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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Live, from Sydney, Australia … pure amazement

Everyone has a different definition of the term trip of a lifetime. I've had several such trips, most of them having taken place over the past 15 or so years. And I am on another one now, in Sydney, Australia. My wife and I are here for the next couple of days in advance of a 13-day cruise we will be taking to, and around, New Zealand.

We've already seen a number of sights, from the world-famous Sydney Opera House (photo above) to Manly and Bondi beaches - the latter of which we hit today and were almost blown off our feet by an ocean wind that had whipped the whitecaps into what looked like miniature tsunamis. And all of it has been … well, the kind of experiences that comprise the trip of a lifetime.

Take the Opera House, for example. You may have read all about it. But nothing - say again, nothing - beats seeing it in person. We opted to take a tour and, yes, the trademark shell-like exterior is unique - but the interior, with its wood-inlaid walls and ceilings contrasting with the gray concrete beams, is stunning.

I've always wanted to visit Australia, ever since I missed my planned R&R there from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. That I get to do that and also visit the home country of filmmaker Peter Jackson is almost too much good fortune at once.

I'll try to grin and bear it. And post about my experiences whever I'm able.