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Sunday, May 1, 2011

The last few days, plus more of our travelogue...

As you can gather from my post about the Royal wedding, DH and I are well and truly home again! We've been home 5 days now and we're well and truly back into the all the routines. I don't mean that in a negative way's great to be going about all those everyday things. Wednesday was a flurry of unpacking and sorting out all those gifts we bought for family and friends. I've also been working my way through the house giving all those weeks' worth of dust the 'flick'! We've had a steady stream of visitors and best of all...homecooked meals again!
On Thursday I went into work to access a website which I couldn't do from home. My employers, the state government are offering some packages and as I'm still on leave and not officially retired, I 'threw my hat in the ring' and applied. People at my classification will go to the bottom of the list so I may not be successful but DH and I thought it was worth a try. Being at work for an hour or so made me realise how special my work mates are and it also made me realise how glad I'm not there working any more! (it's the pressure and the constant testing of the students that has disillusioned me)
Tonight DH and I went to the Gold Class cinema and saw 'Arthur'. I thoroughly enjoyed it; lots of laughs, but also pathos. My brother gave me a Gold Class Gift card for my birthday nearly 12 months ago. We had to use the card in the next week before it expired. The trouble has been that there are limited choices of film in Gold Class and there hasn't been a film that both of us wanted to see.
Now the travelogue has only gone as far as Washington DC, so let us move on a bit...

On Friday April 15, DH and I drove from Washington DC to New York City. The speeding traffic on the freeways was well and truly ‘freaking out’ DH by this stage and we tried to use some of the smaller roads and we went through some charming communities.

We took 'smaller' roads which went through charming towns and verdant countryside
Nearing Baltimore we found that there wasn’t that much alternative and we navigated some really big, wide and fast moving freeways as we skirted around this huge city on the ‘Baltimore Beltway’. We came off the freeway system and stopped at a big shopping centre at Towson. It was a Westfield! We had a cup of coffee and also did a bit of shopping. There was a Pandora shop there and I went in to inquire the price of the murano glass beads as they had recently gone up in price in Australia. With tax included they were still $7 less than in Australia so my generous DH bought me a new bead as an early birthday present. My watch had stopped the day before so we took the opportunity at Towson to get a new battery for it.
Heading towards the New Jersey Turnpike

The Verrazano Narrows bridge in New York

Another view of the Verrazano bridge showing the 2 tiers of road

The traffic we met as we neared the Coney Island turnoff.

Then we headed back to the freeway to continue the journey to New York. We made very good time getting to the outskirts of NYC and we were excited that perhaps we’d have time to see another Broadway show...wrong! The traffic was unbelieveably ‘bad’! It took us hours to get to our hotel near the JFK airport and when we finally arrived we found we were quite a distance from the subway. So admitting defeat, we went for dinner a little way from the hotel and then settled for the night. One good thing was that the trip to the airport the next morning was very quick. DH dropped the luggage and yours truly at the airport and then returned our car, the Hyundai Tucson, a nice car. The porters at JFK airport were wonderful. I was on my own with a mountain of luggage; 4 suitcases, 1 overnight bag, a backpack, a laptop in a satchel, 2 big coats, a large cloth bag and my handbag. A porter took the check in luggage, plus the print out of our boarding passes and ID and did all that was necessary to get the luggage checked in while I stayed with the carry on things and waited for DH to come back. ( Yes I did remember to tip him and I gave him an extra $5 we saved as we didn’t need to get a trolley as the porters had their own!)
It seemed like DH was gone for ages...he had to take the car about 2 miles away and he then came back to the terminal on the free driverless train. The flight out of NYC started with a very rough take off. The bad weather had been moving south and as we left the city had a few days of stormy weather. At LAX, our luggage was almost the first out on the carousel which is most unusual! Lol Then we caught the shuttle from the car hire company to their office to pick up our third and last car...a small Chevy!!  Then we set off on the freeway to Bruce’s cousin’s place in Huntington Beach. After a few hiccups with being in the wrong lane and not being able to change lanes safely we arrived at Adrienne’s place to a warm welcome and a lovely home-cooked dinner.

Just inside the front doors of our Huntington Beach accomodation! lol

A striking piece of art work in the front garden

The BBQ area with the violinist sculpture in the foreground

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