The headline on this blog item is a quote from my lovely wife. It’s her sweet way of saying that I screwed up.
The good news is that we got to spend an extra day enjoying Melbourne. The bad news is that we got to spend that extra day because I completely messed up our reservations. I thought our flight back to Adelaide was at 9:30 a.m. Unfortunately, we didn’t learn that until we arrived at the airport at 7:00 a.m. that I had actually made reservations for 9:30 p.m.
We checked out of our hotel at 6:30 in the morning and arrived at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport almost fourteen-and-a-half hours before our flight was actually scheduled to depart.
That left us with two options: (1) Sit at the airport for fourteen hours, or (2) Have a fun day in Melbourne.
We chose door number two, grabbed a cab back to the same hotel from which we had just checked out. The desk clerk gave us a “Didn’t you just check out” double take before asking if he could help me.
I explained our situation and asked if it was possible to check in again and go back to the same room we had just checked out of.
Luckily, the manager was there and he just laughed about the whole thing and said, “Sure. And I can give you a 4:00 check out time.”
We returned to our room, crawled between our already rumpled sheets and slept for a few hours to make up for early hour of our earlier wake-up call. Then we headed out to enjoy a day in Melbourne.
We window shopped, dined at Il Forno on the Degraves street restaurant enclave, and did some major league people watching.
We had the longest, most leisurely lunch of our lives. We noshed slowly. We sipped our coffee and tea as if we had nine hours to kill. Oh, wait. We did have nine hours to kill.
Our waitress tried to talk us into ordering Italian desserts, but we ended up buying gelato a few stores down the alley. It was cold and rainy, and we didn’t want to eat our ice cream out in the elements, so we walked back to Il Forno to ask if we could sit down again and eat our ice creams under their umbrella and heater.
“Not unless you buy two more coffees,” our waitress purred politely.
Ahhhhh, what would be better than chocolate ice cream and steaming hot coffee on a rainy afternoon in Melbourne?
Absolutely nothing. We had so much fun.
The crowds finally began to thin out around five o’clock, making the people watching far less interesting, so we headed back to our hotel, sat down in the empty bar, and ordered hot teas.
Eventually it was time to head back to the airport to catch our original 9:25 p.m. flight. We retreived our bags out of the hotel’s storage area and hailed a cab for our third ride to and from the airport that day.
Soon after we arrived, they announced that boarding would be delayed an additional 45 minutes because of weather. So instead of leaving for Adelaide at 9:30, we would now be leaving at 10:15.
Then, when we finally landed in Adelaide, there was nowhere for our plane to park, so we sat out on the taxiway for an additional fifteen minutes. We finally disembarked at about 11:15.
But by the time we found our car in the long term parking lot and got on the road, it was past midnight. We were exhausted and didn’t feel like driving the dark, dangerous country road between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley.
So we rented a hotel room in Adelaide, caught a few hours sleep for the second night in a row, then got up and drove back to Angaston, arriving about 24 hours later than we were supposed to.
Damn good thing that Dame Edna was funny.
Because they trip wasn’t.