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50th Birthday Vacation in Australia—Day 5

I had somewhat of a restless night, as I had the alarm set for 8:00 to take care of that ridiculous toll road charge from Friday that had to be taken care of within 48 hours.

At about 6:38, I finally got up and called the rental car place, who just gave me the number of the toll company that handles charges for the M7. Connecting there, I was told that I could set up a temporary account, on the phone for $3.00 or online for $1.50. I got the number to their web site.

I showered and dressed and went down to the lobby to use the Internet, and opened up the temporary account online. So, now what happens is when the temporary account expires (on midnight tomorrow night), the charge for the toll on Friday will be charged to that account and hence on my credit card.

That's a lot of damn drama for one little toll charge. I'm just saying...



I spent about an hour-and-a-half catching up on my e-mail, having a quick instant message chat with Joe, and devising yesterday's blog entry, including choosing pictures, sizing them, uploading them to LiveJournal, and then inserting them into the blog entry. Tedious.



Before heading back up to the room at a little after 9:00, I asked about a local coffee shop or place to have a little breakfast with some coffee. "To the left out of the building, go down a few streets, turn right on Bridge, and up a few blocks to Phillips. The (temporary) Museum of Sydney is there, and there a few shops in that area."

Robert was showering when I got up to the room, and as soon as he was dressed and ready, we walked over to the museum area, where we found a nice little cafe associated with the museum, actually, and we ate alfresco: coffee, French Toast for Robert, and scrambled eggs and sausage for me.

Their sausages are interesting here. The sausage in the pastry that I had back in Katoomba was called a "herb sausage" and the one on this menu was described as, "veal and chives sausage." Robert thought it tasted a little "gamy," but I really liked it.

After breakfast, we stopped at the little Museum Gift Shop, where we found the cutest children's book for Amelia. I also bought a greeting card that made me laugh and that I'm going to hang on my refrigerator. It has a woman stretched out on a divan who's saying, "It's so involved being me."



Once we got back to the Westin, I took a 2-hour nap, while Robert used my laptop to see if his mother was available for an instant message chat, and to check his e-mail.

Once, I got up, I logged on for a while myself again, mostly to do final checks about our next destination, Seven Spirit Bay, as I'm quite sure we're not going to have Internet access for the next several days now.

I wanted to verify the maximum weight limit for our luggage, which is not much as we're being flown to the resort in a tiny, chartered plane. I also wanted to check the weather forecast, as since we have to pack so lightly, we only want to take what is absolutely necessary.

I sat in the bar to do this, as that's where there was a plug for my laptop, and where, as well, they really want you to order something. I asked if they had any frappes of any sort, and the cute waiter said, "No, but we have chocolate milkshakes."

I'm not fond of chocolate shakes, and while I was considering it, he added, "Or vanilla, or strawberry," to which I, MMMMMed," and then, the winning number when he said, "Or banana."

"MMMMMMMed, definitely the banana one," I said. I do love me some banana anything. What I didn't love was the $8.00 charge when I finally got my tab.



Since we're staying here at the Westin free on my Starwood points, a frequent stay program, we were allowed a late checkout of 4:00, which we really appreciated since our flight was not until 7:40 this evening.

I spent the last hour before we left writing out postcards.

We indeed checked out at 4:00, and with not much drama at all managed to get to the airport—the domestic terminal—as we're flying on Qantas as we jet around the continent these 10 days. We dropped off the rental car, and checked in with no problems.

Technology really is an amazing thing—when I think about sitting at my desk in my home on another continent, several months ago, making reservations on another country's web site, and fast forward four months, sliding my credit card in a kiosk, and seeing my reservation pop up. It really is something.



Since we had a three-hour wait for our flight to Darwin, we walked around the gate area a little, where we actually came across a Krispy Kreme doughnuts kiosk. We each had a glazed one. Robert had a "Flat White" (coffee) with his, and I had a "Fruit Sensation" from one of those health food / organic-type places. The fruits involved, in addition to the fruit drinking it, were: mangoes, strawberries, pineapples, and oranges.



While I worked on this blog entry, Robert roamed around the terminal, where he came across stamps for my postcards and bought me 15 of them. Post card stamps are $1.25 AUD here. I'm guessing that's a little over a $1 USD.

I finished writing out the three post cards I didn't finish in the room, and mailed them there at the airport. Cool beans.

Robert bought me a small soft-sided suitcase, which we'll use on the charter flight tomorrow morning—each bag has to be soft-sided and weigh no more than 22.5 pounds.



We had a 4.5-hour flight to Darwin, during which dinner was served. I chose the Chicken Currey, and Robert chose the Braised Beef.

I did some ENG 515 homework during the flight, and almost finished The Glass Castle.



Our two bags were the very last two to come out. We grabbed them and then hopped the 3-minute shuttle to the Darwin Airport Resort.

We got the room cooled down and repacked our bags to take the smaller ones with us in the morning. I also posted my ENG 515 homework to the class discussion board.

Ain't technology grand.

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