Category Archives: Trips & Travelling

Los Angeles. Qantas. And the Hollywood sign.

So here I sit, in the lounge, waiting for my flight to board. Wishing I could stay, but happy to be going home.
My second but better look at the great city of Los Angeles showed me a sprawling mass of suburbs, high rise, trees and many freeways snaking their way through hills and valleys, criss crossing the city in rows and clover loops.
I must say, I actually quite liked what I saw this time round.

As we taxied round the buildings I saw my first sight that home was close. The vision of the flying kangaroo very nearly brought tears to my eyes. But a grin to be sure.

Arriving in LA via domestic flight and leaving through International is a much easier way to do this. I actually enjoyed the experience of going through security this time (a story for another time there).

And so far, have not heard any Australian accents. Hmm, wonder how many are returning home like me? Should be a few, our ride is the Airbus A380.
And the Hollywood sign? I saw it as we flew over, from a distance granted, but there was no mistaking what it was.

It is Saturday evening US time, and I will arrive early Monday morning Aus time. Not sure where Sunday figures in. It disappears when I cross the IDL over the Pacific.

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Waiting with my friends in Portland.

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Los Angeles from above.

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And that would be my plane.

Catch you when I’m back in the land under.
Jen

Is it really that time already?

Wow, how the time has flown! It’s Halloween already which means one more sleep and I board the first of 3 planes for my trip home. The long haul of 27 hours from Portland, Or, USA to Hobart, Tas, Australia.

My two + weeks have been the most incredible I’ve ever experienced. I’ve seen some of the world’s infamous sights – Grand Canyon, Sedona, Mt St Helens – and some of the most beautiful country side, rugged coastline and I can’t forget the stunning colours as the trees change.

I’ve eaten new foods – or new combinations – driven on the wrong side of the road – quite the strangest experience I’ve had for some time – been called British on several times – not an issue at all – and being drilled about all things Australian – from my friend’s husband mainly – christened myself ‘the gift shop queen’ and amused a new friend with my ‘fancy selfies’

The last three days have been very long, and very busy. Long times in the car, some bad coffee, lots of laughing and the destination becoming the journey. Or was it that the journey became the destination?
Either way, good times with my friend, her husband and sister.

One day I’m on top of a mountain, the next I’m attending my friends wedding.
The next week, I’m in the snow on top of a lava flow, while the following day finds me standing on the beach in front of the Pacific.
And just over a week before I’m wearing shorts and getting a tan in 30C heat in the desert surrounded by cactus.

I have hundreds of photos to go through and if I get time to look at them properly now, I will spam your inbox with numerous posts. If not, then when I get home and find my head space, as I’ll be hitting the ground running.
For now, please enjoy a few shots of my latest little adventures.

Did you say volcano? Yes I did!

Today was another long one, with a trip to see one of America’s and indeed the world’s, famous volcanos.
Mt St Helens.
The drive there took us through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve seen in a long time, and the changing colours of Autumn made it even more spectacular. The colours here are so much richer and vibrant than we have at home in Australia, or at least where I live, and are just magical to look at.
As we climbed in elevation the scenery changed to that of desolation and devastation but one coming back full of re growth and life.
Each time we stopped for photos the air was a few degrees cooler, and become increasingly sharper as we approached the end of our drive.
We were talking about the valley below, and a waterfall across the valley when I saw peeking through the clouds my first glimpse of the iconic mountain. To say my reaction was excited is putting it mildly. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Check it out, although there is not much to see, it blew my mind. To be right there, to see something so majestic and is the best feeling.
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From that point, around each corner almost was another view, another chance to see the mountain, covered in snow, and looking resplendent.
Right at the end of the road was Windy Ridge Lookout which I climbed while my friends stayed in the car (they had done this before) and it was cold. Like biting winds that went right through you and put colour in your cheeks, freezing your fingers.
By the time I got back to the car park my head was spinning from the altitude (and excitement) and my throat was sore from the cold air, but four layers and a thick scarf meant I was toasty warm otherwise. The wind was strong enough to notice. but not so I had to brace myself against it.
Let me tell you, there is nothing like the biting cold and being in such a place to make you really feel alive. The grin on my face at the top was the result. I was in heaven.
And I got there right in time. As I was finishing taking my pictures, the cloud came in low, smothering the mountain.

So much has happened since Sedona, Az.

It’s been 3 days since I left Arizona and my last post here, but it feels like a lifetime already. We spent a lot of time in Seattle – a beautiful city I could imagine myself living in. After a lovely seafood lunch right on the water, a visit to the Space Needle was a must (actually, that was my idea, I really wanted to visit) and the view was amazing, the city was green and an eclectic mix of old and new.

Monday us girls went and did some retail therapy – you will see the results of that one day when I get home. And today, Tuesday, us girls went on a road trip up the gorge and checked out some of the most amazing scenery and waterfalls ever. Parts of the trip reminded me of home, which is not surprising. Oregon is about the same latitude as Tassie. It’s kind of a same same but different scenario.

Here are a few pictures of what’s been happening, and hopefully I’ll be able to post again soon.

My last day in Arizona

It’s that time again. Packing the bags ready to board another plane and head north west to Seattle, Washington. The laundry is done, photos cleared from the camera onto USB for organisation purposes, postcards posted and journal open for writing. I have a lot to put down – the last 3 days. Grand Canyon trip, Sedona and today’s Sunrise Trailhead hike or as I like to say Cactus Hill.
The hike may only be 2 miles or just over 4k but it is such a good workout, some flat spots, some good climbing and steep areas. But the view you get from the top is totally worth it. You feel like you’re on top of the world.
I saved all my picture taking for the trip down so I could concentrate of the job at hand, seeing as it takes an hour, and we weren’t walking overly slowly.

After lunch we went into town and did some shopping, where I picked up some cool little souvenirs and then picking up the best hamburgers for dinner.
I am now obsessed with cactus and have my own little glass family of them to bring home. I love cactus!!
After dinner we took a walk to see the sunset which was incredible. The desert certainly knows how to do a sunset. Unfortunately I haven’t got any handy to prove exactly how good it was. Another day for sure.
And I’m including a picture of what kept me going on the trip back from the GC on Thursday, so I didn’t fall asleep in the car. Caffeine and chocolate!

I have an early flight and by lunch time will be with in Seattle ready for the next instalment.