Trip Start Jan 13, 2006
Trip End Feb 15, 2006

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006


We left the rain in Auckland to arrive to the overcast skies and rain of Sydney. Like most travel days we didn?t do much sightseeing today, but rather got organized at the Sydney Westin for a four-night stay and tested out the hotel facilities. Simply put we had dinner at the hotel cafe?, which was great!, and hang out in the hotel bar. Of course both of these seemed so much better at 50% off through the help of Cara (thanks so much!).

We hit the city mid-morning after fighting off jet lag or maybe it was a hangover from the two bottles of wine last night and a rich meal. Either way the weather had improved slightly but still remained a little bit overcast in the morning so we didn?t miss much. From our hotel in downtown we started the Lonely Planet walking tour and head toward the Sydney Opera House to try to purchase Opera tickets (Madame Butterfly) for Valentine?s Day. From there we hit the ?RocksÓ the birthplace of Sydney and a really cool part of the town filled with old pubs, cafes and great views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Later in the day we walked through the main drag and its parks to finish up the Lonely Planet walking tour and then got a cold beer at some roguish cafe? in the questionable part of town.

The search for the missing package from home officially began in the morning as the package was two days late. In a world of such great technology you would think the search would go smoothly, but with our cell phone not being able to call the US because the network was down, and the huge price to use the room internet ($25 a day) it was a little more difficult. But we finally tracked down the needed info and with the great help of the staff at the Westin we tracked down the package. You got to love traveling. The rest of the day was pretty standard sightseeing. We walked to Darling Harbour, took a ferry to the Opera House, watched some of the Aussie Open on the big screen, walked to Mrs. Macquaries Point for better views of the Opera House and Bridge, and sweated through the Botanical gardens back to our hotel.

This morning we got up and ready for the 3.5 hour experience of climbing the Harbour Bridge. We decided to start at 8am with the hopes it would be cooler in the morning. Luckily we woke up to a beautiful day with no rain, and it was already pretty warm by 8am. They gave us suit to wear so that we would blend in with the bridge ? they can?t afford to even have one car crash watching us fools climb to the top of the bridge. The suit kept us pretty warm, but luckily we had a nice breeze. They strapped us on to the side of the bridge and away we went. The views from the top were amazing! You could see most of Sydney and a fantastic view of the Opera House. After the bridge climb we headed over to the Opera House across the way for a tour. The history and architecture was just amazing! Now we are even more excited to see Madame Butterfly on Valentine?s Day.
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