A couple of days after we returned to Sydney it was Australia day, this was hugely celebrated throughout Oz - especially in Sydney. There were various events going on throughout the city, there were parades and loads of live music, all free events, so that was wicked. We decided to go to The Rocks, there were live bands on there, we planned to start the session in 'The Merc', a cracking Irish boozer which was highly recommended by Dom as he went there a lot - he only worked up the road. We met up with Jo and a couple of her mates, Tom and Jess. We had a really good laugh in the 'Merc' and ended up staying there all day! The atmosphere throughout the day was fantastic, very similar to that of Paddy's Day back in Brum! :) Loads of Aussie flags around and I joined in having an Australia flag transfer on my face. We left just in time to make the last train, very very merry and all in all a great day.
We chilled out for the next few days as we had spent so much money on the road trip and needed to save some back. There wasn't much to do in Sydney that didn't cost loads, so what we did on a few occasions was went down to the Harbour and just relaxed on the grass reading and sunbathing. It was such a cool and beautiful area that it was good just to hang around down there.
For our next outing we decided to go to The Blue Mountains with Jo. We borrowed Jeanie's car to get there. Jeanie was Enzo and Penelope's nanny, she was really sound and me and Sar both got on with her proper well. She had gone to Brisbane for her Birthday weekend and loaned us her car. It turned out that we were going to be in San Francisco at the same time as Jeanie was travelling the States. We have since arranged to rent an apartment for the week with her and her friend which is well cool! :) Anyway, The Blue Mountains is a huge mountainous region in NSW. My mom had previously been here, so had James and the lads and they all recommended the trip as the views were apparently spectacular. It was about an hours drive away so not too far, there was plenty of different views and things to do there so we chose a couple that tickled our fancy as we knew we wouldn't have much time and on top of that it was absolutely sweltering so we knew that it would be a good idea to keep the walking down to a minimum. Firstly, we went to go and see the 'Three Sisters' which was a formation of three huge rocks! This was the most popular thing to visit here and the view point was fantastic. My mom and James were not wrong, the views were breathtaking! We visited a couple more view points after that and they were equally as amazing as the first.
As we still had the car we knew it was a good opportunity to get some good trips in, so a couple of days later we arranged with Jo to go to 'Palm Beach' which is fictionally known as Summer Bay, the set for the beach and surf club scenes from Home and Away! We were all really exited about going here as we were all huge fans of the programme back in the day, who wasn't! Again it was about an hours drive from our Aussie home, we picked Jo up on the way and got there for about midday. There wasn't much to do there as it was just a beach, we just really wanted to see it. When we arrived it was clear that they were filming as there was lots of film crew lorrys around and mobile dressing rooms, we were lucky that they were filming on the day we visited as apparently they only film there every so often. We went and had a look at the 'surf club' which was just an empty building as the scenes from inside the surf club were filmed at another location. It was still cool though just to see the outside of something you had seen so many times before on the tele! The Surf club sign even came complete with 'Alf Stewart's' name as club leader! They were actually filming a fight scene while we were there which was interesting, you were not supposed to take photos or be spectators while they were filming as they wanted the plots to stay top secret! We did sneak round the corner and have a cheeky little peak though and took some cheeky photos! It was well funny. The beach was beautiful, the sand was almost a light red colour. Again great to see the beach we had seen so much on the show. The waves were huge as well, we chilled on the beach and messed about in the waves for a few hours and then made our way back.
A few days later Dom had asked me to play a five-a-side game that he was playing in, representing his company. I was buzzing for the game as it had been soooooooooooo long since I played football. It was a Masters verses Apprentices match, I was on the Masters side with Dom and as the minimum age for the Masters was 35 it was mums the word! After a lot of banter from the young lads about me being on the other side we got under way. I played in goal, it was a really good, close game us losing eventually on 'sudden death' as when our time on the pitch was up we were tied at 9-9! I may have let in 10 goals in all but may I add I also made some superb stops during the game! :) Afterwards we had a few well deserved cold ones and a bit more banter with the Aussies!
Trying to keep up with the sports, me and Sar decided to play Tennis on a few occasions as Sydney was great for free public outdoor tennis courts, they were everywhere! The Australian Open was also being played at the time and as we all do in England when Wimbledon is on we got the rackets out and had a run on the courts. It was really nice to play and Sarah was improving by the game which was handy as the only time we had played previously to this, after her giving it the big 'un that she was a great player, she was awful!!! ;) We played quite a lot for a few days and despite the boiling weather being the only obstacle it was nice to do some sporty exercise stuff, it had been a while.
We were almost coming to the end of our time in Sydney :(, so we had organised to take Dom and George out for a meal to say thanks for everything they had done for us, which was so much! They hadn't just put us up for the best part of two months rent free, they had cooked for us, lent us things, not to mention the free tickets Dom got us for the Ashes and so on and so on. We booked a table at a Spanish restaurant that George was fond of called 'Captain Torres'. We had a lovely time at dinner, eating, drinking and having a good laugh with Dom and George. After the meal we decided to go to the 'Merc' for a couple. A couple that turned into a full on mad one until 4am! We had an absolutely fantastic night, Dom was on top form, the guy is a lunatic! In a good way.
On our last night in Sydney we went out for drinks to say goodbye to Jo, we had spent a lot of time with Jo in Oz and she had been an absolute legend. We went to the 'three wise monkeys' for old times sake. Again we had a very good night and it was sad to say goodbye to Hannon.
The next morning we had another sad goodbye to do, saying farewell to Dom, George and the kids. It was so sad to say goodbye to the kids as we had got so close to them throughout our time at their place. Enzo almost constantly said 'kieransarah'! And they were both just proper little legends.