This morning I flew from Auckland to Sydney, and the day started wonderfully with an upgrade on New Zealand Airlines to Economy Plus! My seat had an armrest, power plug, personal screen, pillow, a lot of legroom and was SO luxurious, I only wished it had not been on such a short flight. My seatmate was equally thrilled about the accommodations-we had a fun time exploring all of the options. We also talked about her work with refugees, and how travel expands our world. During the flight, we were thinking that this much technology, comfort and space are more than some people ever experience… In light of that, we made the must of the moment! The emergency announcements ARE made in Lord Of The Rings costumes/characters. I was engrossed in the emergency procedures, let me tell you. During the flight, I watched the Fellowship of the Rings enjoying the familiarity having just been to the Shire. There was a Maori student performance group in the economy plus section also thrilled about such options, and they are heading out to perform on a cruise ship for the rest of the week.
I had a single day to wander about this city. I walked Circular Quay, listened to an aboriginal diggereedoo performance on the street, checked out the market, walked over the bridge, and visited the museum of contemporary art (and enjoyed a coffee with a Melbourne couple there).then I took a rest in the grassy shade at The Rocks, took in some New Year festivities in Chinatown, and then went to Manly beach. I ended the day at church and dinner out there, and then took the ferry back by moonlight along the harbor! Being here brings back great memories of the trip my family made down under many years ago, it is such a beautiful country and I remember with fondness the Blue Hills, kangaroos, koalas, great barrier reef and Ayers Rock especially.