Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our Australian Walk-a-bout: Part 2 - Tasmania

Part 2...

Tasmania

On the ferry to Tasmania. I've never spent the night on a boat before and I'm much more nauseous than anticipated.

Also, seeing as how I'm not familiar with the overnight accommodations provided on such ferries...

Is it customary to have a bottle opener attached to the wall in the bathroom? Very strange.


The Tasmania portion of our vacation was a road trip, after getting off the ferry we went to pick up our rental car.

Budget Rental Car Man: These are the keys. Your car is out in the parking lot, green-car-third row, you can't miss it...


No kidding.

Pretty sure they give the highlighter colored cars to tourists who are used to driving on the right side of the road. That way, if we screw it up, the Tassies can see us and get out of the way.

Driving on the wrong side of the road wasn't something I was too worried about until I found myself in the passenger seat on the wrong side of the car. I was convinced that my anxiety wouldn't be as high if I was in the drivers seat. If I was in control. But seeing how Lee doesn't like it when I drive on any side of the road, he wanted to drive first.

I felt like I would come out of my skin for about the first ten minutes...

We made two wrong turns before we even made it out of the parking lot. (I was supposed to be in charge of navigation... I was too busy making sure he was staying on his side of the road.)

Lee: Where do I go?!

Me: I don't know! Stay left! Always stay left!

We started a "left jingle."

Leeeffft, Leeeffftt, Left, Left Left Left Leeeeffft. This was to be sung while passing cars, making turns and crossing intersections.

The first few kilometers were a stretch of "firsts..."

Lee: Ha! Made it through my first intersection.

Lee: Passed my first car.

Me: Oooo... big truck, big truck stay left! Leeeffft, Leeeffftt, Left, Left Left Left Leeeeffft.

Eventually, my nerves gradually settled. Lee's too.


Lee only messed up once... and really I'm mostly to blame.

I'll start at the beginning...

5:30 am - Our ferry arrived in Tasmania

6:00 am - We disembark. Pretty positive we were the last two people left on the boat... we are not morning people.

6:10 am - Find Budget Rental Car, read sign that says they don't open until 6:30 am.

6:11 am - Set bags down and wait for rental car man.

6:12 am - Rental car man arrives early, give us lime green car, later dubbed the "Kiwi-Mobile."

6:40 am - We finally figure out how to get out of the parking lot, and we start our three and half hour drive to St. Helens.

7:30 am - We stop at the Sidelong Lookout



8:30 am - We pass through the beautiful countryside...




10:30 am - We spontaneously take a detour to see St. Columbia Falls



On our 10 minute walk to the falls...

Lee: Are you alright?

Me: Yes. Why?

Lee: Well, I've just never seen someone so uncomfortable in nature. I mean, you're a trooper. You do it without too much complaining... but it looks painful for you.

Me: hmmph

(Unfortunately, this is true. But it's not so much the outdoors that I'm uncomfortable with... it's the creatures that lurk within nature that I'm uncomfortable with. Every time the leaves rustle or a stick breaks I whip around to make sure I will not have to defend myself against a poisonous snake, a rabid monkey, or a flesh eating troll...)

I found this stretch of the walk particularly threatening...


It looks like a blood thirsty troll might attack from behind one of these peculiarly bright green trees at any moment, it felt very Wizard of Oz-ish.

Although, the next portion was also a bit unsettling...


Great...

Please, do not take your time enjoying the walk to the falls. But instead hurry through, because there is a chance the land may slip out from beneath you, or a boulder might come crashing down the mountain and squash you like a little bug. But please, have a good time.

11:30 am - Drove past a small restaurant/pub/hotel. Stopped in a for beer... (it was 5 o'clock somewhere)... shared a beer with a pig.

Yes.

A pig.




4 seconds flat... it was gone.



12:00 pm - Stop down the road for a cheese tasting. It was so delicious we couldn't resist lunch... cheeseburgers and cheese soup. Yum!


2:00 pm - Arrive in St. Helens.

2:05 pm - Check in to our family owned accommodations.

Hotel Lady: Oh my... is that real? (Pointing to my wedding ring.)

Me: Umm... yes. (Awkward...)

Hotel Lady: Well... aren't you a spoiled little girl. (Seriously?!)

Me: Well, aren't you a rude old woman. ( I didn't say that... What I really said was...)

Me: Hmm (<- Nothing. That's me biting my tongue.)

Lee: hahahaha... You have no idea.

And then I made Lee sleep outside... THE END. (I wish. But then... this is where we get back to the point of the story...)

2:15 pm - Find our room, and start getting our bags from the car.

Me: Hey, can I use the iPhone charger.

Lee: Yeah, I'll get it, it's in my black bag.

Me: Ok

Lee: Did you bring in my black bag already?

Me: No, it's in the car.

Lee: No it's not.

Me: What do you mean, "No it's not..."

Lee: It's not in the car

Me: And you didn't bring it in already?

Lee: No.

I go out to the car thinking... "What does he mean it's not in the car... of course it's in the car. He just doesn't know how to look."

I check the trunk... no bag.

I check the back seat... no bag.

I check the front seat, just in case it mysteriously had shown up there... no bag.

It's at this point when the realization hits me... and then the panic...

