Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Home Sandy Home

We finally got home after nearly 10 weeks away but not without a delay. The record sandstorm in Sydney prevented us from landing as scheduled, so we had to re-route to Melbourne to get more fuel. After about an hour's wait, we were cleared to leave, getting into Sydney 3 1/2 hours late.

We had a great little episode in Melbourne. The pilot had refueled and had everyone stay on board so we could leave as soon as he had clearance to get into Sydney, which was backed up with all the morning's flight. The crew was doing their best at improvising what to do with such an unexpected addition to their work day when we all heard the engines rev as they do before takeoff.

Oops. Looks like the captain forgot to tell the crew we were actually getting ready to go airborne again. One attendant chased down a little girl who was screaming that she didn't want to sit down. A couple of others seemed to be running up and down the aisles to make sure the seat belts were on and the doors secure. And, as we were already rumbling down the runway one very brave soul ran to shut an overhead bin door that had popped open. He didn't even have time to get back to the crew seats but grabbed an empty passenger spot just before the wheels left the ground.

Well, it turned what had been a fairly boring hour's wait into quite an exciting minute, proving that an action-packed ending can make up for lots of dull preamble.

We missed the spectacular views of the dust storm, but once home we saw what it had done. A thin - and sometimes thick - layer of sand covered almost everything outside. Inside, Caroline had left us a spotless house and a great casserole of Syrian chicken. Nothing to do inside the house and a yummy meal. She's a star.

We're both winding down tonight and can only hope that we sleep through and end up more or less on Sydney time. Vacation's over. Tomorrow there's stuff to be done.

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