Originally published 9 August 2013.
Have you ever lost an entire day? Perhaps you slept through it. Perhaps you forgot to tear a day off your calendar. You may have simply wanted to forget a day, or make one speed up. Or perhaps, like Steve and me, you lost it somewhere over the Pacific. Yes… the International Date Line strikes again!
International Date Line: noun.
1. “a theoretical line following approximately the 180th meridian” [that’s the 180th latitude line if you look at a globe], “the regions to the east of which are counted as being one day earlier in their calendar dates than the regions to the west” — Dictionary.com app.
Mysterious as the Bermuda triangle, this International Date Line is a source of consternation for some. (What day is it? What time is it? What? I’m so sleepy!) For me, crossing this date line takes me back, way back, to the beginning of my travel obsession. My first dateline crossing adventure was my 2006 summer teaching trip to Japan at 20 years old. Now, to celebrate my big 28, I get to go back to where it all started… To tomorrow!
My very handsome and generous boyfriend, Steve, wanted to get me something great for this birthday. But this man does not like to shop. Much to my delight, however, he does like to travel! So he suggested a trip to the one place I’ve wanted to go as long as I can remember. Australia! So not only is he helping me outsmart that International Date Line, he taking me to a whole new hemisphere, a land of kangaroos and koalas and platypuses and wallabies and Vegemite and the Great Barrier Reef! I’m so excited I could spit!
What’s also fun about traveling with Steve is that he often gets upgraded from economy to business class—which is an exciting land of free food, amenities kits, and spacious “lay flat” seats! Yes, it was obvious to everyone that this was my first time in Business Class!
Now down to the nitty gritty. Here’s our flight itinerary: IAD-LAX-SYD
We were delayed at Dulles (IAD) for about an hour, but once we got on our way, we were set. It’s about a five hour flight from IAD to LAX, where we were supposed to have a 2 hour and 15 minute layover—plenty of time, even with a delay. While in the air, I got to see lightning in the clouds, the longest and most beautiful sunset that God could possibly allow August 7 to produce, read a bit, listen to a church podcast, AND started this blog. My fingers have been aching to blog about this trip for months now!
The bulk of our journey took place over the Pacific—approximately 14.5 hours! My trip to Japan was 14 hours, so this Australian adventure is officially my new flight record. Because Steve got us bumped up to Business Class, we got personal, large TVs with movies, TV, games, music, and other entertainment options. The “lay-flat” seats were as much like a bed as we could get, and we got LOADS of food and more than enough room around us. I’ve never flown in style quite like this before!
So, what does one do on a plane for 14.5 hours? Well, one might watch Disney’s Mulan, part of Nicolas Sparks’ Safe Haven, read, charge one’s phone, eat, sleep (thank goodness for melatonin!), watch the plane on the little animated map, be wished “happy birthday” by one’s handsome boyfriend (kiss included), fill out paperwork to enter the country, eat breakfast, have caffeinated coffee for the first time in many months (who’s getting excited!), and blog. See? There’s plenty to do to keep busy on the plane!
So, what’s the plan when we land?
Well, first things first—customs! Customs are a bit different everywhere I’ve been, and even Steve doesn’t remember what happens in what order from the last time he visited Sydney! Once we cleared customs, we’ll head to the hotel, possibly by taxi or public transport, leave our stuff with the front desk (we won’t be able to check into our rooms until 2:00 pm), and head out for the day! We have a 9:00 am tour scheduled at the Sydney Opera House—hooray!—so we will probably go straight there from the hotel. Steve and I have been planning this for three months now. I can’t believe it’s finally time!
So, we left on August 7 and Arrived on August 9–my birthday! Sorry, August 8, we’ll have to catch you next year! Please join me for this momentous and long-awaited Down Under adventure! Happy 28th to me!