We arrived into Sydney from Melbourne feeling refreshed and excited to see the Sydney crew for what was sure to be a BIG week.
Night number one was spent at Rachel and Liam's place in Epping after a fun night out in Newton with those two.
The next day, Sunday, we headed out to the beach to rendezvous with Team Bondi for what would be the first of many events in the lead up to the big event, the catalyst for the entire trip to Australia, Billy and Rachel's wedding.
We spent the sunny afternoon at "Bucket List", a new establishment on Bondi Beach, catching up with everyone and meeting several key out-of-towners who had made the journey out from the States for the big event.
After an evening BBQ at the house rented out by the US contingency of Billy's friends, we headed back to sleep at our transient home of sorts in Tamarama... Chateau du Whyte-Ling-Doodles.
Monday we spent the morning with Doodles in Bondi before packing up some stuff to last us a few days and heading to Manly for few nights with our old homies Aaron "Roach" & Melissa Amavisca. We met them for dinner at 4 Pines Brewery for Monday Mussel Madness before retiring to their sweet beach pad up on the hill above Queenscliff Beach where we occupied the room that in a few short months will be home to their little "grommyt" baby.
Roach and I stayed up way too late solving all the world's problems and generating the next Billion $ business ideas which made the 7am surf session I'd signed us up for with my former colleague J. McLay a little rough.
Tuesday was a stunning day in the Northern beaches and we made the most of it with a trip up to the classic Northern Beaches institution; The Newport Arms for a nice lunch in their beautiful beer garden. Dinner that evening was Roach's famous Fish Taco Tuesday which (per usual) did NOT disappoint.
Wednesday was started with another surf session and although the waves were pretty tiny, we were feeling a whole lot better so had a much better time out. That afternoon we hit another old Manly haunt; Manly Wharf Bar for lunch and a few cold ones with Roach, my old work buddy Dave, and Oli who was conveniently in town for work.
That evening we made our way to the East Sydney Hotel in our old hood of Woolloomooloo to meet with Rachel and Liam who drove us out to Wedding Event #2; $8 Steak Night at the North Bondi RSL. G got screwed on that deal; we all got involved with the steaks and she had to purchase a very mediocre $18 cous-cous salad. Clearly RSL's are not known for catering to vegetarian dietary restrictions.
Thursday was another stunner at Bondi and we made the most of it with a nice long run with Doodles before heading off for a long, long walk into the city from Bondi. Bondi to Woolloomooloo via Edgecliffe for lunch with Rachel Paeper before a long wander around the CBD and a final several kilometers down to The Norfolk in Surry Hills to catch up with our "power couple" friends Josh and Rupal Ismin.
Josh is the co-founder of a hugely successful online advertising business; Rupal is launching her own, sure-fire, massively successful online marketplace. They have just purchased a house in North Berkeley, CA for when they move home from Aus and they have just become Aussie citizens; oh... and did I mention they are 5+ months pregnant with their 1st kid!!
We had a fantastic dinner at a great vegetarian spot in Surry Hills and swapped our travel stories for their business domination stories; we've been leading completely opposite yet equally amazing lives over the past year and it was great to swap stories in both directions.
Friday morning and the big day had finally arrived. G shuffled off into the city for make-up and hair appointments with some of the girls in preparation for the wedding. I chilled at Matt and Georgie's and took care of some business before rolling out to Rose Bay with Georgie to catch the water taxi out to the wedding venue, Sergeant's Mess in Mosman. Mother nature was clearly sent an invite to the wedding because even though the weather forecast wasn't all that promising in the lead up, when it came time for the ceremony the day was an absolute stunner.
The ceremony was beautiful; it overlooked the Harbour as the sun was just beginning to set. As anticipated Rachel was a gorgeous bride and Billy a dashing groom and it was a real treat to be able to attend their big day.
A beautiful ceremony turned into quite a reception as would be expected considering the company the Bride and Groom keep. Wine flowed steadily and the food was absolutely delicious. Our buddy Ruben proved to be quite the showman as MC and we were all kept entertained by some fantastic speeches by friends, family and the Couple themselves. Rachel delivered a real tear jerker in her Bride Speech.
The night carried on to a cruise ship which had been arranged for transport back to the city and for the after party which in turn carried on late into the night back in Bondi. Friday night bled somewhat into Saturday and we were back up and at 'em to get involved with wedding event #4; post wedding brunch at Bondi Pavillion.
Sunday morning came all too quickly for us as G and I had an early flight out to Perth to begin leg #3 of our Great "Return to Aus" Trip.
Amazing how quickly a week can fly by when you pack so many awesome friends and activities into such a short time.
Massive thanks to the entire Sydney crew for reinforcing what we already knew; we were lucky to make some amazing and life-long friends in just a few short years living in Aus.
Big congratulations to Billy and Rachel on their beautiful wedding and thanks for inviting us along to share it with you!!
Big shout outs to those who were kind enough to open their homes to a couple of vagabonds; Rachel & Liam, Roach & Melissa, and Matty, Georgie & Doodles.