Australia, South Africa · 21 Days · 43 Moments · June 2016

Emma-Jane's trip to Australia

16 July 2016

And I knew her from conference already. And favour in that we were on the earliest 8:25 to CT TOGETHER! Other people are only going home at 13:00 today. Can you imagine? Then the fun begins.. Go down for coffee and breakfast this morning... Then head down to airport. Our details said Qantas, and because sleep deprived, didn't think much further. Walk all the way there to be told to go to terminal B for SAA... So we run. Get there. Rene needs to wrap bags. Get to counter and they say check in has closed. I prayed my heart out and they opened the gates for us. Run and push through security and are the last to board. I had to leave my hand luggage to go through to carousel because no more space on plane. I had to take out laptop and forgot my camera is in there too. Lord, please protect it. I was the last to get on the plane. After cabin crew and after the unattended minors. Cannot wait to land. Cannot wait . Brad is fetching me.
I was told to run down (far!) to Qantas, be put off the 20:15 flight (which I had missed and wasn't actually on) and then to run back to SAA to hopefully get a spot on the 21:00. So that's what we did. Run run beg plead. Try keep composure. But, they were unrelenting in the fact the flight was full. I knew "my Sydney crowd" was at the Qantas desk, and that as long as I was with Rene, I would survive until morning. Lee and Jono HAD to get on that 21:00 flight. No matter what... Else we would have to pay. So, Jono was somewhere, Lee handed me to Rene, and off she went. Next thing I get a message from her that no sight of Jono, and that she had a fight with a guy because he had to check in her hand luggage because too big??? What. She was crying. I kept starting to cry but told myself to keep it together until I got to my hotel room. Which took forever to eventually get to. There was about 12 of us who could only get flights the next day. Favour in the fact Rene was also stuck...
It's 9:10 on the 16 July. Could easily start crying because A: exhausted. B: grateful for favour. C: just been reading The Sisterhood and that has some overwhelming stories in it. Last night was a whirlwind so better get ink to paper (or phone) before the details leave my mind forever. Our flight landed late. It was obvious we were going to miss our 18:45 flight. We were told to collect baggage and that ground staff would help us get onto the next connecting flight. So ... We wait. All of us in a queue all wanting the same thing. Nobody was telling us anything , and all of us were trusting that they knew about us and we would be helped in due time. Eventually we get (push?) to the counter and are told that the flights are boarding and we should be upstairs. Hello? Picture 30 people running to boarding gates. We get there quite fast to be told that "Emma should have been on the 20:15 flight and Lee and Jono will be on the 21:00 flight to CT" . They couldn't just move me....

15 July 2016

Things I've learnt: ask questions. What works in one airport, might not be the same in the other. Stay calm, and polite but push your way to finding stuff out. There is always going to be someone in a worse situation than you. Smile through the struggles and look at it as an adventure... But push for Plan A when possible. Pray first always .
So, our flight to Joburg finally left at 1PM. They had to do some electrical work as the pilot didn't want to take the plane across the ocean 😂 can you deal? We got a 15 dollar meal voucher for the wait. I had sushi. Finally boarded and left almost straight away. I've watched flights of the Concords, Eddie the Eagle and now Zoolander. Found a tuck box! Tim tams, socks, tooth brushes and other fun stuff. It's 8PM Sydney Time and noon CT time. Haven't slept yet. Not sure if I should try. Have about 6 hours to go. Hopefully we can still make our flight to CT on time. Eek! Have to clear customs and fetch bag.... That flight leaves at 18:45 . Please lord!
Up at 5AM and out the door at 5:30AM. Caught the tram to our street and then we walked to the bus station for Skybus. All went well. Really nice man helped us and got us onto an earlier flight to Sydney. Now waiting for our flight to Joburg. Delayed. Obvs . Grrr

14 July 2016

We woke up at 8:30. Ran to MCG and The Blockdagon . Had breakfast at MisterZen. I had 10 dollar scrambled eggs on toast. Ram somewhere else... Made our way to the Ibis Hotel, got ready for the day and then got onto the free tourist circular tram. Walked around. Found Hosier Lane . Had a cola slushie at Fed Square. Continued walking around and eventually had dinner at Subways. Was really good. Then back to hotel to pack. Slept in airplane clothes for early wake up. Not a great sleep. Kept waking up .

13 July 2016

So we tried to get an uber but there was nowhere for them to stop do the guy cancelled , and we were too close for taxis to want to help us 😂 so we walked and walked with all our luggage . Lee's phone died , so no google maps or chance of getting an uber in a less busy street. Made it to the Ibis Hotel eventually at about 5PM the straight to market on the tram. I had a Roo Burger. Was great.
Flight was delayed by 2 hours... So after 7 hours of "being on our way to Melbourne" we are finally here and on the Skybus to the city, where our apartment is. Chiara and her friend are there and have been waiting for ages.
We're on our way! To Melbourne. Sharon lifted us to station , train to Wynyard and then to Domestic. Relatively easy even with luggage . The guy weighed my carry on and it was overweight. Can you deal? So put everything in pack back and walked around the corner to put it back into my carry on bag. Then, Lee had scissors in her bag but didn't know it , so her stuff got picked apart and scanned a million times (more like 3). I have a banana in my bag.. Pretty sure we aren't allowed to take fruit even through domestic flights. Hahah!

