Friday March 18th. Early in the morning.

I arrived at Adelaide airport with plenty of time to spare, my flight was at 8:40am.
I've found the waiting area for the correct departure gate for my flight.

I had chocolate, water, a book to read and some code cracker puzzles to do. You'd think they'd keep me occupied, but instead I kept looking out at the planes, watching the sky go from pre-dawn dark to daylight.
Wondering is it just me, or are these seats really that uncomfortable?

I've done several of the puzzles, watched a thousand people come and go, (no I didn't count them), and heard an announcement that my flight will be delayed by 40 minutes.
Something to do with weather conditions in Sydney.

By now, I desperately want a coffee, but I know coffee makes me pee and I really don't want to be stuck in a plane needing to pee.
Yes, I know, planes have toilets.....

As things panned out, even without the coffee, I did have to use the onboard facilities.
The tiny, cramped, elbow-bumping, (ouch), wait-in-line facilities.
Such is life.

Over Sydney, our landing is also delayed by about 45 minutes, so we circled slowly through heavy grey clouds and showery rain.

Several hours later.......I'm at my hotel, The Bayview Boulevard.
My room isn't ready yet, so I'm in the little cafe area in the corner, having a hot chocolate.

Mmmm, just what I needed.

While I waited, I noticed a group of young women by the reception desk all greeting each other, hugging, laughing, chatting.
They were so animated!
I was pretty sure they were fellow bloggers, but I was hesitant about going over and asking or even saying hello.
They seemed so connected, how could I break in and spoil their moment?
I suddenly felt very much out of place.
What was I doing there?
How would I ever be able to talk to anyone?
Without the comfort and safety of my home and the lovely anonymous internet?
I've looked forward to this for so I'm here.....sitting to one side.....geez, just like in high school.
Finally, my room is ready and I'm given a keycard with instructions on how to use it.
Everything works off the keycard.
Swipe it in the elevator, then select your floor.
Again in your room door to open it.
Once inside the room, the card needs to be inserted in the slot by the door to activate the lights, TV and aircon. At first I thought the card only needed to be swiped, but soon realised it needed to be left in the slot or nothing works.

I'm up on the 19th floor. My room is very nice, the bed is enormous,

there's a couple of chairs to sit in,

and the ensuite is bigger than my bathroom at home!

The views from the window are over the city, bay views are on the other side of the hotel.

Crown Street.

Over to the right.....

over to the left......

looking down.

And down again.

I've unpacked my bag, taken photos of the view and I'm wondering what to do next. I know I should leave the room and explore the hotel, find out where the Seasons Cafe is, where the conference room is, stuff like that, but I'm unable to leave. Imprisoned by my shyness.
I texted Kim, who texted back that she was on the 16th floor and I should come down and meet her.
Just the motivation I needed!
I knocked on her door and within seconds was enveloped in a huge warm hug. Thank heavens for Kim!!
She put me at my ease as we chatted a bit about cameras and computers, delayed flights and other stuff.
As soon as Kim was ready, she texted Kelley, who was way down on the 3rd floor and said we were coming down to meet her.
Kelley was desperate for a coffee and some fresh air, so we left the hotel and walked to a cafe on the next block where Kelley got her coffee and I had another hot chocolate.

Kim on the left, Kelley on the right.
Then back to the hotel for showers or naps until meeting again in the lobby at 6:30ish.
We three met up with Veronica, more hugs, Yay!, Tiff, Trish, (my little drummer boys), and Lee ( I don't know her blog yet, sorry), and before deciding where to go for dinner, we walked several blocks to another hotel where Kristin was staying after flying in from the USA.

clockwise left to right, Tiff, Kelley, Trish, Veronica, Kim

On the way to Kristin's hotel, we passed a couple of parks where hundreds of bats were flying from the parks towards the city. Not tiny bats like we have here in Adelaide, these were huge!
I tried to take a decent photo, but they were flying too fast.

