I often joke that people should tell me whenever they’re traveling out of the US, because I’ve had so many moments of being in the same place at the same time as friends by chance – sometimes with notice (like Pompeii), sometimes without (like Edinburgh or Mexico City. The worst is finding out after the fact that you were in the same place and didn’t know it! In the fall, I reached out to two friends in the US informing them that I was going to London Thanksgiving weekend and inviting them to join me, if they wanted. One of them said she would love to, but couldn’t, because she was preparing to travel to Australia and New Zealand around Christmas. Say what?!?!? ME TOO!!!! Case in point – always tell me when you’re traveling abroad, so we can rendezvous!
In the end, we only overlapped in the same city (Sydney) for part of a day, so we decided to have brunch together. It was SO WONDERFUL to see her and her beautiful family after approximately three years and for her to meet my mama. We had a great time together, even if it was short and sweet.
[Smiles all around!]
Part of the reason our time was awesome was due to the incredible brunch spot – Dare Cafe, located in The Rocks. We all had amazing food, and my mom tried another new dish that blew her mind. Her first Acai Bowl!
After brunch, we took the ferry to Manly. If I had this afternoon to do over again, I would’ve gone directly to the beach, rented some chairs, and sat and enjoyed. But, wanting to “do it all” got the best of me and resulted in a reeeaalllyyyy long walk, which was a bit more rugged than expected. I wanted to go out to the Fairfax Lookout and to the former Quarantine Station, and while there’s a bus that can get you there, the timings are very infrequent, so we decided to walk. At least 40% of the walk turned into us walking in the road, and in the end, the lookout wasn’t very spectacular – partly due to the haze from the forest fires. We had to backtrack a bit to catch the route to Shelly Beach, and the whole time I was hoping we were going the right way, because it wasn’t clear. Once we found Shelly Beach and walked the boardwalk between it and Manly Beach, I wished we would’ve gone directly for this area instead of walking all over the peninsula. We did take a seat for a bit to people watch once we made it to Manly Beach, but we could’ve enjoyed it more with fewer steps. I guess it was good training for our hike in New Zealand, but it was a lot of effort for little reward. Alas, this is part of the stories that come from adventuring.
For all of the walking we did, I only have one picture!
We took the ferry back to Sydney and opted to taxi most of the way back to our hotel instead of walking even more. (I think we were at 26,000 steps by this point!) We had the taxi drop us at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, which has been a Sydney establishment since 1945 and is located near the Woolloomooloo naval yards. It’s a walk up restaurant serving all kinds of meat pies. We walked past it every time we were walking to or from the Central Business District from our hotel, and after seeing crowds a few times, my curiosity was peaked. We both got “The Tiger,” which is a meat pie with mashed potatoes, smashed peas, and gravy. It was delicious! I’m glad we got to try a Sydney classic, which has been enjoyed by loads of celebrities over the years.
Going out with a Sydney classic felt like the right way to end our week in such an amazing city! We loved our time and feel like we squeezed as much in as possible while also giving ourselves room to relax and enjoy. Next stop, New Zealand!