Monday, August 15, 2011

The Iowans go to Sydney

Here it is.....the last post about my parents trip down under.  I apologise to everyone for taking so long to write it.  But in my defense, it is busy season.......

After seeing a lot of the sights in and around Melbourne we said goodbye to our rental car and headed for Sydney for some new scenery, and most importantly - to see Rachel!  We arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning to blue skies and lots of sunshine. 

Day 1
We met Rachel at Circular Quay and took the ferry to Manly.  Rachel and I took the group to the Manly Wharf Hotel for some of our favorite nachos.  So much guacamole and sour cream goodness :)
Afterwards we walked around Manly for some shopping.


Mom wanted a jumping picture like the ones that I take everytime I travel.  We tried several times but just couldn't get the picture.  I'm not sure if it was my camera skills or the fact that her air time was less than one second!  Trying to take these pictures was definitely one of the "laugh-til-you-cry" moments of the trip!

The best I could get - she is a little off the ground here at least!!

After Manly Beach we stopped at the Opera Bar for a view of the sunset behind the Harbor Bridge.  Having a drink at the Opera Bar is one of the "must-do's" while in Sydney in my book.  I don't think any of them were impressed - they thought it was cold sitting outside by the heaters and Dad and Tink didn't think they quit fit in with the guys in suits there!

Day 2
Day 2 of our time in Sydney was again a gorgeous day!  I had been hoping for a nice day so I could take them on the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk that I did with the MN crew over Easter.  I knew Mom would love it but I talked my dad into coming along as well.  He made the whole 6km trek - even though every time Rachel and I would stop to let everyone else catch up he thought that we were done and kept saying "I did it" and then I would have to tell him that we still had a ways to go.  He would want me to mention here that he finished 3rd just behind Rachel and I!  He definitely earned the burger, fries, and beer afterwards!  Since I've already blogged about the walk before here are a few pictures!!

Cindy loves Bondi

Where in the world do you read the Prairie City News?

Day 3
For our last day in Sydney we decided to venture out of the city on a day trip to the Blue Mountains.  I visited the Blue Mountains when I travlled around Australia in 2007 but it was good to see them again.  It was pretty cold up in the mountains but at least it was a sunny day and we still got to see the amazing views!  Dad and Tink especially liked the bus drivers commentary on house prices, utility bills, and how the Granny Smith apple got its name.  I'm sure it was much more informative than I was!

Before reaching the Blue Mountains we stopped at Featherdale Wildlife Park for some photos with koalas and kangaroos.  I'm glad we were able to do this since we didn't have very much luck with the wildlife on Great Ocean Road.

Mom with the 3 Sisters

For our last night in Sydney we had dinner at Blackbird Cafe in Darling Harbor - another repeat from the MN crew visit.  It was a little cold (okay really cold) sitting on the open air balcony with only a few tiny space heaters but the food was delicious.  Dad tried crocodile and Tink tried kangaroo.  After dinner we hung around for the fireworks over Darling Harbor.  They were so close and went on for so long.  I can't believe they do that every Saturday night!

Sunday morning we flew back to Melbourne.  This was my last day of playing tour guide because busy season started the next day!  Although it was a little rainy we headed into the city so I could show everyone where I worked.   First Dad, Tink, and I went up to the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower (the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere).  I had free passes to the "Edge" experience.  Basically you stand in a box with opaque windows with a group of about 8-10 other people.  The box then slides out, and you hear noises that sound like windows breaking and the glass suddenly becomes clear and you can see straight down (or out).  Cameras are not allowed in the Edge so there are no pictures of that!

Sporting our Southside shirts outside "Monroe's" bar in St. Kilda
And that pretty much sums up the adventures of the Hopkins and Kane's in Australia!  I could have added so many more pictures but this blog would have been 20 pages long!  These blogs always take longer than I expect so I'll have to save the blog of Rachel's visit to Melbourne for another day.  I should be able to get caught up soon because I have no more visitors in the near future.  Who wants to come visit next?!?

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