So Long Sydney (For Now) and Hello Auckland

Yesterday was about all that we could handle for a day- the bridge climb, the proposal, the late night, we were ready for something a little lower key today. The usual start to the morning was accompanied by a Duke-UCF breakfast basketball game. For those of you that watched, you can understand that my heart was beating far too fast for it to be a Monday morning in Sydney. After the Devil’s sneakily escaped with a victory, we made our way over to the Sydney Opera House for a guided tour.

Whether or not they’ll agree with you, I was the only one who weeks ago wanted to organize a tour/outing to the Opera house but the group was greatly pleased with the tour that we had. It ended up being significantly more interesting than any of us expected and was complete with a humorous guide and lots of information. We learned about the tumultuous history of the construction of the bridge- the over 200 designs that were reviewed, the nearly 15 years to build it, the fact that the architect who designed it never saw the finished product and much more.

We made our way around the complex seeing the various smaller theaters to the two monster mega-rooms in the venue. We walked in on a rehearsal for the Sydney Orchestra and saw the other theater where the main operas go. Debbie and I may try to sneak in a performance when we get back weather/schedule permitting.

Post tour, we made our way over to the Glenmore Hotel for a rooftop lunch and view of the Sydney Harbor. We enjoyed a “light” lunch knowing that we needed to eat dinner early as we each had 3-hour flights (on separate airlines, i know i know) from Sydney to Auckland. After returning to the hotel to pack-up, we all boarded the Sydney Train to head to the airport.

We once more leveraged the priority pass perks and had a free meal at the airport at an Italian restaurant- complete with 4 drinks, 2 pizzas, 1 pasta, and 1 salad to share for $0 out the door. After John and Jennie’s flight left on-time, Debbie and I passed the time at the other eligible restaurant with ice-cream shakes.

Finally, the time had come for our late flight to Auckland (arriving at 11:50 pm) and we boarded and had a peaceful flight (relatively empty) to Auckland. For those never been to NZ, they have the scariest immigration/customs process as they’ll charge you $400 NZD (over $300 USD) if you fail to disclose what you have brought. We were nervous about our emergency protein bars but were able to get them in.

Once arriving to the hotel, we quickly showered and got ready for bed as we were off up and early tomorrow for our 3-hour drive to Rotorua (read: ice-cream for breakfast is coming up in the next post).

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