The journey to Melbourne began on September 30th with tearful goodbyes to my family and friends. The first leg from San Francisco to Los Angeles was delayed a half hour, but I still landed pretty much on time. I had to take the shuttle over to the international terminal at LAX, and it was hot and humid even at 9:00 p.m. I checked in at Air New Zealand and met a woman who was taking the same flights as I was, and was also a teacher. We made it through security and chatted before boarding the next leg- Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand. I had an aisle seat on an emergency exit row, and was next to the kitchen area. It was nice to have leg room though. The 12 hour flight was long, and I didn't get much sleep. Once we landed in Auckland (on October 2nd), it was a quick walk over to another gate for the final flight to Melbourne. I got my second breakfast meal of the day on the flight, and was very happy when we landed 3 1/2 hours later. Customs was quick and easy. After about 24 hours of traveling, I was ready for a hot shower! My friend Michelle picked me up at the airport and we headed over to her house in Brunswick.
After cleaning up and eating lunch, we took a drive around Brunswick and checked out some of the places I had bookmarked from the real estate websites. The next step is to set up inspections and hopefully I will have a place to live in the next two weeks. There are several promising properties. I still can't believe that I'm in Melbourne, and I don't think it will click with me that I'm here to live permanently and not on vacation until I have my own house.