Monday, 3 November 2014

G'day Mate: A Long Weekend in Sydney

As I was standing in front of the Sydney Opera House, I was thinking this has to be one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. It's iconic really and quite remarkable in person. As much as I love finding those hidden gems when travelling, it's so exhilarating to see something in the flesh that you have seen so many times in pictures alone.

Sydney is a beautiful city. It was recently Labour Day here in New Zealand so we decided to take advantage of the long weekend and head to someplace we'd never been before. Sydney is 3 hours and change from Auckland.

Hazel loves the airport and we love the fact that the Air New Zealand lounge has a kids room. This thing is priceless, especially when travelling internationally and you have those two hours to kill before your flight.

It also meant I could eat my Krispy Kreme donuts in peace. I was beyond excited to stumble upon the famous doughnut maker in the Sydney airport. I did pay an exorbitant $2.50 for each original glazed. Back when I was a kid you use to be able to get a whole dozen for $3.99. I can almost see the Hot Doughnuts sign flashing after church now...

Sydney, besides being one of the most expensive cities in the world and the place where Michael Hutchence of INXS died, is full of nice beaches, great shopping, and lovely restaurants with sweeping water views everywhere you turn. At least that's what it felt like, I mean even the zoo had amazing views.

The animals were pretty cool too.
You take a ferry to get there!

I love a good boat ride, to me it makes everything more magical. If only the dentist and DMV were accessible by boat only, how our world might be different.

It's a very easy city to get around with good public transportation and since we were staying downtown we didn't need a car. We walked A LOT.

Opera House check.

Botanical Gardens check (did you know Kiwis don't say check, they say tic?)

Bondi Beach check.

The weekend we were there they were having their Sculpture by the Sea exhibit so we did a cliff walk from Bondi to Tamarama to take it all in. The views were stunning.

But as they say here in NZ it was chock-a-block, just so many people. Apparently cool sculptures and dramatic ocean views appeal to others besides Adam and me. After almost 3 years in NZ, I gotta say my crowd limits have decreased dramatically. I've gotten so use to living in a place that is underpopulated that when I go to bigger places or events it's often too much (that's code for I get easily irritated). Despite the number of people it was still worth it as the scenery was really spectacular and the company wasn't half bad.

And we always had our hotel to return to, to recharge and relax. Although there was that one time when Hazel and I were in the elevator and I got off and she didn't. As in, our not even two-year-old was riding in the hotel elevator totally alone. It happened very fast and I attempted to used my pregnant superwoman strength to stop the doors from closing, but couldn't do it. FYI, this does not bode well for Hazel if she ever gets trapped under a car. So yes the doors closed and Hazel was on one side and I was on the other. Adam happened to be out getting us lunch during this time. I alerted the hotel staff and they got security on it and assured me that there was people on every floor looking for her.

After an exciting ten minutes, I returned to the lobby to find Hazel in the arms of a very nice housekeeper. She seemed to think it was all fun and games and was laughing and smiling when she saw me. She got off on the 6th floor (I had originally gotten off on the 12th floor where our room was) as I'm sure that's one of the only buttons she could reach. Oh sweet Hazel. It gave me such a fright and I was so relieved when I saw here. Shortly after we returned to our room there was a knock at the door and the manager had sent up chamomile tea and fancy bottles of water. Que Iggy Azalea {I'm so fancy I loose my kid in the elevator and get free tea}. Never a dull moment in the hotel world.

In fact, the day before I was at the bar getting my water bottle refilled before heading out for the day and the guy next to me was waiting for his coffee and after being faced with the harsh reality of his coffee 1. not coming in a takeaway cup and 2. having too much milk in it, he actually yelled "f*ck you" at an employee. I mean can you imagine?! What is wrong with people. Well I am a therapist so I can actually answer that, but c'mon. Cringe.

But back to our non hotel adventures. Sydney had tons of kid friendly stuff to do. We took a gorgeous boat ride through Darling Harbour that went under the actual bridge. That was really cool.

Hazel loved the playground at Darling Quarter.

Even warm enough for some water play!

Another day we strolled through some local neighborhoods - Kings Crossing. Darlinghurst, Potts Point ( I couldn't help but be reminded of Brooklyn) with a fantastic gelato stop at Messina. We stumbled upon the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park.

Sydney is a great city and one that I would love to return to one day. Perhaps with this guy*?

*I will take this time to thank the man behind most any of the good pictures on this blog. He's way better at taking pictures then I am so thank you Adam Wolf.