In an effort to see as much of this part of the world as we can, Mary and I have booked our first big trip.
We've booked a three-week holiday at the end of January. We'll be going to Sydney, Melbourne, and then on a travel tour of the upper East Coast including Brisbane, Cairnes, The Great Barrier Reef, and the Whitsunday Islands. You can see an itinerary of the travel tour if you go to:
But, that's not the best part.
We've got tickets to....
THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN!!!
We'll be flying into Melbourne to stay for three days and to see one of the world's greatest tennis events.
I am VERY excited.
(Secretly probably more excited for that part than the rest of it. Thanks, Grandpa, for that first tennis racket at age 9 that started my lifelong love of the game...)
But until then, we have three other smaller trips planned. This weekend we're heading to Mt. Maunganui (thermal beaches) and Rotarua (thermal mud spas), with a small stop in Matamata (where Lord of the Rings was filmed). I'll be taking the LOTR tour of Hobbiton by myself, thank you very much. Mary and Mary aren't interested, but I can't pass it up.
Next weekend, over the Thanksgiving holiday, Mary and I have taken time off to head up to the Bay of Islands. This is at the very tip top of New Zealand, where it gets thin and the country becomes a bay of islands (catchy, huh?). Evidently, at the very tippiest-top of the island there is a place where the two opposing seas on each side of New Zealand come together to crash into each other (very Moses-esque) and then fall away. That'll be worth the price of admission right there...
Lastly, during the first weekend of December we're heading to the Coromandel, which is one of the most beautiful spots in the North Island. I have not heard much about this place, or what's there, but hey, who cares!
After that, we're in Auckland for a month to save up more and more moo-lah for our Aussie trip. I'm planning on sparing no expense.
I have always tried to be a hard worker and have always enjoyed working two or three jobs at a time. Often, though, I never felt like I had much to show for it, as I don't do a lot of expensive shopping. I always lived on a small weekly budget, and pinched pennies whenever possible. Instead of spending my income, I was, and am still more of a pack-rat with it, saving it all up for when I really need it.
These thrifty ways came in handy as I was paying for this Australian trip... I was able to shell out BIG bucks for the whole thing without batting an eye.
It was a nice realization for me that became very evident for the first time.
And I felt good walking away knowing that all of my hard work does pay off.