Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Our flight leaves at 1445, so we got up and took the ferry back to Luna Park for one last photo op. The weather forecast said it there were supposed to be scattered showers yesterday and today, but we have had blue sky and scattered clouds no rain. It only took Jim about 15 minutes to get the shots he wanted and we were able to go back 20 minutes later.

Next we got on the train and went back to Hyde Park where we walked around again and made our way to the WW I war memorial building. There are 122,000 gold stars on the ceiling, one for each of the men & women from Australia who served in WW I-50,000 died and another 20,000 were wounded, not including the ones who suffered from mental problems afterwards. It is always sobering to visit war memorials.

After we were done we walked back to the hotel, I was able to check-in online and print our boarding passes thanks to someone who left some minutes on the public computers, and we checked out. The Menzies is directley across the street from the Wynyard train stations, so we walked over and hopped on the train to the airport. The amazing thing-shortly after arriving at the airport the clouds moved in, and by the time we took off the showers had begun. How grateful we are for the simple blessings we are given.

Eighteen hours after taking off from Sydney we are home safe and sound, once again grateful for the opportunity we had to take another trip and grateful to live in the USA!


I got up and blogged this morning, we checked out (but left our luggage in storage), then took the ferry to Darling Harbour where we walked around and had some gelato.

Anzac Bridge

After taking the ferry back to Circle Quay, we got on a train (just getting our money’s worth out of the pass) and rode to King’s Cross. This is the nasty little area where the Pan Am flight attendants stayed back in the 80's, so Jim wanted to walk around and reminisce. It isn’t a bad place during the day, but Jim said it gets a little creepy at night.

It didn't feel like fall, but the leaves told a different story
I wanted to go back to the botanic garden and see the cockatoos, because I took a pocketful of peanuts from the breakfast buffet this morning to feed them. After walking through the Wooloomooloo neighberhood, we got to the park and tried to find the cockatoo’s “water fountain”.

Wooloomooloo was a haven for backpackers
I saw a few on an open grassy area and sat down near one and offered him a peanut. He came right up to me and within minutes I had a flock of them looking for a peanut (just like seagulls and pigeons). They may be wild, but they obviously have little fear of humans offering to feed them, because they climbed on my shoulders, arms, and legs. They would even give a gentle nip to let me know they were there if I didn’t give them a peanut, and stuck their heads in my pocket to get some out. It was awesome!

Once the peanuts were gone, they left and we walked back to the Marriott, and schlepped our luggage about 5 blocks away to another hotel. I originally had reservations at the Holiday in by the airport, but booked another one on priceline.com for the same price, which enabled us to stay in the city.

Mr. Funny Photographer in The Menzies Hotel elevator

After checking in at The Menzies, we walked to Hyde Park and saw the St. Mary’s Cathedral.

War Memorial fountain
Jim was hoping to get some evening pictures of the bridge and Opera House (yes, more pictures of the same things!), so we got on the Darling Harbour Ferry and rode it to the Luna Park stop, just the other side of the bridge. He said it was later than he had wanted, but he still got some great pictures.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Linda and Hank left at 5 AM for home. We will miss them. Jim and I got up out around 8 AM and walked to the Royal Botanic Garden which is near the Opera House. It is huge, had some beautiful views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and lots of fun flora and fauna.
Mrs. Macquarie's Chair (wife of the first governor)

The Satyr

There were cockatoos everywhere

This was there "watering hole" where they drank from the water leaking out of the faucet
They would dig up roots from the grass so I decided to help them...quite tame and unafraid

The most surprising thing was colony of Spectacled Flying Foxes aka Fruit Bats. They are huge. They were mostly sleeping, but every so often you would here a few of them fighting, some would stretch their wings, and every so often fly around.

Next we hopped on a ferry to Taronga Zoo and back so Jim could get some more pictures of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House with the morning sunlight.  

Then we hopped on a bus and headed for Bondi Beach (love this 7 day pass!) 

Entrance to Luna Park

After lunch it was on another ferry to Darling Harbour which went under the Harbour Bridge for photo ops with the afternoon sun. 

Once we got back to Circular Quay we walked up to the bridge pylon to get a view.

Now the ticket tells you there are 200 steps to climb to get to the top...what it doesn’t mention is the 200+ steps it takes to get from the surface streets up to the base of the pylon. There were lots of threatening clouds, and Jim was afraid there would be no sun to take pictures with, but alas, the weather gods were with us, and as we got to the top the sun came through a break in the clouds and shined the whole time we were up there.

But there were too many for a nice sunset, and it was dull and gray, not like we saw when we did the Bridge Climb.

I have never mentioned the “sticker shock” we have had here when it comes to food prices. A can of Coke costs $4 in the store. We thought we would find a Pizza Hut or Dominoes and have a decent size pizza for a halfway decent price...silly us. There is a Pizza Hut down the street we walked to...small pizzas are 9" for $11, mediums are 11" for $15. We were going to suck it up and order two, but there credit card machine was “broken” and we didn’t have enough cash left, so we ate at Hungry Jacks, which is really Burger King.