I’m on the Bus

22 Jul

With the push of a button I had just spent $20 for 500 MB of internet.  I’m so used to wifi in the US, completely oblivious to the cost of wifi abroad, paying for the bandwidth and data vs. actual time on the web.  I was successfully able to upload some more pictures, share them, and share a Skype call with my wife on our anniversary. As my wife positioned the camera I could see my daughter staring, and with a brief pause, she yelled “Daddy!” The rest of the conversation was either a “daddy” or “mommy” or “Gingy” as she could see her own picture on the screen. Not a bad way to start the day than hearing and seeing my beautiful family. 

One of the original statues from the Summer Games in Sydney.

The bus ride was fairly uneventful, blustery weather, cold and some rain highlighted our trip. We stopped off at McDonals, I’m finding it to be a good stop as the McDonalds here made a big switch to a healthier menu, they have a full coffee shop, and free wifi.  I may go in for a coffee, but I will stay for the free wifi. The McCafe here was impressive, I got a cinnamon custard desert, delicious! They operated much like a Starbucks with the full espresso machines and coffee made to order.

Next up was a brief stop to spot some Kangaroos, they were a bit big.  We did not get too close as they are pretty good at kicking and no one felt like flying.

We spent a good part of the day at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) seeing where the olympic athletes train.  We got to see one of the most technologically advanced pools in the world with 26 cameras to video tape swimmers from multiple angles.  We had lunch here, one of our best meals as everything is engineered to help athletes perform their best. After playing a few sports ourselves, we were off to parliament house.

Poor image quality, but still the Magna Carta

Parliament was a buzz as they were discussing the new Carbon tax, and each part – liberals and labor – had their own opinion.  We got a brief glimpse of the new prime minister, and got a tour of the house.  The views were gorgeous, and though a cold day, we got some spectacular photographs.  We did get to see one of the 4 original copies of the Magna Carta from 1214 AD.
We drove by the US embassy, learning that the Virginia brick style complex is really built on US soil that was shipped over from the states – yea tax dollars.  It was all decorated for the 4th, they looked ready to have a celebration.

I tried to support Parliament, then, like a bee, it stung me.

After a nightof the kids fighting over the laundry machines, it was off to bed.  To say Canberra was cold is an understatement – it was downright freezing dropping down into the 30’s.  Also, we had kangaroo surrounding the hotel.

If there is a moral to this story, beware of high costs for wifi and internet when you travel. And, being the southern hemisphere’s winter, anything south of Sydney is unbelievably cold. We missed the snow, but it was cold, there were some serious layers going on in this group.  The boys still wore shorts, and froze, but would admit it (it’s a guy thing). So the girls stole their sweatshirts and admired how freezing manly they all looked.

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