For those of you who don’t know, Tay grew up moving back and forth between Australia and America.  Her dad is from here and her mom is from Australia.  After we got married we saw a pretty good deal on tickets and decided we should go.  I had never been so we thought it would be cool for me to see a lot of the places she grew up, as well as meet a lot of the friends and family I hadn’t yet.  Flying directly from here to there is long already, but our layovers made it pretty crazy.  We spent about 30 hours traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles to Auckland to Melbourne to Sydney.  Our cheap tickets were from LA to Melbourne with one layover, but we had to tack on some extra flights to get down from Seattle and because we wanted to spend some of our trip in Sydney.

Our trip lasted two weeks from late November to early December.  While it was starting to get pretty cold at home it was transitioning from Spring into Summer in Australia.  We stayed with Tay’s aunt and uncle, Linda and Paul, as well as her cousins Allie and Sam in a beautiful neighborhood close to the city center.  Allie was Tay’s maid of honor at our wedding.  We arrived in the late afternoon and were surprisingly not too tired.  Flying overnight can be rough but the time difference wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating.  Technically Sydney was 19 hours ahead but it was effectively 5 hours behind, just in the next day.  So noon felt like 5pm to us.  Since we’re used to going to bed between midnight and 2am anyway, we were fine until about 9pm.  Jacaranda trees were in full purple bloom all over the city while we were there.  I couldn’t get over how great they looked.

On our first full day in the city we went downtown to sight see around Sydney Harbor.  Seeing the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge was another one of those surreal moments of seeing something for the first time that already feels so familiar.  We got pancakes for breakfast where I did the Australian things and got them with ice cream on top.  It was a little weird but I’d say I approve.  Pancakes are already basically dessert as it is.  Might as well go all the way with it.  Later on we caught a ferry down to Manly Beach where the harbor meets the ocean.  That night went down to Balmoral Beach for the obligatory Australian fish and chips.  We also explored around a cool island/point while we were there.

The next day was spent mostly at the famous Bondi Beach.  While pretty crowded it was easy to see why it was so popular.  Sections of graffiti stretched all the way along the beach that we thought were really cool.  Bondi is also home to the famous Bondi Baths, a set of swimming pools built right up next to the ocean.  They made for a super photogenic spot.  From there went on an ocean walk around a rocky point to a much smaller beach.  We stopped at a cafe there while we watched the surfers there.  For dinner Linda and Paul took us to an awesome restaurant down at the Sydney Harbor Bridge.  It was right next to the Olympic Swimming Pool as well as Luna Park.  After dinner it was sunset so we walked along the water and took lots of photos.  Allie had to work that night so we made sure to visit her at her bar after dinner.

The next morning our time in Sydney had come to an end.  Big thanks to Linda and Paul for letting us stay as well as to Allie for showing us around!

–kyle