Mom has come and gone. It was a nice 10 day visit, but it’s time to get back into the traveling routine again. I met her Christmas-eve morning at the Sydney airport, but it took quite a while. Apparently the airline had lost her luggage, so I spent almost two hours in the arrival area trying to figure out what had happened. Luckily Qantas agreed to have the luggage delivered to our hotel in Canberra the next morning. Once that was settled, we rented a car and started out on the drive to Canberra. Mom wanted to go to Christmas Eve mass, so we found the local Catholic church after a couple of wrong attempts. We nearly had to have services with Methodists! 🙂 The next day we were invited for Christmas dinner with some friends of friends, and spent a great afternoon drinking beer and talking about just about everything.
We spent the next day doing all the tourist things in Canberra…the war memorial (amazing), the botanical gardens (Mom loved them) and the Telestra tower (yawn). That evening we headed down to the ski-town of Thredbo. The next day Mom wandered around town, and I decided to take the challenge of hiking up Australia’s highest mountain. I had heard it was an easy stroll, but I was disappointed with just how easy it really was. There was a steel grated sidewalk all the way up to the top, supposedly for plant conservation, but I suspect it was to make the mountain as accessible to as many people as possible. At the very least I can say I’ve now got bagged one of the seven summits!
The next day we drove down to Melbourne on one of the most fun roads I’ve ever been on! Lots of twisty spots thru green lush forests. We stopped in the town of Healsville on the way so we could see a wildlife rehab center. We weren’t really in the right place to see ‘roos in the wild, so this was Mom’s chance to get to see them. Once we hit Melbourne we started exploring the Queen Victoria’s market almost immediately. I got to be Mom’s pack mule thru the day, but she made up for it by taking us out to dinner that night. It was her first experience with Thai food, and I think she really enjoyed it.
The next day we headed to Sydney for New Year’s eve. We spent the day wandering around, checking out the opera house and the bridge. That night we saw the works at Darling Harbor, and then headed to bed right after midnight. Mom left the next day, and while I was sorry to see her leave, I was glad to get back to my travels again.