My jaw drops, my hands fly up over my mouth, my eyes as big as dinner plates and I just stare at Lee.

He stares back.

Eyebrows raised...

with the look that says, "See... I told you so."

It's at this point I'm remembering the, "6:11 am - Set bags down and wait for rental car man." And the fact that I put his bag down, and never picked it back up again.

What feels like an eternity later...

Me: Umm.. I think we forgot the bag.

Lee: *Still Staring*

Me: I mean, I think I forgot the bag. I think I left it. (The reason this is my problem is because he has been carrying around my bag the entire time. It's twice as big, and three times as heavy as the other bags. So he carries my bag and I carry his. Well, apparently not since I left it.)

Lee: You left it where?

Me: I guess at the rental car place back in Devonport (You know... the place we left eight hours ago.)

Note: The reason this is so annoying is because it's so predictable. Exhibit A: I lose my keys everyday... literally... Every. Day. And I don't remember I need them until I start to walk out the door, and then I'm like, "Oh shit! Keys!" Then I have to search the house for them. Some of the places I've found them include the dirty clothes hamper and the refrigerator. Exhibit B: A few weeks ago, Lee and I were supposed to play in the Christmas golf tournament at our golf club. We drive to the course, which is about 40 minutes from the house, I get up to the locker room with my shoe bag, open it and... no shoes. I had forgotten that I'd never put them away last time, so the shoes were no longer in the bag. I had to go down to the pro shop and spend almost $200 on shoes I don't really even like. Lee was not impressed. Exhibit C: I left my new favorite golf jacket at the golf course. Someone found it, and brought it to Lee. He hid it waiting for me to remember that I'd left it. I never remembered. He had to trick me into looking for it, and then finally just had to tell me that he in fact had it. These are just the first three examples that come to mind out of a very long list of examples of me being forgetful. I, of course, blame this on early onset Alzheimer's, or perhaps a brain tumor. Lee just thinks I'm an absent-minded airhead. So needless to say... this did not make me look good.

The next half hour involved locating the phone number for the ferry terminal, finding a pay phone, and praying we didn't run out of change before we finished the call.

They had put the bag back on the ferry to Melbourne, but it was supposed to come back on the next ferry in the morning. This meant we would need to drive back to Devonport in the morning, a 3 hour drive... minimum, in order to recover it. Then drive back to St. Helens, and then south about an hour to Bicheno.

Needless to say, I was grounded.

We were discussing how I could have possibly managed to forget the bag on the longest leg of our road trip, when we looked up to see a car in our lane.

Coming head on...

Lee: AHHHHHH

Me: AHHHHHH

We swerved back in the left lane, both reciting...

Me & Lee: Leeeffft, Leeeffftt, Left, Left Left Left Leeeeffft.

The driver of the other car just shook his head. And I'm sure muttered something about stupid tourists in a bright green car.

And that was our only near death experience on the road.

The next day we spent seven hours in the car... Lee was very irritable. And by irritable, I mean, he was a total ass. (I gave him the entire car ride to be pissy. After that he had to get over it and stop being mean.)

I even got a mouth ulcer because of it. You know, those stupid little things brought on by stress? I couldn't chew right for two weeks, that was punishment enough.

***

Two days later we were on the Freycinet Peninsula getting ready to hike to Wineglass Bay.

Me: This may come as a surprise to you... but I've never actually been on a "real hike" before.

Lee: Reeeealllly? Shocking. I couldn't tell... it's not like your outfit doesn't give it away.

Me: What's wrong with my outfit?

Lee: You look like you're about to go to your yoga class.


Wrong... I look precious.

***
We spent our last night in Tasmania, in Hobart. There was a big festival in town in order to welcome the sail boats in from the Melbourne-Hobart, and Sydney-Hobart yacht races. There were several food and wine stalls, as well as live music and dancing.

Me: Hmmm... Aussies dance funny...

Lee: Haha... well, let's think about this for a sec... they are a bunch of white people... on an island. The same thing would have probably happened to us, but we've got people to keep us in check... like Soul Train.

***

Lee and I went on a wine tour while in Melbourne. Therefore, we are now wine connoisseurs. I now find it necessary to dissect my wine and describe it's flavors. (With the abundance of wine stalls at the festival, I had pllleeentty of opportunities to display my skills.)

Me: Mmm... this one tastes like pears...

Lee: Mmm... this one tastes like smokey asshole.

***
I keep notes for my blog in my iPhone. I write down stories or conversations as soon as they happen so I will better remember them when it comes time to write them down. I do this constantly. I even do this after several glasses of wine. Unfortunately, the more wine I drink the harder they are to interpret.

Take this excerpt for example:

"The last night in Tasmania we stayed in. A ioesywl. A hostel hostel... lcpuld never... Like community pottyies not bedrooms bc I got us sbprivTw, but in talking flips in the cr, but ofcorae I have none so I'm Sure o have atheltetrs footvor sobesthonf."

I don't know exactly what I was trying to say, but I do know I had a fabulous time.

Part 3... Sydney... coming soon.

Note: This was proofread after Lee and I practiced making margaritas. (It took a couple batches to get it right...) I cannot be held responsible for punctuation or grammatical errors. (Not that I've care about that stuff too much anyway...)