Sydney was something I had been looking forward to for a long time. I was excited to see my friend, I was excited to be in a place with beaches again, and I was excited to see the city and the zoo. Hubby was not as excited, since he thought he would melt away in the heat.
It turns out we both were right. We had a really nice time, AND we both melted away in the heat.
Day 1 – We drove into Manly, parked, tried to go to one restaurant, but didn’t realize it wasn’t open for breakfast on weekdays, went to another and had amazing breakfast (although Kiddo was not liking the sitting still thing so we had to be quick), and then went to the beach for a little bit. It was beautiful. Then it started to rain, and was done as quickly as it started, but we decided to take the ferry in. It was hot, with amazing views of the city. I don’t think either Hubby or I cooled down again until that evening. Kiddo was hot, too, but we had planned with walk around the CBD, so that is what we did. She fell asleep in the Ergo, which was great, except that I was even hotter with her on my chest. We tried to find a new hat for Hubby, since the goat ate his straw hat at the Honolulu Zoo. No luck. Eventually we had to stop and get a beer. We were just too hot. Afterwards, we decided to head down to Darling Harbour and check out the aquarium. We woke Kiddo up and she was immediately running around, stoked to see the fish and stingrays and everything. The aquarium was the Universal Studios for marine life. It was a maze with only one “right way” to walk, which meant it is always crowded and you keep seeing the same people the whole way. Plus, they piped some weird music in the whole time, depending on the room you were in. For the fish, it was happy water sounds, for the dugongs, it was lazy slow music, and for the sharks, it was jaws music. It wasn’t my favorite aquarium, but it was fun to see all the tropical fish, the Japanese huge crabs, and the sharks. Afterwards we walked back through the CBD and the botanical gardens, got an ice cream, and took the ferry back to Manly, where we took a quick swim in the harbor and finally cooled off. Then we met my friend and his girlfriend at Murray´s, a brewery and restaurant overlooking the beach. We told my friend how insanely hot we had felt all day and it told us it was only 27C. Ouf! All in all, it was a lovely day.
Day 2 – We headed off the for zoo right away. It was punishingly warm, so, probably 28C 🙂 It is the humidity! We are NOT used to it. We spent the day at the zoo, and even ate lunch there. We saw an amazing seal and sea lion show. It was great except that about 2/3 of the way through it Kiddo started trying to walk around and when I tried to hold her back she made lots of noise and I felt like a bad/ineffective mother. (I think she was just as hot as we were. Afterwards we took a break by the fishing cat and just sat in the shade and felt lovely.) We saw them feed the giraffes and the orangutans. They had some amazing lizards. We saw Koalas and even managed to hear the keeper´s talk. He said that Koalas are often killed trying to cross roads, and if you ever see one dead, you should check its pouch because it might have a baby in there that can be saved 😦 After the zoo we headed back to Manly, parked, walked around a bit, and took the ferry into the city to meet one of Hubby´s friends from Geneva. We had a couple drinks at the Opera Bar and watched the sun set and the lights go on all over the harbor. It was magical. I spent a lot of time chasing after the kid, but with a view like that, who cares! They were talking work anyway. We got sandwich stuff from the supermarket and ate them in our car before heading back to our tiny room. Another good day.
Day 3 – We decided to make this a beach day. What a great choice! We drove up to the Northern Beaches area. First we went to Avalon, where we ate breakfast at Swell, and had the most amazing iced coffee ever. It was basically a milkshake. Seriously, it involved ice cream. There was also a really awkward conversation with the server about coffee, where we thought, excitedly, that they served drip coffee, and she thought we were confused about how espresso was made (“it´s made using…a machine..?”) and then we both changed our orders to iced coffee. Ahh, being a foreigner. So fun! We also got bitched at by an old ornery woman because Kiddo was walking down the middle of the sidewalk with her pool noodle. Anyway, we went to the beach on the quiet side of Palm Beach. Basically we had a perfect beach experience, involving Kiddo having a lovely time, swimming with her pool noodle (best $3.50 AU we spent so far!), us feeling warm (not hot) from the sun, while sitting in the cool, mild surf. Then Kiddo was ready for a nap, told us, and we went driving around, looking at all the beaches in the area before heading back to Avalon for some lunch. Kiddo stayed awake until we put her in the Ergo, which meant we got to walk around a bit and then sit down and eat lunch, and use the free wifi to plan the next week of our trip, which was badly needed. I had a chocolate sorbet that lifted my spirits into the next world (I should work on getting there with meditation, man, that was awesome)! We decided we could live in Avalon, no problem, even if there are a few grounchy old ladies walking around. Then we made our way back to Manly to meet my friend for one last meal. We ordered pizza and picked up some Aussie wine and headed back to his place, where Kiddo could play with his roommate´s son´s toys. Good stuff. My friend made us a long list of all the food we had to eat (lamingtons, vanilla slice, caramel slice, etc) and things we had to see (the Koalas in the Otways, Mornington Peninsula) in this great land. We said goodbye, see you in five years or so, and headed back for our last night in the tiny room.
The next morning we ate brekky in hip Surry Hills, at The Book Kitchen at the recommendation of Hubby´s friend. It was really good, and since the server messed up our order we only had to pay for about half of the meal, which was great because they charged, for example, $5 AU for one piece of sourdough toast, no jam. Eek! And then we were on our way out of town, off on a road trip until we get to Melbourne.