While I was very excited to be heading to Australia, I was not thrilled about having to take an overnight flight to get there. Overnight flights can be OK if you’re on them long enough to sleep but this flight was only 6 hours, which meant we would be lucky if we managed to get 3 hours sleep or so, by the time we got settled, had a snack, and then had to get ready for the landing. Clay’s parents were flying at almost the same time as us but on a different airline so we would have to wait for them at the airport in Sydney.
Sure enough, with the exception of Connor, who managed about 5 hours, the rest of us did not get much sleep at all. By the time we arrived at the Holiday Inn in Sydney (about 10 a.m. Australian time) we needed to have a nap or there was no way we would make it through the day. Fortunately, we have spent enough time together that we are all well aware when we are cranky. Even the boys said, “We won’t say much because everyone is in a bad mood!” And they were pretty much silent all the way to the hotel!
A 3½ hour nap definitely helped, although we knew it would take a few days before we really adjusted to the time difference. The next day we were ready to explore the area. We were thrilled to learn that on Sundays you can get a public transit pass for $2.50/person, so we purchased one for each of us and headed off to check out the opera house!
We each kept remarking how easy it was to get around when you could read all of the signs and speak to people in English. It felt like we had come home! The weather was just perfect – about 21 degrees with a breeze so every once in a while you needed to put on a light sweater. Clay kept jumping around, grinning from ear to ear, shouting, “I love this weather!”
With our Sunday pass we could use trains, buses, and ferries, all for free (or for the $2.50 we’d paid) so it was easy to travel around the Sydney harbor. We had a tour of the opera house, had lunch at a local pub, took the ferry to Darling harbor and walked around…..and at this point Clay’s parents started to look a little weary! We are quite accustomed to walking to get from place to place when using public transit in various countries, but his parents, nearing eighty were finding it quite a bit of walking. They decided to head back to the hotel while we ventured off for yet another walk – this time across the Sydney harbor bridge. What a wonderful introduction to Sydney!