In November, Jonathan and I traveled to Australia for a long-awaited trip to see his grad school friends marry in Sydney. Having met John and Terri in Chicago (Parts 1, 2) and later in Lake Sinissippi, it was clear that their wedding would be an amazing experience. Few things are more satisfying than planning a trip . . . especially an international location with a fun group of people!
The flight from DC to Dallas/Ft Worth was an average 3 hours, 2o minutes, but the trip to Sydney was easily the longest we’d ever traveled at 19 hours, 15 minutes! The time passed quickly due to our love of on-plane movies. Although I was only able to watch 3 (because I actually slept on the plane), Jonathan was able to fit in an impressive 5 movies. 😉
At left is my only photo of the trip- a quick iPhone shot of our plane chasing the setting sun.
After navigating from the Sydney airport to our hotel, we learned that we could not yet check in, so we set off to explore Sydney. True to my nature, I had planned a list of sights to see each day and had purchased tickets ahead of time when there were great discounts. Soaking up Sydney, we wandered up George Street to see the Queen Victoria Building and visited the Sydney Tower Eye in order to get a bird’s-eye view of the city.
Although the glass created issues with glare and somewhat dulled the colors of the city, the views were amazing! And those issues weren’t anything a little HDR couldn’t fix!
While I snapped away, Jonathan actively mapped out the rest of the locations on our itinerary for the week.
Above are images of Hyde Park, which we would visit on the ground later.
With the whole city displayed before us, we were able to pick out our hotel nestled amidst the other tall buildings. The Meriton Serviced Apartments is in the center of the below photo- a white building with a black top.
Always eager to sample local fare, we made our way to the base of the Sydney Tower Eye in search of food and found the Cloudy Bay Fish Co. Having heard that the seafood in Sydney is amazing, we tried a sampler of their fish dishes. And we were not disappointed!
St. Mary’s Cathedral provides a great backdrop for the fountain when facing east and the city skyline (with a view of the Sydney Tower Eye) when facing west. The below photo of Artemis was snapped for Kenia, a fellow Greek mythology enthusiast.
The Australian Museum borders Hyde Park and boasted an excellent dinosaur exhibition. Unfortunately the exhibit was not yet open, but they did have an interesting permanent dinosaur exhibit.
The below photo is my favorite from the museum- the reflection in the glass makes the photo and due to the low light, I had to ensure the camera was extremely steady to reduce camera blur. What a funny little creature!
After the museum, we checked into our hotel and met our roommates for the week- Ryan and Aimee from Chicago and Miriam (Mim), Terri’s friend from high school. After relaxing for a bit, we set off for the welcome happy hour at Albion Place Hotel, just around the corner. The drinks (especially the Dark & Stormy!) and conversation flowed and the rest of the evening was a blur of new faces, laughs, excellent food at a dumpling restaurant, and a nightcap at 3 Wise Monkeys.
Happily nestled in our amazing hotel room at the end of the evening, I snapped this photo of the view. Many thanks to John and Terri and their families for their generosity in hosting us!