We all slept pretty well last night, for the most part. I mean, we all woke up at some point in the night, but we slept in until 8! Pretty good first day/night for the jet lag.
Purple phone, purple iPad, purple Macbook, and purple hoodie...
Breakfast is included in our fancy stay at the Intercontinental, so we went down to the buffet to check it out. It was fancy, and packed, and delicious. I love a good breakfast!
It was almost 10:30 by the time we finished breakfast. It wasn't raining out, in fact, it was blue skies! So we set out to see the weekend market at The Rocks, just a couple of blocks away.
I love little weekend markets, and this one was no different. Lots of little shops and locally made stuff.
We saw a few Vivid Sydney displays around the area and Shannon looked at one and said, "That looks like a vivid waste of time!" Ha! Clearly we are all a little bitter about last nights adventure in to the Cathedral which turned in to a nightmare!
I can't pass up a good ornament, so we spent some time at this shop talking to the owner, Melissa. She was hilarious and enjoyed us crazy Americans. She informed us that "koala bears" aren't bears. They're just koalas. They're marsupials actually. And when she said marsupials, Shannon said, "Oh, like monkeys?" HA! It was too funny. Somehow the conversation took a turn for the worse to strippers. It was a memorable and funny stop, to say the least. And I ended up with a boomerang ornament. Pretty "Australia" I thought.
Ryan read in the Lonely Planet book about some historical street called the Suez Canal...but we could not find it anywhere. I eventually went and asked one of the local shop owners and he looked at me like I was crazy. "Is this a trick question? Isn't it in Panama?" HA - but he was kind enough to google it for us, and it was one block away, literally, from where we were. So that was nice. And Ryan was happy he found his little alley way where prostitutes used to frequent.
I asked Ryan to be my "Instagram husband" and take a picture of me at the top of the hotel...but he failed me by sticking his finger in front of the camera lens!
Plan A for the rainy day was watching a movie. But it was such a gorgeous day out, so Plan B was to run from Bondi to Coogee, to famous beaches in Sydney.
We talked to the concierge guy before leaving, and he convinced us to take the bus to Coogee, run to Bondi, and then take the bus back from there. The bus was way cheaper than a taxi, and we got to see a little more of Sydney on the way.
It dropped us off right in front of the beach, and it was only $3.50. Too easy!
We walked all along Coogee beach and started the run at the end of it. It was an absolutely beautiful path all along the coast. And I took way too many pictures along the way...
The path was closed and there was a "diversion" sign...but that didnt' stop me. I wanted to stay along the coast...even through a cemetery. So I crawled through the fence, and they followed!
It was tricky to run on the path there, so we stopped to walk. And just as we did, we looked out to the water and saw two whales. And one jumped straight up out of the water. NO joke. It was the craziest thing I"ve seen in awhile. Definitely haven't ever seen a whale breach in the wild. I wasn't quick enough to get my camera out...I just stood there with my mouth open like did that really just happen!? We watched for quite awhile as they swam along...but they never jumped up again like that first time.
And then just to keep the day interesting, as we were walking through the cemetery, there was a grave that had been damaged by the recent wind/rain storm, and the casket was showing...and open! Ryan looked in and saw a leg! Ewwwww!
Back on the main coastal path, we kept on running, though Bronti and on to Bondi.
Of course we had to take a few stops for picture breaks. It was too cool to pass by!
And more breaks at the workout stations. It wasn't much of a "run" by this point with all the stopping, but it was still a good workout and a beautiful afternoon.
Right outside of Bondi beach, there was another rope and detour to the path. And again I went right over it. Should have listened that time though. The whole path was washed away from the storm, but we made it over.
There is this really cool pool overlooking Bondi that we wanted to see and maybe swim in. Its in a lot of pictures in tour books and on Instagram. But the storm ruined that one, too! The wall had been damaged and the pool was drained. So much for that idea!
Ryan had to go for a swim at Bondi. Shan and I watched from the beach. Too many sharks out there for us. ;)
We walked all along the beach before heading up to the road and finding a juice bar to stop at for another smoothie. An ELEVEN DOLLAR smoothie that was actually quite horrible. I could make such a better smoothie for WAY less!
Shopped a little and browsed in a few stores before adding credit to our Opal cards and finding the bus stop. We were patiently waiting for the bus to come with like three other people. And all of a sudden, when the bus pulled up, people came running out of nowhere! I wasn't even sure we were going to get ON the bus there were so many people! It was packed!
The bus ride was freezing cold and took like 40 minutes to get back, but we got to see different parts of Sydney again, like Hyde Park, that I want to go back and check out.
The concierge guy confirmed Ryans Lonely Planet choice for dinner at Mr. Wongs, a chinese restaurant. He told us they don't take reservations, they open at 6pm, and the line is long. So we were somewhat prepared when we walked up to this line that wrapped out the door and around the block at 5:30pm!
Thankfully the line moved quickly and we were in the door and at our seats at a bar in no time. The restaurant is huge!
With a little help from the waiter, we ordered dumplings for appetizers, sweet & sour pork hock, fried rice, and veggies for dinner to share.
The food was all really good, but we declined dessert. We're on a budget here! But somehow Shannon flirted just enough with the waiter that he brought us out TWO free desserts! Some sort of fried ice cream and the other one, I don't even know what it was. There was so much going on. I had two bites and quit, but they loved them both and ate them all!
And after dessert, he even took us out a secret exit that lead us in to a private event party at an underground bar! The whole experience was nuts.
When we got out of dinner, we joked that Sydney was all of a sudden like the walking dead. The streets were just lined with people, all heading one direction: towards the Vivid Lights at Circular Quay. It was odd and a little creepy, but we joined in and followed along with the masses.
We hit a few more different spots for the Vivid Sydney show near Circular Quay and The Rocks that we didn't see last night before going back to the hotel for the night.
How many pictures of the Sydney Opera House is too many pictures? I have to be close to that limit. So.Many.Pictures.
We went back up to the top floor to see the view during Vivid Lights, since it was the last night for it. It looked cool, but it was hard to get a good picture of.
As we were laying in bed back in the room, we saw the 9pm fireworks show at Darling Harbour...from bed! That made it even worse that we waited for three hours to see them last night!
Ryan fell asleep almost instantly, Shannon waited up a little with me, and I just couldn't fall asleep. I stayed up trying to figure out why my phone wasn't working...so frustrating. Have to get that fixed tomorrow!