There’s no two ways about this — today was a less than stellar day. Maybe the universe was telling us to stay. 🙂The day started fine enough. We had a nice breakfast with Mum and Dad at a nice place in Ballarat, but of course then we had to say our goodbyes, which is never easy. We enjoyed an uneventful drive to Melbourne and the Wallace-guided GPS unit got us to Tullamarine without issue. However that’s when the wheels started falling off. We arrived a Hertz and in the process of checking in, the guy notices a white scuff on the front passenger side bumper, just forward of the wheel. I certainly didn’t notice that as we were packing the car in the Mount yesterday, so i can only presume it happened in the tight car park at Sovereign Hill yesterday. The net result — because I opted to go with the credit card coverage, Hertz sticks me for the full $3,800 deductible until the damage estimate comes through. Now I have both Hertz and the credit card company claims process to deal with when I get home. Okay, there’s not much we can do about it now, so suck it up and move on. We check in at the Qantas desk and I notice on the scale that both our large cases are slightly over the weight limit, but we charged anything, so we’re good. The agent hands us our boarding passes for all of our flight back to Louisville and we go an grab a final flat white before boarding the plane. Interestingly, instead of screens in the back of the seats of the plane, every seat has an iPad on which they stream the entertainment — neat idea, and I’m sure an order that Apple was glad to receive. We arrived in Sydney and time is already tight, but then we have to wait for the bus to take us from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. Inside the international terminal, we go through Customs and our bags are screen one again. My camera went through no problems, but I saw some discussion about June’s carry-on and sure enough she’s pulled aside. As the agent starts unzipping her bag, it suddenly dawns on me — the wine!!! In our steadfast focus on balancing the weight of our luggage we’d foolishly overlooked the issue of liquids in carry-ons. Such a stupid rookie mistake. I asked if there was the option to mail the bottles back to Mum and Dad, but no dice. So we just had to say sayonara to our verdelho and sparkling shiraz. (The silly thing is that we left the water bottles in the rental car because we knew we couldn’t get them past security — and didn’t give the wine a thought.) On top of the rental car, this was not good. We thought we were going to miss the flight to Dallas with all of this kerfuffle, but we made it to the gate okay. As we get ready to board, I looked at our boarding passes — and then looked at them again. The gate agent in Melbourne had us sitting completely different rows. (Maybe that’s the penalty for having slightly overweight bags?) I got with the gate agent and explained our situation, and to her credit, she managed to shuffle things around for us. As we settled into our seats, the captain gave his usual speil and mentioned that we could expect some rough weather over the Gulf of Mexico. As it turned out though, we were in rough, bumpy airstreams for a good 75% of the flight. Needless to say, not much sleep was had. And it was so rough that at breakfast the flight attendants couldn’t serve tea or coffee. I thought at one point that June and I were going to wearing our cornflakes after the plane suddenly dipped and rocked. It was just amazing that the flight to Australia was so incredibly smooth and wonderful, while the trip back was the polar opposite. Fortunately, there were no further dramas getting from Dallas to Louisville — thank goodness. It was a day that we were both glad to have over and done with.