My sister moved to Sydney, Australia from the US more than a decade ago and while everyone in my family has visited her at some point or the other, the big journey down under always eluded me. There was always some excuse or another that kept me from committing to visiting Australia until it became this dull ache that came back every time someone widened their eyes when I mentioned that my sister, my sister by blood, also one of my best friends lives in Australia and asked the inevitable follow-up question, “Oh my God! Have you been?”. I’m glad I can finally widen my eyes in response and say “Yes and I LOVE it there!”.
Only a whole month with family could have made up for my decade long procrastination in planning this trip and I knew better than to dilute this experience with needless expectations of sightseeing since Prateek and I were planning to do that together in any case. I only wanted the ordinary moments – the pickups and drop offs at the kids’ schools, the morning chai and conversations my sister and I shared, trips to Woolworth’s, Coles and other local stores, watching for the cute, chubby Kookaburra from the forest behind the house that was perched on the fence every afternoon at the same time, welcoming the kids back home with a snack or a baked treat, singing ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen with my niece a hundred times, trying desperately to get one photo of my nephew who ran like the wind when he saw a camera ……… I could go on and on and on. I’ll cherish this time always. One can always see the same sights again and again but relaxed time with loved ones doesn’t present itself often and I am glad to have had this opportunity to seize this time for myself and my memories.
Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
The sightseeing leg of our trip began with Downtown Sydney. The first order of business, obviously was to check out the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. My favorite view of these beauties was from the viewpoint at Mrs. Macquarie’s chair where you see the two impressive structures together as extensions of each other.
Our first of many, many beach trips began with a ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly beach. The ferry rides were probably one of my favorite parts about sightseeing in Sydney – the breeze and sunshine doesn’t hurt and you can never tire of more yummy views of the Opera House. We spent a whole day being baked into a crisp at Manly – time well spent.
Chinese Friendship Garden
A friend at my Yoga class in Chicago suggested we check out the Chinese Friendship Garden at Darling Harbour and I’m glad we squeezed it into our trip. Both my husband and I love checking out parks and tranquil spaces in busy cities. It’s our favorite thing to do when we’re in a new city.
The walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach
If there’s a memory that is enduring from our Sydney trip it was the coastal cliff walk from Bondi beach to Coogee beach. I’ll let the pictures do the talking here.
Up next is a recap of our travels in Melbourne.