Monday, November 25, 2013

Sydney Finale... Now it's 2013! (Part Three of Three)

Hey! We made it! It's 2013! Happy New Year! Well....I'm almost eleven months late with that greeting... but better late than never, right?? We actually have a deadline now...and Amy Suzanne would like to see this blog completely up-to-date by the time we pack up and leave Hyderabad for good. In June of next year, when we will be closing this FANTASTIC, INCREDIBLE, AMAZING chapter of our lives... and we will be heading to...(wait for it...think ultimate culture shock!)...Salt Lake City, Utah!!

Time Out! I need to take a brief pause here. It is sometimes hard to believe that we actually left out home back in Pasadena, California on the 30th of May 2010. I wrote my first post in this blog on the 13th of March, 2010. We have now been in India for 3-years, 5-months and 26-days. The third extensions of our original Indian visas expire in just 157-days 8-hours and 30-minutes! I would not change a single minute of any of it!


Anyway, we have reached our final day of our Australian adventure. Our last day in Sydney was here...and it was to be probably the best New Year's Day...ever. We got another slow start (like most lazy New Year's Days)... we threw a few things into "organized piles of chaos" and had the suitcases on the floor...it was a pretty good start to just separate out our "cleans-from-our-dirties" and put all of our Australian souvenirs in one big stack on a couple of chairs. One thing was for certain...we were not going to spend the last day of our vacation lounging around the hotel room...it was an absolutely gorgeous day outside (just look at the sky in the photo of Amy in front of the Sydney Opera House, above!) ... so we decided to "go walkabout"!

No day on vacation can start without a trip to the local Starbucks as long as there's one available. I broke with tradition...normally, no matter how hot it is outside, I get a hot cup of coffee. Usually some sort of cinnamon or (in the U.S.) a pumpkin-spice latte. I never developed the taste for "iced coffee"...although Amy likes it quite a lot ... It was really much too hot this New Year's Day to have anything hot...so I had my very first "Mocha  Frappuccino®" ever ... and with whipped cream, no less! Is this what I have been missing all these years?? Damn! I have some serious catching up to do!!

We walked down the waterfront of Circular Quay and started some serious people-watching. We heard some wild music... a couple of street-musicians and pick-up bands playing the didgeridoo.. a wild man doing unicycle and fire-juggling tricks... an one very strange-looking local fellow dressed something like a cross between the Statue of Liberty and the Tin Woodsman from the Land of Oz. How appropriate. "Oz". Get it??We certainly weren't the only people to decide to go walking on the harbor waterfront that morning...I'm pretty sure all of the various cruise ships docked alongside the Quay had let their passengers off the boat for the day...and the ferry-boats taking people back and forth across the bay were packed...both going and coming from the docks.

From the area by the Opera House we had some incredible last views of the harbor...(see the photo album link, below) But nothing like what Amy was going to see later.

Sydney Walkabout...

You see, after much internal wrestling - she came to a decision. We ould definitely not be coming back this way ever again...so it was a "now-or-never" thing. She had decided, on her own, to make the famous "Sydney Bridge Climb" on New Year's Night! Now for more reasons than I can list..this is something that I would never do...my incredible fear of heights being the most serious one. But she had made up her mind...and that's what she wanted to do!  She made her reservations and we got back to the hotel room to have a little rest before her big climb!

After the sun went down... she got pretty nervous...but she was really excited. There was no chance she was going to walk over to the entrance to the bridge alone....I went along for moral-support. Inside the building, there was a snack-shop and a place to buy t-shits and pictures and video mementos of "your big climb".... After a big hug (and me telling her how proud I was of her!)...off she went to the upstairs holding area where everybody gets a jumpsuit (come to think of it...that's a terrible way to describe the overalls they give you for the climb...a "jump" suit... Oh, well. They gave her (and everybody on the climb) a safety harness and a breathalyzer test ....

I watched from down below until she actually entered the superstructure of the bridge.

She did it. She did the Bridge Climb!! She says it was a little windy, a little scary, definitely a good workout,,,and that he views were...unbelievable!

She was just elated when she came back to the hotel.  They gave her a little flash-drive with her photos on it...and she couldn't wait to plug it in and show me. Yes...I was very proud of her...but so glad I didn't even consider trying to do it. There was no way I could have done what she did!

Our Australian adventure had truly come to a climactic end! We would leave in the morning for the airport and our first-leg flight back home through Kuala Lumpur and back Home to Hyderabad.

We leave you with some of the photos from Amy's bridge climb. I hope you have enjoyed this ten-part series of posts on our Aussie Adventure. Honestly...I never thought it would take ten-full-chapters to tell the tales...but it was truly a trip for the ages!! Thanks for reading!

Sydney Skyline

Amy (best photo!)

Amy at the top!!

Far above our hotel room!

Now that's a look I understand!

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