Sydney, Australia: Day 4

                   This was the big day of the Sydney Opera House! We woke up and realized that we had to take to the car back (make that, got to take the car back..ha!) to Avis. We had the grand idea of running some errands with it and than dropping it off, but it was easier said than done. Apparently, Sydney’s parallel parking on the streets and most parking garages were shut down for New Years Eve. We pulled in and out of several garages and decided to make our way back to the rental place. I have never been more relieved to give up a car in all my life. Jordan did an amazing job, but it definitely was something I was happy to give up. 

                  Starbucks is not usually my favorite (Dunkin Donuts girl at heart), but my class had given me gift cards which we gladly used for lunch. We walked to a local tuxedo rental shop nearby and had the guy size Jordan up for our fancy night. It is important to learn the lingo of saying that we wanted to “hire” a tux versus “rent” a tux. Hire is meant for short term and rent is used for long term. It was better to not take a suit from home because we would have had to check a bag. It was less of a hassle with carry ons. We walked down the street, waited for the bus and made our way back to the hotel. Interestingly enough, we wanted to take a ferry to Manly Beach, but knew we had a big night ahead of us. 

                When we got back, we took a three hour snooze and then got ready for the show. I had to check the voltage on my flat iron before curling, but made those spunky curls happen. Jordan seemed to have the “Sharp Dressed Man” song reflecting from him as he got ready. The funniest part of this, was that we had to walk down the street in our tux, black dress and heels to board the public bus to the harbor. Let’s just say we looked a little out of place. The bus could only go so far because they had blockades around the harbor. We walked in a large, but organized line towards the Opera House. The guys checked all the ladies bags but failed to check Jordan’s tux pockets that displayed my flat shoes (just in case). 

                 We didn’t get the meal as part of the night, so we resulted to the highest class of food we could find…. a hotdog. In his dapper tux he managed to eat a burger and I managed to not get ketchup and mustard on my black dress. By the way, I ordered a lemonade and they gave me a Sprite. We ate our formal meal, wiped off the evidence and made our way into the basement of the Opera House. They were organized in making sure that people belonged inside and we got to the top. There were many dressed as formal as we were, then some were dressed in jeans and a polo. 

              We met people from America and South Africa. It was interesting hearing that Jordan could have done his PA program right after high school and completely skipped his Bachelor’s if he lived in South Africa. We also found out how much time they got off throughout the year. Apparently, the reason why we saw everyone lounging during all hours of the day in Sydney was because most companies shut down for about 10 days around the holidays. They took our pictures and we took theirs. We made our way into the actual room of the Gala.

            The room had a high ceiling and the audience surrounded the orchestra and singers. We honestly thought it might be a bit formal and uninviting, but it was quite the opposite. The speaker made references to events that occurred around the world in 2016 and the music was absolutely beautiful. The only reason that Jordan and I knew some of the classical songs was thanks to Cartoon Network cartoons with that music in the background. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much during the performance. At the halfway point, everyone went out to watch the first set of fireworks at 9:00. These were for the children and families not to have to stay up until midnight. 

             We finished the show with streamers flowing, champagne being passed to the singers and the confetti pouring over the orchestra. The “Midnight Party” option ensured that we would stay inside the Sydney Opera House until midnight instead of fighting the crowds outside. The room was surrounded by glass and overlooked the Sydney Harbor Bridge. They had appetizers, drinks, dancing and live music. They sang a lot of America classics and Jordan and I danced in fun and laughter. Once it was getting close to midnight, we made our way to the balcony. We were stuffed like sardines, but we had a direct view of the bridge. 

           They counted down and fireworks exploded from the same bridge we had climbed just days before. Regular fireworks came up in the sky on the left and right of us. The bridge was lined with light that coordinated with the music. One of the best parts was the golden rain shower of fireworks that came from the bottom of the bridge. I couldn’t believe the beauty of the lights and joy standing next to Jordan.  He was my handsome date and husband for the night and I wouldn’t have been here without him. 

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