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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report The Great Australian Adventure

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We are a retirement aged (but not retired) couple who started traveling about 10 years ago when all the kids were "off the payroll". Australia was a go-to destination for both of us. I had done a lot of trip planning, but was worried about all the air travel in country, with corresponding transportation from airport to city center. Then a co-worker, who is a travel agent as well, told me she was planning a trip to Australia in October. It wasn't the trip I would have planned: 2-3 days in a location, then flying somewhere else. But we decided to do it; thought it would be pleasant to be with another couple. This was a Monograms tour.

We signed on for some Monogram extra tours, and arranged a couple on our own, using Tripadvisor for recommendations.

The day of travel: OY. From Fort Lauderdale to LAX was all day. We had a few hours in the airport (what a disappointing lack of restaurants!), and flight left at midnight. We all slept about 2-3 hours. Soundly asleep when, at 3AM LA time, they came around with "dinner", turning on all the lights, asking you to raise your seats, etc. Grouchy could describe me at this point.

Arrived feeling a little refreshed after coffee. No problem with customs, except I was sent to the "retarded" line, as my passport was old and didn't have a chip in it. That describes my technical abilities, as well.

The bus was there to greet us and take us to the Menzies Hotel. Nice location, comfortable beds, hot shower. The rooms were ready early, what a nice treat. We freshened up and went for a walk towards Circular Quay. It started raining, and we ducked into the Fortune of War pub, the oldest in Sydney. We had a wonderful lunch of shepherds pie, salad and good beer. After getting back to the hotel, we rested and changed our expansive dinner plans; we ate at the hotel pub. Nice buffet.

Day 2: This is Fodors day!!. While our traveling companions went on a harbour cruise, DH and I walked to the Opera House for a tour. Quite impressive. After, we went to the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Arts for a Fodorite luncheon. I am amazed that people took a train or a plane ride to Sydney to meet with people from across the globe for lunch. We had a wonderful time. So very glad to have been there with you!

After lunch, we took the ferry over to Luna Park, then walked over the Bridge back to Sydney. Who knew someone from the luncheon on the train would spot us walking the Bridge.

Dinner this evening was outside at a place at Kings Wharf. Despite very slow service and only tolerable food, the evening was pleasant. We made friends with a pair of cousins from Ireland in country to work for a year. Delightful.

More to come...

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