Friday, August 26, 2011


Here we are in Bilbao.  Today visited Guggenheim which was fabulouso.  SIL in grumpy mood because trying to cancel hotel bookings and car when in Reims as GG has to, OMG, WORK.  Poor GG has hit harvesting season and is slaving away in a laboratory 12 hours per day.  Quelle horreur!  Meanwhile, STB, OVOOH and SIL swan about France and Spain.  Managed to survive a day of driving yesterday.  Only got lost a few times and the car was very nice.  Arrived at mucho spunky hotel and again SIL managed to find a nice young man who had no idea what nips are and poured her a VERY LARGE gin with a splasho of tonico.  God bless the Spanish. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In Bordeaux

STB, OVOOH and SIL are now on the way to Bordeaux after a lovely couple of days in Amboise, a beautiful town central to seeing Loire Valley Chateaus. Their apartment was at the foot at Amboise Chateaux so the view out the window was rather lovely to wake up to. Two intensive days of touring various chateaus, favourite was Villandry because of the amazing gardens of which STB's and SIL's father would have adored. Their very own guide was Stephanie who took them around on both days in a small mini van thing that was very comfortable. Feature of first day was a magnificent lunch in gardens of Chenonceau, the largest chateaux that they saw. Was forced to drink copious amounts of wine that continued when they sat on the bank of Loire River to knock off another bottle. Second day included a visit to Leonardo Da Vinci's final residence. At least second day was marginally cooler than first. SIL STILL hasn't seen her suitcase, she hopes to be reunited with it this evening.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The best laid plans

Well, here SIL is at the Admirals Club Miami.  Whilst SIL was writing the last blog, a bloody storm came to San Juan and all planes were diverted to the moon for refuelling.  Hence flight arrived just in time to Miami for SIL to wave goodbye to the plane to Paris.  Now poor SIL has to go to Paris via Madrid several hours later and her luggage, well, who knows when and where that will turn up.  Poor poor SIL may need to stay in Paris overnight to wait for her luggage.  A night in Paris?  How absolutely ghastly.  However, SIL hasn't actually GOT a boarding pass for the flight between Madrid and Paris as she has to do that with Air France in Madrid.  Oh what fun.  What joy.  Stay tuned.

Leaving Puerto Rico

Apologies for no postings all week.  Poor SIL has been flat out conferencing and partying.  She did manage a couple of emails because they are easier to send.  Anyway, SIL is now safely in the bosom of the Admirals Club at San Juan airport praying to the good airline fairy that her flight will leave on time to at least get her to Miami and hopefully onto gay Paris.  Puerto Rico has been a blast.  Stayed in the most gorgeous hotel in old San Juan.  SIL and fellow sensible delegates who stayed there were very smug and liked to show off hotel to other delegates who were NOT staying there.  They were suitably jealous.  SIL is now official hotel booker for next year's conference in Helsinki for a couple of Poms and a gaggle of Aussie librarians who obviously have no taste and need SIL to sort them out. Could be a bit trickier as costs will be 20 times more than Puerto Rico but SIL is up to the challenge.  Can't put photos up on this blog because SIL forgot attachment to get photos to computer via USB.  She can upload to her iPad and if she has a few spare minutes will try and sort things out.  Skyped GG this morning via iPad.  She was in Reims and SIL skyping in her bedroom in just her underwear.  Fortunately GG had no video of SIL so she survived the ordeal. 

Next blog from France when SIL finally meets up with STB and OVOOH.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Day in Atlanta

So what should SIL do on her last day in Atlanta?  Yesterday she went to see the Martin Luther Center (after the conference had officially closed - SIL actually managed to last the whole conference for a change) and that was really good.  So what was left?  CNN headquarters - how they make 24/7 crap?  Coke?  Now, let's face it, we all know that Coke is only good when it has 3/4 rum in it. 


SIL could indulge in a morning flapping about in the indoor pool, losing 8 kg in the sauna and pummeled gently by the whirlpool spa.  Oh the torture of it all.  The hotel's entire spa complex for SIL (everyone else was obviously working and other unpleasant things).  Alas, SIL is now at Atlanta airport which is decidely downmarket and not quite up to SIL's expectations.  However, thanks to Qantas Club, she is now cosetted safely away in the Admiral's Club.  Alas food and booze is not free.  American Airlines really needs to have a little chat to QClub.  Next stop is San Juan and the Hotel El Convento. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SIL was magnificent

SIL presented her paper today and of course, was magnificent.  A "conference" of approx 50 people - half architects and half librarians.  An interesting combination.  Emory University lovely.  The Aussie contingent consisted of four, a couple of Canadians, a couple of Germans, one English and the rest US.  There was also a group of Chinese that appeared for five mins in the morning, disappeared for the rest of the day and then mysteriously re-appeared at dinner.  At dinner everyone was talking about how they were getting to San Juan on Friday and of course SIL had NO idea of her itinerary.  Back at the hotel SIL checks her ticket only to discover that she is not going direct but via Miami and gets to her destination at 23.30.  Grrrrrrr.  When will SIL learn to check the bloody detail!!  The other topics of conversation were USA's politicians' total inability to act like grown ups and how the Aussie $ plummets just as OVOOO, STB and SIL toddle off overseas.  Typical. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


SIL arrived relatively unscathed to Atlanta.  A minor stressful moment when the time between getting through customs and making connecting flight was approximately 30 seconds.  Managed to arrive at gate as last people were boarding.  SIL's window seat was taken but she was in no mood for pleasantries and growled at young man who innocently looked surprised that his seat was actually the middle one. 
Hotel is magnificent.  SIL at last being treated as she should.  Has been invited to the manager's cocktail party this evening - not sure what this means but hopefully will include free booze and food.  Alas tomorrow work beckons for poor SIL. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

SIL on the way (almost)

SIL has made it to the Qantas Club so well on the way.  Unfortunately she relented at the last minute and changed suitcases.  No longer is she a carry-on only gal.  It all came down to shoes - though at least didn't resort to taking the ridiculously-high-but-makes legs-look-sooooo-good pair and instead decided on black sandals with librarian-height heels.

Now she has another important decision.  Is it wise to have a glass of wine with breakfast?  God bless Qantas Club for providing such choices.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The journey also includes

Forgot to mention that there will be a celebrity appearance later on in the journey -  AJ aka Gorgeous Girl now forever known as GG.  Of course, when one starts off with interesting initials, it's a bit silly to make another set but SIL has again veto (looks like veto-ing will be a common feature of this blog, particularly when OVOOH and STB start making noises about wanting to make editorial changes).