1. Crossed the equator
2. Crossed the International Dateline
3. Visited a new continent
4. Saw many, many fabulous cities (Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland etc.,)
5. And animals (OK, mostly kangaroos!) and birds. Wow, parakeets flying around!
6. And sites including the Uluru, Sydney Opera House and Bridge, the 12 Apostles, Hobbiton etc.,
7. This has also been the longest time that I have been away from my husband and hounds.
So, what were the highlights? It would be really hard to select just one - there have been so many and to choose one wouldn't be a true reflection of my thoughts, so I am just going to talk about some of the great things about this trip:
One of the overwhelming impressions, particularly of Australia, was the smell - and in a good way! With a much longer growing season, the plants/flowers/trees really do grow well and to see flowers that I would consider to be exotic, annuals or houseplants, growing by the side of the road and in peoples gardens, was quite amazing. And as a result, the air is gloriously fragrant and with the amazing birds flying by and singing, this trip certainly seemed like paradise!
And then there are beaches. I love beaches.
It really brings home the fact that I love the sea, and retirement in a beachside home is a must!!
And then there were famous landmarks (both natural and man-made) - Uluru,Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, 12 Apostles, Hobbiton (hey, why not!) etc:
And then there are the 'roos. Love 'em!
A quick word about sport - I love it, and it was great to watch Rugby (Union), Cricket and Aussie Rules Footy again. I'm sorry Canada, but those three sports do outweigh Hockey & American Football (in my mind!!!)
So what was the worst thing(s) about the trip. Well, I am afraid that there were two things. First of all the flies that were ever present in the hot sunny places (not Sydney though, yay!!). They drove me nuts! Secondly, Air New Zealand. It pains me to say this as the flight attendants were great, the flights were on time, in-flight entertainment was amazing, etc., etc., etc., but seriously - the space allocated per person in economy is ridiculous. I mainly fly on chartered flights these days, and the times when I have flown scheduled with Air Canada or British Airways, I was pleasantly surprised at the space between the rows. So when I heard that we were flying with Air New Zealand I was thrilled. Oh boy. How wrong could I be? 14 hours with the seat of the person in front of me about 12" away from my face. I couldn't even eat the meal properly or read a magazine as there was not enough space. There was more room on the Jetstar plane from Adelaide to Sydney and the Westjet flight from Vancouver to Calgary.
So that is it. A fabulous trip is now over. It was great traveling with my family - we all got along surprisingly well. Just a few niggles (and no, I don't want to know what I did that irritated them!!)
I am glad that I kept this blog as I would not have been able to remember everything otherwise . . . and the 1839 photos that I took would not have been easy to identify. Thank-you to those who commented it was great having you along with me! I would love to return and spend more time in Sydney, visit Queensland, go to Tasmania, drive round more of the coast, visit Bondi etc., etc.,
So until then - farewell xxx