Sydney is such an amazing place. Hands down one of the coolest coastal cities I’ve been to. With that said, I have Melbourne, Wellington and Auckland ahead, so that could easily (and will likely change)

Before I start, I forgot a funny story that happened to me when I was leaving LAX.

I got to the TSA checkpoint.

There was a man in front of me with super baggy pants on and a baggy shirt. The agent called him in but before she motioned him in, she said “pull up your pants, you’re going to get some funky returns because everything is all bunched up”.
What made this funny what that there was a language barrier between those two so she had to do a lot of hand motions to get him to understand what she was saying. I was in the background giggling. Hehehe.
Then it was time for me to walk through.
I got signaled in.
The agent and I made eye contact and I smirked because I was watching the whole thing go down and she smirked too.
I go in to the scanner, get scanned and walked out. Immediately the agent said “whoa, go back in, I hit the wrong button”.
I obliged of course and went back in. Once I stepped out, I asked what button she hit and I came to find that when you get scanned, the agent presses either a pink figure of a woman or a blue figure of a man, depending on which sex you look (which is a questionable method in this time – but that’s a separate story).
She said, “I hit the pink button on accident and a whole lot of something showed up in your crotch area” Again, she was using super funny hand motions to describe this.
I started laughing and said “no wonder you stopped me, I could only imaging what that looked like on the imagery” and put my hands up to signal signal size and winked at her and laughed.
She immediately said “get the hell out of here” and she started cackling.
It was just a super funny 5 minutes of time. I loved it all haha.
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Our total stay in Sydney is coming in at 5.5 days and boy have we been making the most of it. Every day has been jam packed and just super awesome.

We took a very fun ferry ride through the Sydney Harbor to Manly Beach. Hung out there for the day and just enjoyed a nice relaxing day on the beach. What I thought was going to be a partly cloudy day turned out to be a very, very, very sunny day. I had sunscreen but it’s as if it didn’t even work. I can’t imagine what I’d look like if I hadn’t put any on. Then I got to thinking, I haven’t been in the summer sun since last year! So, it’s kinda understandable. Bring on the aloe.

I watched the news here because I enjoy seeing the differences across the World and one of the main stories I saw was how this wicked hot summer here has led to the waters around Sydney being warmer. Cool! Not bad for a visitor. Not bad for sharks either. Apparently the Sydney Harbor is INFESTED with bull sharks (which will attack for no damn reason). Cue an immediate reaction from Robbie saying “what the hell are you watching this for?! You think I want to swim now?!” Meh. I’ll chance it. I grew up in Florida which gives me a false sense of security when it comes to the ocean.

We walked to an awesome hipster town, called Newtown, and explored. The local shops were all so much fun. Fun clothing, fun trinkets and interesting people. We saw the University and futzed around some antique shops which is always a good time.

Thus far, all we’ve been doing is walking. I’ve tried to keep a tally of how much we’ve walked since we got here and it’s coming in around 50-60 miles – shin splints and sore feet galore. Worth it. I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME remember to look the right direction when crossing the roads. It’s been scary and exhilarating haha. Since they drive on the opposite sides of the cars and the opposite sides of the roads….this will take some getting used to.

Okay, I’ll be honest. I have a complaint and it’s a complaint that I’ve given time to work out but it hasn’t changed. The peoples walking habits here are…we’l just say different. Normally, at least to me, when someone is walking at you, you move out of the way. Not here. Oh no. NO ONE MOVES for you. They’ll just run into you. Now, it’s not a person literally walking into me but the effort exerted for a person to not bump me it very little. Personal space is not as high of a priority as I feel it is in America. Not a huge deal, just a subtlety I’ve notice. So, watch out! I’m not moving if you’re not moving! haha

There was a fun downtown Manly Global Food Market that was happening so of course we went and enjoyed some of the food. I got tacos from a food truck that were undeniably some of the best tacos I’ve had – but I’m pretty sure I say that every time I eat tacos.

OH – we walked around a really cool peninsula that used to be an army base – fantastic views. HUGE spiders and some cool plants. We haven’t seen too much wildlife just yet. They have wild cockatiels here – they are loud as all get out but cool to see them flying around with their different colors and what not. I’ve also seen a lot of bats which is new to me as well. They keep to themselves from what I could tell.

A personally fun highlight of mine was when we went to the first meteorological base and observatory. I learned a lot about the history of Australia’s weather and their astronomical history. Nothing too major that I didn’t know but always fun to see some science and weather stuff.

The buildings here are semi-basic. Nothing out of this world but definitely enough to make the skyline pretty which is obviously all enhanced by the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. I’m loving it.

The food has been very unique….I had fried perch which was good but almost not due to the fact that the brought out the entire fish so we could look at the skeleton the whole meal. (I don’t mind fish at all, skeletons of fish which I’m eating said fish tends to give me the heebie jeebies just a bit). We also made it down to a Downtown Sydney market on Saturday which was placed perfectly under one side of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and had some intense BBQ. Now, when I think of BBQ, I think of some good Carolina BBQ (yes, I’m a Carolina BBQ fan, thank you). Here, it’s more so that they literally put food on the Barbi and call it BBQ. We had four different types of meat cooked on a skewer on the barbi; lamb, octopus, emu and kangaroo.

Here are my thoughts on them all. First off: lamb. No big deal. Just like normal lamb but it was cooked to perfection and delicious. Secondly, octopus. OK so I love calamari. For some reason that’s what I was expecting but nope. I got a full, from head to tentacle, octopus. Mind you, it was only about 2-3 inches tall, it was still a full creature. I don’t do that. I do NOT like eating full octopus even as calamari but damnit I’m not a quitter and I’M IN AUSTRALIA. Just eat the damn thing. That was the pep talk I gave myself. I did not like it. It was chewy and I just couldn’t get the sight of the octopus out of my head while I was eating it. It took a very long time to swallow but after a few gags and a lot of awful faces, I made it. Then I had emu. Emu is a very ugly meat which made it unappetizing but there was a dipping sauce that covered the ugliness. It was a tough meat and didn’t have a great amount of flavor but it was doable. Then I had kangaroo. I really didn’t want to like kangaroo but omg it was sooo good. Tender, juicy, flavorful. I would compare it to the tenderness of a perfectly cooked steak with the flavor of some good southern chicken. I’d eat it again.

I’ve had more good food too but I’ll spare the deets on the relatively basic other meals I’ve eaten.

Central Clock at The Strand. I’ll have to look into the significance of this but it’s in real time motion and it’s very detailed and awesome. 

So far I’ve been to Manly, Shelley, Coogee and Bondi beaches. They are all beautiful but what I’ve really enjoyed is that a lot of the beaches have pools in which beach waves can crash over and into! Literally such a cool thing that is everywhere. I absolutely love the idea. Some of the pools are small, kiddie pools. Some of them are large lap pools.

All-in-all, the fact that I’ve been here for five days and walked around much of the city, I feel like I’ve gotten a great representation of Sydney. It’s beautiful, cultured, the cuisine is divine, the shopping is quite fun and the weather it great (at least this month). I feel confident that I could suggest some great things to anyone that is planning on seeing Sydney.

On to the next adventure! 

Here are some more highlights and pictures:

They Spelled my last name wrong 😉

Super fun mural near Shelley Beach.

Thanks for reading!

~Andy

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