After so much traveling it was time to go home. The closest home I have to here is Sydney, Australia.
If you don’t know this you’re definitely missing out on my life but I love Sydney, Australia. I love Australia. On our first day in Sydney I took Morgan to all the touristy spots like the opera house, the harbor bridge, the Queen Victoria building, and the park. We walked all over the city and had some fish & chips for lunch. After the city we went to Cronulla where I used to live 2/3 years ago. Although I was so nervous and excited I couldn’t handle life on the train ride there it’s so good to go back. This place changed my life and I will forever love Mike and Bones and everyone who works there. After talking to Mike and listening to lots and lots of stories we went to Northies, our local bar by the beach to meet up with Bones and have a couple of drinks. I’m so happy to be back in Australia and a place that I call home. I haven’t been somewhere I can call home in almost 4 months. It feels good to be here again and to be able to show it to someone.
We decided to go to the Blue Mountains to get out of the city for a day. I had never been to the Blue Mountains and thought it would make a good day trip. We took a 2 hour train ride from Sydney to the mountains. At the hostel we got a recommendation to eat at an interesting place in terms of decor, and service. After lunch we went on a walk to see the blue mountains. The trails are lined with eucalyptus trees and there’s no moss, which is quite different from New Zealand trails. We went to see the Three Sisters, the Katoomba Cascades, and lots of look outs on the way. A couple of the trails we were planning on taking were closed but nonetheless we enjoyed our nature walk. The blue mountains are not really mountains but more like cliffs and they are called ‘blue’ because the eucalyptus trees make it seem like there’s a blue haze over the fields.
Some travel days are just not the best because everything that can be frustrating or go wrong does or happens. After missing our train back to the city by an hour we finally got our train then we spent two hours on the busy train back to Sydney. We went to check into our hostel and found the guy who we made the booking with over the phone had put us in for the wrong weekend. After talking to the manager they said they would try to find space for us and so we decided to leave the hostel and come back later in the day. I was super frustrated but felt really bad for the manager but Morgan was super calm and collected unlike me. They ended up sorting a room out for us which was really great. All the ladies working at this hostel were so nice to us making sure that we enjoyed our stay after the confusion. We decided to go to the Foodie Market at the Rocks for some lunch. There was not a lot of food options actually but we found a place with kangaroo meat skewers so that Morgan could try some kangaroo meat for the first time. We got sandwiches for lunch then had a picnic with a view of the opera house. After lunch we headed to Bondi Beach. I didn’t realize that the train drops you off not exactly at the beach so we had a 30 minute walk downhill through the neighborhood to Bondi Beach. I was just happy it was downhill instead of up. We got to Bondi around 4 PM but by this time it was getting cold so we didn’t even go in the water which was actually freezing also. We figured out a bus to the train on the way home with a super bored man working in a convenience store. He was really great! After getting back to the hostel we actually got to go to our room. We decided it was probably time for some wine after a very long day. So we sat in the couch planning out the next day and drank wine looking for friends. Back at our room we had a couple from Singapore staying with us and they were kind enough to let us use their adapter so Morgan could straighten her hair and feel even more like herself. Gotta love those Asian friends! That evening we also decided ice cream was a good idea since we hadn’t gotten that since New Zealand. It was blue and delicious!
We decided to go to the Featherdale Wildlife Park an hour outside of Sydney so Morgan could experience some Australian animals. We got to see lots of sleepy koalas sitting in trees and kangaroos who were fat and lazy from all the tourists feeding them. Of course there were also penguins, echidnas, wombats, lots of birds and other random Australian animals to see. After debating weather or not to get a cheesy awkward picture with a koala for $25 we decided not to and headed back to Sydney. In Sydney we went to the Rocks weekend market which is my favorite market in Sydney because they have a ton of cool random stuff to see and buy like lots of and I think the buildings and cobblestone pathways are really nice. After the Rocks we went down to Darling Harbor which basically feels like the Navy Pier of Sydney and got some ice cream. We went back to the hostel for a few hours to relax before going to a comedy show which was part of the Fringe Fest at The Hilarium. It turned out that the company had booked two showcases in one so we got to see the Best of the Best Showcase and the Arab Comedy Showcase. All together it was pretty funny and a good way to spend our night.
On our last full day in Sydney all I wanted to do was go back to Cronulla. So this time I was able to show Morgan the actual beach I forgot about the first day we went. So I took her to the places I forgot about the first day being so caught up in seeing Bones and being back home. We stopped by Northies after the beach to say hi to Bones again and then to say goodbye to Renee back at the hostel also. People often ask me what my favorite place I’ve been to since I’ve traveled quite a lot but it’s easy to say it’s Cronulla. It’s almost perfect. It’s not too busy, there’s great waves, and surfers and families everywhere. I love the beach, the rock pools, the one road beach town with all the shops, and I love that hostel and the happy home it gave me in 2014.