Location: Sydney, Australia
Timeline: Week 6 (part 2) in Australia
Thursday morning we got up and left our cozy apartment of 6 weeks. It was a little sad to say goodbye. We took a short flight and landed in Sydney! Now, I know what you’re wondering and, yes, I already looked up 42 Wallaby Way, and no it doesn’t exist. Well, 42 Wallaby Circuit does exist AND has an orthodontist. That guy had better have an aquarium in his office.
We thought that people might be less friendly in Sydney because it is a much larger city than Canberra, but no, they’re still super helpful. Strangers were giving us directions, lifting my luggage off of the train, and offering to push our pram uphill. Amazing! We also can’t seem to go anywhere without having a conversation about Lizzy and how cute she is. We were stopped by 3 security guys and an entire table of men at a bar who all wanted to tell us that Lizzy was adorable. Is this normal? She gets us into this situation by smiling at everyone and she is starting to wave a little. She has inherited some sort of “flirt” gene. Sydney has already made our hearts pitter-patter because it has historical buildings like churches and pubs designed with the quintessential British style. We spent the entire afternoon walking around an older part of town called “the Rocks” and enjoying the warm weather coupled with some history and lovely architecture.
Now that we are officially on vacation my body has, of course, decided that it is time to get sick so I have been fighting a sore throat and cough, but I don’t care! I will fight through it! Friday morning we took off walking to the Botanical Gardens that border the ocean. It made for a beautiful walk with the famous Sydney Opera House in the background. We made our way to the Opera House and went indoors which was a huge relief because Sydney was 42 degrees Celsius. That sounds cool if you are American, but 42 degrees Celsius translates to 108 degrees Fahrenheit so we were sweating everywhere and those *$@^%#^ flies followed us all the way from Canberra. Once inside the Opera House we took a guided tour and learned all about the various theaters inside (there are 6). In the main theater they were tuning the piano for the concert that night and in the second theater the dancers were rehearsing the ballet Sleeping Beauty so we got a backstage view! We decided to also eat at the Opera House at a delightful outdoor restaurant that looked across the harbor. The seagulls stood near our table and watched droppy Lizzy with rapt attention. We could almost hear them squawking, “Mine, mine!” Then we headed to the room for some rest from the heat. Lizzy took a late nap and didn’t wake until 8:00 pm so we went out for a very late dinner, but Sydney was bright and active! At one point we stopped into a gift store and had the following, unfortunate, conversation:
Chris: “I found the perfect gift for my Dad! Kangaroo scrotums! (Chris holds up a plastic package containing a leathery sac)
Me: “Ew, I don’t even want that packed near my stuff.”
Chris: “I can get a single scrotum for $21 or a pack of 5 for $99. I know that’s more than our average annual scrotum budget, but you know what they say… When on vacation you can always expand your scrotum budget.”
Just think, I only have to have conversations like this until I die. We finally walked home and Lizzy went to bed at 10:30 pm! She’s a little night owl like her parents.
Saturday morning we started our morning with a walk to a big shopping center to visit a chocolate shop called Haigh’s. It was recommended to us by the chef at the minister’s house. While there we were able to see the huge Sydney shopping mall featuring both indoor and outdoor areas; some built in the 1800s! It was also completely decked out for Christmas. Since they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, Christmas decorations start showing up in October. It is a little funny though to see all of these snowy trees and sleds when Australia is headed into their summer.
Next we walked to an area called Darling Harbour with numerous restaurants and ferryboats. The Harbour also had an amazing playground for children that included a zip line, tons of play equipment, and a series of water fountains that could be altered with the use of dams and pumps. It was very fun AND educational. Additionally, Australia offers parents these wonderful “parent’s rooms” all over the country. In the USA it can sometimes be tricky for me to find a changing table and almost impossible for Chris to find one in a men’s room. Out here there are dedicated “parents rooms” that include changing tables, sinks, microwaves for warming milk, and plush chairs in curtained off rooms for breastfeeding. They also usually have a special toilet for parents. The USA really needs to work on this because it is UH-mazing. It makes caring for Lizzy while out and about so much easier.
We took a ferry across the Harbor to visit an area called Luna Park, which is a 1930s amusement park that has been refurbished. It was neat to look at, but pretty teeny. On the way back to our hotel we stopped by the Lindt chocolate store. Sydney is covered in chocolate stores. Yes, we went to two chocolate stores in one day. No, our diets are not on track. We went out on a limb and got a chocolate milkshake, but we were disappointed once again. Australia (and England) makes the worst milkshakes. They are basically glorified chocolate milk.
I haven’t mentioned them before, but, as you may know, Australia has several unique animals and insects. We were told that one of those animals is a Drop Bear. There are these meat-eating bears that live in trees and watch for prey to walk under the tree. Then, very suddenly, they drop down and attack their prey. We thought this seemed too crazy to be true, but Australia does have some terrifying animals (look up the funnel web spider). Thankfully it turns out that the Australian Drop Bear is related to the American Snipe (whew). I’m not sure why Australia is so anxious to invent deadly animals when they already have so many that want to murder you.
Well we are almost at the end of our trip. I will write once again, but before then, I ask that you please pray for a safe flight for us. I am always a nervous flier and 15 hours on a plane is a lot to endure…and then you add a 9 month old…and then you add Chris. You can see that I will have my hands full. If you are on especially good terms with God, please pray that Lizzy takes some naps during the flight!
“The Spherical Solution – The Sydney Tile.” The Sydney Opera House, www.sydneyoperahouse.com/our-story/sydney-opera-house-history/spherical-solution.html, Accessed 3 July 2018.