Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Part 1: Sydney

Hello all!
I have now returned to beautiful sunny (hot and humid) Ohio! Although my time abroad has come to an end, I want to update you all on my travels with my family. We did a lot so I’m going to split it up into the places we visited. I also plan to write another post in a week or so to update you on my transition back into life in America.
Family’s Arrival to Sydney (they had already spent a week in Cairns at the Great Barrier Reef)
Thursday, 17th of June: I turned the corner to enter the Hotel where my parents were staying and right away see my Mom. Before even seeing me she was in tears…I didn’t expect any different and probably would have assumed something was wrong if she wasn’t crying ha. After welcoming them to Sydney with lots of hugs and smiles we headed back to my place so that I could show them around my new home. I had set up gifts on my desk, one for each holiday I had missed spending with them as their welcome souvenirs. After showing them around my apartment, I took them to my favourite cafĂ©, Hoochie Mama’s! The rest of the day consisted of a tour of… Sydney Uni campus, Hyde Park, Botanical Gardens, Opera House, Circular Quay, and the Rocks. After all of the walking I think my family was relieved when the tour ended at Lord Nelson’s Pub (The oldest pub in Sydney located in the Rocks) after about 5 miles of walking. They were amazed at how pretty the University of Sydney’s campus was and impressed by how well I knew how to get around the city.
Oh yes and how can I forget….this was also the day that I met Larry. My dad has started the tradition of bringing along a mascot on family vacations. In Ireland it was a tennis ball named Wilson, this time a little stuffed bear with an Ohio State hoodie named Larry made the trip.
Friday, 18th of June: We went and got breaky at the “Waterfront Restaurant” in Darling Harbour and then walked around the area afterwards. They loved it and watching them take it all in reminded me of how I felt the first time I was down there. I had a re-appreciation for Darling Harbour and how alive it is. We stopped by Paddy’s markets so I could show them where I went every week to buy fruit and vegetables, then I took them up to Janet’s Meat Pies in Newtown, so they could experience a proper meat pie and to meet my friend Emma. We were in luck and Janet herself was at the store!   Of course Larry got a picture with Janet. Two train rides later and we were at Sydney Olympic Park. My dad was like a little kid hurrying to take a look at every venue and really lit up when he saw the blue marathon guide line. After my family’s first Newtown Thai experience my parents headed back to the hotel while my friends and I took Billy down to Darling Harbour’s Fifa Fan Fest to watch the USA vs. Slovenia world cup match.
Saturday, 19th of June: I took my family to two of my favourite beaches, Bondi and Coogee. Although it was a beautiful 18 degrees C (65 F), it was still too cool to swim so we did the scenic coastal walk that runs between the two beaches. By the end of the 6 km walk up, down, and along the cliffs my Mom asked me if I was trying to kill her. She was right…I had been making them walk quite a bit in their visit to Sydney! They were fascinated by the cliffs that surrounded the beaches, because they had no idea Sydney had that sort of landscape. That night we had ice cream at cold rock (where I worked) and then Michelle and Emma joined us for dinner down at Darling Harbour. After dinner we met my Dad back at Paddy McGuires an Irish pub to watch the Australian world cup match, and then we took Billy to my favorite spot in Newtown, the Marly Bar.
Sunday, 20th of June: Since we had been on our feet for the past three days, this day I decided to give them a bit of a break and we spent a lot of time cruising around the Harbour on Ferry’s. We went to Balmain (where my Dad’s friend Catherine used to live) for lunch, then to Circular Quay to catch another ferry to Whatsons Bay. Once at Whatsons Bay we walked up to the “Gap” a lookout with the ocean on one side and the city on the other. We ended the day at Doyle’s, a place in Whatson’s Bay famous for their fish and chips.
My picture uploads aren’t working—so once I figure it out I’ll put some up. Next up: Melbourne and Billy and I’s outback adventure!
Cheers, Betsy

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