We got dropped off at Sydney Central station and this was Tuesday 30th Nov, I was really excited to see my uncle, aunt and cousins. I was also looking forward to some home comforts after traveling down the coast. I caught a train to Lidcombe and walked to my uncles house. They were both there so I spent the day catching up with them and telling them my news. I was excited as my parents and Katie were coming the following day and they were not expecting me to be there (they thought I was coming a few days later,hee hee) My uncle and I thought we would wind them up a bit more and say I had delayed it by another week. So I hid when they eventually got through security etc. I think they got a surprise when I burst out and met them heehee.
Anyway over the 4 weeks they were here we did a lot of sight seeing. We went to Darling Habour-Aquarium, Opera House, Habour Bridge, Botanic Gardens the beaches of Bondi and Manly, they went to Taronga Zoo. We strolled around George Street where they have all the shops. We also visited Port Stephens which was 3 hours north of Sydney and stayed up there for the night. We were sitting on the beach just chatting when out of the corner of my eye i spotted a fin not far from the shore. I freaked out (in a good way) I could not believe how close it was, really COOL! We watched for a bit to spot them again and we spotted a few more fins further out.I think they were dolphins. There are lots of tours for whale and dolphin spotting out there. We went to Kiama which was 1hour south of Sydney and my uncle has a holiday home there. We did a walk to the lighthouse and blowhole on the first day and went out for some dinner. The next day we went to the 7 mile beach and took a walk on the beach. Later that evening we had a BBQ on the green near the beach which was awesome and I was happy my parents were there to experience it.
We went to the Blue Mountains for my dads birthday which was gorgeous and for some lunch and then later on a dinner with the whole family. I cooked some food for them and we had a few picnics on our days out. We also went for a lunch to Newport and then went to Palm beach where they film the Home and Away series.. no star spotting on that day though. On the whole it was a brilliant month and I loved having them here to show them some lovely sights and well they escaped the snow for 4 weeks :)
Katie and I went for some nights out, we went to a birthday party and there was karaoke which we fully participated in.. well there were microphones, drums and the full band kit.. did I mention the birthday boy was in a band. We also did the 12 days of Xmas at the rocks which was a bar crawl with our cousins and friends which was a good laugh. We did a bar crawl in Newtown where my cousin lives... the Camden of Sydney. It's a really cool town. Geraldine had her friends over for a lebanese lunch and I helped make some pasta and quiche style dish for the party. It was delicious :)
My cousin Geraldine treated Katie and I to a lovely Christmas present of a pampering session. It was a 30 minute foot scrub session, 40 min de-stress massage and then a 50 minute massage consisting of Swedish and Thai massages. We did that then we went to the IVY which was a lush bar and had a brilliant top roof pool.
Around Christmas it was very weird to be in a hot country and seeing Christmas trees around the place. I really missed being at home and having all the fun of Xmas parties and celebrations going on. It was good to be in a hot country though for one year and spend it with our Aussie family. We had a lunch at 2ish of salad and then later on we had a full xmas dinner with all the trimmings. I sat in the garden for half an hour and actually sweated. Now that was weird on Xmas day!! :) We carried on the drinking and nibbling throughout the day and played the card game 25 until late at night. On boxing day we went to the Catholic club for dinner which is a well built up establishment funded by people gambling. Yes you did read the right.. they have slot machines and you can play keno and god know what else there.. the irony is quite funny :) My parents and Katie left on the 27th and I was very sad to see them go. Especially as Katie had become the expert at killing the cockroaches, the little s***s are everywhere :) I sent them off with a feast of mexican: burritos and wraps so they had a full stomach for the trip :)
Since my parents have left I have been to Coogee with Hannah and Karl. I have spent some time researching for NZ and planning that with Jess and Gez. For NYE I had no idea what I was doing and was waiting to see what my friends were doing. On the morning I waited for a few hours but I knew some people were heading up there early.. like 7am and 10am so I was getting a bit worried that I would miss out. My plan was to watch the 9pm fireworks and then head to Newtown to join Geraldine and the girls for the rest of the bar crawl. I decided to head and meet Ginny and her friends but when I got to Mrs McQuaries chair they had already got in as they had been there for hours. I saw the queues and was not keen to wait on my own for that time so as terrible as I am I spotted a moment to push in part of the queue and I took it. I queued for a little while but then met Ginny and her friends. It was cool and I could see down onto the habour through the trees so I was happy. Danny then called me and said he thought he might have a space on the boat for me so after some delibaration and speaking to Geraldine to make sure she was ok with it I headed off for the boat trip.
