Well nearly a month has passed since I last graced you all with an update. And in that time I have been on a weekend road trip with a few of the regulars here, who I am proud to call some of my closest friends here in Sydney. And been visited by a very close friend from home. Therefore, introducing new friends to old.
There was an early start to be had for our weekend adventure, and myself, English John, Neil and Jordan picked up the hire car on Saturday and made our way to Pyrmont to pick up the Kiwi. Several rounds of "Mrs Brown went to town" with a few 'adult' amendments perhaps not suitable for all readers of this blog, we arrived at a small village en route to the Jenolan Caves. We parked up, stretched the legs and stopped off at a quaint little tea room for some refreshments. Fed and watered we carried on the journey with a few sweeping bends and a game of 'corners' - using the g-force to crush little old me in the middle seat.
We rocked up at the caves and booked straight on to the next departing tour. Our tour guide lacked any form of charisma, and so we were forced to find our own amusement, which mostly consisted of inappropriate photo taking, Neil climbing on the sacred caves (which apparently if found doing so could have resulted in a fine and prison sentence), and mocking pretty much anyone within close proximity including the unfortunate looking couple viewing the caves for their upcoming wedding. Yes, the claws were out…
After the tour we made our way to the car park, and made use of the BBQs. Shame that John and I forgot the cooking oil and any utensils… But we were pretty well prepared other than that. And thankfully some friendly Australians came to our rescue and lent us the items we were missing.
When all was said and done we packed up the car and made our way back to Sydney with a couple more games of "Mrs Brown" and some serious tunes. A quick drop off in Pyrmont, three quarters of an hour search for a parking space in the Cross and $58 for an overnight multi-story ticket later, we returned to the hostel and pretty much hit the sack.
A more leisurely start to the day was in order for the Sunday. We went to the nearby grocery store, Woolworths, to purchase picnic supplies, and then I drove us all perfectly to the Royal National Park, about an hour South of Sydney (well ok, minus a couple of slamming-the-foot-on-the-brakes-forgetting-its-an-automatic hiccoughs and an accidental scrape to the rear bumper, buts its all part of the fun, right?!). This time Jordan was replaced by Jess. And as such she had to put up with the banter of the previous day being directed at her instead. Whilst there we visited a beautiful lagoon where three members of the group jumped off a cliff, and I stood at the top deliberating about it for close to an hour(!), before being nearly pushed off it by a drunk Aussie guy and then finally retreating via the way I came without jumping. The longest walk of shame back to the group that I have ever done. 'Chicken Tonight' and generalized jumping jokes continued for the rest of the day (and week and month for that matter) whilst we explored some of the other picturesque areas of the park recommended to us. On our way home, jumping jokes suspended due to me volunteering to be designated driver, we stopped at a pub and had Fish and Chips… What a perfectly English end to the day.
We all agreed that the weekend was a great success, and insisted on organizing more weekends like it. But in true 'best idea' form, it has yet to happen again…
Just a couple of short weekends later, I covered the reception here at The Blue Parrot for the other manager's birthday and Kelly arrived!!!
Whilst Kelly was here I revisited some of the touristy things from my early day here in Sydney and discovered that I still love being here, as well as some firsts for me - such as a day at Taronga Zoo. One day we went to Bondi, sunbathed on the beach, had lunch on Campbell Parade, and then walked along the coastal path to Bronte. On other days we explored Darling Harbour, had lunch in Chinatown, wandered around Circular Quay and the surrounds, and enjoyed a picnic lunch at Elizabeth Bay. And Kelly was initiated in to the Kings Cross and Oxford Street nightlife. We also enjoyed a Sunday brunch and a spot of shopping in Surry Hills followed by afternoon cocktails in the sunshine at Taylor Square along with Jess. Then returned home, half cut, to start cooking a Sunday lunch which was enjoyed by nine of us in the hostel at the 'Somerset eating time' of 11.30pm (due to the slow cookers here at the hostel). My mum and dad treated us to a nice meal out as well and we enjoyed that at a restaurant called Gazebo on the Monday night before heading out to the bars on Oxford Street. I had an amazing time during the 10 days that Kelly was with me and I know that she did too.
Since Kelly's departure, which was actually quite tear-jerking for me and am sure will please those of you that sometimes wondered if I had a heart at all, I have landed myself a day job. Courtesy of the lovely Sophie who is the head chef at a restaurant in North Sydney, I am the newest addition to 'The Living Room' team and currently waitress the lunch time rush and the occasional Saturday night function. I am very much enjoying waitressing again, something that I haven't done since my Beefeater days. And my journey to work isn't too shabby either - crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge every morning.
This Sunday was spent sliding off from a casual waitressing position at a Tea Rooms in the Rocks to join Jess, her friend Sully, Kiwi John, Neil, Wendy and a few of the Frenchies at a wine tasting event near Pyrmont. The sun was shining and we sat around a table enjoying food, wine and each others company. After a few Chardonnays (and Shirazs and Sauvignons for that matter) we walked to Hyde Park to see the Stereophonics playing a live, acoustic set ahead of their Sydney tour dates. My day could hardly have been better. So what better way to top it up than to drink some more and head out in to the city with English John, my second favourite Joe (after me of course), a couple of their friends from work, and French Paul to the Irish pub O'Malleys and then on to the stylish Hugo's. We happened upon 'Hugo' himself when he bumped into Joe and I whilst we were busy dancing, spilling our drinks over us, before gracing us with a fresh round after our mini tantrum.
At the moment I am gearing myself up for Creamfields in a couple of weekends time. And I am also starting to think about the next part of my trip. Although I will be sad to leave, I am going to have to move on from Sydney sooner or later…