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24th to 26th November

So here I sit in our Qantas A380 flight between Los Angeles and Melbourne.

Another trip over, looking forward to getting home.

Saturday went as well as you could expect. Always tough when you need to check out of the hotel by 11am and the flight is not for 12 hours later.

Rayls did her usual masterful job of packing. Somehow she managed to get 100 kilos of stuff fit into 4 bags of 23 kilos each.

At 11am we packed the two cars and Ryan went off with his Phoenix mates and the rest of us headed off to kill time.

For some reason the ladies wanted to return to Jo-Ann's in Buena Park, we were there for some time yesterday but back we went.

Around 12:30pm we headed towards the airport and had lunch at a cafe where we met up with Ryan. Just after 2pm we arrived at the airport where we dumped the luggage from the cars and left the ladies with the luggage whilst

Ryan and I parked the cars.

We checked in at Qantas, that was easy and so nice to have the luggage out of the way.

Back to the cars - Ryan went back to his mates whilst the rest of us headed to a shopping mall where I thought the ladies could easily kill a few hours. Sadly not a good choice.

Ryan met up with us again at 6:00pm and we all headed to the Dollar Rental Facility at the airport where Ryan dropped off his Jeep and joined us. We went the half K to the Alamo Rental Facility where we dropped off the Suburban, another 1200+ miles done.

We all caught the shuttle to the airport, where we sat and had dinner. Then through security, that took 5 minutes and off to our gate 101.

We got to the gate about 9:00pm and killed more time till we boarded just before 11:00pm, backed out at about 11:45pm and eventually took off at 12:10am on Sunday.


The plane is by no means full. Rayls and I have three seats between us and she is trying to sleep across 2 seats. Ryan has 3 seats all to himself and at last check was fast asleep.

It's 14 hours 45 to Melbourne.

The ladies seem to agree that Lancaster, PA along with Keepsake Quilting in NH was the highlights of the trip.

Ryan was able to see some of his heroes and I am sure they were his highlights, Adam Carolla, Penn and Teller along with great seats at an LA Lakers game must have been right up there for him.

For me, two things stand out; ever since my dad told me that JFK had been killed back in 1963 I have had a interest with the Presidency of the USA. To finally see a living President, as frail as he is, was an honour for me. Also those few minutes at an Amish homestead in Lancaster. Such a lovely setting, the sun was shining, the dog that Ryan played with - we had both just about killed the colds we had had, it was a nice moment.

The Walmart truck count ended up being close. We saw 40 over the first 3 weeks and then saw an amazing 50 in the few hours it took to get from Vegas to LA. We saw just another 4 in LA and so the total was 94, Ryan picked 92 and won, one more truck and I think Leanne would have won.

Not sure what the quilt shop count was - probably between 20 and 30 shops.

Two thirds of this flight is done. The entertainment system seems to be down. It doesn't bother me that I can't see shows as I have shows on my iPad but there seems to be no power and so the iPad is nearly out of battery. I should just make Melbourne and hopefully be able to recharge there. The flight has been bumpy, nothing serious but regular bumps.

Poor Ryan looks like he has to start work Tuesday afternoon. I am off work till Friday. Not looking forward to going back but will get use to it quick enough. I am told that two fellow radio room staff, both in their fifties, have dyed their hair black. That should be good for a laugh, what are they thinking? Rayls will probably go to her sewing group on Tuesday afternoon.


Landed at Melbourne Airport on time. Immigration and Customs went as good as you can expect.

Bags are a pain, so many of them but we got them to the domestic terminal where the Qantas staff were terrific in sorting out the bags for Perth.

Security was easy enough and then we sat in the Food Hall for an hour or so. $3.60 for one Krispy Kreme Donut, You could get 6 Shipleys for that price in Texas and Sipleys are much fresher.

About two hours before the flight to Perth QF777 - we moved to the gate mainly so we can access some power for the computer, iPhone and iPad.