Although we’ve wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for years, we took the occasion of our 40th wedding anniversary as the reason to select this year to travel. The actual date of our anniversary was January 19, the day that we were scheduled to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock). Our group of twenty from all over the U.S. was still pretty new, but we told them on the bus of our intention to renew our vows and they all communicated their enthusiasm.
Just before sunset, our bus picked us up from our hotel. Tom and I were the last to enter the bus, he with a t-shirt printed like a tuxedo and me in a white cotton tee emblazoned with the word “LOVE” in bright colors, and a short veil that I had made just for the occasion. As we entered, everyone clapped and cheered. We then drove the short distance to a lookout, where benches and a table laden with cheese, crackers and champagne had been set up for the group. Just before the sun set over this sacred site of the aboriginal people, we recommitted ourselves to each other. Our fellow travelers took pictures and videos of us, and when we turned to face them, all were smiling and many were in tears. They all came forward to hug and congratulate us. I think the experience cemented the group in a very special way.
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