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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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Trip Report Australia and New Zealand-Ongoing

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As I often at least TRY to do I will as much as possible make more or less daily entries to this trip report.

As background, we began planning the trip about one year ago. One reason for that was we knew we would be in Sydney for the New Years Eve fireworks display and that some hotels with views of the harbor and bridge would sell out very quickly. You can imagine my disappointment when I learned that the places I was most interested were already full 12 months out. But more on that later.

My husbear and I have never been to this part of the Pacific region in the past. We've been to various countries in the Far East previously and I spent two combat tours in VietNam which really isn't akin to the usual travel/visit but you get the idea. We knew Australia is huge; we also had been told by numerous friends that New Zealand has spectacular scenery. Combining the two seemed realistic. We also know how we like to travel and I am acutely aware of the differences in interest in our household.

I am the person who usually "does the planning" and Mr. Excitement simply comes along for the ride. Fine by me and has been for more than 42 years.

We left Miami on Wednesday afternoon and flew non-stop to Los Angeles. Spent several pleasant hours hanging around in the Star Alliance lounge in the Bradley terminal before boarding our Air New Zealand flight to Auckland. There was no way we were going to make this journey of 12+ hours from LAX in anything but a flatbed seat and it was worth the money IMO. Good service from the flight crew who were dressed in Santa hats and had strung holiday lights in the airplane galley area.

Smooth flight and on-time arrival; took showers in the Air New Zealand lounge and had a bite to eat. Weather overcast; one of the lunge workers (from Fiji) declared that, "It is always like this in December." We were glad to have arrived.

About three hours later we boarded our flight to Perth where I am typing this in the hotel room. Weather is great here; as I look out the window it is totally cloudless and beautiful. Palm trees like at home (we live on the beach in Fort Lauderdale) and of course, all those eucalyptus trees.
The room was ready (gratefully) and we are staying in the Hyatt for the next couple of nights.

The main reason we came all the way to the West Coast is so we could take the Indian-Pacific back to Sydney. Yeah, I know, but I'm the "train person" and I've wanted to do this trip for years and we already know we can't "do everything."

We will have our Christmas dinner in the hotel tonight at their rather pricey buffet. We figured this was a safe bet since as we rode into town in the taxi it was obvious that lots of establishments are closed for the holiday. I reserved via email with the hotel some weeks ago.

So, on that note, Merry Christmas to all of you who might be reading this. I'm delighted: no airline delays, no lost luggage, the food on the plane was certainly edible, and even the movies were good. AND we are finally here. What's NOT to like?

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