Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The End of a Year

Well, hello again! A new year has started, and I'm hoping it brings me a lot of adventures!

Wow the last time I updated, I'd just gotten my job. That's kinda crazy. I'm now a few days away from officially starting it. What's happened since then? Well, considering I'm sure the majority of people who read this blog are my family, there's probably not a lot to fill in. Although I realize I never talked about our time in Sydney...

Our last weekend in Australia was spent in Sydney and we had a great weekend! I don't know why but I really liked that city. We left on Thursday, and since I had to work that day, I took a late flight. Becca spent the day driving up since she had so much stuff to take with her that there was no way she was getting it on a flight from Melbourne. So she picked me up at the airport, and by the time we got to the hostel it was late, and we were both tired from long days so we just went right to bed.

The next couple days were really busy. Since we had the car all weekend, we drove out to the Blue Mountains for the morning. It was a really nice drive, and great to get some fresh air.
The Three Sisters and the Blue Mountains

We had some ideas about what we wanted to see over the 2 days we were there, but hadn't really hashed out any concrete plans. So we drove back to Sydney and parked near Darling Harbour. We walked the pier a bit as we made our way over to the Wildlife Centre. It's weird, because it's right in the middle of downtown Sydney, right off the pier. But it's a little zoo. We had some passes so spent a couple hours just walking around. Among other things, we saw:
A baby wallaby feeding
Rex the Crocodile

But my favourite by far was this guy:
It's a wombat sleeping on its back!
Ha ha ha it looked so funny! Just like a little puppy...

In the evening we walked down to the well-known Circular Quay which is the place where the Sydney Opera House sits. We grabbed dinner, watched the sunlight fade and the spot lights come on, had ice cream (in our shorts and t-shirts on December 15th), and then stumbled upon a night market where we wandered for a bit.

Saturday was busy as well. We started the day by hopping on a tour bus around town. It was one of those hop-on/hop-off all day things so we stopped at the Sydney Opera House again to see about a Harbour boat tour. The one we wanted wasn't until later so we watched some street performers before getting back on the bus and making our way to the Sydney Tower. I think that's one of the coolest ways to see a city: from above. We walked back to the Harbourfront for our boat tour. We couldn't hear any of the information, but it was still fun to just see the harbour. Then we were back on the bus and went to Darling Harbour again, this time to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. We actually got lucky because, since it was the holiday season, they were having fireworks there every Friday and Saturday night. And since it was Saturday, we got to see them. Also, leading up to the fireworks they had karaoke for the kids just outside the restaurant in front of a big Christmas tree. It was cute, and I think it was a nice way to end the year in Australia.

On Sunday we were off to the airport and on the way home. Even though it was still a long flight (14 hours), it didn't seem as bad as the first time. I've worked out that it probably has something to do with getting the long flight over and done with first, then having the smaller flights. It was, again, a long journey, but I made it home safe and sound.

Here's a couple last pictures of our time in Sydney to send you off with:
Of course, the Sydney Opera House
Merry Christmas, I'm in shorts and a t-shirt!
View from the Sydney Tower of the Harbour looking towards the ocean