Australia, We Have Landed
Sydney Travel Blog› entry 8 of 34 › view all entries
Tuesday, August 11
We made it! Oy vey.
It was raining when we landed. Not an auspicious beginning but what the hell, we're here! Got through Customs (with only a little fibbing), got our Oz cell phones, got a cab (no, we're not taking the train with 8 bags, jet lag, and rain).
We're at the Marriott Central Quay, or something like that. Thanks to Jeff's travel points, we're staying the whole week on points on the executive level! Ohh la la! Boy, did the front desk visibly perk up when he realized we were here for 5 days on points. And they upgraded us to a room with a harbor and Opera House view!
New phrase for the vacation t-shirts? Platinum Matters
I may bitch, moan, and complain on occasion about Jeff's travel schedule but it does have its side benefits.
We showered, reconnoitered with our friend Rich (same hotel, different <snif> level) and sauntered out (the rain had stopped).
We walked over to The Rocks, an old tarted up neighborhood underneath the Harbor Bridge. Had a lovely lunch (though we did forego the desserts) and continued our stroll. The skies were steadily clearing.
Stopped to look at the ferries and the crazed (utterly crazed) seagulls. Enjoyed a gelato. Rested our aching bones. We're doing OK with the jet lag but we are a bit achy. And slow.
We walked, slowly, along the water's edge to the Opera House. It's both smaller and more awe-inspiring in person. You've seen the pics 1000 times (and we took 1000 more, just in case you haven't). The sun had come fully out by the time we got there, which was a joy.
(If you want to see our artsy-fartsy pics of the Opera House, scroll to the bottom.)
I kept thinking "my dad was here, my dad was here!". My dad came to Sydney on R&R from Vietnam in 1969. It was too far to come home to Newport News VA so he came to Sydney. There was a program where local families would host American soldiers on R&R and Dad stayed with one of those families. I would LOVE to know their names but I don't. He always raved about Sydney and how much he enjoyed himself here.
In fact, I still have the stuffed Koala he brought back for each of us. :) I wish he were still living so I could share my adventures with him.
The Opera House is just fascinating visually.
We are looking into getting tickets to an opera (hopefuly Aida) while we're here. That would be cool!
The Opera House sits at the base of the botanical gardens, so we wandered up into them as an more picturesque route back to our hotel. It is late winter/early spring here, so there is not as much blooming as you might hope but it's not grey or desolate because it doesn't get all that cold here (I think 40s are the usual low for winter). We saw some interesting trees, bushes, and plants. Plus some odd birds. Strolled past the Government House and the Music Conservatorium (styled like a fake mideaval castle or a failed chain restaurant, one or the other), and cruised back to the hotel.
We had visions of going out for dinner but the executive level (Platinum Matters) has a buffet, so we snuck Rich in and noshed.
Which is when we discovered we were all too tired to go out for dinner. By 7:30, we were all sound asleep in our comfy beds.
Day 1, complete.