Monday, March 4, 2013

Down Under, Part 3

Last stop on our trip was none other than Sydney, Australia.

The day we arrived, we decided to walk around the city a bit. We walked down towards Circular Quay and ultimately ended up walking around the botanic gardens. From the gardens, there were some great views of both the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Our first full day in Sydney, we traveled out to Olympic Park for the Color Run. For those of you that haven't heard of the Color Run, it's a 5k fun run where you get color thrown at you throughout the race. By the end of the race, you end up rainbow coated from head to toe. We spent a little time post race to walk around Olympic Park to get a better view of everything (you can only see so much while running).

Day two's big highlight was the Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb. A 3 1/2 hour journey, about 440 feet above sea level, about 66 feet of ladders, and 1439 stairs. It was a combination of slightly terrifying and absolutely amazing. If you ever have the chance to get to Sydney, I highly recommend it.

The following day we left Sydney and spent the day in Hunter Valley, one of Australia's oldest wine producing areas. Here we went to two different wineries for tastings--Lindman's and McGuigan's, as well as a the Bluetongue Brewery Cafe.

We spent a day out at Bondi Beach and the east coast of Sydney as well. We walked along the beach and coastal trail. There wasn't really much of a plan for the day, so we just walked down the coast until we got hungry. After grabbing lunch on the waterfront, we sat at Bronte Beach for a while. The plan was to enjoy the sun, possibly walk further south down the coast, and ultimately walk back up to Bondi to catch the bus back to our hotel. Unfortunately, mother nature was not on our side. Around 4pm it started to mist. And looking out over the ocean, you could see the storm rolling in. So we hightailed it back up to Bondi and caught the bus a bit earlier than planned. It was still a great day at the beach though.

Our last full day in Sydney was Valentine's Day. We spent the day walking the city and taking things in one last time. From the BridgeClimb, we had tickets to get into one of the bridge pylons. You're able to climb to the top of the pylon for a great view of the city. And for this one you can actually bring your own camera up. We also walked around Darling Harbour and had drinks and dinner on the waterfront. We then walked down to the Sydney Opera House to see La Boheme. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime to get to see an opera at the Sydney Opera House. One last walk along the water and seeing the Harbour Bridge and Opera House at night finished our night.

The next morning we packed up, had a nice, leisurely breakfast, and headed off to the airport for our nice long flights home. We did get a break from airports in Los Angeles when we left LAX and went to In-N-Out.

And at 9pm we arrived back in freezing Chicago, just in time to catch the end of the Blackhawks game (which they won!)

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