Day 1 – Time to go down under
G'Day Mate, How You Going? (Australian for Hello)
I don’t know how many times we have said we are in the Delta Sky Club Room drinking Bloody Mary’s getting ready to go on another adventure, but once again we are in the Orlando Delta Sky Club drinking Bloody Mary’s getting ready to go on another adventure, this one down under. This is the first time we have been TSA pre-screened and going through security was so easy it was scary. In Orlando it usually takes an hour to go through security, but by being TSA pre-screened there was only one person ahead of us in line and we didn't have to take off our shoes and belts, remove the computer from the bag, or take the small liquid bag from the carry on. All we had to do was walk through a metal detector and proceed to the Sky Club. This is the way flying should be. Today we fly 1.5 hours to Atlanta have a 2 hour layover, fly 5 hours to Los Angeles, have a 4 hour layover, fly 15 hours to Sydney Australia, have another 2 hour layover, and then fly 3 hours from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand arriving Tuesday, February 9 at 3:30 pm NZ time. Even with the 18 hour time difference it is still a lot of time in the air. Total time elapsed from leaving Orlando until arriving in New Zealand 33 hours and 5 minutes. Thank goodness for lay flat seats and unlimited drinks in Business Class. We had lay flat seats when we flew to China and back and it was the best we have ever slept on an airplane.
When we touch the ground in Sydney, Australia; we will have stood on all 7 continents since 2004, completing one of the many items on our bucket list. Retirement is really, really a good thing! However we still have a lot more places to see before we complete the book “A 1000 places to see before you Die”. On this trip we are spending 5 days in Auckland, New Zealand before getting on the ms Noordam for two weeks, stopping at 5 ports in New Zealand and 4 ports in Australia and disembarking in Sydney on 27 February. We will then spend 6 days in Sydney before flying home on 3 March. February is summer in New Zealand and Australia so we should have pretty good weather. I had spent a week in Sydney, Australia in 1968 on my R & R from Vietnam but that was before I met Holly, and during that time of my life I wasn’t much into sightseeing. I am sure this time I will see Australia in an all new and different perspective.
As with our past trips, we will be keeping a daily travelogue of our activities to help us organize our pictures and thoughts when we return home. Those of you who have seen the DVDs and books we put together after each trip understand the importance of the daily log. Our e-mails represent our thoughts and observations at the time and in some cases any resemblance between our blog and fact may be purely coincidental. As always, if our e-mails start to get too boring please use the delete button or e-mail us and we will take you off the list. Please feel free to e-mail us with questions or comments at any time. During this trip we plan to send almost daily e-mail travelogues of our adventures because the ship and all of our hotels have internet access. The blog plus a full itinerary will also be posted at this web site:Just click on the NZ/Australia tab.
If all goes as planned the next update should be February 9th from the Langham Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, on the other side of the world.
“I would rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead.” - Jimmy Buffett
Hooroo, (Australian for Goodbye)
More to Follow
Tom and Holly