Sunday, May 6


It was an amazing flight. After much cloud cover, I finally saw the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon. Wow!  Not smoking didn't bother me a bit. Wasn't sure what the reaction would be.

The flight to Sydney was long. But the plane was so big, you could have been in a movie theater instead of a plane.  Only a couple of bumps.  The food was something else. They kept filling you up with drinks and food.  Alex has a story regarding the guy sitting next to him.

This morning we did sleep later than we wanted to. But we managed to get up and going, had breakfast at Alexander's and then we went to Morning Prayer at St. Andrew's Cathedral. A beautiful place.

I think we'll take a tour this afternoon.  Talk to you later.

Love, Barb

G'day, mates!
As with Mom, it was an amazing flight!
We did see the Rockies, and they were amazing, as they just popped out of nowhere! The Grand Canyon was equally amazing!
From Chicago to LA, we saw the movie "Chocolat"...
It is alot like "Like Water to Chocolate", dealing with the added ingredients to the food...
The flight from LA to Sydney was quite long... I slept a lot, and read some...
We saw the movies "The Wedding Planner" with Jennifer Lopez, and Matthew McConnehy (?) from "Contact"...
Alex saw the Australian movie called "RISK", which deals with Insurance claims... It was the only movie that Alex watched, and he thought it was really interesting...

Well, that is all for now from me...  (Gretchen)

More later from all of us!

From Alex:
Keeping it brief - Qantas is a great airline.  A 747 is a kick-butt plane.  The QE2 of the sky.  In talking with the guy in the seat next to me, turns out he was an American Ph.D candidate in architecture who's going to tour Australia looking at Japanese Architecture.  Big Japanese influence in AU.  He asked where we were from, said CT, and he inquired where.  I said I'm from the Hartford area and the others are "from the shore".  He said that he used to go to school on the shore, Fairfield University.  (!)  Of course we 'fessed up and said where we were really from and we were amazed how small the world is.

For proof that we went to church, here's a pic of the top of the program:

We're going to try to figure out the subway system now.  More later!

After uploading our earlier update, we took advantage of our pre-purchased "SydneyPass" which allows access to all of Sydney's public transportation - subways, buses, ferries, and tour buses.  We took the subway (very smooth and quiet) from Town Hall to Circular Quay where we got our passes.  We took the ferry to Manly, about 7 miles away. Here's us at the Ferry:

Manly seems to primarily be a summer resort area for the locals - a lot of normal "Coney Island"-style or "Pike Place"-style vendors and a strange aquarium.  Took the boat back to Sydney.  Since the bay is basically exposed to the Pacific there are some hefty currents that make for some bouncy rides.  Here's Mom trying to hold it in during the bouncy time:

But it smoothed up enough to take some nice shots of the city:

Here's some shots from Manly (Alex is looking quite manly, yes?)

We then took the Explorer bus on a 90 minute tour around Sydney.  Very much like the DC Tour buses that let you get on and off all day.  A very nice trip - highly recommended.  It was good to see things that we may not get back to in the next couple of days.  Didn't get many pictures - the bus didn't stop for very long and it's 18 minutes between buses, and it was the end of the day.  But when we got back it was dark, and we got this shot of the girls & the bridge:

Then we went home for a litle break, then dinner at a local steak restaurant.  Gretchen wimped out and didn't order "the platter" of crocodile, emu, kangaroo, wallaby, and buffalo.  A nice time, mom thought the waiters were sexy, but she didn't like the dessert wine.

Have a great day - tomorrow it's Koala Park in the morning, and the opera house in the afternoon.  Evening may be an evening cruise through Sydney Harbour or dinner on top of the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.  G'day!