On Sydney Harbor Cruise

On Sydney Harbor Cruise
On Sydney Harbor Cruise

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Australia Day Gala in Boston

On January 26, 2011, the Oprah Road Trippers attended the Australia Day Gala at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston.  I was flown up from Florida by the Tasmanian Department of Tourism on the day before and took the MBTA from Riverside into Boston in a snowstrom.  Thanks again to my Tasmanian friends for the Blunnies, a traditional Australian boot we were given while down under.  I sure needed them walking in the snow covered streets of the city.  We decdied to stay at the hotel because of the storm.  At 6:30 we finally got to meet the wonderful Malcolm Griffiths who has been our liasson with Tasmania.  He escorted us to the wine reception. Here we mingled with Qantas executives who had been very influencial in getting us to and around Australia in December.  We met up with Michelle O'Bryne, the Minister of Tourism is Tasmania who had been the force behind our fairytale trip and now this fantastic celebration.  After the Wine Reception the wall opened up to the Grand Ballroom and we joined about 200 other attendees for a delicious dinner accompanied by outstanding wines from Australia.  The Australian Ambassador, Kim Beazley, joined us for awhile.  What a delightful night to end our Australian dream.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oprah's Australia Shows on Tuesday, Jan. 18 -Friday, Jan. 21

I just found this information on the Oprah shows on Australia next week, Tuesday thru Friday.  They are airing on her regular show not on the OWN networK.  The parts in red will feature the "road trippers" as we are now called in Oprahland (we may be in some of the blue).  We will also be on Friday's show right after Olivia Newton John and before the finale. All the shows should be pretty spectacular.  Hope you can watch.  Enjoy. Here are the highlights, as issued by Winfrey’s publicists:
  • Part One: (Tuesday, January 18) Oprah begins her Australian adventure with a bang as she lands on Hamilton Island and has a close encounter with a pair of frisky koalas.  She enjoys the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef and hosts a beautiful beach barbeque with celebrity chef Curtis Stone.  Then, Oprah travels to Uluru where she experiences the spiritual heart of Australia and an unforgettable dinner under the stars with local Aboriginal people.  Next up, she meets Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and a crowd of 10,000 in Melbourne’s Federation Square.  Plus, some of Oprah’s ultimate American viewers hit the road for a jaw-dropping jaunt through Tasmania.
  • Part Two:(Wednesday, January 19) Our incredible Australian adventure continues as Oprah gets a firsthand look at the Australian lifestyle.  See what happens when she goes knocking on doors, including an unexpected pop-in at one local viewer’s weekly taco night dinner.  And, hidden cameras capture the special delivery Oprah had in store for one of her ultimate Aussie viewers who was nine months pregnant!  Then, nearly 500 feet above the Sydney Harbor, a brand new world record attempt as Oprah and her audience make their way to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb.  Plus, our fleet sets sail for a once in a lifetime regatta with Oprah’s first mate, Russell Crowe!
  • Part Three:(Thursday, January 20) Oprah hosts the first of two shows from the world famous Sydney Opera House in Australia. First, tune in for a tribute to the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin with his wife, Terri, and children, Bindi and Robert. Then, find out what happens when ten-time Grammy® winner Jay-Z helps deliver a million dollar surprise, Oprah welcomes Oscar® winner Russell Crowe, and watch a heart warming surprise for a dad battling cancer. Ultimate wildest dreams are coming true!  Plus, Bon Jovi rocks the stage.
  • Part Four:(Friday, January 21)It’s our Australian grand finale from the Sydney Opera House with U2’s Bono and some of Australia’s best loved stars!  First, see actor Hugh Jackman’s headline-making entrance and what happens when he introduces Oprah to the wonders of vegemite.  Then, it’s their first interview together – Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban!  Plus, thirty-two years after starring in “Grease,” icon Olivia Newton-John joins them as the biggest names from Down Under bring the house down!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 9 The Journey Home

On December 15, 2010, our Ultimate Australian Adventure came to a close.  But there was even one more wonderful surprise in store for us as we waited at the gate to board our Qantas flight home. Oprah Winfrey came to the airport to say goodbye to each one of us individually!  What a humble and kind woman!
Thank you Oprah and the marvelous people of Australia and especially our cherished friends in Tasmania.

