Thursday, August 23, 2012

Australia Trip, Part 5

After arriving back at our accommodation very late, I bounced myself out of bed around 5 a.m. because we had a flight at around 9 a.m., and my stuff was in disarray. I hustled us out the door around 7, to C's amusement, because we had called for a taxi, driven to the airport, checked in, and made it to the gate by 7:35. Let's call it amusement.

I was highly impressed by my airport experience! We got out at the airport and wandered in the door, up to some small kiosks. We put in our confirmation numbers, I chose a new seat (I had a window away from C, but I got the last aisle), and out came our destination stickers. We put them on ourselves and rolled over to this other little thing where we scanned our boarding passes (I think), plopped the bags on the conveyor belt, and whoosh, there they went. Security was nostalgic; nothing out, nothing off, just an x-ray and a metal detector. And, no, I don't feel that there needed to be anything else.

We settled in at the gate and I went to find breakfast, a delicious coffee and a muffin. I did not have any of these items:

C recently sent me some pictures of Lego vending machines in Germany. I think that's nifty too, though I'm always up for a game of eat the baby.

At last, we boarded our flight for Cairns. This was where I sort of finally got my mental reset; a large tour group of American senior citizens was on board as well, and I sat next to two of them. The wife was quite loud and annoyed by everything, including the food (she wanted to know what a tortellini was, as if it were something made up simply to stump her). Her husband took a chance on the butter chicken, as did I, but I knew what I was getting into. (It was delicious.) I wish she'd given me her mango ice cream, also delicious, instead of sneering at the weirdo fruit on the lid and handing it off. I watched The Help for the rest of the flight for a distraction.

Cairns is a jumping off point for all sorts of rainforest and snorkeling adventures, and I seem to remember it being an international entry point for a lot of flyers from Asia. We collected our bags and got a taxi to town; it's touristy, sort of spring-break-y touristy, to me. We dropped off our things at the Sebel Cairns, and if I'd been thinking, I'd have signed up to go to the spa right then. But we thought we'd have a little walk around, get checked in when our room was ready, and have some pool time.

I was really underdressed for this lobby.

Some greenery. Below, some greenery on the outside of another hotel.

The marina. Lots of tours, from river tours to Great Barrier Reef snorkeling, left from here. If we'd hustled straight out to the docks, we might have been able to catch some. It wasn't on our agenda, though, and later turned out to be a lucky thing!

Having a Coke. I'd tell you the restaurant where we had that, some samosas, and some spring rolls (and some other thing I've forgotten) but I can't figure out where we were. After a bit more strolling and a quick stop to pick up some snacks, we headed back to the hotel, thinking we'd have some pool time. Pool time, to me, is deck chairs, sun umbrellas, and someone to bring you drinks and snacks. I don't know if any of that was on offer, but it was a nice idea. We got checked in, to these views:

I think it was prettier in person--greener, more touchable, more present. It was also more humid; if you didn't leave the air on and the door closed, you had a steam room!

As it turned out, C wasn't feeling too well that afternoon, so we sat on the balcony and ate Pringles (yes, yes we did) and read books and I think took naps until we felt better. And then we wandered out to find some dinner, and as we did, it started to do a torrential rain sort of thing.

Yeah, like that.

We weren't really sure what we wanted, and now we were sopping wet, and I thought to pass up some local food offerings with a plan to try later (I really wanted to, er, eat the native fauna and flora, but wasn't spruced up enough to go in anywhere that cost $75 a person), and eventually, we just went back to the hotel and got room service. Mmm, fish and chips.

And then we went to bed, because in the morning, we had another tour!

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