Well we are now back in Australia, having taken 37 hours door to door!! We flew from JFK in New York to Los Angeles, arising at 3.45 for a 4.30 cab for 5am check in! From LA we flew 11 hours to Narita in Tokyo and then another 8 hour flight from Tokyo to Sydney, arriving 7.10 on Monday 9th January. I think the trip to Japan helped eased jet lag as our body clocks got back into sync with Australian time! And boy, we noticed the humidity and heat upon arriving!!! Thank goodness we didn't arrive back New Years Day when it was 42+!!!! Our baggage arrived safely and in all our flights and travels only 1 of our bags was opened for inspection. Speaking of bags, we did purchase another suitcase to transport our purchases home and came in under weight!!!

The last few days were jam packed as usual. We were both disappointed in Wicked, agreeing that American Hype was at its best with clever marketing to infrequent theatre goers. The second act was better than the first and only 1 memorable song. Andrew had to buy the whole book of music just to get that song. In our true theatrical adventures tour we saw a show on our last two nights. On Thursday we saw Doubt which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and I think Sydney Theatre Company are doing a production of it in 2006. We can now say, "We saw that in New York!!!" 🙂 It was very good with brilliant acting and amazing sets, recreating convent school corridors and offices very cleverly. For our last show we saw, A Light in the Piazza at the Lincoln Centre which is where the Opera, Ballet and Orchestras are based. It was the most operatic of shows we saw with clever staging and some great performances. It was about a mother and daughter on holidays in Florence and the girl falls in love with an Italian which doesn't meet the approval of the mother!!!

On Thursday we visited the Museum of Modern Art which holds some great pieces from classics (Van Gogh's Starry Night) to contemporary work (weird!). There was a Pixar exhibition which celebrated 20 years of animation which was well worth the look!! The cafe was good too!!! Then onto Times Square to get tickets to Doubt which since it was a play we jumped the queue and went to the Play only window (a great tip given to us by another tourist!) A further look in shops before going home and starting a preliminary pack (it was obvious we needed additional baggage) then crossing the bus crosstown and subway to theatre to see Doubt with dinner at McDonalds and Starbucks after the show!!! Another full day in NYC!

Our last day involved us travelling to all areas of Manhattan, starting with a 2 & a half hour, half island cruise. It was a great way to recap all the areas we had visited. We then caught the M42 bus crosstown to the United Nations building and did the 1 hour tour which was very interesting, including our guide whose heritage was Swedish/Tanzanian mix – made for an unusual accent!! Then a bus downtown to the hospital to pick up the medical records for Andrew – considering a usual request takes 10 days and we got them in 3, the gods were really shinging on us!! South Street Seaport was our next stop to get tickets for our final show – The Light in the Piazza. It was amazing that it took us ages to choose something which probably means we were at the end of our show tour of NYC – will have to wait for the new season before returning. Jumped back on the subway and went to Times Square for dinner before heading north to the Lincoln Centre for the show.

We then caught the bus home and started our final packing. By this time it was 11.30 and we had to be up at 3.30. We finished packing at 1.45 and grabbed a couple of hours sleep before getting a car service (scary driving which made us feel we were in a getaway car) to the airport!!!

As the sun rose over New York City (picture), we took off, hoping that one day we would return to this magnificent city!!

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