12 July 2016

All the fun! Watson Bay, ferry to Circular Quay, walked to Lindt Cafe and then to the 360 degree restaurant, and then a train / bus home ... Had to walk home from bus stop but wasn't long. Now packing up - leaving for Melbs tomorrow morning.
Today is our last full day in Sydney. We're in the car on our way to drop Dirk's car off. Thank heavens for it, we've saved quite a bit of money and time having it. Tolls are expensive especially near the city. Jeepers. Today we are going to the Lindt Cafe, sunset up the tower, catch a ferry, and say goodbye to Elizabeth, Caroline and James.

11 July 2016

Woke up ... Parked car at Spit and walked to Manly. Had lunch and coffee along the way. Walked around manly shops, along the beach and back. Lee and Jono caught bus back to the car and I stayed waiting for Gareth to fetch me. We went to his house, I met his girlfriend , had a beer and then headed for dinner at the Ivanoe Hotel.... He dropped me at home in Gordon afterwards. Hooray! I'm glad that worked out .

10 July 2016

Yesterday we woke up late ish and went to Ikea for lunch and then came home and I read and napped the day away. Perfection

9 July 2016

Woke up late. Had lunch at Carolyn and met Elizabeth Lily Elvin. Such a beautiful baby. Then walked down and up Oxford Street , and Centennial Park before making our way to the rugby. Had dinner at an Irish pub before. Hurricanes vs Waratahs. Hurricanes won. It was cold, and rained a little but could have been a lot worse.

8 July 2016

The last day of conference was great. Big dreams for Young Adults. Went to the YA masterclass with Ben and Harrison Little, and to How to read your bible for life and meaning.

7 July 2016

Thursday! Erwin McManus preached this morning. Bethel let first session of worship. I did leadership hour with Casey Treat and Erwin. Amazing. Didn't get into 2nd master class so watched the band rehearse for the evening. Was cool. They work hard. Christine Caine preached in the evening. Brought me to tears .... About all the people in the bible looking foolish to start, and then God moved.

6 July 2016

Jeepers what a day. Morning session was amazing. I cried in almost every sphere session. So many incredible speakers. Loved it all. The evening session was fantastic... "As for me and my house we will serve the lord" song. Jeepers , flawed me. So much to take in. In our break we did our grocery shopping and grabbed a coffee. So grateful to be going home, in a CAR, to a magnificent house. So lovely to be placed in a room with a view of just the trees. Such favour. So many notes taken tonight - can't wait to go through them again.

5 July 2016

Had mc Donald's last night. Was our third night of having take aways. I had a feeling it wouldn't do any good. Not used to eating take aways never mind 3 days in a row. Woke up at 5:50 this morning with the worst cramps . Felt awful.... Got to the bathroom and had some water. Had a cold sweat and then over heated . Threw up my water . Got back into bed and felt fine... But then got cramps every now and again. Fell back to sleep again. Weird start to the day. Excited for day 2 of conference. Hope I'm not too cold. Elizabeth Lily Elvin was born this morning. Yay!!
Moving from Bronte into a huge house day today. Carolyn seemed to go into labor this morning. Took bus // train // train to Gordon where Sharon fetched us. Amazing house with better views. Met Joe and Nathan at central station , platform 19. Night one was amazing. Brian Houston spoke

4 July 2016

Fun day! Got the zoo pass back. Praise the lord!!

3 July 2016

Took the 6:34 bus to Bondi Junction , train to central station and then taking train to Parramatta where we'll get onto a Hillsong Bus to The Hills service at 9AM. Early start!

2 July 2016

So turns out the RSL needs identification which I was the only one not carrying my passport on me and couldn't give identification so... We caught a bus from Bondi "up the hill" and "nowhere near Bronte" and then ran/walked the rest of the way until Bronte beach where we saw the 440 bus which passes our road. Insane! Dark, in boots with backpacks, running in the suburbs. Then we got my passport and decided to rather run back to the RSL north Bondi because it would be quicker than waiting for a bus etc. hysterical. We got really far and then we saw a taxi and got a lift the rest of the way
Started day with a little sleep in , then a run to Coogee and a walk back. Had to Boulder over some rocks to get there. Scenic route. Took our first train today. And first ferry to Taronga Zoo. Fun! I lost the cards we had borrowed . Eek! Mission. Sorry everyone. Hopefully will all be sorted and found. Please Lord! Taking bus back to Bondi Junction and going to James' rugby club to watch the rugby and have dinner. I think. I'm exhausted. Card situation was/is pretty stressful.

