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Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

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After Christmas, my friend, Kate, met up with me in Sydney to do some hanging out. We ditched the hostel for a hotel (YEAH! she couldn’t get a room for all the nights AND it was cheaper. I swear.), shopped- a lot, drank some wine, shopped some more, and went to bed embarrassingly early on more than one occasion.

Room upgrade:

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Of course, we also went on a wine tour, the day after the one night we stayed up til 2 and 3 in the morning. Let’s just say we weren’t the most enthusiastic bunch at our 7 am pick up.

On our wine tour, we visited:

Tempus Two, where I was reminded I am a light weight and probably shouldn’t be drinking 6 glasses of wine back to back at 10am;

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the smelly cheese shop, where Kate and I bought a fresh, warm loaf of bread and some cheese (I know, not vegan. But holy booze, Batman!) to soak up said glasses of wine…and maybe some of the booze from the night before;

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Lambloch, which had the best view and where we hoovered down our bread and cheese;

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Blueberry Hill, where we discovered there ain’t no shame in sipping your wine and then dumping it in the conveniently placed bins as soon as the instructors turn their back on you;

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That’s the spirit, Kate!

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The Blue Tongue Brewery, where we stopped for lunch and passed on the beer. We thought it best not to mix wine and beer. We did go next door to their cellar door wine tasting, though, where we met the nicest guy, who tried to help us pick out a wine to pair with our dinner of  frozen pizza. Not surprisingly, we didn’t find one;

and Misty Glen Wines, a newer, smaller vineyard run by a retired couple with the two cutest dogs that we got to play with. There aren’t any pictures of this because by the time we hit this one, we were exhausted and half in the bag. Sleeping and possibly snoring, happened on the van ride back to Sydney.

We also stopped at this second cheese store in a plaza with a few other cutesy stores but only had about 15 minutes to hit up all the stores.This was SO frustrating. Don’t advertise a tour as a wine, cheese and chocolate tour when you only have 5 minutes in a chocolate store. That’s my only complaint!

We booked our tour here and, all kidding aside, really enjoyed ourselves. In my very limited wine experience, I am only really familiar with Italian wines and wines from around the Finger Lakes in NY (Thanks, Christine!). I had a good time exploring what the Hunter Valley had to offer. Next time though, I think I’ll smuggle in more bread!

The rest of our trip was a mix of sightseeing and shopping. We visited the Sydney Opera House, the Bridge, the Rocks (which were mobbed with NYE sightseers) and had dinner with some of Kate’s friends. All and all it was quite the enjoyable trip.

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This is my second major Australian city so I’m hoping my next trip with involve some nature action, like the Great Barrier Reefs or something. But you know, not too much nature. I don’t want to tempt the killer sharks, poisons jellyfish and deadly spiders. So like, nature in the form of cute penguins or nature from a distance. You know, safe nature. Yeah…I’m thinking that. I’ll let you know how that pans out.

Oh also, I found this in the airport:

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*all wine tour pictures courtesy of Kate and her Iphone. I forgot my camera (!!!) so she let me use her phone most of the day. I definitely appreciated it.

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My second day in Sydney was Christmas! It was cool and rainy. I spent the morning skyping with the family, opening a few present (I totally got Taylor Swift Keds. I’m totally not even embarrassed. They’re totally cute) and taking my time. It was a holiday after all!

Eventually, I got my butt in gear and decided to visit a few tourist traps. I wanted to remain busy to avoid being homesick. And nothing says, ‘Cheer up, Erin!’ like spending the holidays with adorable penguins and Kate and William. Plus, there really wasn’t much else open.

First up, I needed to get into the Christmas spirit and nothing says Christmas like a Hot Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks on a rainy morning. To make it vegan, I order a peppermint soy latte and add cocoa powder from the milk and sugar area. Possibly better then the original. Also, It was my first of the season. I was pumped! So pumped in fact that I went on to have one Starbucks beverage almost every day during my Sydney trip. Hello liquid calories!!

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Then it was off to the Sydney Aquarium. Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed. There didn’t seem to be much room for many of the animals and there wasn’t really much chance to wander and explore. The aquarium was sort of set up as a one way path. You follow it and that’s that. It was surprisingly crowded on Christmas Day with tourist and I definitely felt the lack of space. I actually saw one family with an elderly person in a wheel chair bail out through an Employee Only exit because they couldn’t find any way out and didn’t have time to go through the whole aquarium. On the plus side though, they had Fairy Penguins, the smallest penguins in the world and oh-so-cute, as well as Dugongs, which are related to Manatees and I had never heard of before.

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A nursery for shark eggs. How crazy are those spiraled ones??

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Fairy penguins! super cute but they were all enclosed so I had a hard time getting a picture

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Tiny little sea horse

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Moon jellyfish, I believe.

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The dugong.

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I don’t believe them and I’m still not going in the water!

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I took this picture in a tunnel you have to walk through. It’s surrounded on all sides by a tank and the sharks can just swim above your head, no big deal.

Next up was Madame Taussaud’s Wax Museum. Also VERY crowded. Particularly with tourists that were incredibly unaware of their surroundings and kept walking into my pictures. Or jumping the line for pictures. I was not amused. By the time I got out, I was so worked up and stressed all I could think of was, “Someone get me a margarita before I hurt someone!!”

I did see some amazing sculptures, though. Being in Sydney, there were a lot of Australian celebrities represented – Hugh Jackman, Miranda Kerr, Olivia Newton John- as well as huge A-listers like Brad and Angelina, William and Kate, Katy Perry and Leonardo Di Caprio. It’s amazing how real some of them look! The only room that really held no interest for me was the Australian history room because I didn’t know any of the figures and it was too crowded to leisurely read the cards.

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What did you do on Christmas? I hung out with royalty. I actually got my picture taken with them but it was by one of the museum’s photographers and they tried to charge me, like, $45 for them. No thanks!

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“You’re the one that I want, (you are the one I want), oo, oo,oo honey!”

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Wolverine!

My “thank-gosh-I-got-out-of-that-museum-without-killing-anyone” Margarita.

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After dinner, I wondered around the Sydney Harbor which was decorated for Christmas (So many Santas!) then went back to the room to relax and dry off from the rain.

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I should have one more post from my Sydney travels coming next week. Let me know what you think of this Travel Tuesday feature!

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Checking In

Greetings all! I hope you had a fantastic holidays. It’s been a month and things are just starting to return to normal here in Aussie. I’m touching base because I’ve received more then a few requests for Travel Updates, most recently from my friend on Linked In. Message received, EJ and I’m working on it 🙂

I’m editing my travel pictures and getting some new recipes together. Yesterday, I realized that if I started posting things this week, I would have 3 chocolate recipes (4 if my chocolate chocolate chip waffles had worked) and 1 green bean recipe to post. A week of chocolate may not be bad to some but it’s not a great way to help stick to those Resolutions (though be warned: I have made a cookie called The Resolution Breaker) and starting off the year with a green bean recipe seems pretty lackluster.

So tune in on Monday, January 27th and I promise new recipes (and clearly some chocolate) and some updates on my trip to Sydney.

Until then, Look! I stuck my toes in the ocean and didn’t get bitten by a shark. Victory!!

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