australia general

Australia Part 1: Melbourne to Mildura

And so, after three years, we were finally off to visit Australia again. This time flying via Hong Kong, in an epic series of flights that took us over 34 hours door to door. Still, it could be worse. A billiard table could fall on you.

On the way we discovered that there’s nothing quite like an airport full of pokestops and pokemon catching to make a seven hour layover absolutely fly past. Thanks Hong Kong. Also, it’s possible for a six-year old to watch the Lego Movie four times in a row, even when there are other movies and TV shows available (actually, that last one really isn’t much of a surprise when I think about it).

On arrival, I got really excited about all of the roundabouts and give-way signs that feature in Australian traffic design, and started taking lots of photos of random roadside features. And then we had the whirlwind visit of friends and family in Melbourne.

Trampolines, playgrounds, cousins, beer, goats, family, backyard bonfires, riding fixies on suburban streets, making random cakes, bike talk, lots of hugs.

All in all, it was a pretty good taste of Melbourne: excellent, except for the traffic and all the other people!

Then it was on to Mildura, for my cousin’s wedding. Ostensibly the reason for the trip, as we’d missed out on many weddings and funerals in the past three years, it made sense to try and make our visit coincide with one. Wonderful to catch up with family I hadn’t seen since moving to Canada.

There was a wonderfully epic thunderstorm the night before the wedding, the best I’ve ever seen. But the day itself was beautiful, and thankfully not too hot.

And to top things off, the Moosling was introduced to the wonders of snapchat filters by my brother. What more could you want in a family wedding?


in transit



Sunset from Auckland airport.

bikes canada general

the depth of my love for air canada knows no bounds

“I’VE HAD IT WITH YOUR ATTEMPTS TO GET THESE MOTHER F**KING BIKES ON THIS MOTHER F**CKING PLANE (without paying the relevant fees which we are levying even though you thought that because you’d bought your tickets from Air New Zealand you would only have to follow their baggage rules)” the Calgary Air Canada employee yelled at us, hurling a stapler at Alex’s head.

He went on to threaten us with overweight fees of $100 per bag for our two bags which were underweight by 500grams, and overweight by 800grams respectively. This was right after we’d killed his puppy, and stolen his favourite lampshade.

Thankfully we managed to make it into the departure lounge section of the airport, after running a gauntlet past other Air Canada employees, who all hurled either abuse, excrement, or particularly vicious glares of disdain at us.

It was almost enough to make us wish we’d gone to Vancouver with Greyhound – even with the evident risks of beheading and spontaneous bus combustion.

general travel

in transit

Stop over in Taipei on the way to Canada. We arrived in the evening, and China Airlines provided us with swish (there were free combs! and it was on a golf course sponsored by Jack Nicklaus) hotel accommodation while we waited for our transfer flight to Vancouver the next afternoon. This pretty flower was found while wandering around town in the morning.


see vegas, i told you it would all fit

So, everything is packed into very heavy bags.

Item One – Heavy Backpack
Item Two – Heavy Ski Bag and Boot Bag
Item Three – Crash pad in cardboard box
Item Four – Carry On thingos = rope bag and laptop bag

lots of important things

Once my plane leaves DC I’ll be landing in Melbourne 28 hours later. Won’t that be fun. Although I’ll start travelling 4 hours before that, so I can actually get to the airport and check in. Then once I get to Melbourne, I have to move house :)

Depart DC – 3.45pm Tuesday East Coast US time / 5.45am Wednesday Melbourne time
Arrive Melbourne – 7.40pm Wednesday East Coast US time / 9.40am Thursday Melbourne time