Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dec 25 2011 - Christmas Day in Australia

Breakfast at the Sydney Hilton
This morning we wanted to leave for the airport at 9am, so we had to hustle a bit to get everything in order. Catch up on email? Check. Pack up? Done. Breakfast? Where were we going to find a nice breakfast on Christmas day with less than an hour to spare? We started walking towards Chinatown, which is about a mile away. We passed several possibilities - a cupcakery, Hungry Jack's (Australian Burger King), cafes - all closed! Almost completely out of time and starting to get on each other’s nerves, we stumbled into the Sydney Hilton for a tasty and healthy breakfast of Muesli yogurt parfait, sour cherry muffin, and cappuccinos. I've never been so happy to find a big American hotel. Relief!

The bats take over Cairns at sunset
At the airport, the super friendly Virgin Australia checkin counter lady greeted us with "I want to say...Happy Hanukkah?" I wasn't sure how to take it and what to say. I corrected her with a one word reply: Festivus. "What's this festivus everyone's talking about?" she wanted to know. "It's a very American holiday" "Oh is that a general holiday that covers all holidays? You Americans are always coming up with ways to include everybody."

XXXX - the most popular beer in the
Queensland region of Australia. My new
slogan for them:  "Four-ex. It's not bad."
When we landed in Cairns, the small airport is efficiently run. There are various shuttle bus companies that take people to their hotels. Actually they are more of a shuttle van than a shuttle bus - near-identical shuttle van with trailers. About 20 people piled into the bus - and 20 suitcases into the trailer. The van radio was playing a commercial for trailer companies - and I was thinking about why all the shuttles in this town use vans and trailers - is it because there is a low clearance tunnel? Or a tax on vehicle wheels? Anyhoo, the van driver was going about his business dropping people off, when all of a sudden he pulled off by a field. I thought "I wonder who's staying in a campground". Then the driver ran out and closed the trailer - it had popped open somehow. Meanwhile he wasn't communicating with any of us. Then he banged a u-turn and started driving back towards the airport. Guess whose luggage had skidded off the road? Olga's! It's a sturdy bugger with a nice road rash from Cairns.

I wanna give a shout out the Gelocchio - a shop on the Cairns esplanade that makes gelato and sorbet on a stick - optionally dipped in chocolate. It's all natural and a delight for the mouth!


Karen the first said...

Festivus? Is that another Californie thingee? How did she know to say Happy Hanukkah anyway? They're not requiring religion on passports these days, are they? ;)

Unknown said...


Happy Festivus Dave and Olga!

Dave V. said...

btw, the unknown comment on this thread was from me. For some reason the blogging system decided to make me an "unknown". Don't they know who they're dealing with?!!! Apparently not...