Got your detective hat on? Here's clues to our Missing New Year's Mystery:
One young couple, one flight, and one New Year skipped completely.
December 31, 2010 10:30 p.m. - we boarded a plane in LAX
January 2, 2011 9 a.m. - we arrived to our destination
New Year's never happened...how could this be?
The giveaway: As I wrote in my journal after gleefully boarding the plane: "Sometime between 2010 and 2011, somewhere between the USA and Australia...For us, New Year's isn't technicallyhappening this year. As we clink our sparkling ciders above the Pacific Ocean, we're totally okay with that."
You got it! We "started" the year in SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA! So much happened that week and a half, it really deserves more than one post...here's the first of three. My journal snippets are indicated in italics:
January 3, 2011
We woke up early today. I'm still on Utah time, and feel thrown off still with the sun
patterns. We went on an exploration run - past Hyde Park, down Macquerie Road, towards the looming white sails I'd be dying to see - the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE came into view. It's a bit smaller in real life than it looks in pictures, but still magnificently unique. We scanned the perimeter, early enough in the day to beat the tourists. It was our own personal time with the world-renowned structure. As I told Ryan, when I run somewhere it makes me feel as though I "own" it in a small way. There's no understanding this sentiment until you try it yourself. He agreed later when we returned to the crowded Opera House grounds (the picture was taken when we returned later) that our quiet private time this morning with the great building make him feel a sense of "owning" it too. There's just something about running.
We made our way back to our hostel through the streets of Sydney, still decorated with Christmas themes. It's odd to have summertime mixed with Santa Claus, which Australia inevitably does, since they're on opposite weather schedules of us Northern hemisphere folks. We explored a lot today!
We did SO much today! What a great quarter-century birthday!
I'm too tired to write it all, here's a list:
* We topped the SYDNEY TOWER, a famous high spot on the skyline. (If you look at the far right of the pic, you can see a little white triangle, which is the Opera House).
* Saw the Hyde Park barracks and St. Mary's Cathedral
* Went in the Australian Museum, we loved learning about Aborigines and the native culture
* Free birthday Starbucks Strawberry Cremes while watching the giant game of chess in Hyde Park and people-watching
* Visited Circular Quay
* Walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, with view of Opera House:
Back and exhausted by 9:30pm (We feel like we've walked 20 miles. Our feet are killing us and even the hard, pokey surface of our hostel bed invites a restful sleep). Goodnight.