This photo of us before our flight to Sydney proves a point about how careful we have been about packing – that is everything that we are taking on this flight in the photo. It includes one large roller duffel (under 50 lbs) and a small backpack for each family member. There is also the car seat (which we will probably get rid of after Australia) and one extra shoulder bag. The amazing thing is that this includes a small unicycle, 7 juggling clubs, 3 machetes, 11 juggling balls, a water filter and lots of vitamins. In addition, the kid’s bags are mainly filled with small toys and games.
We were all a little anxious about the flight to Sydney from Honolulu – it was a 9+ hour flight – the longest the family had ever been on. Meta realized on the bumpy trip to Honolulu that she does not do well on long flights with turbulence. We managed to get four seats together and the flight we were on had televisions in the back of every seat. This is one of the side benefits of a Waldorf education – since the kids get so little time with a television they are totally absorbed during their brief interactions with it. They were glued to the things for most of the flight, which made it go by quite quickly. A couple glasses of wine and some fun neighbors and everyone seemed to fair quite well.
In fact, one of our airplane neighbors were a nice Australian couple – they offered for us to stay at their place for a night on our way up to the Thora Valley – typical of Australian hospitality. We most likely will take them up on it.
One of the oddities of traveling to Australia is that you cross the equator as well as the International Date Line. This means that over the course of the trip you change to a different season (Spring here vs. late Fall in the states) and lose a day as well (we left on Tuesday morning and arrived on Wednesday evening). The actual jet lag involved is not huge (only 4 hours time difference between Sydney and Hawaii) but it is strange to lose a day. According to the onboard navigation system (my favorite channel on the plane) we crossed right over the intersection of the date line and the equator.