  It's definitely fun to switch it up - but man, it is SO nice to be in a nice, comfy home.  I may not do much today - I'm definitely exhausted from getting up at the crackedy crack of dawn - but I will do my laundry...and that is very exciting.

I also have to say - I am sitting here looking at pictures of Shira & Dan & Gabey and it definitely makes me a bit homesick to see them.  I got a little teary-eyed seeing their pictures!  But hey, I guess that's good right?!?  It means I know I've got some great stuff back home as well.  :)

So now the next chapter of my travels begin!  I am still a bit sad about not being in New Zealand right now - but I know I'm going to LOVE it here & I have so many amazing adventures ahead.  :)  A big MWAH to everyone who's following along!  :)

Oh & actually one more thing, I was wondering how hot it was going to be when I got here since they've had record high's of 48 degrees recently.  The weather has actually cooled off quite considerably, so that is good.  The thing that is not good are all these fires happening in Victoria right now.  It's SO devastating & just seems really awful.  It's all over the news & I read an article about it yesterday in the NZ Press.  Just HORRIBLE - I hope they are able to put all the fires out quickly.  So many people have been killed and there are so many houses that have just been demolished.  So so sad.  :(

The rest of my day was a bit of a haze.  I was so tired from getting up so early in the morning.  I walked around Clarendon Street, explored some of the shops & had lunch.  I then came home and took a nap.  It felt SOOOO good!  :)

For dinner, Steve, Naomi and I went out to get Vietnamese food at Mien Mien in the Richmond area of Melbourne (funny that the Richmond area in San Francisco also has a lot of Vietnamese restaurants).  It was delicious & it was so nice to get to know Steve and Naomi.

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View from Steve & Naomis roof dec…
View from Steve & Naomi's roof de…
Naomi & Steve outside Minh Minh, a…
Naomi & Steve outside Minh Minh, …
photo by: jendara