Our flight back to Brisbane left at 6.30 pm local time and arrived at midnight Brisbane time, so we flew into the night very rapidly. (The curious thing about flying from coast to coast across Australia is that one way (west), it takes five hours, and flying east takes just over four hours. Factoring in the earth’s rotation, it should logically be the other way around, so the difference in the plane’s speed must be caused by prevailing winds at high altitudes.)

Anyhow, our flight back was just over four hours, and we arrived twenty minutes ahead of schedule. The plane was quite full, which meant that I didn’t have the luxury of spreading the girls out across rows of empty seats.

In fact, we started the flight with a passenger sitting next to me, but when a cabin crew member realised that he wasn’t part of our family (after getting over her initial disgust that my “husband” wasn’t helping me with the children), she suggested he move back to a row of empty seats. I was delighted as it meant I could separate Brioni and Aisha and drop Calista into the bassinet.

Calista, 11 months old, March 2009
It was terrific when Calista fell asleep in the bassinet. With both hands free, I was able to catch up on some sewing while listening to the movie.

Aisha, 4yo, March 2009
Aisha was very excited about returning to Daddy. She stayed awake the whole trip, collapsing into her carseat and falling asleep within ten minutes of our drive home. She was very pleased to receive a whole ice cream "cornet" for dessert!

Brioni, 2yo, March 2009
After she was able to stretch out across two seats, it didn't take long for Brioni to fall properly asleep.

Brioni, 2yo, March 2009
Brioni slept through being re-positioned and the plane's landing. When most of the plane was emptied of passengers, I finally had to pick Brioni up and carry her into the terminal. One of the nice cabin crew (fly Qantas!) helped with our hand luggage, and another carried Calista.

Our reunion with David was wonderful, our luggage arrived without any hassles, and we drove home, arriving soon after one in the morning. After her long nap, Brioni was bouncing around, happy to discover all her toys and “look — my dog!” The other two transferred to their beds easily.

The girls have been busily emptying all the toys baskets to see what they’ve forgotten about. Brioni’s favourite new game is dressing up — something she learned at Harveys, while Aisha has been concocting elaborate meals with dirt and leaves. Calista chases them around as usual (when she’s not climbing up my legs), and I’ve been busy unpacking.