This entry was written last week, we didn’t have internet, so here it goes….
Last Wednesday Jocelyn and I began our trip to Adelaide and Sydney. We took the bus to the airport and then got on the flight to Adelaide in South Australia. Adelaide is known for its small, tight knit community, where everyone is kind and open. It is also the first city built only by Australians. Churches surround the city and therefore it’s known as the “City of Churches.” Ok, now that the history lesson is over let’s get to some good old fashion story telling…
By the time the plane landed and we got to the hotel it was close to 7pm local time (some Australian States do daylight savings and others don’t) and it was light out! This is a change for us, because normally the Sun sets around 6:30 back in the Gold Coast. We checked into the hotel and the guy behind the desk gave us the key and a map to get to our room. Ok, I understand that some hotels are confusing and once you pass the front desk you have to take a few turns to find your room…NOPE, this was NOT a hotel map, this was a street map. Apparently, the front desk is not even in the same building as the hotel rooms. We exit the building, take a right, then take another right (following the map) into an ally, walked about 500 feet, then used our key to open a door. It was the hotel. Yup. It was located on the old “Directors” block of Adelaide, so the hotel was decorated with old movie posters. It looked like a huge art space that was converted into two floors of about 25 studio-sized rooms.
We were both hungry so we walked around to try to find a good pub to go to. About 80 percent of the pubs and bars were built in old hotels, and in some cases, they still have a few active hotel rooms. These old hotel buildings are incredible, they are something straight out of Victorian England with wide open rooms and wide wooden staircases the ascend right out of the middle of the pub/bar/restaurant room. Anyways, we ended up coming across a nice pub called the Crown and Scepter Hotel. After that, we went back to the hotel to sleep.
I woke up in the morning by looking out the window to see a little puppy running around an abandoned parking lot with wrecked cars in it and I yelled for Jocelyn to look. As soon as she looked, the dog sniffed, spun around in a circle, and stopped…we all know what happened next…
About 4 blocks away from us was Adelaide’s Central Market, which is a HUGE market. I got a half of baguette and Jocelyn got a twisty doughnut. Most people would assume I would get the twisty doughnut, but nope, Jocelyn got it. I can’t speak for her, but my baguette was yummy (the doughnut was good too because I had a bite)!! We then walked all around Adelaide and ended up at the Rundell Street Mall. After the open air mall, we took a paddle boat around the river. It was cutesy.
The next day we took a trolley to Mosley Square to go to the Indian Ocean!! This has been Jocelyn’s dream for a while! I took plenty of pictures, don’t you worry! We also walked around for a while, took pictures, ate, and watched the Sun set. The only ocean left for both of us is the Arctic Ocean…Wooo!!
THE BATHROOM EXPERIENCE (warning, this may get into too much detail, you may want to skip to the end of this section, also, JOCELYN does not approve of this section and I take full responsibility)
Ok, so this could be its own post, but here we go. While waiting for the Sun to set over the Indian Ocean, we walked to this little café overlooking the Indian Ocean. Next to the café was a steel public restroom, with four individual doors leading into four separate stalls. After pushing the button to open the door from the outside (kind of like a finger print scanner), I walked in, and the door shut automatically behind me. After the door shut, a woman’s voice came over the speaker and said “Welcome to the Public Restroom. When finished, the toilet will flush automatically when the sink is activated. In ten minutes, the doors will open automatically.” Good thing I was going number 1. Once the voice was finished, a jazz piano rendition of “What the world needs now is love sweet love” came over the speaker. Not only was I at the Indian Ocean, I was relieving myself to the tunes of Burt Baccarat; life was GREAT. When I finished, I noticed that everything was steel, which was ok. As the music played, I put my hand under the first sensor and got soap, the second and the sink turned on and simultaneously the toilet flushed, then the third sensor was the dryer. Perfect. I then pushed the finger print scanner button, the doors opened, the music stopped and the woman’s voice said “Thank you.” I immediately told Jocelyn about this and she had to try it out for herself, she loved it as much as I did. We then split a French Fry (chips) and got two cokes and had a great little snack overlooking the ocean at the café.
