We spent several hours in JFK before boarding our first, extremely posh flight from JFK to LAX - Qantas has by far the nicest planes we've ever been on, and we really enjoyed this first flight. The food was great, the inflight entertainment system kept us entertained, etc. However, we barely made it to LAX in time to catch the second flight, due to extensive delays at JFK. They held the plane, though, and after a shuttle ride and a dash from one end of LAX's international terminal to the other, we made it with a few minutes to spare. This flight was the 16 hour monster, and it was ok. Food was still good, we watched lots of movies, and caught up with Rachel and Mercedes, our friends who are also attending the International Botanical Congress and who both ended up on the same flight as us. The airsick guy behind us was the only damper on our enjoyment of this trip (that and the 16 hour part). At length we made it to Melbourne, where it's in the 40s-50s (being winter here), but sunny and extremely pleasant.
We took a shuttle to one of the main train stations downtown, Southern Cross, which is walking distance to our hotel. Our room (which is fabulous), was ready for us, so we checked in, showered, and then went out for lunch. A short nap followed, which may or may not have exacerbated our jet lag, and then we went out exploring with Mercedes, Rachel, and Rachel's boss Tim. We found a small grocery and stocked up on some essentials for our little kitchen, and had a small meal at a little cafe. Then we went to sleep at 8pm, only to wake up at 4am, and we've been up since. Not a bad start to the trip! Today we'll go exploring again and try to stay awake until a respectable bedtime tonight!