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OVER THE RAINBOW

8 September 2003

That little house I've been whirling around the sky in for the past 33 hours has finally landed (not on any witch, fortunately), and I am finally in Oz.

After spending an eternity in Singapore, I was finally able to get back on the plane (oh joy) for the next five hours. By that time I was too excited to actually be approaching Australia and couldn't concentrate on a movie (also, this plane did not have "movies on demand" the way the previous one did, so if you missed the beginning, you had to come in on the middle). I watched the time to landing count down from 4 hrs 23 minutes....3 hrs 10 minutes...and so on.

It was a great thrill when Australia finally came into view. I wasn't sure we'd see it, there was such cloud cover, but the clouds parted and there it was, the north coast of Australia, with red, red dirt and crystal blue water.

I watched the coast as we flew down until a bit south of Shark Bay (where we will beheaded next week), the clouds started to come in and it was pretty much cloudy all the rest of the way.

There were four international planes that had landed within a few minutes of each other and it was a total zoo at immigration. It was like standing in line for a popular ride at Disneyland--only with more crying babies.

Once you got through the immigration clearance, then you had to go through customs declaration (after the suitcase had been collected). You must declare any food or medicines that you bring in and since I had four boxes of See's candies, some Jelly Bellies, and my blood pressure medication, I had to stand in a line that stretched forever, snaking around all the luggage carousels.

But when they saw how little I had, they shuttled me through a bit easier (after a 20 or so wait) and then I was finally free.

Peggy was waiting for me, and we got to the car and home just before the skies opened up and a monsoon descended. It's supposed to be raining off and on for the next four days. I have to admit that I did like the cozy feeling of being indoors with the rain pouring outside. Besides, I'm too exhausted to do anything but listen to the rain anyway.

So I'm here and tomorrow I hope to start looking at some of the photos I took en route, and getting some posted.

But for now I'm going to catch up on that sleep I didn't get on the way here.


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