MAKING MEMORIES WHICH WILL LAST A LIFETIME
To some extent it seems like yesterday when we began this adventure with our family get-together at Disney World. At the same time lots have taken place since the start of this adventure including the impact from Coronavirus.
Our original plan was to fly home on Monday and visit with family over the weekend. However, with the ever changing events from the virus we adjusted our plans and travel home today.
We enjoyed our final day and also got ready to travel home.
We have to say the Coronavirus did overtake the close of this adventure. We made some adjustments and that included pulling up our travel date to return home. We fly home in a few hours. At the airport now.
We hope you enjoyed following our Blog and feeling part of our adventure. We have created memories which will last a lifetime.
In the end it is the people who make our adventures very special. This included our time at Disney World with family, visiting with friends and family on the land portion of this trip, and traveling at sea with friends and making new friendships.
We thank the wonderful Hotel and Park team at Walt Disney World who made our family get-away an amazing experience for the entire family.
Many thanks to our Travel Specialist Gerri and to her outstanding team and to the folks on land at Crystal Cruises for all of the assistance they provided before the start of the adventure.
Special thanks to the amazing Crystal Serenity team which includes people who we have known since our first Crystal Cruise, or on any number of prior cruises or those we met for the first time on this voyage.
Crystal is our favorite cruise line for many reasons with the top reason being the amazing on-board team on each Crystal Vessel we have sailed. They are clearly part of our extended family and we adore them.
Let us close with a toast.
Until next time.
Anne Marie & Keith
As we mentioned we are staying at a hotel which is part of the venue where we got married. The hotel was built almost 25 years after we married.
After dinner at the hotel, on Wednesday evening we walked over to where we were married. We spoke with someone at the facility and walked the patio area where we were married and where cocktails/canapés were served following the ceremony. The reception was held inside afterwards.
Although we have aged since the wedding our love for one another and for life has only grown with each passing year.
The ceremony was closer to where the white wall is located. Although it rained earlier in the week we were fortunate to have moderate temperatures and clear skies on our Wedding Day.
After having breakfast at the hotel and freshening up we took Uber over to a nearby rental car location to pick up a Rental Car.
After picking up the car we drove to the town where Keith grew up. This included stops at his childhood house, the elementary school he attended, (five minutes walk from his childhood home), his best friends home, the synagogue he and his family attended which is also in walking distance from his childhood home, his Junior and Senior High School connected by adjoining doors, some nearby stores and a neighboring town.
We drove to other towns and had lunch out at a diner. After all, we are in New York. LOL. The size of the diner was deceiving as it was much larger inside than we thought when standing outside. Food was typical diner food. Large portions and the staff was super friendly. We didn't have a dessert but it caught our eye.
Certain times of the day we were reminded of the Coronavirus between the Uber driver on the way back from the hotel wearing a mask and the two clerks at a wine shop who were each wearing masks.
If the weather was warmer we would have spent additional time outside. Originally we planned to visit some beaches which Keith went to during summer months. However, with overcast skies it felt too cool to beach hop. We will save this for another time.
While there has been change since our last visit in the late 1990's and from Keith's childhood, many items do remain the same. This is true everywhere.
It was fun going down memory lane.
Anne Marie & Keith
After our last post we covered a lot of ground. Well air is a better description.
We were driven from the hotel by a private service which Emirates arranged for us. It is included with the service air category we booked.
The driver was very nice. We asked him if the Coronavirus had impacted the business and he said most definitely. Today alone there were 40+ cancellations. When we got inside the airport and getting closer to the international terminal the driver said normally there would be a major backup and there were no vehicles ahead of us. The airport seemed strange as it was very quiet and unlike our experience when we flew to and from Sydney in 2017 and flew to Sydney in 2018.
There was no line at the airport counter and the person who checked us in said things were relatively quiet.
Although we had priority for immigration it was probably not needed. There was no one ahead of us and the security line was all of two people in front of us.
We walked to the Emirates Club Lounge and hydrated with water and had a light snack.
We took Emirates flights from Sydney to Dubai where we changed flights and flew to JFK Airport in New York. Our original plan was to spend six days on Long Island where Keith lived before attending University and we were married. We've revised our plans to return home in a few days.
This was our first time flying Emirates and we flew first class.
These are photos from our first flight. They use a 380. We each had our own pod. The bathrooms were enormous and they include a shower but we didn't reserve it.
A couple of photos from the second flight from Dubai to JFK.
The first flight was full and the second flight was half full with about 90% of the coach seats occupied and 10% of the first and business class seats occupied.
We arrived to the hotel a little while ago. It is on property adjacent to where we were married and has the same name of the property. We visited the place where we were married with our own children around 1998 and the hotel did not exist at that point in time.
Before dinner last evening Keith went out on another walk from the hotel, over to Circular Quay, over to the Opera House, over to the Royal Botanic Gardens and back to the Shangri La Hotel. The Queen Elizabeth was still in port.
The hotel provided us with a plate of cheese, crackers, nuts and grapes and some sparkling Australian Chardonnay.
We enjoyed our final dinner in Sydney.
After breakfast, we took a walk over to Darling Harbour. Anne Marie hadn't visited this area. Keith did on a prior trip to Sydney. It was a nice walk.
The hotel was kind enough to give us a late checkout of 4:00 PM.
We are stopping at one other location on the way home.
Anne Marie & Keith
Today is our last full day in Sydney although we don't fly until tomorrow evening.
We enjoyed breakfast at the Club Lounge.
We took Uber over to our family. This time our driver was from France. He has lived in Sydney for thirty years. After a short time as a Pastry Chef in France he worked in this role in England before moving to Australia. He was mainly in this position at a variety of luxury hotels before retiring. He married twenty years ago a woman from South Korea. You do learn lots taking Uber. LOL.
It was raining hard on the way to Mosman. When we arrived there was a mist and the weather continued to change for the rest of the day from cool to warm, from overcast to sunny, from rain to a mist to nothing.
When when we arrived Emma and Andre were getting ready to go to school. Emma drew a face of her Nana on one side of the balloon. This became apparent when she drew Nana's bangs. Then it was Grandad's turn and Emma was generous with the amount of hair she drew.
Then it was off to school. Jennifer attended an early meeting with other Mother's about the instruments each 3rd grader is learning to play.
Afterwards we went to a shopping mall since it was rainy. We had lunch over near Manly Beach and we walked along the beach. There was a World Surf League competition taking place. Afterwards, we walked into some local shops.
All in all it has been a great day.
Anne Marie & Keith
After returning to the hotel we enjoyed a nice dinner and a relaxing evening.
We awoke to rain and after getting back from Breakfast it looked foggy outside. An hour later the fog cleared and although cloudy it was much brighter outside. From our room we could see the Holland Amsterdam and the Seabourn Encore at White Bay.
We didn't take a photo but we could see the Ruby Princess at Circular Quay from the hotel lounge.
Emma had a birthday party to attend and Andre and Gui were going to a morning movie so we stayed in the city and walked to various areas. The weather was overcast with some drizzle.
We had lunch on our own and the family came out to visit us by Bus. We walked around the city with them. We stopped at The Strand, Queen Victoria Building and Gui’s Office. The weather was much nicer with sunshine.
We had dinner at a restaurant where we dined with the family in 2017 which is known for its crepes. It is called Four Frogs Creperie.
We had a terrific day.
Anne Marie & Keith