Rick and Ann Brown's Travel Adventures travel blog

Savannah Airport Departing to Australia

Arriving in Australia

Left the hotel for the airport in two vehicles, since we had 9 very large pieces of luggage we needed two. Our flight was to leave from Savannah at 3 PM for Atlanta, so we went to the airport around 12:30 to give us plenty of time to check in all the luggage and grab some lunch before leaving. We arrived at the outside check in and met a very helpful young man with Delta airlines who assisted us with the 9 big suitcases. His arms were very big from working out but by the time he finished putting our luggage on the carry buggy, he was out of breath. This is just to give you an idea of the size of these puppies... We had to check in, inside because of the excess baggage, but the same nice guy took us to the first class line and put us in line, bypassing the two-hour line on the other side... The ticket agent again, a super guy, helped us with all this mess and checked our baggage through to Townsville, Australia. We prayed our luggage would arrive when we did, what are the chances...???? By this time we were very hungry, so off to Cheers we went for a glass of wine and a sandwich. Place was packed and took us a long time, when we finished we hurried to our gate. Looked at the board, plane delayed due to weather in Atlanta..... We sat, and sat, and sat. Finally left Savannah at 4:30 PM, knowing we were probably going to miss our connecting flight, we had made arrangements for another but kept the first one in Atlanta just in case. We got to Atlanta, ran to the next flight, they had just shut the doors, could not make it. Of course our other plane was at the other end of the world in the Atlanta airport and now we were getting close to boarding time with it. So off we ran to catch the plane. We made it in the nick of time.. Got aboard for our 4-hour flight to LAX. We were scheduled to have a 4 1/2 hour lay over in LA, but now our time had dwindled to 2 ½. Strong head winds we arrived late!! Had to go to the international terminal at LAX which is 100 miles from where we came in, well it seemed that far.

Got there, thought we had ample time, got in line.......long line..... Qantus airlines ticket agent was Asian, and very funny. Wanted to chat with us about moving to Australia, by this time it was 1 AM our time, we were not chatty, but tried to go with the flow.... Finally got through the ticketing process, now off to the gate.. Wow time was gone, we have to hurry again!

Made it to the OTHER end of the international terminal, boarding is about to begin. We are running on adrenalin by now. Boarded the Qantus 747 LongReach aircraft and proceeded to the upper deck, business class section. Wow what an experience. If you have never flown business class in one of these planes, you will be amazed at my story. It is now almost 2 AM our time and the flight attendants show us our seats, we just gape. Big leather electric reclining chairs with enough space to let Micheal Jordon stretch out. Your own private TV comes out of the armrest along with your own reading light over your shoulder.

They started out passing out drinks, anything you wanted, by now all we wanted was sleep but we drank a lot of water, as was the prescribed method of dealing with long flights. Next came the blankets, and big fluffy pillows, then the little kits with socks, eye masks, tooth paste, brushes etc. We take off, we are still trying to figure out how to operate the seats, foot rests, and adjustable head rests and so on when they came around to take our order for dinner. mahi, mahi, steak, or chicken. Sounded wonderful but we were zonked, we took a sleeping pill and fell into a deep sleep for the next 10 hours of our 14 hour flight time to Sydney. When we awoke, we were over the Pacific Ocean somewhere between Hawaii and Sydney. Actually on our little TV's we could chart our progress, time, altitude and airspeed. Of course, this fascinated Rick and he watched our progress. We still had 3 hours to go and it was 3 AM Australia time. The plane began to awaken and the flight attendants came around with hot towels, coffee and juice and some sort of vitamin energizer drink, that was wonderful. We were feeling pretty good, and thought this jet lag thing is overrated. We then were fed a delicious breakfast, I have never had a two course breakfast before, and great hot steamy coffee. We now have about another hour to Sydney and we watch one of the several first run movies offered on our little TV. It is still dark when we start our decent into Sydney and the lights are beautiful then day breaks and we can see Sydney harbor. It is like it was planned for us to have the most fantastic view of the water and Sydney lights possible. It was awe inspiring to say the least. We landed, hauled our two carry on pieces out of the plane and on to Immigration. We have about a 3 ½ hour lay over so NO WORRIES, Immigration is a big room with lines of people the size of a foot ball stadium for the Jets. We wait but it moves quickly. On board the plane before we landed the "Qantas Service Manager", came around and helped us fill out an express Immigration card, so we breezed right through.. Then on to collect our LUGGAGE for customs inspection. We have to collect it ourselves and take it through customs. We find two big luggage carriers, and Rick manhandles these monsters onto the carts. We throw our carry ons atop and off we go to customs, which of course is several MILES away, not really but seemed so. Rick and I pull up to the customs agent, he looks at all that luggage, and us and waves us through. Sends us on to the Quantas check in counter, to check in once again. This is again several MILES away, and being the putz that I am, I am pushing and pushing and having a terrible time, Rick looks at me an says " You might want to release the break" Well it was all down hill from there. Jet lag took over. We made it through the check in, got on the bus to the domestic terminal and rode another several MILES. Got to the Quantas terminal and went directly to the Quantas Club. What a concept, hot showers, great coffee and breakfast, big easy chairs, and a business center to email all our friends. We relaxed for about an hour took a shower, felt human again but we were kidding ourselves. The jet lag was lurking just behind us. Then boarded our next flight to Brisbane, another hour in the air. Breakfast again......wow, now we are beginning to feel the lag. Short stop in Brisbane and on to the next leg to Townsville, two more hours. We were fading fast, by now we had been traveling for over 30 hours and even with sleep we were beginning to feel really, really tired. We finally reached Townsville, and a group of people that Rick knows from previous assignments, and that we have been talking to on line, greeted us at the gate with a big welcome sign. And guess what...our luggage arrived with us.

Townsville is very small looking from the air, the airport outside of town is rather dismal and small and I didn't know quite what to think, then we drove into town and on to our hotel. This is most probably the most beautiful place I have ever been or seen. It is just like the post cards, sets on the Coral Sea and is lush tropical. Our new friends helped us to the hotel, and we looked out our 18th floor window at the most beautiful blue water and view I have seen in a long time. It was nightly night time. We Jet Lagged out... slept for 12 hours. Stay tuned for more updates.

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