Archives for posts with tag: australia

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Mom, Dad and I finished packing, then spent the morning across the street from our hotel, at the Royal Botanic Gardens. It rained a bit, but we found some trees to stand under and it passed by in a few minutes. We saw lots of pretty sub-tropical plants and flowers. Then we noticed – that racket? It was hundreds of fruit bats in the trees. EVERYWHERE. It was CRAZY. We also saw an eel following a duck around a pond (sorry, that duck won’t fit in your mouth) and found out that they drain the pond every once in awhile but the eels repopulate themselves—rangers have seen baby eels crawling over the lawn from Sydney Harbour!

Dad went back to the hotel and Mom and I went across the other street and looked around the Museum of Sydney’s forecourt. There is an archaeological site under the flagstones, and metal markers in the stones showed the boundaries of several buildings that used to stand in that spot. There was even a little window down to the dig so one could glimpse the old walls and foundations.

We watched a little of the Olympics, then went to the airport. We said our goodbyes to Aunt Pat and Uncle Denny, then promptly found out our flight had been pushed back seven hours. We hung out in the airport and used our meal vouchers. Finally our plane came, and we settled in for our 13 hour flight. I slept a little, but not well; I watched a couple movies to pass the time. We got popsicles as treats! More airlines should do this; it was completely delightful.

Once we got into LAX, Mom and Dad got standby for the next morning’s flights to Chicago, and when I left them they were heading back to the Qantas desk to get a hotel. I couldn’t believe I was back in LA—it didn’t feel quite real and I kept expecting to blink and find myself back down under.

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After breakfast, Mom and I went up to the pool on the 31st floor and checked out the view of the Opera House, bridge and rest of the harbor. We met a nice English lady up there who had a lot of historical info and a very plummy accent.

We went on a city tour and saw Mrs. Mcquarie’s chair, King’s Cross, Woolloomooloo, Nicole Kidman’s former home in Darling Point, and Bondi Beach. We had a little time to buy souvenirs (I got a SLSC hoodie, one for Clayton for his birthday, and a great t-shirt for Maria) and Mom took a stroll down to the water’s edge. We saw a lot of examples of Pennington lace – a style of iron work – on Oxford Street and saw the Queen Victoria Building on George Street.

Mom, Dad and I did a tour of the Opera House which was very cool. The engineering and design was impressive and the lines and angles of the interior were beautiful. We met up with Aunt Pat and Uncle Denny and took the ferry to Manly. Mom, Dad and I walked to the Oval, saw giant spiders and a nice lawn bowling green. Then we relaxed with a beer (Fat Yak) and chips and watched the boats go in and out of the harbor.

That night we had dinner at Caminetto, an amazing Italian place nestled against the stone wall of the Rocks, where I had probably the best pasta of my life.

leaning in for a kiss

Sydney Opera House, February 2010


Sydney Opera House, February 2010

lobby skylights

Concert Hall lobby, Sydney Opera House, February 2010

up and forward

stairs to the welcome desk, Sydney Opera House, February 2010

sydney harbour bridge

from the Sydney Opera House, February 2010

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We flew to Sydney and checked into the InterContinental, which was extremely nice. We had a view of the Museum of Sydney and the Royal Botanic Gardens. At dinner time we ran into Hector and Heidi and we all walked through Circular Quay to the German restaurant at the Rocks. We had a great time drinking and singing and Heidi said the apfelstrudel was some of the best she’d ever had. After dinner we walked back at a leisurely pace and took photos of the bridge, Opera House and big Chinese New Year tigers. Then Mom and I wandered across towards the Gardens and I got a few photos of the Conservatorium of Music.

opera house at night
year of the tiger
circular quay

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Got up earlier than necessary so I could go across the street to the Wildlife Dome and have my photo taken holding a koala! She was so little (but heavier than she looked) and soft and sleepy. And her claws were very sharp too! she really latched on when the keeper put her on me.

We met up with the group and went to Kuranda. We drove through the rainforest and our guide, Roderic, pointed out a lot of plants and animals. In Kuranda, Mom, Dad and I went to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and saw all kinds of gorgeous and huge butterflies and moths. One butterfly wouldn’t stop landing on me – Mom had to pry it off of me and then I ran out so it couldn’t follow me again.

We went to the market area and to the honey shop then grabbed delicious German sausages for our walk to the Skyway terminal. The Skyway Rainforest Cableway is a giant gondola over the rainforest and you can see all kinds of plants and birds up there. We stopped partway down and saw Barron Falls, which was huge due to all of the recent rain. It was mostly shrouded in the huge amounts of mist it was spraying up.

At the bottom of the Skyway we went to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and saw dances and explanations about food and hunting.

Dinner that night at Rattle & Hum, gelato (of course!), then retired for the night and watched the Olympics and some ‘Bones’.