For those of you who haven’t read my last blog post, I’m currently on summer vacation! Weird isn’t it, considering it’s nearly Christmas? Anyways, despite the fact that I have been out of school for almost a month now, I’ve been busier than ever with visitors from the US! My first visitor was a fellow Badger from my hometown in New Jersey. We spent ten days seeing everything in and around Sydney. We did everything a typical tourist would do and more. It was an exciting ten days, but at the same time it was really nothing new for me. I was doing the same things I’ve been doing all semester. What made it exciting was sharing it with someone from home.
The day after my friend left, my sister arrived! Now, this is where things start getting interesting. My sister was only in Australia for eight days, so we planned to spend the first four days in Melbourne and the last four in Sydney. On the day she arrived, I was meant to meet her at the airport and then we would go to the domestic terminal together to catch our flight to Melbourne, booked three hours after her arrival to Sydney. In hindsight, it was a little silly to book our flight just three hours after her arrival, but in all our excitement, we didn’t take into consideration that there might be a delay on her flight to Sydney. Well, there was. And my sister missed our flight to Melbourne. Oops.
After being reassured by several different United Airlines concierges in Los Angeles that she would be put on a separate flight to Melbourne, my sister told me to go ahead and get on our originally planned flight and then wait at the Melbourne airport for her to arrive on one of the later flights. Easy enough, right? WRONG. After arriving in Sydney (by which time I was already in Melbourne), my sister called to tell me she couldn’t get put on a flight until the NEXT DAY. Needless to say, we were freaking out. There I was in the Melbourne airport awaiting my sister’s arrival, only to find out that she was stuck in Sydney all alone! After a couple breakdowns and a lot of deliberation, I emailed her directions back to my apartment in Sydney for the night (my roommates were still around to let me know she made it there, thank god). After spending one night apart in two different cities, we FINALLY reunited at around 3pm the next day. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see anyone in my life!
Since I had been to Melbourne earlier in the semester, the trip wasn’t really anything new for me, but it was nice to be able to share the city with my sister. We spent the next couple days getting lost in alleyways full of cafes and street art, exploring the nearby beaches, and of course getting soaked in rain, as Melbourne seems to be under a constant cover of clouds. Despite the rain, it was an amazing weekend and reminded me again why Melbourne is one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to.
I guess it was too much to expect the trip to end on a perfect note, with a smooth one-hour flight back to Sydney. We ran into the biggest travelling mess I have ever experienced, and this time it was entirely our fault. Because our flight back to Sydney was in the afternoon, my sister and I decided to spend our last day in Melbourne taking a tour of the Parliament building before heading to the airport. Unfortunately, due to our amazing tour guide, the tour ran a good 30 minutes longer than planned. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. We missed our flight by just a smidge. Again, oops.
As our flight was the last of the day for the airline we were flying with, our only options were to take a flight the next day, book a flight with a new airline (and spend around $350, yikes), or rent a car for $250. As we didn’t have enough money to stay another night in Melbourne or book a flight with another airline, we decided to rent a car at 2pm and drive 8 hours home. I repeat, 8 HOURS. However, what started as the biggest travelling mess I’ve ever dealt with turned into an impromptu road trip during which I made the memories of a lifetime. Stay tuned for more!