Australia

After deboarding the plane, we made our way through customs. Just as we were to slip into the sea of people at baggage claim, our friends greeted us with open arms! I had worried about this meeting for Chloe, but she felt an immediate welcome when surprised with a stuffed koala and kangaroo from Gilman and knew Linda from pictures. We left the airport and were whisked to the gorgeous home that we will call ours for the next few days.For a cliff notes version of our day, we freshened up and left for an afternoon of sights. First we traveled to Manly where we walked through the shopping area. Katie and Karlie shopped for souvenirs as they soaked in their adventure and the excitement of really being in Australia.Chloe played happily in the water spouts that lined the walkway in front of the shops, with the innocence and joy of a six year old who finds magic with every breath. We enjoyed a wonderful taste of gelato at Gelatissimo, followed by a ferry ride to The Sydney Opera House. We ate pizza at Dawe's Point underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge in the upstairs dining area of Zia Pina Pizzeria, which was delightful as well as delicious. And Sydney Harbour Bridge...Until now, I could only imagine it's beauty. My chemo meditations have brought me here time and again - to a place that simply seemed peaceful and as far from the ravages of cancer as I could be. In those meditations, I would sit at the edge of the bridge, feet dangling over with the vastness of the ocean and the whole world at my grasp. Seeing it all in person...really feeling the majestic beauty of the blue water, watching the slow and steady waves, and finding power by simply breathing in the ocean air was more phenomenal than I could have ever dreamed. How splendid the feeling that nothing in the world matters in the grand scheme of things, if only for a few fragile and fleeting moments. Perfect!