Family Visits Sydney!

"The love of a family is life's
greatest blessing"

April 24,

What a crazy day this was. I was dreading this day more than anything but at the same time was so excited. This was the day all my friends I had made from the past three months were leaving, and this same day my family was coming in for a couple of weeks. 

I stayed up until three in the morning with half the kids in our program in my room just hanging out and telling stories from the past three months. As the night went on I said my goodbyes with handshakes, hugs and cries. I wished everyone the best of luck and told them to keep in touch. The time we had spent in Australia was unlike any experience any of us will ever have again. We had lots of late nights and early mornings enjoying the limited time in paradise. It felt like we moved in and out in the same week despite accomplishing so much. Time literally flies when you have fun. I did not want this to end. I was literally living the dream.

As I laid my head on my pillow at 3am, I just stared at the sky reflecting on all the good times. Knowing the time was coming to a close, I laid awake hoping to slow time down. I may have got an hour of sleep and woke up at 6am to take a shower. I shared a taxi with my roommate Nick to the airport. With teary eyes Nick and I hugged it out and said our goodbyes. This was a fitting way to end the program as Nick and I had shared a room for three months and had become so close. It was tough saying goodbye to everyone in 505 but it won't be long until we have a reunion.

While it was tough saying goodbye to my family of friends in Sydney, I got to say hello to my family from Cincinnati. I met my mom, dad, brother and his fiance at the airport. We took a taxi and headed off to the same Meriton apartments I stayed at.

They were only going to be in Sydney for a few days so I was in charge of packing as much to see in those few days as possible. On the Sunday I took them to Circular Quay to see the famous Sydney landmarks of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From there we took a ferry to Manly beach where it was a bit chilly, and only the guys were man enough to get into the water. 

From there it was back to the apartment where the family got some much needed rest. Over the next few days we trekked through the rain and didn't let it slow us down. We saw an Imax about Australia, which happened to be the biggest movie screen in the world, we went up the Sydney Skytower, saw a rainbow at Bondi Beach, did some shopping at Paddys Market, Ate the best chicken burgers in the world, went to the world famous blue mountains, fed kangaroos, pet koala bears, and the thing I was most excited about, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb was something we did for my 21st birthday. I don't think there was anyplace in the world I would have rather been then on top of that bridge. What an experience that was. The Bridge Climb was rated by lonely planet travel as one of the top ten most thrilling things to do in the world. The tour lasted a couple of hours and we had to fight some storms on top of the bridge, but we fought through them and had a great time. Our guide, Mitch even had the group sing happy birthday to me while on the bridge. What a great birthday it was!

Fun Fact: The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the largest single arch span bridge in the world.

Next its off to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef!

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