This was our second trip to Australia – we went three Christmases in a row. The tickets had been paid for before we realized I had breast cancer, and, as it turned out, the trip was an important respite between surgery and chemotherapy.
I only learned for sure that I would have to have chemo the day we landed in Sydney. Knowing that we would be returning to months of hellish treatment, we decided to have as much fun as we could during our vacation!
Dec 16: Departed SFO.
Dec 18: Arrived Sydney 8:35am. Stayed the night at the Old George & Dragon Guesthouse in East Maitland. This charming old building was across the cricket ground.
Dec 19: Stayed at Noah’s on the Beach in Newcastle (yes, on the beach).
Dec 20 – 22: Sydney. Did touristy things, like a walk around South Head with Zafar, a Woodstock schoolmate who has been in Aus for 25 years. (That’s one of the perks of being a Woodstocker: you have friends all over the world, even if you haven’t seen them in 30 years, or possibly have never met them at all!).
Dec 23 – 29: Rented apartment in Newcastle. The view was good:
…though not quite as spectacular as we had had the year before. (Sadly, the above view probably no longer exists: another building has been built that partially blocks it. Which is why we did not stay in that apartment again the following year.)
Brendan stocked the fridge with some of his favorite things:
Visited Dudley Beach, which has weird and wonderful rock formations, and a water spout (filmed the previous year).
Dec 30: Airport motor inn.
Dec 31: Flight from Sydney to Uluru.
Jan 1 – 3: Uluru
Jan 3 – 4: Fly back to Sydney, stay in Maitland/Newcastle
Jan 5 – 6: Sydney
Jan 7 – 11: Fly to Cairns, stay in Port Douglas.
Jan 11 – 14: Newcastle/Maitland, then back to SFO.