Day 14, my final day in Australia, was essentially just an extension of Day 13. We never went to bed! We took the red-eye flight from Darwin - I slept maybe an hour and a half on the flight, and Stephanie didn't sleep at all. Our plans to rest until noon were spoiled when we realized I left my passport in Kakadu. We landed in Sydney around 6:30 a.m., grabbed our bags, took the train back to town and walked back to Stephanie's flat where I quickly changed clothes, brushed my hair, tried to make myself look a little better by putting on some makeup, and then we headed over to the U.S. Consulate for my rather expensive and unintended souvenir - a new emergency passport! When Stephanie called the night before, she was told that we needed to get there as early as possible. By 8:45 I already had my new passport photos in hand, had gone through security, and was in the lobby of the consulate waiting for my number to be called. It didn't take long - the consulate officer gave me the paperwork to fill out - and then I waited for them to process the passport. I walked out of there at 9:30 a.m. with my new one-year passport in hand. It pays to know people!
|New passport in hand - I would be able to fly back to the USA the next day.|
We grabbed some banana bread for breakfast, then went home to relax for a little while and shower to make us feel better. I never did go to sleep, just rested, called home, and checked facebook. Around noon we set out to enjoy my last day in the land of Oz - I just couldn't spend the day at home! In her 3 years in Australia, Stephanie had never climbed the bridge pylon (I did on my last visit). Well, we got tickets for that with our bridge climb, so we decided to climb the 200 steps to the lookout for amazing scenic views of Sydney. You can't take your camera on the bridge climb itself, so lots of people like to climb the pylon for photos - it's worth it, for sure! We spent a while walking around the lookout, taking pictures and selfies and waving to the climbers on their way up the bridge.
|Panoramic picture of Sydney Harbour|
|My sweater matches the sky!|
|I LOVE this picture that Stephanie took - it's obvious I'm taking a pic of my favorite building, as you can see the Opera House sails in my camera lens!|
|It was really windy up there!|
We decided to walk the rest of the way across the bridge to Milsons Point, then catch a ferry back to Circular Quay. This day was really all about the photos - we stopped at so many beautiful locations for pictures with my two favorite Sydney landmarks. It was nice not to have an agenda - we just wandered and took pictures - so much fun!
|Walking across the bridge|
|Finally, a decent picture of me with the Opera House from the ferry!|
After one last schnitzel dinner at our favorite Rocks Cafe, we decided to walk over to Macquarie's Point to watch the sunset, but as we rounded the Opera House and started into the Botanic Gardens, I told Stephanie I didn't think we were going to make it before the sun actually set, and I didn't think I had the energy even if the time allowed. The relief on her face was priceless! So we stopped just inside the gardens, relaxing on a park bench while we waited for the sunset, which actually turned out to be rather disappointing. But we got a few more special photos while we waited. Then we walked home for the last time, where I packed up my suitcase and readied myself for the long flight back to the USA the next day.
|I think this is my favorite picture of me and Stephanie from the whole trip!|
I can't say enough about how wonderful this trip was. It wasn't so much that I saw amazing sights or did new and exciting things, though I did! It was the opportunity to be in one of my favorite places on earth, to see and experience and enjoy and explore, and to share so much of it with my best friend. Stephanie and I were able to spend more time together out in the city, and we loved every minute!