Happy Birthday to Dave, Happy Birthday to Dave 03/23/2020 Sydney, Australia to Buffalo, NY

After Kathy’s initial panic – at 1:30 AM! – when the United app started saying the flight was cancelled, we called United and got reassurance that the phone app was WRONG. Relieved, we could finally start our day – our last full day in Australia. Feeling melancholy about the trip stopping, or at best pausing, so early into our journey put a damper on the day. The decision was made to have a fairly relaxed day so as to not to exhaust ourselves prior to our early morning trip. We did manage to get out the door fairly early. We went to nearby Berowra Valley National Park. We took a nice hike that was not too long and not too strenuous but was great as we got some amazing pictures of kookaburras. Kathy got a scare early on in the hike when she passed an incredibly large spider in a web alongside the trail. From that moment on, she had Dave walk point to watch for snakes and spiders. After the hike, we found a nice picnic table at a small playground park to have our mainstay PB&J sandwiches. Not much of a birthday lunch, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Next stop on the agenda was a visit to Koala Park. This is a sort of petting zoo where Dave and Kathy got to see some awesome animals up close and even pet some kangaroos and hand feed emus and cockatoos! Dave remarked that this is the first time in his 57 years that he got to wear shorts on his birthday. Also, how can you top petting kangaroos on your birthday??? The rest of the day was spent on getting ready for our flight the next day. And, yep, we got checked in.

Just to spin your head…..it is the next day already!! We are on the flight soaking up being in first class. Our first time flying other than economy – and hopefully not the last. Kathy could really get used to this. Dave told Kathy she can fly first class all she wants – as long as it doesn’t cost more than $152 for both of us like these seats did! We got to the airport and there was a line that wrapped around several times to check in the luggage. Premium fare meant we got to skip the lines, take the express route through the security checkpoint and suddenly we were at our gate!!! In the time of social distancing, we really appreciated this. The 15-hour flight was much more palatable in the front of the plane rather than the back of the plane. The ride started out with champagne, followed by a steak dinner for Kathy and chicken for Dave. (The best piece of beef Kathy has had for quite some time.) The nice nap stretched out on our full length “bed” was a perfect!! Again, first class allowed for better social distancing, as we had the whole row to ourselves and there was more room between the seats.

The next stop was Houston, then Washington, DC, and then home to Buffalo, NY. We are sad to be cutting our trip short. We are, however, very grateful that we did not get stuck somewhere and will be home near family. (Not that we can visit anyone, as isolation is still king.) This is our last post unless we start traveling again. I hope you enjoyed our abbreviated journey.

Until the next time: au revoir, adios, auf weidershein, talofa, sayonara, ciao, cheers, or whatever language you use to say goodbye for now.

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