Day one – The Journey to Las Vegas

Finally the day had arrived and it was time for final packing and saying goodbye to all the puppies (giving Bailey an extra special cuddle – just in case – 5 weeks at his age is a long time).

Around 1pm we set off for the airport. We had a quick stop at the chemist (Kevin had a last minute medication he wanted to pick up) and then his office (my new Pela phone case had arrived), before heading up the expressway to Sydney. Christy was kind enough to drop us off. We didn’t realize it was her first time driving in Sydney. She did great.

Since we had received our points upgrade to Business Class we were able to head to that check-in desk, which had no line. Then it was time to farewell our new luggage and hope it makes it safely to Dallas.

Even though we could use “express lane” for business class, there was practically no wait for immigration – it was the quietest I’ve ever seen it, and security was equally as empty (though it’s never fast !!). Kevin did a quick stop (again no line/wait) to claim back some duty before we headed up to Qantas Club. Which is where we found ALL the people. Once again we had to sit at the more dumpy end of the lounge, and even share a table. We’d had a light lunch of potatoes at home, so just had another small meal/second lunch. I had some vegetable fried rice and Kevin had a curry & rice. While waiting Kevin was doing some work and I ended up editing the last “at home” vlog.

Finally shortly before 5pm we got our boarding call and made our way to the gate, excited to see our accommodations for the next 15 hours. And we were not disappointed. This was our first time experiencing the newer capsule type seats.

As you can see we had SO MUCH space. What a treat !!! Having fibromyaglia I so appreciate having space to put my legs up and be comfortable. They even give out pajamas, though I opted to stay in my travel outfit.

We departed shortly after 5.30pm and even though we didn’t have a window seat, we could still see out pretty well since this plane has much larger windows than normal – they are also self tinting (instead of having shades).

Kevin was quick to put his pajamas on shortly after take off

Before take off we had been offered champagne or sparkly water (we declined) but once up in the air and underway the food/drink service really began. I read for a bit and listened to some music (including the new album by The Comfort), and wrote up some notes for our trip, but I was really tired and struggling to stay awake.

My meal was amazing. Soup, salad and potato bake with other veggies. All plant based (and options on the “normal” menu). I was quite relieved as last time we got upgraded my vegan meal request didn’t follow me and the air stewards had to rustle up something for me (though they did a great job). It’s amazing how much things have changed in a few short years.

Funnily enough I didn’t even make it to dessert, as I was falling asleep sitting in my seat. In fact I had to be woken up for the main course :-). I quickly made up the bed (it’s super easy to do yourself), got settled with my eye mask and head phones, and was promptly asleep. I slept for a good 8 hours I believe – thanks to being able to lie flat and have a pillow. Kevin also slept really well (which is unheard of for him on a plane). I felt so much more refreshed when I woke up and was actually able to do some reading.

Before we knew it we were landing in Dallas. And came face to face with the HUGE crowds (thanks Thanksgiving) to get through immigation. At first we thought we were in the clear since the line seemed to be for Americans and Canadians, but then we discovered the other line out the other side. It honestly looked like we’d be waiting around 2 hours, and I was already feeling a bit sore. Since my fibro wouldn’t really let me stand for 2 hours Kevin went to find a wheelchair that I could sit in while in the line. But no, the man Kevin found insisted on taking us out of the line, and past ALL the people waiting, up to the special area for people in wheelchairs. Though we felt guilty we were somewhat relieved. And honestly I’d much prefer to not have fibro (and constant pain) and be capable of waiting in lines.

We then picked up our luggage and followed the signs for connecting flights. We checked into our American Airlines flights and again said goodbye to our luggage.

We had a few hours at Dallas/Fort Worth airport before our flight to Las Vegas so we stopped first at Starbucks (of course), where I was thrilled to discover I could get my fav. Dragon Drink. While we were there I recieved a message from the Wyndham Desert Blue to say we had been “downgraded” from a one bedroom apartment to a studio. Now one of the main reasons we chose to stay here (again) is because of the full kitchen. The studio only has a microwave. We contacted them, but they said we had to contact, since that’s who we booked with. They were great and said they’d look into it.

After our drinks we bought a meal (dinner I think) from Subway, and some lollies for Kevin, before taking a seat at our gate to wait for a our flight.

No photos but they had some seats with leg rests, which I took full advantage of, while enjoying my wrap from subway (which was the first thing I’d eaten since dinner last night). We also saw our first Golden of the trip, which was just coming off the plane we were getting on.

At 6.30pm it was time to board, ready for our 7pm departure. It was dark now (not sure when that happened) and raining.

