A trans-Pacific odyssey

After many hours of travelling, I finally made it.

The flight from Canberra to Sydney was short and uneventful, as expected. Once I’d checked in for my flight to San Francisco, I grabbed a much needed coffee and bikkie—an Anzac seemed appropriate.


Despite my otherwise intentions, that’s the first and last photo I took while in transit. Apparently I was either too busy going through security, or just felt the whole experience was so soul-destroying that it didn’t warrant documenting. Oh well.

I had a few hours to kill in Sydney so I wandered the duty-free shops to check out the deals for when I fly back in (one litre Bombay Sapphire, here I come!). Then it was onto the plane—my first 747, and I was lucky enough to get an exit row! Helloooo, two metres of legroom. However despite books and magazines and audio books and movies and a laptop to play with, I still missed my knitting. Though I probably wouldn’t have had elbow room to knit, thanks to the huge guy beside me. I had decided not to sleep much (not that it would be easy for me anyway) but unfortunately my one hour of shut-eye was disturbed by shrill-voiced women who felt the need to talk right near my chair, and babies who chose that hour to start squawking, after twelve hours of adorable silence. Hmmm.

But I arrived in San Francisco in a relatively decent mood, and they let me into the country and everything. There was even a massage salon in the airport, but I didn’t have time for a pedicure before my next flight. Bugger.

Boarded my third (and final) plane, bound this time for Albuquerque. Again somehow luck was on my side and I was seated in the very front row of the plane, which meant a few precious extra centimetres of legroom. Bliss! However the lack of sleep and excess of travelling was catching up with me, and two or so hours in an aeroplane seat just seemed like too much to bear. But I got to Albuquerque, and I got on the shuttle bus to Santa Fe, and just over an hour later I was at my hotel. Having not slept for over 30 hours.

Overtiredness does strange things to your perception. My first glimpses of Santa Fe convinced me that it was an intimidating and outlandish place. Everyone I met seemed to watch me warily, as though expecting me to cover myself in peanut butter and break into song. (Of course, after ten hours of sleep and some decent food it was apparent that these impressions were a little hysterical. But a sleep-deprived person cannot be reasoned with. And it’s very likely that the only reason peanut-flavoured Gene Kelly didn’t happen was lack of energy.)

The hotel is gorgeous—somehow, again, luck was on my side and the el-cheapo conference special (less than a third of the rack rate!) meant I got a large and luxurious room. Just like a 4 star hotel at home, but bigger. And more Mexican.

The most pleasing thing was the huge bed


(Ten pillows. Ten!) but I was also delighted with the enclosed balcony


and the amusingly fussy presentation of the towels. It’s nice to think someone did all this to impress me.


I decided on room service for dinner (terribly decadent, but fit to mix with the general public I most certainly was not) and ended up with a massive serve of very tasty fajitas.


And they even had white wine from New Zealand. *insert satisfied sigh here*

Anyway, as I zonked out rather quickly after that, it seems appropriate to end here, and save the exploration of Santa Fe for a new post.


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2 Responses to “A trans-Pacific odyssey”

  1. Neil Thorpe or Big Daddy in USA Says:

    Hi, Chris.

    Comfort; Food; Beds … is there anything you think about other than bodily needs???

    Get your head out of hedonism and into experiencing life’s major purposes – some cerebral activity!!!

    Seriously, good to hear of your journey and the pictures are great.

    Looks like New Mexico and Santa Fe are a real mixture of “Tex Mex” culture. Sounds interesting.

    Let us know more about the talk you gave and the response you have received. I acknowledge this may not include pictures.



  2. Marg Thorpe Says:

    Hi Chrissie, Love the photos! Bet that bed looked so inviting after your long trip. pleased to hear from your text msg that your talk went so well. That must be a big relief for you, now you can relax and enjoy the conference and make useful contacts with people who may influence your future!
    By the way – my beeautiful wool, lovingly knitted, delicately patterned socks have arrived and adorn my tootsies! Thank You! They are just great, fit well and feel very cosy.

    Love ya

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