By Prof. James Madsen
Our 2016 started with a long trip on the first day of the new year. Laura (Moon) Parmeter and I left from the Minneapolis-St Paul airport about 1:30 pm for Dallas-Fort Worth, and Robert Zill left Chicago O’Hare about 3:00 pm for Las Angeles. After a roughly 4 hour layover, we boarded the plane for the long flight to Sydney. Laura and I arrived 3 hours before Robert, so Laura headed into harbor area to see the Opera House and Botanical Gardens while I waited for Robert.
The first good sign for the trip was that I found Robert, and we set off for the harbor district. We walked across the harbor bridge, but took the easy way staying at road level. Some crazy people pay nearly $200 Australian to work across the top of the bridge arches. The second was that we were both able to find Laura at the agreed meeting spot at noon, the Fortunes of War, the oldest bar in Sydney. So we decided that good fortune warranted a beer, and some good food. Robert ordered a kangaroo steak which tasted like really good beef.
After lunch, we did a little shopping, and then split up again as Laura had seen the Botanical Gardens but Robert had not. Robert and I ended up going to the museum of contemporary art because it started to rain heavily. Laura braved it out on the bridge. Robert and I spent the last hour walking around the iconic Sydney Opera House. We met up again at the train station, and returned to the airport where we are waiting for our flight to Christchurch. Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on the cold weather gear fitting and any interesting nuggets from the orientation talk.