On this flight we had exit row seats so a good bit more leg room than normal. No food is served or available to buy (so glad we’d had dinner earlier). I read for most of this flight (though I still flighting dozing off). I took the window seat this trip so I could see our arrival into Vegas (since we’d never flown in at nighttime before). It was cool seeing all the buildings on the strip. I’m always surprised at how close to the airport it is.

Thankfully, here it’s just a matter of disembarking the plane, walking to the tram, catching that to a different terminal and then walking to baggage claim. Our luggage came out fairly quickly and we then walked to the Uber/Lyft pick up area and got our ride to the Rio All- Suites (which had been suggested by as alternative accomodation for us.

And here is where our day/s really went off course – there was a HUGE line for check-in.

Kevin was a sweetie and while he got in the line, I sat down to wait. Unfortunately this place has a casino, and reception is right beside it, so you have to deal with all the smoke in the area, not to mention the noise. I was getting pretty stressed and grumpy and Kevin suggested my headphones to help with the noise, but it was actually playing my music that really helped. Almost 2 hours later we had the keys to our room. Poor Kevin was now in pain and had sore eyes and a headache from the smoke. While waiting I’d been reading some no so good reviews and also discovered there was NO kitchen here and not even a microwave or kettle !!! At this point it was past 10pm local time and Kevin and I were both over it.

Now the room is actually pretty decent and if it was what we’d planned for we’d be very happy since it is nice and large. I was in a lot of pain and just wanted to get a snack (which we went down to the shop to get) and hop into bed. It was after 12am when we both went to sleep. But you’ll be happy to know the bed is super comfortable and we had a really good sleep.

Queenstown – Part 4

It was my final morning in Queenstown.

We went for a cruise on the lake as that was something Kevin hadn’t done before. It was such a gorgeous day for it and we were able to sit outside and really enjoy it.

The Remarkables

It was such a lovely way to spend my last morning in Queenstown. After the cruise we went back to the room and collected my luggage before heading to the airport. Kevin stayed and had lunch with me, then I went through to Qantas Club and he headed back to the room.

Thankfully I had a window seat for the flight as we once again had stunning views of Queenstown and the surrounding area on the way home.

Glenorchy and the Dart River
Hello again Sydney

Queenstown – Part 3

I admit it’s been quite some time since I returned home from Queenstown but I wanted to finish sharing photos of this special trip.

For the last two day it was the weekend so I was able to spend the days with Kevin. On Saturday we drove out to Glenorchy. The views were incredible and we were constantly stopping, getting out of the car, and taking photos.

Now there isn’t too much at Glenorchy but we spent quite a while exploring Mrs Wooly’s General Store. The old (non-minimalist) me could have bought quite a bit here. But I just bought a sloppy joe (don’t have one) and some pies for lunch.

After lunch we had a little wander around and watched the local swans before heading to Dart River Cruises.

for out jet boat tour. This was awesome and so much fun. To be out on the water (on such a gorgeous day) surrounded by majestic mountains, was such a memorable experience.

After the jetboat ride we had a short walk through the forest before one final stop on the bus ride back to Glenorchy.

Isn’t this just picture perfection? No wonder so much of Lord of the Rings was filmed around here.

To see more of the day be sure to check out my vlog :

A Day in my Life – 14th March, 2016

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a day in my life blog post but I love seeing how my life has changed over the years (though these days it’s not necessarily for the better!!).

Being early March, my day started with catching up on what happened during the Iditarod overnight. It’s due to finish tomorrow night and is getting rather exciting.


Then it’s time to watch the cycling.


Since I was up early this morning I was able to see some of the lovely sunrise, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling good enough to head out on a walk.


Athena and Kevin have headed up to Sydney for their driving test so I hung out the washing when it was ready.



I also had some breakfast, but I’m a bit out of practice with taking photos for blogging, so forget to get a pic. Athena, however, remembered to send me a pic :-).


After having a shower I worked on a vlog.


Nan & Pop offered to take Athena out for lunch to celebrate getting their Ps, so just after 12pm we headed into Wollongong. I haven’t been down that end of town for a while and was amazed at all the building that is going on.


When we got to the Indian place, it was closed, so Thee’s second choice was Thai.


Yet, again, bad on the photography front, but I did remember to get my meal, which was delicious.



After lunch Thee headed off to meet a friend, and I returned home with Nan & Pop, to two very excited pups.


Didn’t get much done for the remainder of the afternoon, but I did bring in the washing.


And go pick up Christy from school.


Time for the dogs to have their heartworm & flea/tick treatments.


With Athena going out for dinner, I decided to make Nachos for dinner, but it turns out that neither Kevin or I were that hungry and we unable to finish our bowls.


We watched some documentaries – this was “A walk through history” with Tony Robbins.


Then it was time to get the kitchen all clean and tidy and head up to bed to do some reading.