Planes, Trains, and Opera Houses

Every time I go to the airport, I am constantly wondering what I forgot or left behind. Somewhere forty-five thousand feet in the air I realized I left behind, Saturday. As my mind tried to work around the concept of time and how we can completely skip over a day or drag one out to two, I thought “Screw it! I’m headed to Australia!” And after 5 hours on a plane to San Francisco, a thirteen hour lay-over (by the way I don’t know if Australia is going to try to kill me, but the hills of San Francisco sure did), and another fifteen hour flight, I found myself in Sydney, Australia.

After nearly being run over by a stampede of Asian tourists and their guide – I’m sure it was a sight for anyone watching to see a 5’6” ginger sticking out of the middle of that group – I found a café to sit, access my day, and have a banana. It was in this charming café in the Sydney International Airport that I realized I left a few other things behind:

  1. My itinerary – For once I actually decided to be an organized adult and had created a schedule and noted places of interest to see in each city. Apparently, this was a sign that I’m better off winging it.
  2. List of music venues – I was a bit pissed at first as one of my favorite parts of travelling is going to hear live music in new cities. Then I remembered I Googled the list, so I can remake it.
  3. USB cord – Not shocking as I don’t particularly care about technology, so it would not have been on my mind. I’ll just post photos from my phone.
  4. Comb – I suppose this doesn’t count as I rarely brush my hair at home

Since I didn’t forget my passport, I wasn’t too worried about the above. I was slightly worried when I checked my email and realized my hotel in Sorrento had canceled, but they helped me book another place so all is good.

Realizing my penchant for forgetting things will always be intact, I headed into the city. By the way, Sydney’s train system is awesome. Super easy to navigate, clean, and spacious at two levels. For someone most familiar with NYC’s metro system (which will always be my favorite), I do appreciate a clean, non-stinking city train. It only got better when I stepped out at St. James station in a beautiful park with St Mary’s Cathedral looking down on me. With people having their morning coffee, jogging, and meeting friends it reminded me of being in any city in The States. And that feeling stayed with me later in the day as I walked around the city, taking in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, part of the Royal Botanical Gardens, and walking along the Twin Ponds. And then I came around the bend and

View from The Quay of the Sydney Opera House
View from The Quay of the Sydney Opera House

caught my first glimpse of The Sydney Opera House and was reminded I’m not in Kansas anymore – I’m in Oz.


The Sydney Opera House is probably one of the most recognized structures in the world. I get it, it looks like a flank of sails or kites hovering over the water. The whole harbor is amazing with the shops and restaurants lining the Quay and the Sydney Bridge looming nearby. On this Sunday, it was packed, and not just with tourists. The Opera Café and Opera Bar running along the water didn’t have an open seat, filled with dressed up locals. Though it was busy, no one seemed to be in a rush to get anywhere. It was as though the water lolled us all into the present, not wanting to be anywhere else.

As I sat for dinner at a little outdoor café at a table along the water’s edge, watching the dusk settle over the harbor, and swatting pelicans from my meal, I thought what a perfect view to start a trip.

  1. Mo I love your narrative so far. Are you blogging for a travel magazine? Uncle Tom and I can’t wait to follow your journey. Take care and have a blast!!

    Aunt Trish


  2. Amazing view! wish I was with you to see Ben Harper – he’s our boy! Enjoy every foot of your journey! Always remember the soul, heart and mind ALL need nourishing! I look forward to your blog! XO


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