We have made it to that most magical of moments: Sunshine beers at the airport. The wonderful thing about sunshine beers, is that you are in such a good mood, it doesn’t really matter how poor the choice of brews is at the bar. Sure, I’ll have a Blue Moon, even! (But thank God they actually had a Brooklyn Lager).
So we’re sitting pretty at JFK, on the way to Down Under. But things weren’t always so rosy. Oh no, not at all. I offer the following exhibits:
The Lyft driver (whom I had booked the previous day), showed up in a Chevy Suburban (a fucking h u g e car in case you didn’t know) and kind of stopped before he got to our driveway. Hmm. I brought out the luggage and waved to him. He wouldn’t come down. So I trotted up to the entrance and began to smile as I approached, all charm. The driver, who looked like an angry bulldog, was having none of it.
"You think you going to JFK with all that luggage? If I show up in a normal car, where it gonna go?"
"Well, the car we ordered is for four people, and there are two of us. We have two suitcases that would fit in the …"
"No, you should have ordered an XL!" He cut me off. "You are not going to JFK like this!" Sort of like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.
He looked at me as though he’d just seen me punch an old lady in the face.
"OK, I’ll do whatever, I just need to go to the airport."
"Not with me you’re not!" And with that, he drove off down the street.
Did you know I have some Romany Gypsy blood? I immediately applied a simple curse in his general direction. He will for sure already have suffered not one but two flat tyres by the time you read this.
Anyway, we managed to convince another Lyft driver to pick us up, and he was very nice.
We’re trundling along nicely down the I78, when Vanessa turns to me, ashen faced.
"Oh God!" She says.
"I think our flight is going to Sydney!"
(We are going to Melbourne!)
"What?!" I am basically speechless.
After the longest thirty seconds ever, she figured out that the PLANE we are taking to LA is going ON to Sydney. While we will change flights and go to Melbourne. Hopefully. Early days still and all that…
We rock up to the check-in counter. The Quantas lady asks for our passports. Vanessa hands them over and we stand there, waiting for the next instruction. Instead of an instruction, there comes a question:
"Do you have any other passports?"
"These passports don’t have a visa to go to Australia…"
WE NEED A VISA TO GO TO AUSTRALIA?!?!?!!
To cut a long story short, this turned out not to be one of those "spend all day at the Australian consulate" visas. In fact, it was just a sly money-grab of $50 per person, then we were on our way. But for a few seconds we thought it was curtains! (Well, with my UK passport, I thought I might be ok...but Vanessa? Game over, surely?! Turns out neither were any bloody use)
As we walked toward security, I said to Vanessa, "Well, now that the Australians have robbed us of $100, there’s no money for Sunshine beers. We’ll just have to sit at the gate and read a book."
She gave me a look. It’s funny how she always gets her way.
02/29? Where have you gone?
Missed a day in our lives 😳
Meeting my nephew Charlie 😍😍
A bar on the bridge