WARNING THIS MAY BE TOO MUCH INFO PLEASE SKIP THIS AND CONTINUE UNTIL I SAY “ALL CLEAR”
We were sitting there at the café when all of the sudden I felt a little gargle in my stomach. Uh oh…we all know what that means. I proceed back to the public restroom and immediately think “I only have ten minutes before the doors open.” I pushed the button, the doors opened, I entered, the doors shut and again, I heard the woman’s voice said “Welcome to the Public Restroom. When finished, the toilet will flush automatically when the sink is activated. In ten minutes, the doors will open automatically.” Then again, the music played. I look up and see a red light close to the ceiling and under it I read IF RED LIGHT FLASHES PLEASE EXIT IMMEDIATELY CLEANING WILL COMMENCE. Luckily, this didn’t happen. After about 2 minutes of going the bathroom, the woman’s voice came over this speaker again (I immediately thought to myself, Uh Oh, this didn’t happen earlier), “The internal sensors have detected that this room is empty and the doors will immediately…” My heart sank, here I am, in a public restroom, sitting on the toilet, in Adelaide, Australia, I thought, “Well, at least I will get a good view of the Ocean.” The woman’s voice continued “…If this room is still occupied please move so that the internal sensors will detect movement.” I then threw my hands up in the air and waved them around like a frantic airport grounds crew member directing a plane. The woman spoke again “Thank you, your time has been extended.” Then a new song started. Well, I just avoided an interesting situation. Anyways, the rest went as planned.
Now, as long as that is off my chest…
After the sun set, we took the tram back where we were staying, and hung out a little bit more in the city.
In the morning, we checked out and left our bags in storage since our flight wasn’t until late at night. We walked around Adelaide some more and ended up walking around the campus of the University of Adelaide. We took a cab to the airport a little early (4 hours early) to see if we could get on an earlier flight to Sydney. Unfortunately, Adelaide Airport is still fairly new and there were no other flights to Sydney on JetStar, so we hung around the airport for a bit and I watched Cricket while Jocelyn surfed the web (It’s currently The Ashes Cricket match now, which will be in another blog).
302 This is OK for all people to read
When we boarded the plane, there was someone sitting on the aisle seat, so she gets up to let Jocelyn and I in the row; Jocelyn takes the window and I take the middle. She immediately introduces herself as Ellen. She is a short, husky, Asian woman in her early 60s. She was wearing a fanny pack with a water bottle holder on it. She begins to tell us about her trips and asks if we want to some pictures; to be polite, I agreed to see some pictures (I couldn’t say no, especially because I was going to be sitting next to her for the next 2 hours and 20 minutes. As we are taxiing to the runway, she pulls out her camera, turns it on and says “Great, this will make the flight go a lot faster!” She hits the little play button on her camera, rests her arm on the armrest, and holds it in between us so her and I could both see the screen. You know how on digital cameras it tells you the number of the picture you are on followed by the number of total pictures that are on the camera?? I immediately look down and see 1/302. Great. 302 pictures. Just great. It’s loud and Jocelyn is far enough away where she doesn’t have to pay full attention and still make it seem like she cares; me on the other hand, I just dug myself into a hole. She goes one by one through her pictures and of course, each one has a story. At picture 83, I also realized that they weren’t just pictures, they were videos also; twenty second videos of her panning back and forth of the same views. Seriously, “pictures” 83 to 88 were the same videos of her panning at different zooms of the same waterfall. Well, I was in for the long haul. At about “picture” 277, the videos started to get longer. I watched about 13 or so, four minute long videos of a panda bear running around. One was a four minute and twenty-one second long video of a panda climbing out of a tree. By the time the pictures were finished, the flight attendants were doing their last sweep for trash. That was the LONGEST flight I have ever been on.