Day 8 The Oprah Winfrey Shows

After another delightful buffet breakfast at the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney, Tuesday, December 14, 2010, our final day in Australia, began.  All 302 Ultimate Viewers walked a short distance down the hill to the Opera House. Along the way we were greeted very enthusiastically by lucky Aussies holding tickets to the morning Oprah Winfrey Show. The show was taped outside with 6,000 Aussies in the audience. This was the first of two Australian Oprah shows, her first ever filmed outside of the United States.

After the first show, we were treated to an elegant luncheon in the Northern Foyer of the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House overlooking the harbor.
An afternoon of trying to pack was cut short when the six "Road Trippers" had to get back down to the stage for "Hair and Make-up" and be escorted to our front row, center seats for the second and final Oprah show.

Along with footage of the many adventures of the 302 privileged American guests, four shows will be aired in mid January.  Many famous Australian entertainers as well as "everyday" Aussies will be featured.  The six "Road Trippers" are actually part of the final show.  Be sure to watch and join in on our excitement  and share our fantastic memories of this trip of a lifetime!
A beautiful farewell dinner was held for us in the Opera House after the show.  Many photo ops and tearful goodbyes were heard. What a fantastic bunch of new and wonderful friendships were made during this dream-filled journey.

 Then it was back to the hotel to finish packing up our many treasures and calling down for a 5:00am wake up call.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 7 The Regatta and U2 Concert

Monday, December 13, 2010,  It was time to go sailing on Sydney Harbor! Cathy, Deb and I ventured onto the "Anti-Money," an Eastsail sailing yacht for a three hour lesson and sail along with 21 other sailboats, one tall ship and two spectator boats.  Oprah and Russell Crowe were on one and Gayle King on another as we thoroughly enjoyed a picture perfect morning on the beautiful blue waters surrounding Sydney.  We sailed past the Opera House and under the Harbor Bridge before arriving at Darling Harbor and the Bungalow 8 restaurant at Sydney's King Street Wharf for a delicious brunch.  Oprah gave an inspiring speech that had us all in tears of gratitude for the opportunity to share in this wondrous trip.

Tonight was billed as "A Surprise Event."  All of us boarded buses with a boxed gourmet dinner in hand setting out for parts unknown.  After about 10 minutes in the bus our Event Architect guides showed us a DVD announcement by Oprah that we were on our way to the ANZ Stadium , the home of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney to see Jay Z open for U2!  Another OMG! What an amazing experience!

Day 6 Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb and the Historic Rocks Precinct

OMG, today, Sunday, December 12, 2010, we climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge! It all began about 7:30am when Ev, Deb and I suited up in secure jumpsuits and were tethered to the guardrails and began our ascent 134 meters (440 feet) high and 503 meters long (1650 feet). We joined Oprah and Gayle at the top and were able to enjoy the panoramic views for over an hour with about 250 of our group.  Wow, what an awesome experience.
Following the Bridge Climb, we all had a delicious luncheon at the Waterfront Restaurant at the pier in the Rocks section on Sydney Harbor were we watched the local residents enjoy the warm and sunny Sunday afternoon.  After lunch, Ev and I went on a Photography Tour where we learned digital photo tricks of the trade.
We even had a couple of hours to relax around the pool before getting ready for a "dine around" dinner in the Argyle Precinct in The Rocks. Here the 302 guests divided into three smaller groups  for dinner at three connected restaurants.  The "Road trippers" enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Argyle Bazaar. We all joined up after dinner for desserts and more cocktails in the courtyard.  Another wonderful day in Australia!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 5 (Part Two) Return to Sydney

After a two hour Qantas flight back to Sydney, we were off to The Rocks section of the city to explore their open air arts and crafts market on a glorious Saturday afternoon.  What a marvelous outdoor world this Sydney is located right on the waters with many beautiful parks and areas where many locals enjoy their weekends in the clean, fresh air. I spent most of the afternoon walking around the booths, admiring and shopping before heading back to the Intercontinental Hotel to change and get ready for dinner. 

Saturday evening brought all 302 of us back together at the Royal Botanic Gardens for a cocktail party/dinner with Oprah. The six of us we asked to "walk the red carpet" (which meant chat with the media) with Gayle King prior to the festivities.  We were interviewed by the Australian Today Show. Neil Perry and Donna Hay, two very famous Australian "foodies" brought together the night's delicious goodies while Guy Sebastian (winner of Australian idol) performed for us.  In between the cocktail party and the "beach party" we were presented a magnificent fireworks display over the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge before the lighting of the "O" on the bridge in honor of Oprah's visit to Australia! What a wonderful welcome back!