Monday, January 26, 2009

January 26th, 2009 - Queenstown, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia

Uneventful flights from Queenstown to Christchurch and then on to Sydney where we managed to track down the unclaimed trekking poles despite the baggage service guy looking at the rack of lost items and saying “Man, people can be so STUPID. Oh, I mean, not you.” Sorry Lee. Old poles are coming home.

The one heads up play we’d made in Queenstown was to contact the concierge at the hotel in Sydney and ask him to book us a table for dinner where we could watch the Australia Day celebration at Darling Harbour. Despite being a rainy night, thousands lined the wharf and filled the restaurants sporting Australian flags on shirts, hats, and of course, umbrellas. There was a parade of boats through the harbor with presentations including tributes to the Aboriginal (who were actually the “original” people so that’s confusing) and the Chinese New Year which hasn’t fallen on Australia Day for something like 100 years.

From 2009-01-18 Australia and New Zealand

From 2009-01-18 Australia and New Zealand

From 2009-01-18 Australia and New Zealand

Sometime between the lobster and the fried baramundi in our towering seafood platter the fireworks started going off. Amid chants of “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy” (which reminded me of my Jewish grandmother at a Black Sabbath concert. No? Okay, nevermind) people were having a great time and mom got teary at the patriotic spectacle. Ann and I were more worried about mouthing fake words to the Australian anthem so we didn’t catch a beat down from the increasing intoxicated hordes roaming the waterfront.

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