Postcard from Highway One #43: Surprise!

2 January 2005

In August, my niece Kira celebrated her 18th birthday, but the genesis of this story goes back much further.

For such a significant birthday, I wanted to do something special but didn't know quite what until, in June, Virgin Blue threw out some special fares for July/August travel. I mused... "Hmmm.... now where can I go... and when.... can't go that weekend, I'm busy... can't go that weekend, it's Kira's birthday..."





Fast forward two months to the week before said birthday. Kira and Heather, her Mum, come with me to the airport to see me off. As I approach check in, handing my camera to Heather and asking her to 'hold' it, I say to Kira:

    "Can I have your drivers license, please?"
    "Why?", she asks.
    "Because we have to check in!", I say.
At this point, the rest of the family emerges from behind the rental car booths carrying her luggage, amidst much beaming and excitement.

Over the next twenty minutes, in an excited whirlpool of telecommunications, Kira informs all her friends thats she's going to Sydney and about the surprise that was sprung on her. Except one, who she missed. Who just happens to call the next night as we're wandering around Circular Quay:

    Kira: "Hello?"
    Caller: "Hi Kira, are you at home?"
    Kira: "No, I'm in Sydney!"

We spent three days in Syd-a-ney: Went to the top of Sydney tower; Got up close and personal with the Opera House; Took a ferry out to Manly; Even went to some factory direct outlet malls (yah, I know!).

Then, Kira's cruise director got his priorities all screwed up and we squeezed in a trip to the Blue Mountains on our last day; Hours of driving for a fifteen minute cruise through the mountains. Unfortunately our departing flight wouldn't permit a longer stay. But hey, not everyone can be Julie McCoy!

Cheers ;)

Move your mouse over each image for a narration, or in some cases, an entire novel! If the text narration disappears, you can retrieve it by removing your cursor from the image, then returning it.

Surprise! Kira's just found out she's going to Sydney for the first time.  It's also only the second time she's flown, she was just ten last time.
Skinny Sky Scraper:  We both really liked both the detail on this building, and it's precarious proportions, obviously dictated by the lot it sits on.
Look what's over MY shoulder!
Woolloomooloo & Kings Cross map:  In spite of having them to take home, Kira snapped photos of most of the tourist maps we picked up!  Since it means I can now throw this image up here and ask you to pronounce Woolloomooloo, it's actually turned out quite handy...  don't tell Kira!  Our hotel is opposite the '9' on Victoria St
Ms Cool on the beach at Manly
A large institutional building at Manly
Boats at Manly
South Head: the southern half of the entrance to Sydney Harbour
Robbie's obsession - Diet Coke with Vanilla:  When I asked Kira why she took this photo, she said it was because part of the trip was my exasperation at not being able to find this at a lot of places we stopped at to buy drinks!
Extreme Robbie close up:  This sort of thing happens when your eighteen year old niece has control of the camera!
A speedboat on the harbour
Cabbage Island aka Shark Island: Kira's audible wonderings about the name of this Island prompted me to christen it Cabbage Island, for no earthly reason!  It later turned out to be Shark Island.
Now what did I do with that palm tree?
Sydney Skyline featuring Sydney Tower and a felafel:  Kira and I decided that the building to the right of this image was a felafel!
Opera House close up
Breakfast at Birkenhead on our last day
The Blue Mountains: The Three Sisters


© Rob Morgan 2005