It’s been a while since I did one of these posts, but reminiscing on the flights to and from Australia had me inspired to do one of these.  They were that memorable, particularly the first one.  Middle seat, 15 hours, rude flight attendants, A/V system not working – it was a perfect storm of a flight.  Don’t believe me?  Read on…

I checked my phone’s United app again – just to see if anything changed.  It didn’t.

I grunted in frustration, prompting my husband to look up and say “huh?”

“No upgrades.  For either of us,” I responded.  My neck stiffened at the prospect of sitting upright for 15 hours.  A prospect that was soon turning into reality.

Leaving the luxurious confines of the United Club, we made our way to the gate.  And to the massive lines forming before gate G102.

“Excuse-me-pardon-me-excuse-pardon,” I muttered, making my way to Line 1.  While I wouldn’t be enjoying the confines of BusinessFirst, I could settle into my seat before the rest of the masses joined me.

We enter the plane, and my pace slows as I longingly gaze at the flatbeat seats, the personal TV units, and the trays of champagne and orange juice passed around to the exclusive cabin.  With a sigh, we make our way to row 26.

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Snapshots from Sydney

February 18, 2014

Oh, Sydney.  I couldn’t have asked to spend two weeks in a more beautiful place.  And with a third snowstorm in a week, I’m more than ready to go back.

And not just for the weather.

Sydney felt like a combination of the best bits of my favorite cities – a good amount of history, a strong cultural footprint, incredible food, pedestrian friendly, and incredible people.  I know understand the ardent response of “Oh, I LOOOOOVE Sydney!” from anyone who’s visited, and have a hard time understanding why anyone would leave.

We stayed at the Pier One (more to come!) in The Rocks – an up-and-coming neighborhood with spectacular water views, a booming restaurant scene, and a ton of history.  I spent the first week exploring the neighborhood – working from coffee shops and restaurants, trying a new place every day for lunch, and escaping the heat in galleries and the contemporary art museum.

I did venture out from our charming neighborhood, though.  We spent a hot Sunday afternoon in Potts Point and Wolloomooloo with Alicia, and wandered back to our hotel through the Botanical Gardens.  I ventured out to Manly Beach to meet up with an old mentor from my Cisco days, and spent the rest of the afternoon lying on a beach with a book.  I drank my weight in flat whites (sooooooooo good), feasted on fresh fish daily, and overindulged in TimTams.  An unapologetic red drinker, I almost exclusively drank white wine during the trip.  It was just so good.

Since our next trip will take us back to Sydney, I plan to do everything I didn’t get around to – a visit to Bondi Beach, window shopping in Paddington, surfing lessons in Manly, the Harbour Bridge Climb.  Weekend trips to Hunter Valley for wine tasting and Blue Mountains for hiking are also high on the list.

Upcoming posts will delve into the specifics “go eat here, go see this, go do this”, so keep your eyes peeled.  I hope you’re staying warm – and if you’re in Sydney (or some other warm place), go get some Vitamin D for me.  I’m huddled up in bed with my laptop, a pot of tea, and a sniffly nose.


Many writers have recommended their top items for surviving long flights.  I’m no exception.

But no one has written an honest post on how to survive those long flights.  In economy.  With no in-seat entertainment or power outlets.

It’s a bitch.

Especially when you’re on one of the longest flights in the world.

Before I hop into my tried-and-true tips on this highly requested topic, I need to be honest with you.

Your sleep will be restless.  Your muscles will ache.  Your skin will be dried out and you will feel disgusting as you deplane.  There is no magic pill for enjoying a long-haul flight in economy.  But I will teach you how to survive it.  Because, after all, you requested it.  And I aim to please.

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