August 5th-6th Trip Days 14-15
Our last days in Australia! On one hand, the time had absolutely flown by, and I was sad that our adventure was coming to an end. But at the same time, I was very ready to get back home to the USA and my little Daisy (my dog). Coming off of a long, tiring day, I allowed myself to sleep in a little. But I couldn't sleep too long as we had plans for that afternoon and evening. We were going back to Sydney Opera House, this time to see a concert in the other, smaller theatre. (I performed in the main hall.) Before we left, though, we did a bit of packing, getting ready for our trip home. After lunch, we got ready for our fancy night out then headed to the opera house. Wine and cheese were on the menu for before-concert hors d'oeuvres which were enjoyed on the top level overlooking the harbour. The concert, Opera's Greatest Hits, featuring some wonderful Australian opera stars, was absolutely wonderful, and I enjoyed it immensely. After the concert, it was time to head to the Mercure Hotel where we had dinner reservations at a nice restaurant. It was such a relaxing day and one that went by much too quickly. On a side note, I must mention the very nice security guard I took my picture with. The night before, after my concert, I was looking for my bus and he was so nice and helpful. We talked for a little while. The next night, after the opera hits concert, he remembered me, so I had to get a picture with him. The next day, we again got up and did some packing as we had to leave very early in the morning, but we had plans for the rest of the afternoon. After a quick breakfast, we got ready and left our apartment, heading once more in the direction of the opera house, down to the quay where we had reservations on a whale watching lunch cruise! It was rather warm on the dock, but as soon as we got out of the harbour, I was very glad that I had worn my coat. It was a very good lunch as we motored out of the harbour, into the Pacific Ocean. I was glad we were spending our last day out of the city, doing something different. And it was well worth it! It took an hour or so from the time we left before we found some whales, but it was a relaxing, slightly chilly boat ride. Once we found a small group of whales, we followed two of them around for a little bit. They put on quite a show for us! According to a man on the boat who was commentating the trip and giving lots of facts about the whales, it is not terribly common to see a whale jump while on one of the cruises. But the whales we were following sure did! We saw two whales jump right next to the boat and two jump a little further off. They were very kind and let us motor next to them for a long time. We even saw a couple of whales waving their fins, repeatedly. It was so fascinating and exciting! We started to head back just as the sun was starting to set, so we (more like my sister) got some beautiful shots of the city all golden from the sun. It was such a picturesque way to end our trip. After arriving back at our apartment and eating dinner, we spent the rest of the night packing, unpacking, packing, packing some more... thank goodness my dad had brought an extra bag with him that we could put some of our stuff in! Our packing was interrupted by the sound of bells. I opened the sliding glass door, and the apartment was filled with the beautiful, chiming music of bells from a nearby church. I just stood on the balcony, looking out over the city lights for several minutes as I soaked in the last night-view of the city. With the chiming of the bells came a farewell to the city and our adventure. We were mostly packed by the time we went to bed. We all tried to get some sleep, but 5:00 came awfully early.