January 15 (Los Angeles, USA): Lisa and Mike board plane #1, bound for Australia. Upon arrival Mike continues in his role of wedding logistics manager and Lisa is somewhat shocked to realize she is getting married in a week.
January 24 (Ballina, Australia): Wedding celebrations with family and friends. The afternoon thunderstorms hold off during the backyard ceremony but light up the sky with a fairytale backdrop for photos on the beach.
January 26 (Brisbane, Australia): Plane #3 heads to New Zealand for honeymoon. Three weeks of exquisite scenery and many delicious wines also yields some writing time for Lisa while Mike goes hiking in the rain.
March 14 (Los Angeles, USA): Lisa and Mike dance the night away at their LA Reception at a Lebanese restaurant. Much food. Much wine. Much fun.
March 17 (Los Angeles, USA): Mike boards plane #7 headed for 3 weeks in Papua New Guinea. Lisa quickly adapts to having the bed all to herself, and sometimes wonders if getting married was just a good dream. Lisa buys U2 tickets for a concert an unfathomable seven months in the future.
April 9 (Los Angeles, USA): Plane #12 brings Mike home. Lisa and Mike struggle to re-learn how to share the bed. Mike ends up on the couch.
May 23 (Washington DC, USA): Lisa and Mike chat the night away with lots of family and friends who have come to the Washington DC party from all across the US, as well as London and Australia.
May 24 (Atlanta, USA): Demonstrating rather ambitious tour planning, Lisa and Mike have back-to-back parties in different states and celebrate at their final wedding reception with many friends in Atlanta.
June 26 (Los Angeles, USA): Mike flies to PNG for another consultancy. Lisa loves having the bed to herself and hates not having Mike around. Lisa focuses on writing her next book and buys Diana Krall concert tickets as a surprise for Mike.
July 14 (Los Angeles, USA): Plane #25 brings Mike back. Lisa and Mike relearn how to share a bed without resorting to the couch. Unfulfilled by doing laundry and pouring wine for Lisa after work, Mike goes back to searching for a full time job.
August 17 (Juba, Sudan): Mike lands in South Sudan on plane #29. During the next month Lisa and Mike have skype dates on days that the internet is working, and Lisa goes to the Diana Krall concert without Mike.
September 9 (Los Angeles, USA): 36 hours and 3 flights after departing Sudan, Mike meets Lisa at LAX, where they promptly board another plane to Idaho to spend a weekend with friends in a cabin in the mountains.
October 27 (Los Angeles, USA): 21 hours after getting home from the U2 concert, Lisa drops Mike off at LAX. Lisa decides that 4 weeks of an empty bed really is second best, but manages to finish off the first draft of her book while Mike is away. In Banda Aceh, Mike decides that short-term consulting trips are just as tiring as full-time job searching.
November 24 (Los Angeles, USA): Mike returns from Indonesia on flight #42 and is awake between 1AM and 4AM for a week. Consequently, so is Lisa. Upon reading Lisa’s book, Mike reports that it’s a good first draft that needs a lot of work. Lisa tells him to get back on a plane to Indonesia.
December 5 – 31 finds us back in Australia. We’ve celebrated a friend’s wedding in Sydney, hung out with friends in Melbourne, and are now lounging around Mum’s and Dad’s home in Ballina helping cull the herd of bottles in the parental wine cabinet.
We’ll fly back to LA on New Years Eve. We’re looking forward to celebrating New Years (Australia time) on the plane (flight #47 of 2009). We’re anticipating celebrating New Years (LA time) sound asleep, hopefully in the same bed. After a year full of promises, planes, and plans we’re hoping for an upcoming year filled with even more love, just as much wine, and fewer planes.
Lisa and Mike