In North America, you arrive 2 hours at the airport before international travel.
Apparently there is no need in Rotorua. We arrived to an empty airport. It was kind of funny.
The kids spread out and got some work done.
We then headed to Sydney via Wellington on Air New Zealand (awesome airline; the kids were seriously impressed).
We flew into Sydney, dropped our bags at the hotel, and headed out to meet up with Rob’s cousin Scott, who he hadn’t seen in years. It was nice to meet him, and we had an enjoyable dinner at a pizza place on Darling Harbour.
The kids were wiped (there is a 2 hour time difference again for them between New Zealand and Sydney), so were getting a bit ansty in the restaurant so I took them out to blow off some steam. It’s funny though, you only really notice how high maintenance and high energy your kids are when others are around! We deal with it, and are so used to it I think we have higher tolerance levels. However, when you see it through someone else’s eyes, you can see how they might be seen as annoying:))
We all had a nice sleep, and were up and ready to hit the streets.
I had found a great walking tour of Sydney on Wikitravel (great new site!!).
And walk Sydney we did.
It was awesome! We saw everything we wanted to see: parks, cathedrals, gardens, buildings (town hall, parliament, library, war memorial). Again, I will spare you my 300 shots of scenery and put some family pic highlights:
Of course the highlight was seeing the Opera House and bridge – something that is iconic for Sydney and we’ve seen for years in pictures.
We stopped for lunch at “Pie Face” and had an amazing picnic lunch of pies and sausage rolls.
In the afternoon, we headed to the Sydney Aquarium. The kids loved it.
After the aquarium, we were all a little pooped so headed back to the hotel for a little siesta.
We were a bit unpopular with the kids because we banned electronics unless we are on an airplane. Entering the teenage phase, I can’t stand them turning to their earplugs and games every second they can. So they made up their own little game of Jeopardy. See what they do when unplugged??
We headed back out again and walked across the bridge for sunset. We saw the Opera House in the dusk lights and watched the sun go down and the city lights start to twinkle. (Some pics are in above collage too). It was awesome.We had a yummy sushi dinner at this tiny place and talked about how this trip has been awesome! Beach, nature, city, planes and road trip….and loads of fun. It’s the kind of trip people take when they are retired. Well, our house won’t be paid off any sooner, but we feel like it was the right choice for us to take the trip now when our kids are this age. No regrets.
We walked back across the bridge. Josh had a run in with a security guard:)) He was a lovely man and acted a bit as a tour guide, giving us some bridge history.
Incredible day. Again.