Wish I were here…

I’m having a bit of a mid-quarter, mid-program crisis right now–which basically just means I’m absolutely swamped and have no time to write for myself, which is what I do here–but it has been on my mind that I never did do a post on my 2-week trip to Sydney over winter break. Honestly, too much time has passed to be able to reflect on it with the purest truth and immediacy, but I will just say, Australia is NOT all about the kangaroos, koalas, and kookaburras (though I did see all of those at the zoo). It’s also the land of prams, torches, lifts, bottle shops, petrol, mozzies, digereedoos, Huntsman Spiders, Boxing Day, Pie Face, Hungry Jack, short black, long black, flat white, and pavlova. Also, HEAPS of birds that sound like monkeys, children, and dinosaurs… right outside your window.

About a month ago I tried to whittle down the huge collection of photos that I took on my trip to a digestable bunch in order to share them on my blog. However, at the time it was really hard because EVERY photo seemed worthy of sharing. So I put it off. That was probably a good decision, since I’m way past the post-vacation blues stage and was just now able to easily narrow the group down to these handful of photos. Mostly places, things, and food. Not pictured are my partner and his beautiful family, whom I had the pleasure to share this wonderful experience with. Until next time, Oz… cheers!

We arrived around 10pm on Christmas Eve in Sydney. It was pouring rain as we arrived at our Hotel in The Rocks.

We arrived around 10pm on Christmas Eve in Sydney. It was pouring rain as we arrived at our Hotel in The Rocks.

December 26th in Australia is Boxing Day--it's a national holiday in all countries previously/currently English commonwealths, and there's a whole story behind it that I'm not well-versed in. But it's basically our version of Black Friday. We checked out the Westfield in Sydney's Central Business District that day, and needless to say it was a circus. (By the way, did you know that the Westfield originated in Sydney?)

December 26th in Australia is Boxing Day–it’s a national holiday in all countries previously/currently English commonwealths, and there’s a whole story behind it that I’m not well-versed in. But it’s basically our version of Black Friday. We checked out the Westfield in Sydney’s Central Business District that day, and needless to say it was a circus. (By the way, did you know that the Westfield originated in Sydney?)

One of my prettier pics of the Sydney Opera House.

One of my prettier pics of the Sydney Opera House.

Girl climbing Wurrungwuri, a sculpture by New Zealand's Chris Booth in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens (right by the Opera House)

Girl climbing Wurrungwuri, a sculpture by New Zealand’s Chris Booth in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens (right by the Opera House)

If you ever find yourself unexpectedly in Australia and are not sure what you should eat, I have two words for you: Pie Face.

If you ever find yourself unexpectedly in Australia and are not sure what you should eat, I have two words for you: Pie Face.

Got to check out the new Ippudo Sydney in CBD Westfield! We ate a fair amount of ramen on this trip.

Got to check out the new Ippudo Sydney in CBD Westfield! We ate a fair amount of ramen on this trip.

Tetsuya's signature dish: Confit of petuna ocean trout with a kombu crust. I was spoiled and got to join the grownups with real jobs that allow them to pay for dinners that cost $250 per head.

Tetsuya’s signature dish: Confit of petuna ocean trout with a kombu crust. I was spoiled and got to join the grownups with real jobs that allow them to pay for dinners that cost $250 per head.

We saw heaps (hehe) of animals at Wildlife Sydney and the Taronga Zoo, but this was one of the strangest of all... long-necked turtles! Creepy little things.

We saw heaps (hehe) of animals at Wildlife Sydney and the Taronga Zoo, but this was one of the strangest of all… long-necked turtles! Creepy little things.

Pretending to feed kangaroo jerky to the kangaroo. Don't call PETA on me, we were only kidding.

Pretending to feed kangaroo jerky to the kangaroo. Don’t call PETA on me, we were only kidding.

Night view of Sydney Opera House from the top of Holiday Inn Old Sydney, where we stayed for our first half of the trip.

Night view of Sydney Opera House from the top of Holiday Inn Old Sydney, where we stayed for our first half of the trip.

Sydney's MCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, was free to visit and pretty damn awesome. These are baby slippers adorned with shells, an aboriginal craft practice.

Sydney’s MCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, was free to visit and pretty damn awesome. These are baby slippers adorned with shells, an aboriginal craft practice.

View of downtown Sydney from Taronga Zoo (had to take a ferry to get there).

View of downtown Sydney from Taronga Zoo (had to take a ferry to get there).

We spent NYE watching the world-famous fireworks show in downtown Sydney. It was hands-down THE best fireworks show I have seen in my life.

We spent NYE watching the world-famous fireworks show in downtown Sydney. It was hands-down THE best fireworks show I have seen.

Another fireworks pic, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Another fireworks pic, over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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