Take the Time, Spend the Money

Even though Australia could be considered my place of residence, I still feel as though my time in Melbourne has been an extended traveling adventure. I’ve had time to work and play the sport that I love, along with exploring the well known tourist attractions and the local hidden nooks and crannies of this amazing city. Now, we’ve been able to explore elsewhere in Australia, starting with Brisbane two weeks ago for the Club Nationals tournament, and now with Sydney this past weekend.

When I replay our 48 hour trip to Sydney, it seems as though our adventure was on fast forward. We were able to cram so many different, exciting adventures into such a short period of time. Busy, busy, busy, just the way that I like it. We arrived in Sydney at 7:30AM and took the train to our hostel, called The Maze. The lobby was fully decorated for Halloween, and I felt right at home. However, check in time was not until 2PM, so we crossed our fingers and our toes that we would still have clothes at the end of the day, and left our bags in “Storage”, also known as a giant room downstairs that any of the guests can easily access. Then, it was out to explore!

We made the most typical first stop that any Sydney tourist makes: The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge. In my mind, they are the most well known symbols of Australia. The Opera House was absolutely breath taking. The photographs and TV images of the building cannot compare to its immense size, looking over the harbor. It is a gorgeous building. After, we took a thirty minute Jet Speed Boat ride through the harbor, searching for giant wakes to pelt us with sea water. The three of us were absolutely soaked by the time it was over! It was a fun alternative to the ferry to see the gorgeous houses that line the different beaches around the harbor.

A Tunnel at The Rocks

My shorts were still dripping with water for the next hour as we searched for and found The Rocks. We fully expected to visit something similar to a large boulder, but found a very quaint, historic district of Sydney. Apparently, The Rocks was one of the first neighborhoods in Sydney, with buildings made primarily out of sandstone, hence the name. Here, we found a small market and bought lunch. Between the three of us, we split two serves of grilled salmon with couscous salad, and had a banana and chocolate crepe for dessert. Yumma! After eating, we wandered our way to Darling Harbor and the Sydney Aquarium. On the way, we walked past the Sydney Observatory, which showed a nice view of all of the water that surrounds Sydney. Gosh, it was gorgeous. I fell in love with all of the water, but not with all of the trash and hustle of the city.

Sydney Aquarium Magic

The aquarium was amazing. There were two different rooms where a tunnel was build through the middle of the tank, like this picture with Nicole. I had never seen anything like it! I want one for my house when I’m older 😉 haha.

Excitement over our hostel!

After the aquarium, we went back and finally got into our hostel, which was pretty sweet. It was cheap, clean, and all that we really needed: beds and dorm style showers. It was absolutely worth saving money by taking the early, early flight and staying in a hostel to be able to spend extra money on meals and adventures! That night, we skipped the free hostel meal that was offered (hamburgers, yum! long line when very hungry, no fun!) and went to a nice Italian place called Macchiato. I tried Australian wedges for the first time. They are thick cut fries with sour cream and sweet chili dipping sauce. Yum! After dinner, we met up with one of Nicole’s friends from high school who is living in Sydney! I know she loved having a little piece of home half way across the world. It reminded me of having Eric at UCD with me. 🙂

View from the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge

We got up early the next day for another full day of activities, starting with climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge to the top. It was absolutely gorgeous and a perfect day outside. Our tour leader was quite entertaining, telling stories about So. American termites that are infested in the bridge in very regular patterns (aka the bolts holding the bridge together!) He definitely made the walk enjoyable! The bridge is the largest single span bridge in the world and we climbed to the top! 134 meters high!

Our last stop of the trip was to see the famous Bondi Beach! It was gorgeous, but unfortunately it was a windy day, so laying in the sun wasn’t much fun. Nicole and I did some good body surfing though! 🙂

The icing on the cake of our 48 hour adventure was eating dinner in the Darling Harbor, and watching fireworks over the harbor! It was gorgeous, with good food and great friends. 🙂

This was definitely a trip to remember forever! I am so glad that we paid the money to do some amazing adventures! 🙂


Alicia’s Aussie Word of the Day: bloke. Meaning guy, person. Usage: He’s a good bloke, but doesn’t really understand how to play water polo.

3 thoughts on “Take the Time, Spend the Money

  1. Karen Began says:

    Alicia! What a fun, exciting, perfect little get-away for you. When we bought our first house I wanted to do an aquarium floor….I can help you do this one. Haha. Love the rock tunnel, but my favorite is how cute you girls look at the top of the bridge. What are the suits and headphones?
    42 days left…..put dates next to all of those items on the US girls’ bucket list!!

  2. keith christensen says:

    Grandpa C says-;
    you have a great talent, that is of filling every moment with adventure and activity ! It sure beats the boob tube. All of this will live long in your memory bank ! You guys look terrific – No doubt you gotta’ beat them blokes’ off to keep them at a distance. I wanna’ know how do you keep such shapes with all of that fantastic food ? Thats a compliment to you
    Grandpa C’

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