Sydney, Round 2

Still catching up on our travels home from New Zealand back in late September-early October 2014. We flew from Auckland to Sydney where we had a nice 3 day layover, and got to see even more of Sydney. First stop: Angel Place for the birdhouse art display in the alleyway:16-003

We did some actual shopping right around the Westfield Shopping Mall too. I say actual shopping because we truly were looking for tights for Natasha. We found some too, so that was a success, and I felt rich because we bought them at such a fancy location. Even though that’s about all we bought in Sydney other than groceries to cook at our apartment because whoa, stuff is expensive there.

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The above picture taken from a stand-still bus stuck in traffic. We seriously could have walked faster than traffic was moving, however we were tired of walking and once it started moving, it was better than walking because of the distance we needed to travel.




I didn’t want to leave Australia without seeing the Sydney Opera House and quite conveniently, one can view the stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge at the same location.






After one full day of being in such a busy, upscale part of the city, we were kind of ready to be back in the outdoors with more nature surrounding us, so next post will showcase some of Australia’s bush and outback. This seems so silly, but all I could think of while hiking along was, “It looks so… Australian.”  :)

And Off We Go

Another early morning for us, as we caught our flight from Auckland to Sydney October 28th.34-081


This was truly saying goodbye to New Zealand.




To ease the sadness, Daniel and I had a Kiwi snack while en route. Natasha was never real keen on these little crackers, and she was sleeping anyway. (Enter cues of the Hallelujah chorus.) So we literally ate them all.


Post Script: When posting this, I found an overlooked post from our last few days back in Nelson. So I posted it back chronologically where it fits in the story. You can find it here, or just scroll down and see it in between a couple previous posts.

Auckland For A Day

Once again, let me remind all you faithful readers that I am still playing catch-up for our trip home from New Zealand. This is just another in that ongoing series, so this particular post takes us back to October 27th, 2014.

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We had a simple flight from Nelson to Auckland, where we three would be spending the night before continuing on our journey home. Our little one did some coloring in the Auckland airport while we waited for Maria and Logan to catch up with us.15-014

We decided it would be best to get a rental car for us to do some sightseeing in Auckland, and it would be handy to have not only to get us around town, but to store all our stuff since we couldn’t check in to our hotel this early in the morning.

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As soon as we had transportation, we headed to Auckland Botanical Gardens to hang out for a while.


We had lunch at the garden’s cafe, and somehow Natasha acquired a little bottle of bubbles. (No she didn’t steal it or anything, I simply don’t really remember where it came from. The waiter? The cashier? Who knows.) It was a nice addition to our walk through the expansive garden areas.



Sometimes it is very hard to get a 4 year old to walk with you. If she stays close, she is usually complaining about the walk and how tired her legs are. But if you let her lag behind a bit, sometimes she starts talking to herself and gets transported to her own imaginary world. This is quite a relief, since it’s 100 times better than complaining. However, the downside is, she walks completely at her own pace, which is much slower than ours.


And, she gets distracted quite easily.


I, in the meantime, was in search of the popular Giant New Zealand Fern for a parting picture.


The kind rental car lady said we should definitely stop by the One Tree Hill area while we were in Auckland, and take a walk with the sheep. It was indeed a very good idea.


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I rather fell in love with the place, and depending where you stood, you’d never know there was all of suburban Auckland spread out on all sides of you.



We took Maria and Logan to the airport that night and sent them on their way home. We however, had several more days before reaching the United States. Next up, Sydney!

Saying Goodbye

October 27th had come. The morning we packed up and did the dishes for the last time in our little house on the hill, and said goodbye to the goats. We all (Logan and Maria included) were headed off to the airport. Logan and Maria had a separate flight after ours on the same day, so it was nice to have our very own departing photographer as our little family walked to the airplane at Nelson’s airport. Logan caught a very bittersweet moment for us as we headed out on the tarmac in the springtime rain.




I tried to capture the town of Nelson from the air, and if you know what you’re looking for, and really zoom in, it is possible to spot our house on the hillside in Nelson. From our vantage point at home there, you would have never known that those “hills” loomed up behind us. But they were there all the time. You just had to climb Grampians Reserve to see them.



Remember our boating adventure out to the Boulder Bank Lighthouse? Here it is from the air!12-008


Goodbye Nelson…many wonderful memories were made here and you won’t be forgotten any time soon!