Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day 3 - Adventures in Sydney

So after watching daybreak from the rooftop club, we gathered up & ventured out of the hotel. We walked over to an area called the Rocks. It is just below the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The Rocks sports some very eclectic cafes & restaraunts, upscale shopping & some very hip open-air markets with vendors of all types. Reminded me of Santa Monica's Farmer's Market. We wandered & found ourselves at the base of the bridge.

We wandered back to the hotel in the rain, knowing that we were going to climb to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge with the EMC.

We met up with our fellow EMC members and dropped Jayden off with grandmom. Climbed aboard the coach & the Adventures begin. Leslie & I were in the 1st group of climbers, made up of LLI co-founders, Brent Payne & Shane Krider, their wives Julia & Michelle, & our direct team members & fellow EMC colleagues Gene & Heather Braxton, Jack & Robin Firestone & newly inducted Tony Rush. It was so great to experience this moment with our team. After a series of classes & instructions, we geared up & start our walk towards the bridge. We snapped our tethers in & begin the trek to the Summit of the bridge. The walk up was in the daylight. As we walk through a tunnel carved out of the cement, we emerge on a catwalk that has a grated floor looking down below. The impact of the height really hits now & the knowledge of knowing that we were still below street level begins to set in. We climb up a series of ladders slowly emerging head on with traffic to our direct left. We had climbed out a hole just to right side of oncoming traffic.

Still climbing, we continue up further to the top of the girder. From here we begin our ascent to the Summit of the bridge. On our journey to the top, we continue to look behind us @ the city of Sydney glowing behind us. The sun will have set by the time we make it to the top, so ensuring that we pay particular attention to the view behind us is important. About 1/2 way to the top, the rain began to set-in. It was very moving to me to experience the rain on the bridge. After living in the desert for so long now, rain has a very special meaning to me. Something I really took for granted when I lived back east.

We made it to the top of the bridge in about 2 hours. We spent a fair amount of time looking out all around us in Sydney. The sun has set by now & the city is glowing with lights. We can look down directly into the site of the Olympic swimming competition from our view @ the top.

As we descend, we are looking straight back @ our hotel & down town Sydney. We really get a clear view of how high we are on the bridge & how high we enjoyed our lunch from the Sydney Tower just the day before. After completing our climb, we again board the coach bus waiting on us. We go back to our suite, shower & change into evening clothes and are driven to an awaiting yacht called Morpheus. Our dinner cruise is now officially underway. We enjoy cocktails, conversation, Texas hold'em Poker & Blackjack aboard the yacht. After dinner, we are all out front cruising in front of the Bridge & light up Opera House, when Brent & Shane announce a special treat for us. The next thing we know, we are treated to a 20 minute firework display. The eveing is enchanting & magical. How fitting to realize that everyone looking @ the Harbor can see our firework display. The irony of LLI arriving in Sydney is poetic.

1 comment:

SheriAnne & Mike Nelson said...

How AWESOME was that night?!! It sounded incredible. Congrats to you and all the EMC members, you completely deserved your night on the Harbor!!
SheriAnne and Mike