I was originally going to post this as we started our journey to New York in November 2020, but decided to change the post given the Pandemic.

In 2010 the affair to remember started. Not the movie, our affair with New York. We took a chance on tickets for a show at Madison Square Garden and before we knew it, we were on our way to the Big Apple.

Hopelessly unprepared for the onslaught that is NYC, we arrived, wide eyed and ready for the adventure of a life time. Ten years on and we now know NYC like the back of our hand. But those first few hours were just so much in our face that we didn’t know which way to turn, where to look, what to look at and where to go.

This trip, our tenth, will bring its fair share of surprises, but we will also enjoy the familiarity we have built up over time. I can’t wait to share your trip with you.

If you are keen, or mad, why not, see how we discovered New York and go back to the beginning. Or stay here and find out how our trip unfolds…

STOP PRESS

Will our trip go ahead? I’m writing this in May 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m tracking the calamity here:

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

We’ve been in isolation, semi lockdown now for five weeks. Canberra has been pretty isolated from the worst of the disease, but nonetheless, we are still putting in place measures to mitigate the spread.

A driveway in our street: Be happy!

Personally, we haven’t been effected too much. We’ve had to cancel trips to Singapore, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. First world problems! We are safe, healthy and have a roof over our head. Thats the important stuff.

Me woking from home

The world is a different place. We are working from home, like most, lucky to still have jobs. We video chat with family and friends, have special dinners with take away food, exercise in our courtyard and go for long walks in our suburb. I’m studying online, a digital marketing course through Columbia University.

Mardi workmen from home, two cats and a dog supporting her

During the crisis I’ve lost an Uncle and Auntie, not coronavirus related, but nonetheless sad and difficult with limited access to family. Dad’s sister, Betty and his brother, Terry were both lost. The saddest thing was the funeral, only ten allowed. Very hard for dad to grieve his siblings.

Attending a funeral, virtually, So sad.

We’ve lost a cat due to cancer as well. Midnight, AKA, Blackie, was with us for thirteen years before he developed a quickly growing cancerous tumour.

But otherwise living life as most are in a changing world.

16 September 2020

Four months ago we were thinking maybe New York will be on, but today the USA passed 200,000 deaths. The world is about to top 30,000,000 cases so far. We aren’t going to New York this year, nor probably next year. We are not alone, everyone has been impacted in some way. Whether it is a holiday being cancelled, a loved ones funeral missed, a job lost or the myriad other impacts too numerous to list, we’ve all lost something this year.

We’ve made the best of it, we are lucky as well. We both have our jobs, our home is safe and secure and we live in a part of the world where less than 500 cases have been seen.

Something we did get done this year though was a bit of a house renovation. I wrote a blog on that, check it out here. And see the latest project updates here.

November 2020

November comes and goes and as expected our trip gets cancelled. The world is still in the grip of a pandemic.

As 2021 roles on we decide to see a little more of Australia. As a country we have done well, lockdowns every now and then as hot spots pop up, but for us the worst is over.

I start a new job in December and travel restrictions lightening allow me to see my diverse team, spread up and down the east coast.

January 2021

As we move into 2021 we start to explore where we might like to go. It seems things are getting back to normal. There is talk of a vaccine and maybe, juts maybe we’ve escaped the worst of it.

April 2021

In April we visited Uluru. See the blog. A great break away.

Shortly after our trip to the red centre though, Australia was dealt the Delta variant. Starting with a lone limousine driver, the variant quickly spread, and within weeks three of our states were in total lockdowns with around 3000 cases per day. The vaccine roll out has started, slowly, but this news hits hard and there is a rush to get vaccinated.

June 2021

Then we are hit again as outbreaks start up and our vaccination program has only just started. In Canberra, one case causes a full scale lockdown. We got into lockdown for seven weeks. Sydney is in lockdown for five months and Victoria continues totalling around ten months in total lockdown before any freedoms return in September.

During lockdown we lose our believed Wigi. He has become a constant companion as we work from home, affectionately known as our office cat. He is always around, appearing on most Zoom calls and helping us get through the day. We also lose Chrissie, our 13 year old are white cat. Both succumb to kidney failure.

Wigi

During lockdown we simply worked from home, again, during the week and pottered around our house on the weekend: gardening, cleaning, cooking. Much of the time though during lockdown we were in the middle of our cold winters, so we caught up on some TV and discovered some new shows and relived some old favourites.

September 2021

Springs comes to Canberra. Wet and mild, and a sense that lockdown might be over. We befriend some local magpies and keep working from home.

Magpies on our front wall

November 2021

As we emerged from lockdowns life began to return to normal.

Then the Omicron variant emerges and chaos emerges. But with high vaccination rates, at least where we live, +98% most people just go about their daily business. Cases spike again around the world, but limited lockdowns and business as usual continues as health systems appear to be coping.

December 2021

Cases explode across Australia, more than 10,000 a day in NSW, but high vax rates means life is as normal as it can be. We spend Christmas at home with close friends after a short trip to Sydney before the explosion of cases. While in Sydney we visit family and enjoy dinner with friends. We also see Hamilton with my brother and his wife. After multiple lockdowns and cancellations, our Hamilton experience was well worth the wait.

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