Day 268 – Sunday January 13, 2008 – Canberra, Australia
As I mentioned last time, Sunday was the “big game” and I rented a hotel room with satellite television to see it. I had done my research and found out that the game was going to be on Fox Sports 2 here in Australia. Naturally, I booked the hotel based on them advertising having Fox Sports. Unfortunately, when I arrived and checked into the hotel, it became evident that the rooms had ESPN and not Fox Sports. A little note mentioned that Fox Sports was available in the sports bar downstairs. The bar was open every morning from 11am the note said. This didn’t work for me since the game started at 8:30am. At this point I was starting to feel a little anxiety.
Luckily my years of living have taught me to calm down and ask for help when needed. As we headed out of the hotel for dinner, I chatted with the nice lady at the hotel’s front desk and asked her if it was possible for me to go to the bar before it opened. She told me, “No problem” and that she would leave a note for the morning staff. I was excited, but a little weary as these things don’t always go as smooth as possible. The next morning, I woke up extra early to head down to the bar. I figured if there were any problems we would have ample time to resolve them before kickoff. When I inquired at the front desk, they were already expecting me and I thought to myself, “Great service!”
After offering some coffee, a nice lady escorted me into the bar area where she proceeded to turn on a couple of televisions. Unfortunately, she had never operated the complicated equipment and had no idea which remote or box controlled which tv. After spending almost twenty minutes fooling around with it, she finally got the idea to call an off duty bartender who explained it all to her. Fortunately, about five minutes before the game started, I was in business!
It is ancient history by the time you read this, but the Packers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 42-20. By the time the game ended and I headed back upstairs to take a shower it was around 1:30pm. Jasmine wasn’t going to let me keep us inside for the rest of the day, so we decided to visit the National Botanical Gardens, since it seemed like a fun thing to do.
The botanical gardens in Canberra are located a couple of kilometers outside of the CBD. In fact, most everything is pretty spread out in Australia’s purpose built capital city. Upon arrival, we opted to follow a marked circular path on a one hour tour of the gardens. The path took us through typical Australian landscapes including a mocked up northern rainforest, dried out outback landscape and of course native bushland. The circular path helped us cover everything in the garden without confusion. This was very nice, since the layouts of gardens in other cities have not been so easy to navigate.
After finishing at the gardens we went to the main shopping mall in Canberra to walk around for a while. Our agenda for Monday was filled to the brim with exciting activities. We would start at the Australia War Memorial before taking a tour of the Parliament House and admiring the wonderful views of Canberra from the Telstra Tower. After a few days of not doing much of anything, we were excited to have a full plate once again!
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The Coomer Family