So we’re back home safe and sound (booo!), and things here have been a bit hectic since we landed. (You can thank our cat and her terrible lungs, which have now been fixed, thanks to the surgical team at the Animal Medical Hospital and our dwindling bank account!)
Anyway, I finally have some time to blog today, so I’ve upgraded to a better photo package which hopefully should keep me blogging for the next couple of years. Fingers crossed!
Back to our epic adventure, this trip really was separated into three parts:
- Our time spent in Bathurst with all of our amazing friends and family for our (fourth!) wedding celebration and the baptism of our niece/Goddaughter
- Our honeymoon at the Great Barrier Reef
- Our last weekend in Sydney before we left, which just so happened to coincide with the International Fleet Review where over 20 ships from around the world docked in Sydney Harbour. (Plus they had the largest fireworks show Australia has ever seen … and Prince Harry was there!)
As I like to do (to keep the trip lasting longer, and to stop your eyes from glazing over at one ginormous post), I’m going to break my blogging about this trip into the three sections accordingly.
So back to last Tuesday, we had boarded a Qantas flight to Australia …
A note about Qantas before I go any further. Chris was beyond excited to have us flying this airline, which he normally flies when he goes back and forth, but I had never flown it before. Without making it into an entire post on its own, let’s just say that the flight over to Australia left much to be desired. (Crazy people causing a raucous on the flight. Only so-so food. They left my bag in L.A. — ahhhh!!). The part about the bag wasn’t so great — except that they really came through and delivered it to our doorstop the following evening, so it wasn’t quite as much of a disaster as it could have been. (My wedding shoes were in there!). Anyway, suffice it to say, our trip back was much different, and quite lovely. The food was tasty, and we were even given hot chocolate and ice cream! Plus there’s always free wine on Qantas flights — so that’s obviously a huge plus 😉
Anyway, I’ve gone a long time without posting a picture yet! I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but my dad and stepmom actually were lovely enough to come with us for this trip, which was beyond super sweet and amazing of them. So when we arrived around 8 a.m. on Thursday morning (which is about the same time we arrived on our last trip to Australia), we hit the ground running. We stopped again at the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains of Katoomba (you can read more about that here), and did the Scenic Skyway ride over the mountains.
After spending a full day in the Blue Mountains, we made the rest of the trek to Bathurst, which is where the Connor’s live.
Thursday night saw us meeting up with some more of Chris’s family (his sister, another sister and her boyfriend, plus his brother, his wife and their three kids). It was a packed house, and I don’t think anyone would have had it any other way. Then on Friday night, before things got too hectic with more family and friends coming into town for the Saturday wedding festivities and Sunday christenings, we were able to sneak away to a dinner with just the immediate family (all 13 of us!).
Then Saturday was the day of all days, my friends. The day of mine and Chris’s fourth (and probably final!) wedding celebration. Can I take a moment to pause here and comment on how incredibly lucky we are. When we decided last year to get married just the two of us, with one witness, on New Year’s Eve in City Hall here in good ole’ NYC where we met, fell in love and got engaged, we never could have imagined that our friends and family would react in such loving and amazing ways. To not only support us in that decision (and encourage us and provide us with goodies like a car service and champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and breakfast to make the day even better!), but to then turn around and throw us not one, not two, but THREE amazing and completely individual and unique wedding celebrations throughout the year — seriously most blessed couple on the planet, that’s who we are.
Anyway, I digress. So Saturday was to be our Australian wedding celebration! And to be honest — Cath and Vince really did the lion’s share of the planning. I mean if I’m being really honest, all of the planning! (As my mom did with the party she threw and my dad and stepmom did with theirs. Have I mentioned blessed?) Our celebration included a vow renewal at a church with Chris’s childhood pastor, and then a party at the beautiful Algona, overlooking the gorgeous scenery around Mount Panorama, the famous racetrack in Bathurst.
Of course I don’t have a ton of photos from this particular part of the trip because I was busy, you know, getting married again and partying and stuff. But I will say this — the night was awesome. Everyone had so much fun. The food was seriously tasty. The weather was perfect. AND the huge purple balloon that I brought with me all the way from the states was a huge hit with our photographer! (A big shout out of thanks to my new sister-in-law Kate Connor for that one! She ran out on the day of the ceremony to get it blown up for me. If that’s not a stand-up bridesmaid, I don’t know what is. Oh and she did my makeup wonderfully. Couldn’t love her more.)
Here are a couple of shots my dad managed to sneak:
Amazing. After the party at Algona a bunch of us headed over to the bar at the Rydges hotel (which was where most people stayed Saturday night) to keep the party going. It was so good to catch up with all our friends and family in Australia who we don’t get to see very often. Although I do have to say this — looking out over the room of 90+ guests at the party, I was so happy to realize that I actually had already met quite a decent chunk of them. Whether it’s through trips they’ve made to New York over the past almost six years that Chris and I have been together, or on our last trip to Australia, it just feels nice knowing we have such a strong community, even if they are all the way on the other side of the world.
As packed as Saturday was, Sunday was pretty much packed just as much! We had two christenings (one for our niece, Molly, where Chris and I were among the Godparents, as well as one for one of Chris’s cousins). After the christenings we had an Aussie barbecue in the park, then took my dad and Judy for a real ride about the racetrack (and let my dad drive, eek!), as well as out to this place called The Point to show them some wild kangaroos. Then we came home around 7 and Chris and his best friend, Cheese (yes, that’s a nickname) made dinner for about 25 of us who were hanging out at the house. The fun never ends with the Connor clan 😉
And that, my friends, about sums up the first leg of our trip, the leg which I will deem — Chris and Cheryl Get Married: Part IV.
It was fast and furious and fun — and very amazing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … we have the absolute best friends and family who would do anything for us. I hope they know it goes both ways.
Early Monday morning saw us heading off to Sydney again to catch our flight out to the Great Barrier Reef for the second leg of our trip, which I will deem — Chris and Cheryl Go on a (Belated) Honeymoon.
Betcha can’t wait for that one …. can ya 😉
Bis bald, friends! See ya tomorrow!