Nauru Travel Diary

From Houston to Sydney 2013

From Houston

to Sydney



We do seem to be keeping some strange hours during this trip.  We dutifully woke this morning to the sound of the alarm at 3:40 am in order to catch the 4:25 am courtesy bus from our hotel to Liberia Airport, just a short 5 minute drive.

Our main travel objective today was to return to Houston where we will be spending a few days finishing off some business (such as Di’s dentist appointment tomorrow – something really to look forward to!), and farewelling friends before we finally begin the one-way trip to Australia this Sunday.

Our flight from Costa Rica to Houston was in a United Airlines Boeing 737, and the three and a half hour journey was surprisingly smooth and comfortable.

We took off on schedule at 6:30 am in rainy conditions, and a major highlight from my perspective occurred soon afterwards as we flew over southern Nicaragua when I was able to look down on the cones of several active volcanoes.  Although the air was more hazy than I might have wished, the views were truly spectacular; after all, seeing an active volcano from above is definitely a different perspective from the normal.

We landed in Houston at about 11 am, which turned out to be a relatively good time to arrive as the immigration queues were relatively short – certainly far shorter than the ‘rush period’ between 3pm and 5 pm when several wide-bodied international flights arrive almost simultaneously.  Our bags were already waiting for us by the time we reached the baggage belts, and to our amazement, our bags had not been opened and messed about by the TSA for the first time on this trip.

Rather than going straight to our hotel, we took the drive to Cypress to one of Di’s favourite places in Houston, the Outlets Stores.  Known officially as Houston Premium Outlets, this large complex comprises 145 specialty shops that offer quality goods at heavily discounted prices, cheaper than most places in Houston and thus MUCH cheaper than equivalent places in Australia.  We didn’t buy much because our luggage space is so limited, but it was nonetheless a great opportunity to stock up on some clothes, underwear and shoes that will stand us in good stead over the next few years.

Having spent a couple of hours at the Outlets Stores, we drove back into a more central area of Houston where our hotel was located.  My ‘farewell treat’ for Di upon leaving Houston is to stay for three nights at The Houstonian, which is the place we stayed when we first came to Houston for job interviews about three years ago.  Our stay in the Houstonian was one of the factors that persuaded us that Houston was indeed a civilized city with a touch of class, and although we dined at the Houstonian on several occasions while living in Houston, understandably we never stayed here while living in Houston (given that our house was just a couple of miles from the hotel).

As I write this, we have settled into the Houstonian once again (a very easy process!) and the happy memories of the excitement of the interview visit have come flooding back to us.

For dinner this evening, we returned to one of our favourite ‘cheaper’ options, the Red Robin Restaurant beside Awty International School, which is located just a few minutes drive from the Houstonian.  It is one of the places that we found ourselves returning to on many occasions, so it was fitting that Red Robin would be part of this, our final few days in Houston.

Day 20 - Liberia to Houston


25 July 2013