And I’m Back… Sort of

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I say “sort of” because I’m currently flying back to the US from China, which means it’s Monday, September 8th at 3:45pm and I arrive in Chicago on Monday, September 8th at 4:05pm. So, I will be back today, it just won’t be until later. Regardless, we had a great time.

It was a trip full of firsts. It was the first time we flew international business class. Before this, we’ve only flown first class domestic and international economy. What a difference international business class makes compared to economy! It was the first time we visited Australia. We will definitely be going back though, because we loved it. It was also the first time we visited China, but it’s hard to judge a country by one night, so we will have a return visit here as well. Finally, it was the first time we got up close and personal with koalas and kangaroos. That was probably the highlight of our whole trip, but I’ll get to that later in the trip report.

Now that I’m back, it’s time I start catching up on all the happenings in the points and miles world. I haven’t checked my RSS feed at all while I’ve been gone, so I’m sure I’ve missed a lot. If there are any great articles, threads, or whatever that you think I should read, please leave them in the comments. It will make my searching through important articles far easier.

Anyway, here are a few quick notes.

  • On August 1st, Australia transitioned into only accepting chip and PIN credit cards. Since there are only a few cards in the US that are chip and PIN (and I don’t have one), I was worried that we would have issues using our credit cards there. Fortunately, tourists are not affected by this. We were able to use our cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred, which is chip and signature and Amex Platinum, which isn’t even chipped) at every shop, restaurant, and hotel we visited.
  • The US Buxx back-door link is dead. As far as I can tell, there is no way to sign-up for the US Buxx card anymore. I will do further digging into this, when I get home.
  • Public transport in Sydney sucks.
  • Public transport in Adelaide is great.

Well, that’s all I have for now. After I get settled back in, I’ll start my regular post schedule again.

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