We arrived in Sydney, it was our third time in the airport (we were finally leaving it) so we knew our way around. We made our way to the train and took it to Circular Quay. We got off, looked up, and saw the Marriot (thank you Mr. Doyle!). After we checked in, and did a front flip on the HUGE bed, we went out. It was about 10:45pm; at midnight it was my birthday. We first make our way 2 blocks to Circular Quay (the harbor between the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House), I look up and see the bridge. Jocelyn tells me to look right and there it was, the Sydney Opera House. Wow, we are in Australia. Have you ever seen so many pictures of one thing and imagined what you would do, or think, if you ever got to see it in person? At first the only thing I could say was “Wow.” After about a minute, I looked at Jocelyn and screamed “WE’RE IN SYDENY AUSTRALIA!!” I think kept saying it for the next ten minutes; I couldn’t believe we were there.
We then walked to this little pub called Paragon to get a birthday drink, or two…? After that, we walked a little bit around The Rocks district until we found another little establishment. It was great!
We woke up and made our way through The Rocks to find the Sydney Harbor Bridge Pylon climb. We climbed up, saw some great views, and got some GREAT pictures. After the bridge we made our way to the Opera House, again, Wow. We ended up taking a tour of the Opera House and it was truly incredible. Also, one of the chefs from the Iron Chef Australia has a restaurant inside the Opera House so we tried to stalk and find him. No luck. Oh, Ps, it was now my birthday. How about my 24th birthday in Sydney??!?! Not bad at all!! It then began to rain, so we went back to the Marriot and had the best birthday dinner; ROOM SERVICE! Perfect. I played the birthday card for the whole trip, I mean, who wouldn’t??
The next day we woke up and we to Darling Harbor; it was absolutely beautiful there. It was about an hour walk through the city and it was similar to Circular Quay. It’s hard to describe and I don’t even know if the pictures will do it justice. We ate there and walked around to stumble upon a free shark exhibit at the Maritime Museum. Jocelyn and I both loved it, especially researching all the shark attacks in Sydney Harbor. After Darling Harbor, we walked back into the city and went into Sydney’s new mall. We also, put money in the pig and rubbed it’s nose (not to sure of the story behind it, but it’s supposed to bring good luck) Then we walked to an incredible church through Hyde Park. We walked North from the park to the Botanical Gardens where we got to see a different view of the Opera House. After that we walked back to the Opera House (I still couldn’t believe we were there) and took pictures on the steps. At one point Jocelyn was the only person in the world standing on the Sydney Opera House steps, and then I was. What a feeling! We walked a total for a total of about seven and half hours that day.
The next day, was our last day. We woke up, checked out, and left our bags there since our flight wasn’t until 9pm. We had a debate if we should go to Bondi Beach or Manly Beach, both of which are famous surf beaches. We decided on Manly because we could take a boat there through the Harbor, while it was a crowded bus ride to Bondi. It was also raining out. It was great to see different views of the Opera House and the Bridge from the boat! We walked a little bit around Manly then boarded the boat to head back to Circular Quay. At about 5:45 we boarded the train to get to the airport early to see if there was an earlier flight (yes we took another chance). We got off the train and tried to go through the turnstiles to enter the airport, but they didn’t let us through. Apparently, the two airport train stations are privately owned and we had to pay $23 in order to get out of the station, wish we were told about that!! By the time we made it to the check-in desk it was 6:30 and we got on a flight that left at 7:10! Woo! Good luck! It was one of the bumpiest flights we have ever been on. We are not talking about the up and down turbulence; we are talking the side to side kind. It was almost like the plane was forming into an S shape in the air. Scary.
On Tuesday is our final apartment inspection and then on Wednesday we head up to Palm Cove! Then on the 14th to Brisbane, then on the 17th we fly home!
See You Soon Boston!