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Hi again, fellow bloggers!! Welcome to Day 3 of the infamous Sydney Trip! LOL… This is where we left off last time…….very tired and grumpy as well after an almost sleepless night listening to the melodious sounds of the fire alarm barking at us to “Evacuate the Building” – which we ignored on the advice of our neighbours who informed us that these sorts of false alarms happened on a regular occurrence, one said occurrence had also happened the night before….(please read previous “Sydney” blog for details…).

Today we would be travelling to Camden by train to see some friends of ours who had shifted last year to this neck of the woods. My son is best mates with their eldest boy, Jason – they share so many common interests, Star Wars, Dr Who, LEGO, Transformers, etc etc etc and they were virtually inseparable both at school and out of it. It is wonderful when your child finds someone that they share a unique bond with, isn’t it? Unfortunately, Jason’s family wanted him to move with them to Sydney, so he had to go too (I don’t know why they couldn’t just leave him here with us! I mean, they could visit him every so often surely?) Because we were in the vicinity, it was our turn to visit them.

Now my DH (this stands for darling hubby by the way, not anything else….hehe ) had been a very good boy and had studiously worked out exactly which train we had to catch, when and where from plus the return journey – so we were well prepared when we arrived at the train station……BUT (now you knew there was gonna be a “but” because surely no-one could be this organised and something NOT go pear-shaped…..) unfortunately on that very day, at that very time, on that very track…..City Rail was doing their once a century track maintenance, weren’t they!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!! I kid you not. So we had to make a very quick decision on alternatives for our journey. Now one of the alternatives was to travel to some blah blah street, get on a blah blah bus, travel to this blah blah destination where we would get off the bus and onto another blah blah train that would take us the rest of the way to Camden????? What the??? We’re from the bush you know? This might sound perfectly ok for a native Sydney-sider, they’re used to changing buses and trains at a moments notice, but we’re not! Blimey we don’t even have a public transport train system where we come from! Now we had no idea where this street was or whether we would make it in time for the bus or have to wait another hour for another bus and then what about the train connection at the other end????? All too hard so we took the easier option which was: get on the replacement train, get off in 4 stops, get on the bus that by-passes the closed track, get off the bus at Camden, get picked up by friends nearly an hour behind schedule. No worries, we had a lovely time chatting away and catching up and all too soon it was time to go – everything in reverse! Except that we were about 2 and a half hours behind schedule by this time!

Jason & Family

Now our other friends – the ones we were on holiday with – had spent their day in book shops and stuff and we were supposed to meet them at Sydney Aquarium a lot earlier than we did – but hey! We got there eventually. We had a cool ride on the monorail – witnessed a bit of a stressed-out-agro monorail driver go off his nut at some silly teenage girl who tried to push the automated doors of the monorail open when they had closed – so we caught the next one. Not sure I wanted to be travelling with that driver….this is the big smoke after all…I listen to the news…. Anyway, Sydney Aquarium was great! The boys got photos with the Mermaid – she was just some fibreglass figure with a tail and big boobs but they enjoyed it! I took lots of photos of all the fishies in the big tank – turtles, gropers, pretty coloured fish (Nemo’s & Dory’s – you know the ones…), sharks swimming overhead, our “lovely” sea cows of the sea – dugongs – and of course, big sting rays (my son has never forgiven them for causing Steve Irwin’s untimely demise!) What I found really awesome was the walkway through the tunnel – in one part it was glass and you could see the fish swimming underneath your feet – wow!! That was something else! A bit disconcerting though. The displays were really great, I liked the deep sea jelly fish that lit up with all these pretty colours! Jake liked the crocodiles (of course). We missed a lot of the daytime shows because we showed up so late and it was nearly dark by the time we managed to get out of the gift shop!

Time to eat! We made our way to this fabulous restaurant famous for its steak – can’t quite remember its name, The Steak House, or something similar. Anyway its the place where lots of famous Aussies eat and you can even pay over a great wad of cash for special membership rights and get your own “knife” which is kept on the wall as you walk in and has your name on it (I never did ask what that was all about…sorry). Anyway, the fact that we had an 8 o’clock reservation didn’t seem to mean anything because we had to wait over half an hour to be seated. But it was all good from there! Steak was awesome! Bill at the end was even awesomer!! (is that a word?) I know why famous people like it! We sat outside on a balmy Sydney evening and watched as all sorts of people waltzed on by – a fabulous end to a wonderful day! I tell you that I have no earthly idea how some women can manage to run in 6 inch heels! I don’t think my toes would even touch the ground if I wore 6 inch heels! Sounds like a good recipe for broken ankles and skirts around the waist, if you ask me! (I envy them, really…)

Well, it got really late….we were really tired…..couldn’t get a maxi taxi anywhere on a Saturday night…..didn’t want to walk back to the apartment….finally got 2 taxis…..fell into bed, finally…..with the promise that if that stinking alarm went off again, I would forget my country manners for a short while!   Tomorrow was gonna be a BIG HUGE day for me!! I had a date with the Sydney Beadmakers group! I’ll tell you more about that later…..enjoy the pics and have a great weekend!

Sydney Aquarium

BIG Shark

Croc

Dugong

Sleeping Dugong

Deep Sea Jelly Fish

Manta Ray

Mermaid Pic

Shark

Turtle

Cheers

Sandy

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Here I am again – I know, I know – Sydney is almost a vague memory, I spent so much time getting around to telling you all about it!  Anyway DAY  TWO – here goes…….2 words – TARONGA ZOO!!!  Awesome!  We set off bright and early, piled into a maxi taxi and got a real cool dude of  a taxi driver.  He took us to the wrong entrance and told us to make sure we saw the white tiger!  Well after 4 hours of traipsing all over however many hectares there are folks,  I am here to tell ya that there ain’t no white tigers at Taronga Zoo!!!  No kidding!  Just about everything else…..including normal orangy coloured tigers – but none of the ghostly white kind.  Well we had a fun day, legs nearly dropped off – my fave animals were:

1. the zebras (of course! I love any kind of “horsey” animal) …..and

2. the squirrels- they are so little and FAST!!!  Man, can they scarper!  (I need one……)

3. the meer cats – they are really cute too

We saw the seal show, watched the chimps do rude things (chimps have NO shame….), had a ride in the Sky Safari (that was pretty awesome!), checked out all the snakes, spiders, lizards, creepy crawly things and the Komodo Dragon (my son’s favourite!!!!), gorillas, elephants. giraffes, birds, african do-das with horns, foxes with huge ears, kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, chimps, leopard seals, hippos, rhinos, monkeys, squirrels, zebras, meer cats, goats with strange names and stripes, lions, tigers, blah blah blah, and the list goes on and on and on……I almost can’t remember them all!!

We had a lovely lunch – had to fight the rainbow lorikeets and kookaburras  for it, every time we turned our back they were nicking (stealing) something off our plates!   Well the afternoon wore on and all too soon it was time for just one more stop before going home – the gift shop!  My son couldn’t make up his mind which fluffy friend he needed to add to his already substantial family of stuffed animals back home – so he left without adopting one.  It is a tradition of ours that every time we visit a wildlife sanctuary or zoo etc ……. of which there have been considerable visits……he buys a fluffy toy to commemorate the visit.  We have crocodiles, lace monitors, snakes, emus, dolphins, sharks, turtles, manta rays, elephants, giraffes,  did I say crocodiles???? (that’s his all-time fave – thank you Steve Irwin!).

We bolted for the ferry – just made it – then back to our apartment for a little rest before the boys had to get ready for their next adventure – The Harbour Bridge Climb!!  Not for the faint hearted, I might add!  That’s why I didn’t go…..for the following reasons…….

1.  I don’t like heights…..

2.  I don’t “do” stairs or ladders……

3.  I don’t like heights…….

4.  I didn’t like the overalls they made you wear – not my colour…….

5.  I don’t like heights……and that about wraps it up!

So Vince, Jake, Jeff and Katie went off to do the Bridge Climb.  Trish, Bryce and me went in search of food.  Something edible, cooked – not raw, somewhere we could interpret what the waitress was saying, somewhere that had a nice fat juicy Aussie steak!  Well we found it – a good ‘ol Aussie pub 3 block from our apartments.  And it even had a take away Bottle-O (liquor store for all who do not understand my lingo)  across the road where we could stock up on supplies.  Well by the time the intrepid Bridge climbers conquered the heights of the Harbour……it was late and they could not wipe the smiles off their faces!!  Obviously they’d had a great time and had pictures to prove it.

Well this is the end of Day 2 – I forgot to mention the drama that occurred in our apartment on Night 1…….About 11pm this funny beeping noise started coming from our fire alarm…..it got louder and louder, then the siren went off and of course, we hurriedly changed from pyjamas into something less embarrassing because all of a sudden the automated voice is urging us to “Evacuate the Building, Evacuate the Building”!!!!!!  We called our friends who were three floors above us and they said they couldn’t hear it….so we went out into the corridor to see what was happening on our floor.  A couple of our neighbours (who were apparently long term tenants in the building) said that this sort of thing happens all the time and that the alarm would eventually go off!!!!   What the……?????  Anyway, eventually the alarm stopped and all was back to normal – except, of course, my panic button had gone off and could not be re-set to “calm down”.  We did manage to catch a couple of hours sleep……

Keeping that in mind…. tonight, Night 2, we go to sleep rather late – after midnight – and about 4 am, guess what happens!!!!!  OH YES!!! beep, beep, beep, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP – stinking fire alarm again!!!!!! So we go out into the corridor again – this time the neighbours just tell us to go back to bed ‘cos that’s where they’re going…..I call the number for the night duty and get some woman who’s not even on site who tells me that if a fire alarm went off in her holiday accommodation then she would hot-foot it outside as quick as possible – well of course,  so would I in “normal” circumstances…….and  I tried to explain the false alarm the evening before but she had hung up on me! Obviously the switch board was jammed with calls at that hour of the morning and she was too busy to talk to me……(note to self….find out who that woman is so that she NEVER works as a customer service representative in any business I own….).  By the time we get back to bed… the alarm clock goes off – waking us up in time to catch the early train to go see some friends of ours……Boy were we tired and grumpy…..

Day 3 next time and pics too……

See ya! Have a great week! ….Cheers – Sandy

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This is a big long story that I’m going to have to write in stages – mostly so I don’t get writer’s cramp or RSI….LOL.  Well, where do I start??  It was February (ok, so I’m a little behind on my news….) – and the whole family’s off to the Big Smoke!  Sydney!!  Yay – we’d been looking forward to this for 6 months and we were finally going to see Acca Dacca in concert WOOHOO!  We hooked up with some good friends of ours – Jeff & Trish and their 2 teenage kids, Katie & Bryce – and with AC/DC tickets safely stashed, off we jetted. Touch down in Sydney – saw the Opera House, Harbour Bridge,  Sydney Tower, skyscrapers blah blah etc etc from the plane – how awesome!!!!!!!  My son took lots of photos of the clouds for Grandma (she likes clouds….) .  The journey out of the airport terminal was fairly uneventful, no luggage went missing or anything so I didn’t have an excuse to replace any of my daggy clothes (bummer), however I cannot say that the journey to our hotel in the middle of Sydney was peaceful and not fraught with a few tense moments due to the fact that I have never seen so much traffic in my life!  Especially traffic that sits within about a quarter of an inch from the bumper bar of the car in front and I could pass a sandwich to the person in the car next to me without having to stretch my arm too much!!!  OI!!  What happened to personal space??  Doesn’t apply in Sydney, apparently.

Clouds.....from the plane

Anyway…I digress….got to the hotel – in one piece (wonders will never cease!) checked in, checked out the room – nice and big and really good apart from the concrete bed…… We all decided to trot off for a little stroll down the middle of  Sydney city to Circular Quay.  There were loads of amazing little el fresco eateries and stuff – none of us could make up our mind what to have, too many choices!  So we made our way to the Sydney Opera House and stood just inside the entrance – just so we could say we had been “inside” the Opera House!!  Wow!  It really is outstanding, our Aussie Opera House and next time I go to Sydney I’m going to go and see a show there – doesn’t matter what it is, I’m going to see it anyway!  We took lots of photos of the sun finally going down (at like… 90’clock at night!)  and lots of photos of all the people – masses of them – going about their business or just being tourists like us.  There was a huge passenger ship berthed in the harbour – that was a sight to see.  Everything in Sydney is big and imposing – crowds, buildings, ships, shops, prices…….they even have double decker trains!  How cool is that!! (Did you know that the trains only stop for about 3 hours out of 24 hours  in Sydney – we know ‘cos our hotel overlooked the Central Train Station and that’s the only time we got any peaceful sleep!).  We even stopped to watch this mad street performer who defied all the odds and actually rode this 5 meter tall unicycle!

Finally we decided on stopping at the “Belgian Chocolate” eating place – we could apparently get some “normal” food there – like pies and fancy sandwiches – as well as the dreamiest of naughty desserts and coffee….  Finally, after gorging ourselves……we went for a stroll back “home” which actually felt like it was 20 kilometers away (but wasn’t really).  I couldn’t believe the amount of people still around at 11pm – hordes of them!  Now where I come from – that’s the time when we’re all tucked up in bed and the streets are empty!  Anyway……the end of the first day of our holidays……..Next time I’ll tell you about Day 2!

Bryce & Jake & Opera House

Hubby & Son & Harbour Bridge

Crazy Street Perfomer

BIG Cruise Ship

Delish Dessert

Harbour Bridge & Ship

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