UpsideBackwards Around The World

Pearl and I fled the country on Wednesday.  We are on a Big Trip, not quite around the world, but to the other side and back again.  It’s a big deal for both of us, although we are both already fairly well-travelled; for me, because of leaving the little ones at home with The Dad, and for Pearl because she gets lots of Mummy-time in new(ish) places and because she doesn’t remember most of her earlier travels.

Our first leg was also our longest: New Zealand to the east coast of the USA.  Hello, Washington DC!  We are lucky enough to have friends here who will put up with us and put us up.  It’s lovely to be staying with people in their home, part of the family, rather than in impersonal hotels and fending for ourselves.

Stars & Stripes - photo by Pearl

The trip was relatively uneventful.  Our flights were quite bumpy, but nothing too alarming.  The long flight to Los Angeles was made easier by individual entertainment systems allowing movies and tv on demand.  Pearl watched three movies!  The timing was awkward, we left at 1pm, so weren’t tired until we had been on the plane for several hours, and then had “breakfast” served at what felt like 10 or 11pm, just a couple of hours before we landed and had to face Customs & Immigration at LAX.

I was anxious about a 3-hour layover, thinking it might not be enough time based on previous experience.  But we were out of the international terminal within an hour, and walked to our next terminal.  There we discovered a phenomenally long queue to get through security.  We could see the line snaking around the mezzanine floor, and marvelled at it.  Then we realised that the end of the line was on the ground floor, and out the door.  We went out to find the back of it, and walked about 100m to find it!  But it did move very quickly, and within about 40 minutes we were waiting at our gate, plenty of time to spare.

In Washington our friends were waiting for us, and we were whisked around the Beltway and home for dinner and bed.  (You can tell how much your friends really like you by their willingness to meet you and drive you home on the Beltway at rush-hour.)

This morning we woke (I woke at 4am, jetlagged after the 27-hour trip, but Pearl slept quite late!) and went for a walk through the neighbourhood.  Pearl eagerly took photos of every unfamiliar thing – Canada geese (with goslings!), trees we don’t see at home, flowers on the roundabout…  She is missing three weeks of school for this trip, so her “homework” is to blog about it on the school web.  Primary school has changed a lot since my day!  I might reproduce-with-permission some of her blog posts as we go along.

Canada geese and Canada goslings!

Roundabout (or traffic circle, if you prefer) - photo by Pearl

This afternoon we had the most marvellous time.  We met Stimey and Whymommy!  Jean (Stimey) was kind enough to invite us to her house, and Susan (Whymommy) met us there.  Pearl was fascinated by Jean’s pet mice, and loved playing with her children’s toys.  A bowl of goldfish crackers went down well too.

Susan and I cracked up when Jean brought out afternoon tea – along with some cookies, there was a bowl of kiwifruit!  I hadn’t met either of these wonderful women before, but we have blogged together and emailed and tweeted, and we just settled into conversation as if we had all known each other for years.  It was the most amazing feeling.  Susan described us perfectly as “best friends who’d never met”.

We have talked with The Dad, Fainjin and Babess through the miracle of webcams and internet, and they seem to be doing well.  Being able to see and talk to them does make being away a lot easier emotionally.  I hope The Dad will put up a few guest posts in the next couple of weeks so I can keep up with their cute sayings and doings.

Now – time to sleep.  I just have to convince myself it’s 10pm, not 2pm…

trees - photo by Pearl

© UpsideBackwards 2011.


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5 Responses to “UpsideBackwards Around The World”

  1. leechbabe Says:

    Wow that sounds so amazing. I’m incredibly envious and hope you have a fantastic time 🙂

  2. Sunday Says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you got to meet Jean and Susan. How long are you going to be in the DC area? I live just a hop, skip, and a jump north in Baltimore!

  3. Stimey Says:

    It was FABULOUS to meet you and Pearl. I’m so glad you included us on your trip. May the rest be just as wonderful!

  4. Susan / @WhyMommy Says:

    Awesome! We had a GREAT time with you and hope to meet up again! Woot!

  5. Magpie Says:

    I think *everyone* is fascinated bt Jean’s pet mice. 🙂

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