1 July 2016

Did the hop on and hop off bus tour. Went to Paddy's market in china town . Saw the opera house again. Had Starbucks. Lee's phone died so we didn't have google maps to find the restaurant we were meeting The Elvin's at. Found the road using our map and then used mc Donald's wifi to find the restaurant street number. Got there eventually. Had yummy Thai food. Carolyn chose a number of dishes that we shared. Went to Gelto Messina before getting into an uber and going home. We did 24900 steps during the day. Jeepers
Ran from our apartment to Bondi Beach where we met Beags for coffee and sunrise. So good.

30 June 2016

Woke up at 6:10. Left for Tullamarine airport at 7PM. Was quite sad saying goodbye to Oly and Michelle. Meh. We were late for check in and had to be called to front of queue. Eek. Was a bit stressful. Flight was quick. Nodded off for a bit. Carolyn fetched us and took us for a coffee and walk around Bondi Beach, then to her temp apartment. Theeeen... To our apartment before going to Bondi Junction for groceries. We got home, unpacked and then Carolyn fetched us for dinner. Had a variety of food (and red wine) at a restaurant next to opera house. So spoilt. Popped in at their new house where we were going to stay. Home by 9ish and now ready to sleep. Have a run in the morning to wake up for.

29 June 2016

Stopped at a random table on the road and had our picnic lunch, egg mayo sandwiches. Then we went to Elwood beach and saw the city skyline. Was really cool.
Went to this aboriginal sanctuary. A man lived there and made these mad sculptures out of clay. He died in 1993.
We went to Sky High in Dandegon . Saw the city from there and Mark treated us to a hot drink. Was nice and toasty with a fire in the restaurant. Had a picture at the wishing tree and Jackson made a wish in the well.
Started the day with a run to Eastland mall and back. Cool to see the fun art on the walls and in the mall. Would have loved to look around the mall.

28 June 2016

Had steak on the barbie. Was great steak. Mark bought a kilo of chocolate from the factory today. Was good.
Went to Healesville Sanctuary to see the koalas and kangaroos. Saw a Tasmanian Devil and some other cool animals I hadn't seen before. We got there at about 11 and left quite late and headed to the chocolate factory. Yum! You could take little spoon fulls of chocolate chip tasters. Has cookies and cream ice cream for 4.8 dollars. Was a good day. Chiara, Joe and Sam joined too. I'm exhausted now.
First run in Aus ✔️ went for a 4K with Lee and Jono. Just followed the road that they live on. Was so cold to start. Eek. Must wear more layers next time.

27 June 2016

Hooray for family! Haven't seen Oly and Michelle in years and haven't met either of their kids until today. Harry is the cutest little baby and Jackson is a hoot. Chilled out for the afternoon , and then Brad joined us for dinner. So good to be in a bed. Staying at 136A Wonga Road Ringwood North . About 40 minutes from where Chi and Brad stay.
Chi and I shared fish and chips at Schnapps by the pier. Cute little place .
Took a walk down the Main Street and went to Centro. .. Then we stopped at Mount Martha Beach. Cute little colour houses. Felt the water - not as cold as Noordhoek. On way to see Stu and Sams house now.

26 June 2016

All the FH people! Chiara, Brad and Joe found us at the baggage claims. Didn't expect them to be there. I cried (almost ugly) when i said hello to Chiara. Was a long drive back to their house. I have a bed in the lounge, chocolates and a water bottle. So cool. She also gave me a notebook for Aus trip and is lending me her Polaroid camera for the trip. So grateful!
At last! We popped out the airport to "see Sydney" and then back inside to check in, and catch a bus to airplane. Watched Flight of the Concords.. Gets funnier each time. Had a yummy Thai chicken noodle dinner. So close to seeing Chiara!!
Very long flight from OR Tambo to Sydney. I managed to sleep quite a bit.. For 5/10 minutes at time. Listened to lots of music and used my eye mask. Worked a charm. Because the flight was delayed, we missed our flight to Melbourne so they gave us the next one out which was at 6PM. Cleared customs easily. Friendly and fun people so far. Grateful for favour throughout this whole trip.

25 June 2016

Walked around looking for Dale's giraffe , played Bananagrams and I had a waffle. Longest wait . Feels like we have been here for days. Flight delayed . Only leaving at 20:00.
Got to airport. Woop! Checked in. Weren't able to do anything about seats but hopefully at Joburg we can. Said goodbye to the kids and parents... All happy and okay. No tears! Had a snack on the plane. Excited to get to OR Tambo airport as haven't been there before. Praying for the best travel experience and that nobody gets sick or sits next to any sniffers.
Left for airport at 10:30. Donna is driving The Holgates car home. Jon made breakfast this morning. Woop! Excited. IT'S TODAY!