We woke up at 6:00 as the ship was approaching the pier which is right downtown Sydney. We had amazing views of the iconic Opera House and Harbor Bridge. The sun was out to make it all the more spectacular. The only downsides were that our fabulous 2,621 nautical mile cruise was over, and we had many hours of travel ahead of us.
We were among the first to get off the ship at 7:15 …hence we said our goodbyes to the others last night… because we had an 11:30 flight. After a quick cup of coffee we lined up ready to disembark when number two was called. When the time came I slipped my cruise card into the reader and was told I was free to go. I hustled down the gangway taking no notice of the fact that Dan was not behind me. There had been a glitch with the accounting system, so Dan’s cruise card was denied. He had to go to customer service and settle our $39.75 balance before he was cleared to disembark. I got one quick text from him once I was on the pier before I lost WiFi, so I had no choice but to wait by our luggage hoping he would make it before the last bus left for the international terminal. What a relief when he came flying down the gangway just in time to jump on the last bus before it pulled away from the curb!
Dan was a marked man all morning it seems. His carry-on was searched going through security and he was pulled out of line for a random search at the gate. His luck changed and he was free to calm down once we boarded the plane at 10:30 and got settled into our United Polaris-class seats in the front of the plane.
The 13 hour flight, with all the wonderful service, went smoothly. I napped, read, ate everything that was served plus helped myself to the snack baskets, and watched three movies (55 Steps, The Wife, and Crazy Rich Asians) and a documentary.
Chasing Great, about NZ’s legendary Richie McCaw, was the documentary I enjoyed. Not like me to choose a rugby film, I know, but I guess I was still under New Zealand’s spell. During the cruise, I enjoyed learning as much as I could about the Mauri and the way they have integrated into NZ society, so it was fascinating to learn in this documentary that one of their native dances, the haka, has been performed by the All Blacks before international matches since 1905. It is a posture dance performed with great seriousness by the whole team with vigorous movements, stamping of the feet, rhythmical shouts, and tongues protruding in a gesture of fierceness. Very impressive.
Ready or not we finally landed at LAX, went through immigration, then customs, and then rechecked our luggage before finding our connecting flight. Downer of the day was we were not upgraded on this last leg of our marathon. Dan’s luck ran sour once again when a truly gigantic guy sat down in the middle seat and kept him wedged against the window for five straight hours. I was on the isle one row up with two small guys. Grin.
We left Sydney at 11:30 this morning and got home this very afternoon, thanks to the magic of time zones and the infamous International Date Line. We left in late spring and arrived home in late fall. Twenty-eight hours after waking up we walked through our front door happy, as always, to be home.
JUST A SUGGESTION
YouTube has multiple videos of the All Blacks performing the haka.
Well worth a view in my opinion.
2 thoughts on “Heading Home (Dec 2, 2018)”
I love that Dad was a âmarked manâ
He was getting a little hot under the color with so much ‘special treatment’ but quickly recovered once the warm nuts and G&T arrived in Polaris. 😉