Sorry!–I’m totally behind on posting (obviously), but FYI– I actually returned to the US last Sunday (August 22) and been trying to get back into the swing of things of everyday life after vacation. Meanwhile, I’m going to catch up with my blogs from Australia the next week or so, so… enjoy! 🙂
So, we arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning, August 12, and my friend, James, picked us up from the airport. It was SO good to see him! James is another person I met from my 2006 Euro-bus-trip, along with Janelle, and I hadn’t seen him in 4 years either! He gave us a LOT of great historical information about the city, surrounding areas, and more, as he was born and raised in Sydney and has lived there all his life. He also does appraisals on offices and buildings around the city, so he was extremely knowledgeable about sections of the city and info about what parts of the city were new, old, etc, etc. We went down to Bondi beach for a nice little breakfast together, and gazed at the beautiful aqua water and cute seaside houses and resorts alongside the beach. As we saw one older gentleman running along the beach in his little “speedos” (as we would call it in the US) James made a funny comment, calling them “budgie smugglers”, which we found to be a HILARIOUS term that Aussies use to call those suit bottoms that men wear. Why are they called budgie smugglers, you may ask? Well a budgie is a bird, like a parakeet . . . . and um, yea . . . I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination! Haha!! Julie and I have been in tears, laughing about this term for the past three days since we learned it. Too funny. That’s James for you . . .
We headed down to the harbor and snapped some pics of the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House—which I believe are two really big iconic landmarks in the world— and I have to say I was pretty emotionally excited and moved just to be there in person. It was just one of those “so happy to be here” kind of feelings, but I’m sure being there also with James had something to do with it too! The three of us sat down for a drink on an outdoor patio with a view of the Opera House and chatted about life and love. We proceeded to check into this hotel/apartment complex that James had rented for us in the city center for the 4 nights we would be in Sydney—and WOW . . . this is by far one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed in anywhere!—even in the US! Our apartment was pretty luxurious; on the 37th floor, two separate bedrooms, two bathrooms, a nice full living/dining room and kitchen area, in-room laundry washer & dryer, and a balcony that overlooked the city… brilliant!! In addition, the complex had a gym, pool, and hot tub, and Julie and I made sure to make use of the gym while we were there.
It was nice that we had several days to spend in the city, so we didn’t feel that we had to rush through everything. We visited some of the markets in The Rocks area, visited in and around the Opera House, took a cocktail ferry sunset cruise around the bay, had a night out in “boys town”, took pictures up in the Pylon Tower, and the biggest “event” of the whole weekend is we did the official Sydney Harbor Bridgeclimb–where you actually get suited up in these crazy protective suits, are harnessed into cable lines, climb a LOT of stairs and ladders and journey across over the TOP of the bridge for some pretty amazing views and experiences. James joined us for half the weekend–including the bridgeclimb—and it was nice to have a local Aussie to help us along and give us lots of helpful and historical information. We also met out an old friend of mine from college – Megs (Hermann), who I was good friends with in college in
the radio/TV/film program. Megs had moved to Australia about 5-6 years ago for a short time and ended up meeting a great Aussie guy and married him and has been living in Sydney ever since. They actually met us out for dinner Thursday night AND Sunday night also, and it was great to meet her husband, Alex, and his 8 year old daughter, Kate. We also met one of James’ friends out one night when we had drinks on the town, and then met a whole load of Aussie boys another night when Julie and I went out on our own. That was quite a funny experience, as the 6 guys we were chatting it up with at the bar were SO fascinated and interested in us American girls and our stories and experiences.
Overall, I still wish we had more time in Sydney. I was a bit devastated that I hadn’t planned ahead in order to get tickets to an Opera at the Opera House (I didn’t realize how bad I really wanted to go until we were there… and by then it was too late to get tickets), and there were many beaches that we could have traveled to, but there just isn’t time to fit everything in! Guess I’ll have to come back again in the future!
To see photos from Sydney, click here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=498744&id=596295342&l=7c371bc649
Next up: flying to Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach