If you follow me on Instagram or you’ve visited here at any point during the last 4 days and saw my insta photos in the sidebar, you’ll know that I spent this past weekend in Sydney, Australia! In my opinion Sydney is the quintessential Australian city that sums up the country to a T, as far as complete stereotypes from a non-Aussie go – it’s got sunshine, it’s got beautiful beaches, and it’s got the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. That right there is Australia to a foreigner.
The trip was a birthday gift from Luke, since my birthday was last week, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since he booked the tickets at the beginning of the month. I’ve been absolutely dying to be able to get to Sydney since I moved here in August, but my financial situation wasn’t stable enough for me to warrant even a super well-budgeted trip. But since I became part of the permanent workforce a few weeks ago, everything lined up (including the Sydney weather!) perfectly for this weekend getaway, and now I’m just dying to go back and do it all again.
We decided to fly into Sydney on Saturday morning so as to avoid the Friday night airport chaos but still get in a good day of sightseeing and friend catch-ups on Saturday. We headed straight from the airport to Bondi Beach, which is arguably Australia’s most popular and well-known beach. It’s absolutely stunning and I felt privileged to see it without the thousands of people who flock there during the warmer months, and when we found a beach-side pub to eat lunch at I was shocked to see the Sens game on TV. Eh, Canada! After enjoying the weather in Bondi, we headed to our friends’ apartment in Manly, which is phenomenal as far as places to live go. There is actually not a single fault I could find with that place, it’s unbelievable. We stayed in their top-floor apartment overlooking Queenscliff beach and the surfers below, and walked down to the cliffs nearby to enjoy a breathtaking moonrise. First day in Sydney: massive success.
The next day I headed into the city to do some mandatory shopping (the boys were gearing up to watch UFC which is so not my cup of tea) with another friend of ours who lives in the city. We shopped in Sydney Westfield which is a ridiculously flashy mall, and then headed out for the best chinese food I’ve ever had at Lees Fortuna Court. Post-dinner we headed out for nighttime views of the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park (a teeny tiny theme park at the base of the bridge). The Vivid Sydney festival was on, so all of the major architecture of the city is illuminated in light shows that are pretty amazing to watch. And with my new tripod I was able to capture some of that to remember forevaaah!
Monday we woke up again bright and early to get started on our third and equally amazing day. We headed back to Bondi because I just hadn’t gotten my fix the first time, and had a delicious beach-side breakfast. We then headed out to do a bit of the Bondi to Bronte coastwalk, which is a spectacular walk along the cliffs. Gorgeous views (hella wind though), and sunshine for all. When we had had enough of that (just kidding, I could never have enough of that, but we had to move on) we drove down to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney city centre to walk around and get some amazing photos of the Opera House and the Bridge (I am in love with that bridge. I can’t tell if it’s an engineer thing or a tourist thing. Okay both). We took the requisite couples photos to send home to my parents, and had drinks at the Opera Bar right at the base of the Opera House. When it was finally time to go home and pack up, we were completely exhausted but still not wanting to go home. And then, on our way to the airport, the rain that had been promised to destroy our entire weekend came down all at once and flooded the streets. Talk about perfect timing!
Sydney is a completely amazing city and anybody who’s planning a trip to Australia should absolutely put that on your itinerary (that means you Dad!). The best part for me was that the whole weekend we were hosted by and catching up with good friends that we’ve known and met from Luke’s time living in Whistler. It’s funny, I had a conversation this weekend about how some of my best friends are ones I don’t see too often, but make a point to visit whenever I can, and that’s not even remotely weird to me. It’s just like, if you meet people that you just have so much in common with, it doesn’t matter that I don’t know what their plans are for this weekend, or that their car broke down last night. It matters that when we get together, we can talk for hours on end, never getting bored, and we can do the most monotonous things (or have no money to do a thing at all, as was the case in Whistler), and we still have the best time. Does anybody else have friendships like that? Over the years, this is what about 99% of my friendships have become, and I love it. I think it’s phenomenal to have friends all over the world, and it’s just that much better and more special when I get to see them in real life. So not only did I have an unbelievably great time in Sydney this weekend, the three days was made so memorable for me because I spent it with some of my favourite people in the world just being silly, having a good laugh, and enjoying the opportunity to be in the same place as they are. I couldn’t have asked for anything better, really.
To my unbelievably thoughtful boyfriend, thank you for the perfect birthday gift. I love you Lukey!