Off to Oz land!

August 28: Today was a long travel day, with nothing on the news except stories about Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.  The TV ran non-stop in the Red Carpet Club at O’Hare… but who am I to complain? I got to relax, drink cappuccinos, and have access to the Internet at the Red Carpet Club… Ah, the comfort to which I’ve become accustomed!

The flight from Lansing to Chicago left and arrived on-time… one leg down.  It was strange – a bit surreal – to press the “yes” button when the kiosk asked “Are you flying to Sydney, Australia?”  Yep! For 3.5 months!

UAL itinerary confirmation


Two bags checked – 26 and 37.5 pounds each (I could’ve packed more!), guessed accurately by the counter agent, BTW – and two carry-ons, including lunar samples.  And away I went through Security.  Long day at O’Hare, but I didn’t mind because it wasn’t crazy today – all the cancellations were to/from the East Coast.  I like to walk the halls and watch people. I caught up on my reading and enjoyed some previews of “Real Housewives of New Jersey”.  Yeah, I know, but what’s a girl to do when she’s finished reading the latest issue of “Physics Today”?  Right?

August 30: Arrived in Sydney with only a minor delay out of LAX.  Business Class seating and a sleeper seat totally made up for it!  Thanks again, Dad, you 2-million-mile flyer, you!  🙂

In the cockpit of the 747 that took me to Australia


We arrived under cloudy skies, but I was still able to glimpse the ground of the next continent I will now be able to explore.

First view of Australia from the plane.


Getting through Customs was really easy and my bags were some of the first off of the carousel. I then got on a bus for a 3-hour ride to Canberra, where I was met by my ANU host, Marc Norman. He drove me around the city a bit – showed me ANU and my office and Mount Ainslie, which gave me a good view of some of Canberra and where I’ll be staying in Reid.  Campus is about a 1/2-hour walk to the right in the picture.

View of Parliament, the ANZAC Parade Memorial, and Reid (yellow arrow)