Right now, I'm watching my kids run (and I do mean run) around an empty airport in Hervey Bay, Australia. It's not a big airport, and there are no flights for the next 2 hours. There hasn't been a departure in over an hour, so we've had the place to ourselves since then. It's surprising how many places kids can find to hide in an empty airport, and there's no one to mind the shrieks that come from the being found part of Hiding Seek (as B3 calls it). I'm sure there are others here somewhere, but we're the only in-transit passengers. The gift shop, information center, and snack counter have all been locked up until later this afternoon.
And so, our Australian adventure begins. We left Singapore yesterday morning and flew to Sydney. It was an uneventful trip, and we spent the night in an airport hotel before continuing on to Hervey Bay from Sydney this morning. Trying to get our two to sleep was a challenge, so I challenged them to The Quiet Game. The winner got first dibs on the iPad for today's flight, and I actually thought it would work. Unfortunately, only one chile grasped the concept, and the other shrieked, "The quietest gets the iPad first!" over and over and over.
We're en route to Lady Elliott Island in the Great Barrier Reef, but we're stuck here in this tiny airport until our afternoon flight to the island. If it's anything like the brochure, it will be a memorable two days of snorkeling and beach fun. It's turtle nesting season, and I so hope we get to see them. Swimming with a sea turtle would be a fantastic introduction to The Reef!
So far, our Australian experience has been good. The shuttle to and from our airport hotel in Sydney was waiting on us when we needed it, so that saved us from waiting with two energetic kids. We got to the airport extra early this morning to give us plenty of time to find the luggage storage counter since we couldn't bring all of our bags with us on this little side trip (our plane to Lady Elliott Island promises to me small and scary!).
That "plenty of time" turned into just enough as I realized that I didn't have my wedding rings on when we were storing our bags. Ben threw some Australian dollars at me as I raced to find a cab to take me back to the hotel. They were right where I had left them, and I returned to find the rest of the family eating breakfast. Whew.
The people watching is better than I imagined. Of course, airports are always good for watching, but this has been fantastic. We even spotted The Tooth Fairy! Of course, I chased her through ticketing to take her picture. (photo coming soon)
We're going to spend the next 2 weeks touring around a little corner of Australia, and we're excited about what's to come. Honestly, we haven't done the best job of planning our activities; we were lucky to find accommodations along the route we planned. We waited until November to really start making plans, and it's peak tourist season here in the Australian Summertime. Still, we're sure to have a grand adventure! Who knows how much (free) Internet we will find, but i hope to post as I can. I suppose that's one benefit of being stuck in an empty airport; there's no one to hog the wi-fi!