It was crazy really as it was an amazing offer. I met Danny and we got the alcohol and headed to Taronga Zoo to get on the boat. It was a bit of a crazy journey and we almost missed the boat as we had to walk, then bus it and taxi and walk again to the dock and it was bloody hot but we made it for 7pm and it was well worth it. We met Danny's mates and went on the little boat to the bigger boat. There was a good crowd on there consisting of Welsh, northern Irish and Welsh. I drunk a few bottles of wine and got pretty pissed. It was an amazing spot to be in Sydney on NYE and we could clearly see the bridge and Opera house and see across to the north shores. It felt very surreal to be on the boat. The fireworks at 9pm and 12pm were truely amazing and it was one of the highlights of my year to be on the boat on Sydney habour and watch the skies light up above me. I could see at least 5 or 6 going off simultaneously and it was spectacular..one set over the north shores, one near the opera house, another over the bridge and another set near Luna park further up the habour..the colours of the fireworks varied from pinks to reds to blues. There were also symbols on the bridge, smiley faces, a hand, the peace sign and more. The finale ended up with the bridge being set alight. When it all quietened down I kinda expected another last minute set to go off but that was it.. I missed the Auld lang syne which I normally do with friends and family so I gave a little sing to it myself :) We then continued the drinking :) About 2ish we got off the boat and made the long trek home. Thanfully buses and trains were still running so we caught the bus, train then walked home. I got home about 4ish and sat up chatting to Geraldine. I eventually went to bed at 6am when it was light.
I rang my parents and Martina and Rob at 11am when I woke up on new years day to wish them all a happy new year. That day was a scorcher over here but I was wrecked from NYE so me, Geraldine and Mark sat in and watched Tangle, an Australian series for a few hours. It was a VERY lazy day when I should of sat in the garden and tried to get my tan back which is fading fast :) Boo hoo but I guess I will have other opportunities for that. The next day I was delighted to receive a message from Sam to ask me to be her Maid of Honour for her wedding in August in Lake Garda. I am majorly excited as not only have I never been a MOH but I have never been a bridemaid so I am chuffed to be involved. So I will be off to Italy only 2 months after this trip :) After screeching and being all exicted to Geraldine and Jess we headed for Pub Cha which is just like Dim Sum and it was yummy. We then headed to Clovelly but the weather turned a bit windy and sour so we only stayed for an hour then headed to a cafe.
The next day I kicked started my exericse regime and went for a jog/fast walk to Sydney park for an hour. I need to get my fitness levels back up as I really want to do the Inca trail in March and thats over 45 km over 4 days climbing really high above sea level.. about 4300metres so I need to start training a bit slowly. In the evening I went to Stir Crazy with Kieran, Louise, Geraldine and Mark and had a very naughty Maassaman curry. I spent a lot of this week researching several things.. flights, SA, NZ, Melbourne and Tasmania, Sams Hen and a few other things. I was driving myself crazy as when I have to make any decisions at the moment I can't do it.. very annoying!! INDECISIVE to the max.. However I did book the accomodation for South Island NZ and sort some other bits out which was good. I did meet up with the lovely Hannah and Caroline on 2 different days though which was cool :)
On Saturday 8th Gez, Tams and Katie and I did a 10km walk from Spit to Manly. It is a very scenic and gorgeous bush and coastal walk and a very popular tourist walk. We met Sean and my little cousins and Jess for lunch in the Stein in Manly. Gez, Tams and I then continued the walk over to Dee Why which was another 8km on. I managed to do the walk comfortably so felt happy that I have not become a complete lazy b****. I plan to do a few hikes in NZ, I really do enjoy them. In North Island of NZ there is the Tongariro Crossing which is 19km I think so that should be interesting :) We then chilled on the beach for an hour as it was a gorgeous day I sweated my ass off on the walk. It was a shame in a way as it was a perfect day to top up the tan :) Hopefully the weather will improve in Sydney as its a bit rainy at the moment. Later on we headed to Sean and Kristys and chilled in the garden with ciders, pizza and then a jacuzzi spa in the garden... oh I did enjoy that! A life I could get used to :)
The next day brought another lunch and I went to the Coopers Arms with Geraldine and her friends for her birthday lunch. It was nice, I went for a bangers and mash.. well its been a while but boy I have eaten out loads this week which is crap on the purse strings but I have enjoyed all of them.. may as well enjoy as I will be off to Melbourne this week so can backpacker it back up again..:)
So here I am on my 6 days in Sydney. Got a few things planned this week and hope to see some friends and have a couple of nights out before I head off. I plan to head to Melbourne on Saturday or Sunday night. Spend a night or two then head to Tasmania for 4 nights, back to Melbourne and do some trips i.e. Great Ocean Road, Neighbours, Philip Island and also celebrate Australia day on the 26th Jan. I then head to Fiji on the 28th Jan so exciting times are ahead.
I can't believe my stint in Australia is coming to an end. I really do love Australia and I could see myself living here.. well whats not to love but of course I would miss my friends and family terribly :( So 5 countries almost down and 6 more to go..I am over half way through my world tour which is just plain scary!! I am still loving it though :)