When I was a little girl, say maybe eleven or twelve, I used to say that my dream location to visit would be Australia. Particularly because I loved kangaroos so much because they keep their baby in their pouch. Mother instincts since day one. I had talked about this at one point or another with all my friends as time went by, but never in a million years did I imagine things would actually play out the way they did.
When D and I were dating he asked me to marry him after what everyone thought was a very short time. We had both been in previous relationships where things went wrong and after just a couple of weeks of being together we knew things were different this time around. I didn’t want to fall in love with D. I tried my hardest not to. At the time I felt that I had just mended my broken heart and I wasn’t ready to have it broken again by some cute fella even if he was gorgeous. But I couldn’t help it. He is and was not a perfect person, but he indeed was the perfect one for me. Everyday he challenges me, every single day… and it keeps me on my toes. We shared the kind of love that very few understood because indeed those days we were pretty nuts. Absolutely nothing mattered but being together. When we talked about what we would do for our wedding we quickly realized that we were more interested in celebrating alone together. We wrote down six or seven places we would want to escape to and put them in a cup. Australia (my pick), Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Costa Rica, Japan, California… those are the only ones I can remember right about now. I don’t remember which one ended up being drawn but he said, “We probably won’t be able to do this again, so pick a place you really want to go and that we will have plenty to do for about three weeks.” BINGO. 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. And so we made plans. Bought the tickets and booked our hotel for the first four nights. Rented a car for the entire time. And made NO OTHER PLANS. We said we would figure it out once we got there. [[ I really DO NOT advise this unless you happen to have cell-phone service where you are going. We did not, at were caught having to buy an Aussie phone the day we landed in Sydney. Getting lost was only fun, half of the time! ]]
November 2013 – The adventure went on a little like this:
Sydney, New South Wales
First stop, Sydney. I’d like to mention our flight itinerary just for reference, we flew Miami → Dallas → Brisbane → Sydney. Qantas for most of the way and absolutely LOVED the plane. D watched movies the whole way through and I found a way to sleep for at least half of the time we were flying, 28 hours total including lay-overs. We booked our first couple of nights at the Blue Sydney Hotel. You won’t find it under that name any more, it’s now called Ovolo Woolloomooloo Hotel. Say that three times fast. Heck, I can’t even say it one time fast. We had a Cityvoo Loft and thought it was pretty cool how it was a two-story room. To be 100% honest, we wouldn’t stay there again because we didn’t get to really enjoy the hotel. We were out and about for so long that we would of been better off with a less expensive option. We followed along what trip advisor had said, since it was considered #2 hotel back then as well and wanted to play it safe. Is it pretty? Yes! Very glamorous and cool being that it is an old wharf turned into a hotel, so you will definitely have that wow factor in being somewhere different. Parking though in the city is so expensive, we should of waited to rent the car until we were ready to leave the city. Sydney is kinda like New York, you can pretty much walk or ride a ferry to wherever it is you want to go. So for value over $ and parking fees, we give it ☆☆☆☆.
The first day we set out to explore the weather could not of been more spectacular. The hotel we were staying at was right next to Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden so every single morning we got to walk by it and were so excited to be so close to the water. We explored Circle Quay and had a very memorable lunch… D tried kangaroo meat and I nearly cried. But we were informed that to the Aussies kangaroos are like rats to us here in the US. They are every where and they eat farmers crops and so forth, so they happen to serve kangaroo just like the folks here like to eat deer. We went all around the Sydney Opera House and I kept singing to D, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” We decided to go in and didn’t stay for a show, which I now highly regret. WATCH A SHOW. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
There’s a park right by the Sydney Harbour Bridge that we really liked. The food trucks line up and although we just had ice-cream we enjoyed people watching and seeing all the boats and ferries pass on by.
These folks were EVERYWHERE. I was in my animal-lover heaven. Between the seagulls and the cockatoos, they would come right over to you. So neat! We watched the sunset in the Botanical Gardens and loved seeing that Sydney skyline.
Next we spent the day walking around in the rain. Took a ferry to visit to Taronga Zoo. Although it was quite a wet day, it was so pleasant. There was so much to see. Unfortunately we had to leave early because the rain wouldn’t let up. No carrying a koala for me. We were told that there were other places that allowed tourist to do so, but not here.
Taronga Zoo in Sydney, NSW
Our walk back to the hotel was always through that park we came to love in the short four days we were Sydney. How I wish it was located back at home and not half a world away.
We liked the city but had just enough of it in four days. In D’s opinion he would of seen Sydney in two days. So we drove off to a nearby beach town and found ourselves at the Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach. We couldn’t quite escape the rain, but after a couple of hours of just exploring the sun came out and we were IN LOVE with Palm Beach. I wish we would of actually done what D says now, gotten out of the city and drive off to the many beach towns sooner. The locals there are also way cooler than the city folks.
Palm Beach, New South Wales
After spending so much $$ for food in Sydney we learned our lesson and packed our lunches for our mini-road trip to Palm Beach. Little did we know we would be eating ham and cheese sandwiches for most of the remainder of the trip!
I really thought I would blog our whole vacation in one post, but I’ve quickly noticed that it’s taking me a bit longer to do so than expected. THERE ARE SO MANY PICTURES. Most of these were taken with my trusty iPhone even though we did bring our Mark II on the trip… with only one lens, the 24-70 mm. I would of loved to haul more equipment but D didn’t let me. We actually fit our whole trips worth of clothes in two small carry-on. His and hers. I have mastered the art of packing lightly, Australia taught me well. The fact we were wearing shorts and flip flops most of the time helped a whole lot. Tomorrow I will continue editing and gathering up all my pictures for part two of our trip. We finally hit the road and went on an adventure. Can’t wait to share! Come back tomorrow to see more.