Monday, 11 March 2013

Week Sydney!!

Big white thing in Sydney
Kidding it's obviously the foot bridge

Yea, yea, yea I know, I have been slacking on the post yet again, but would you believe me if I said I spent the last two weeks preparing this fantastic post? Ha me neither. Here it goes, fair warning; it’s going to be a long one and there is nothing you can do about it. Well you could not read it, but then you will never know what happens and be lost next time so you should just read it.

The past two weeks have been filled with nothing but excitement and of course, rain. Last weekend marked the last trip I would be taking on this glorious adventure and it was to the great land of Sydney. Sara, Hayley, Audra and I flew down two Thursdays ago on an airline called “Tiger Direct.” Now we elected to use this airline because it was the cheapest flight and no sooner did we learn that it was dubbed as one of the worst airlines in the world. So naturally, all the fun loving Aussie’s, messed with us before the flight telling us to make sure to pay attention to the safety procedure in the beginning and what not. One person even said “Oh, don’t worry; only 1 in every 10 of their flights don’t make it, you’ll be fine.”

We turned out not to be 1 in those 10 flights and safely arrived in Sydney. We spent our first night at the accommodations of one of Audra’s friends, Katie, who was attending the University of Sydney or Sydney University or something along those lines. She lived in a building off campus that was about 10-14 floors chalk full with study abroad students which I thought was pretty cool, but may hinder the ability to get to know the natives well.

We decided to go for a wander around the town and stumbled across this underground awesome market. It was basically like a black market where all they sold were cheap knockoffs and of course fruits and vegetables.  Upon further walking around we realized that we were in the heart of a small China town that was loaded with Chinese food places and hundreds of souvenir shops. Dinner was pretty mundane and normally I wouldn’t include information on a mundane dinner, but there was something incredibly mundane about this dinner. I elected to just get some fast food from KFC, nothing too exciting about that right? WRONG!! I don’t know how they do it, but Straya’s KENTUCKY Fried Chicken is BETTER than the US’ Kentucky Fried Chicken.  The chicken was delicious, the cheese was melted to perfection. I don’t know how else to describe it other than immaculate.

Later that night the Americans we were staying with took us to the casino that was nearby. I had never been to casino before and wasn’t quite sure where to start and didn’t really want to lose much money as I am already on low financial standards as is. I took out $20 and Hayley and I decided to test our luck on the blackjack table. Turns out I failed my test of luck on the first hand and ended up losing everything. Hayley on the other hand flourished and ended up walking away $35 in the black.

The next day we hit the harbor to be as touristy as humanly possible. Lucky for us we had brought the rain from the Gold Coast down to Sydney with us so thankfully, it rained the whole weekend. Naturally I went and equipped myself with the flyest poncho I could find and was ready to explore. 

How cool is that poncho?

Not so white tiles
We first checked out Opera House, which was not nearly as white as you would think. There is a reason for that though so everyone prepare for an awesome trivia fact. The tiles on the Opera House are actually self-cleaning and automatically clean every time it rains. You’re welcome to whoever visited after us because we brought that cleaning service from the Gold Coast. After the Opera House we wandered over toward the foot bridge, but elected not to walk it in the end because it was $200. After a little more perusing around Sara, Hayley and I decided to catch the ferry to a place called Cremone Point where our friend Scarlett lived and where we would be staying the rest of the weekend as the dorm was kind of small for 4 people.

The gang in front of the Opera House

Rock pool (triangle thing with water)
 The rest of the day was uneventful and so came the big day of the trip, Saturday, which was the day of the Mardi Gras parade. We spent the morning exploring a quaint town called Manly and guess what ?! It didn’t rain the whole time we were there, only while we were outside! We stopped for breakfast as soon as we got there and as right as we finished and walked outside it started torrentially down pouring. So we went for some cover and waited for Audra to meet up with us and of course it stopped raining while we were under cover as if Mother Nature was just toying with us. Then, sure enough, once Audra landed and we walked outside to explore; rain. I kid you not, this was how the rest of the day went and I have no idea how. Besides that aspect of it Manly was a pretty cool place with a nice walking path along the beach and water that eventually came out to a rock pool. Audra was the only one who tested it out, but she said the water wasn’t too bad, no worse than the rain. After a little more exploring we went back to Katie’s dorm to prepare for the nights festivities.

Us at the parade
While preparing for the nights festivities we had a guest appearance by the one and only Jack “Jaqueezy” Woods who was my roommate from HPU and also studying abroad in Australia. I met up with him and showed him around china town for a bit and then we were all off to the parade. For those of you who don’t know much about the Sydney Mardi Gras I’ll educate you a bit. It is not so much like the Norleans Mardi Gras, but in fact pretty much the complete opposite. It is the biggest gay, lesbian, transsexual, bi-sexual, whatever your preference is we accept it, parade in the world. It was actually a really cool site to see as there were people of the Army, Police Force, Firefighters and people of all ages who were all out supporting the same cause. Once the parade was finished we went out on the town and went to a few different bars/clubs to experience what the night life was like in Sydney.

Roommates reuinted
The next day was our flight home in which again, we hoped we weren’t going to be the 1 in 10 and thankfully we weren’t. Instead we were lucky enough to have a crying baby grace us with his presence for the whole entire flight until we landed in which it promptly stopped. Not only that, but when we left Sydney it was a bright and beautiful day outside and when we arrived in the Gold Cost….yea you already know the answer to that one.

The week after Sydney was a bit of a quiet one with nothing really substantial happening. The one cool thing I did was go to the Quicksilver Surf Competition (holla at cha boi Brendan Crawford, you’ll get my full scouting report shortly). It was cloudy so it wasn’t the best day to go, but the sun did manage to peek through the clouds a few times and overall it was a good time. We got to see the women’s semi-finals and also the finals. I may not know anything about surfing competitions, but I do know a good sports show when I see one and this final was intense. The two surfers, Sally Fitzsimmons and Taylor Wright battled back and forth with Sally holding the lead with an 8.33 and another 8.33 to back it up going into the final minute. This required Taylor to land a 9.2 in order to take the crown. When it comes to surf competitions the surfers alternate who has preference over wave choice meaning the surfer with the preference (that’s definitely not the right word for it) gets the first choice at the wave and the other must back down. Sally had the preference and with 30 seconds left and time running out for Taylor a decent wave came rolling through, but Sally chose to pass on it and Taylor jumped all over it. She rode it out all the way to the end with some magnificent combinations of turns and transfers in what looked like what could have been a winning run. Not to be out done Sally caught the next possible wave with 15 seconds left and rode it out all the way to the last second, but unfortunately dropped the ball….wave…..board? Either way she should have taken the wave Taylor got seeing as she had the preference (why can’t I remember what word they used????), but instead Taylor got it and took the first win of the season in dramatic fashion. Along with that, Taylor also took claim to the No. 1 world ranking.

That’s all for this week! I know it was a long one, but let’s be honest, we all enjoyed that one. If you didn’t that’s your own fault. Also on a good note it has been sunny the past few days with only minimal rain. Enjoy that snow northerners and some more pics below!

Wave rock at manly and an excellent xmas card

Opera House and Bridge

"Oh hey Chris can you hold our bags?"
Hayley and I at the parade

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