The Park Hyatt in Sydney is a hotel I’d always wanted to stay in. It doesn’t loom tall over the city but curves by the water. Balconies set in sandstone hue walls blink into the sea.
My friend and I travelled down by train. We were very quickly in the celebratory birthday mood as my friend wrapped me in a Happy Birthday hug and handed me a chocolate lollipop with the words ‘Happy Birthday’ swirled in white across the dark.
Arriving at the hotel we were welcomed with service that was warm and personal. A poised and friendly young woman escorted us to our room. It was as she was showing us the balcony that I was suddenly teary. I had made it…here..through everything that had come before and looking out from that balcony it was all exquisitely beautiful, the view over the water complete with replica ship and cruise liner as foreground to the city skyline. Gazing to our left, the tiles of the Opera House gleamed in the sun.
In the evening we strolled contentedly around the Quay for dinner at the Opera Bar and the first of my new birthday year cocktails. The bright blue had faded into the early evening, the few clouds infused with the setting sun.
The next day we travelled home to the Blue Mountains deciding on a whim to have some late lunch at a local cafe which is when I had an encounter which led delightedly and unexpectedly to ouds and riqs and renewed friendship.
As if this wasn’t all a birthday girl could wish for, I arrived home and opened the door to find another friend had snuck in and left an extravaganza of birthday treats of my favourite things. I was teary again feeling unequal but appreciative of the thoughtful kindness of good friends.