Saturday, November 19, 2011

Transition from Tropical to Cosmopolitan

My mom wrote this post about our Great Barrier Reef scenic flight...

Thursday began early for Zack who flew off before the crack of dawn to begin his journey back to Denver for a week or so to attend the wedding of his stepbrother Dave.  The rest of us slept in a little bit before our departure from the mansion at 10am.  After that, we processed into the little town of Trinity Beach with luggage in tow.  During breakfast we discussed the different activity options for the day before our flight to Sydney at 6pm; after good price negotiation over the phone by Justin, everyone decided to experience the Great Barrier Reef from yet another dimension – the air!  

The six of us divided into two four-passenger planes that flew at about 1000 feet over the town of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.  It was fascinating to see the reef colors and contours from above.  We flew over Green Island, a tourist “drop spot”, Parrot Reef – it was fun to see the large groups of snorkelers from above, and many other large reef formations.  We saw stingrays, noticeable by their black diamond shape and the cloud of kicked-up sand trailing behind them.  We also saw the reef where Australian wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin met his demise when pierced through the heart by a stingray.  The return flight followed the coastline and we were all able to see our mansion from another dimension as well.  Flying in a small private airplane has now been checked off of Cindy’s bucket list! 

We had a little bit of a wait in the Cairns airport before our flight; hence the creation of the song below, composed and sung over and over by Aubree, much to the dismay of Morgan and Ray.

Sittin’ in the Cairns Airport

Sittin’ in the airport.
Sittin’ in the airport.
I like to sit in the airport all day.
Sittin’ in the airport.
Sittin’ in the airport.
I like to sit until we fly away!

Notice how bored Morgan and I look in this picture!
Boarding a plane in Australia is quite laid back in comparison to the USA.  No ID is ever checked – all you need is a boarding pass.  Liquids are not a problem, shoes do not need to be removed, and non-passengers can accompany passengers to the departure gate as well as meet them at the arrival gates. 

Upon our arrival at the Sydney airport, we each bought a MyMulti1 Weekly Pass (allowed us to use any form of public transportation for a week, be it rails, busses, or ferries) and Aubree guided us seamlessly through the airport and onto a train, which took us close to our hotel.  I was so impressed by our once “directionally challenged” daughter!  After a few difficulties with getting the elevator and room keys to work (picture Morgan and me stuck in the elevator unable to open the door or go up or down for quite some time), we snuggled in for a good night’s sleep before our search of Sydney’s sights began the next day.


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