At Kristin"s hotel there was a sponsored welcome party going on for her, so in we went, and met Lori, also Corrine and Eden whose blogs I don't know yet. But I will soon.....
Lori is so tiny, I didn't dare hug too tight in case she snapped like a twig!
Back at the Bayview for a quick facewash, then we met in the lobby again to go in search of dinner. I hadn't eaten since breakfast at 5am, (a chocolate bar doesn't count), so I was a bit hungry.........
We ended up at a Thai restaurant really close to the hotel, pushed a few tables together and met up with Zoey and (? I can't remember who she was...), and when we were almost finished eating, Bettina and Jayne walked in too.
I was soon lost in all the conversations going on, hearing only snippets of this and snippets of that. (I really must do something about getting a hearing aid).
Back in my room, I looked out at the cityscape to see the night lights.
Gold and silver from lit windows; red and green from traffic lights.
It's like Christmas!
To be continued......


  1. It was amazing to finally meet you! I really enjoyed that first night, I don't think I've laughed that hard for a while.

  2. Loving your take on the shenanigans, River!

  3. I second what Veronica said, it was lovely to meet you :). I look forward to reading part two

  4. For those of us who were there you inside view is just marvellous. Thank you so much. (and that bathroom looked bigger than mine too).

  5. Looks like you had a great time!

  6. Pretty hard to meet strangers like that isn't it. I've done it a couple of times. Photos are great, especially the city scape ones. The very tall building is apartments for the rich and famous in Kings Cross, or was. Once they heard each other in their respective bathrooms through very thin walls, it lost favour.

  7. River, Andrew is such a shy little crittur, Miss O'Dyne and I were so careful not to frighten him when we met. Loved the view, I'd have stayed there all day just looking out the window.

  8. Veronica; I'm so very glad I met you too. You're just exactly as I thought you'd be.

    Toni; part two tomorrow.

    Kim; You're the one I wanted to meet most of all. I just love you.

    Elephant's Child; I was so very much in love with the shower. I'm buying a new shower head on the weekend so I can replicate the experience here at home. Just without the marble tiling....

    no-one; I certainly did, but I was so very glad to get home again. I'm back in my comfort zone.

    Andrew; it is hard. I was fine right up until I got into my hotel room, then the shyness hit hard.

    JahTeh; I liked the view at night, but the daytime view was better from Kim's room. She had a view of the bridge. Andrew is shy??

  9. You were 2 floors above us with the same view, River, yes it was superb at night :)
    Loved meeting you at long last, we'll have to do something about having a sit down and natter over a cuppa tea in a nice quiet cafe/park or something :)

  10. Aww they got to meet you and I didnt Glad the weather didn't stop you but such a shame you didn't see Sydney in her sunny glory Interesting part of town that.

  11. was lovely meeting you too!!!!

  12. Jayne; so close and yet so far. It was really nice to meet you and B, next time we'll definitely make time for a cuppa.

    Baino; I thought about texting you, but I didn't have your number programmed into my phone.

    peskypixies; I've forgotten who you are....hangs head in shame...checking your blog right now!!

  13. Andrew is shy, but of course with Jah Teh around, the words edgewise and hard to get in come to mind.

  14. Gee, the bat in your photo looks every so much like a Stealth bomber.

  15. wow,thank you. I feel a little like a gatecrasher not having gone, being stuck in the UK sulking.

    You sound so much like I would have been and I too would have called upon Kim.

    The photo' and the views are incredible, although the one looking down reminded me I don't much like heights!

    All those links must have taken you ages and I have so many more blogs to go and have a look at thank you. With all that to do it probably means you will be relieved I will be busy doing that instead of writing comments here.

    I am looking forward to the next instalment and am so very pleased you had a great time.

  16. Hey, River! Lovely to meet you. The GOFA and I both enjoyed your company. There's a photo of the pair of you. If you email me your contact I'll send it over. Ironic that we didn't get a photo of the pair of us together that night. Next year, we'll get one with everyone!

  17. Andrew; I can see how that might be the case.

    Snowbrush; There were a dozen bats in the shot but by the time I clicked the shutter they were gone. If only I'd remembered how to set it for continuos shooting. I've never seen a stealth bomber.

    Achelois; I don't mind your comments, however long or short they may be. Gate crashing from the comfort of your own home is fun isn't it?

    Watershedd; lovely to meet you too. My email address is on my about page.

  18. Oooh, I'm just catching up on it all now. Will move on to the next instalment......

  19. Remind me to NEVER wear that shirt again. LOL

    I was trying to remember Friday and OMG YES we went for coffee while I was freaking out.

    Thankyou my love for jogging mah memory.

    LOVED finally meeting you and you are even lovelier in real life. MWAH!


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