Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two Travelers Go To: Sydney

In the shortest trip to Sydney ever (made by us), we had a jam packed day!

Step 1. Get up at 3:30am (or, if you're me, wake up at 12:30am feeling anxious, and then be scared out of your wits by Marsh sleep-screaming bloody murder at 3am), get your bags and head to the bus station, where you get the 4am bus to Avalon airport.

Step 2. Grab a coffee and hop on your 6am flight to Sydney, where you arrive at 7:30am. Store your bags in the airport ($12 for 24 hours) and get the train into the city.

Step 3. Be on time for Marsh's 9:30am appointment at the travel doctor to get a Hep B booster.

Step 4. Go to a web cafe and print out all the supporting document you think you'll need when you arrive at US customs (you won't need them, it's aloha time in Hawaii).

Step 5. Walk and walk, head for the Rocks where you sit in a cafe to meet your buddy, Sam, and her house-guest/Lindy Hop guru Lennart, for coffee and a trip to the old observatory.

Step 6. Talk jazz! science! weather!

Step 7. Hightail it to Darling Harbour to meet Anna, then hightail it to Google HQ to meet her boyf Abdullah, who works there and is kindly hosting you for free Google lunch and, what, a tour?! (Thanks, Abby, you shouldn't have!)

Step 8. Take all the free stuff from Google and gleefully get a picture taken.

Step 9. Rush back to the train station, jump on the train to the airport, and check in for your 6pm flight to Honolulu.

Phew! Thanks Sydney, we like you and we will be back for longer next time!

Two Travelers Go To: Melbourne

Almost two weeks ago, we left home for the longest trip away we have ever done. We are hoping it will be about eight months before we have to come home, but we will see how far we get. First stop, Melbourne! 

Melbourne is like a second home city to us now. We have visited enough times to have seen the sights, have a basic understanding of the layout of the city so we can walk without a map, and have friends and family (my sister lives there now) enough there now that we spent a good few days catching up with people. Alternatively, we sat in a cafe with free WiFi and started making plans for the next week or so of our trip.

By Perth standards, the weather in Melbourne was icy. The first day was pleasant enough – sunny and 22 degrees – but the following two really delivered in terms of Melbourne-typical weather. Showers, hail, wind, a high of 15 degrees; we were longing for the beach.

Leaving Perth in the whirlwind in the way we did - with weeks of hard work, moving, sorting out problems – made Melbourne the perfect first destination. Finally, we had the chance to relax and leave our work behind. My sister and her boyfriend recently moved into a new house, with new housemates, and we spent two really fun nights with the whole house-full, eating homemade pizza and playing beer pong, then cooking Indian food for the whole crew and polishing off a bottle of red wine. They are good people, and I am happy to see my sister happy.

Here’s where we ate:
Quince Cafe – amazing Italian hot chocolate
Gamispecialising in Korean fried chicken and beer, the spicy chicken had us all gulping down water
Purple PeanutsJapanese lunch for cheap, vegetarian rice ball ftw
Ponyfish Islandif you like to sit in a bar in the middle of the river and let the trans-arctic winds ice you up, here you go (also, we saw a goose!)
Horn, Pleasehipster Indian with a mysterious name
The Hardware Societe – ubiquitous French-style cutesy cafe, Perth prices