For Christmas in 2014 Mike and I went to visit his sister and her husband in Australia. We were lucky enough to go for 3 weeks and I wish I had written about the trip when we returned but I didn’t get around to it. Now, too much time has passed for me to recount all of the details of the trip but, luckily, traveling with Mike’s family means there was a spreadsheet! Below is a summary of what we did each day and a few pictures of life down under.
Mike and I had a rocky start to this trip (one that I, unfortunately, remember too well) and had major difficulties getting from California to Sydney. There were quite a few but the highlights (lowlights?) were a 24 hour flight delay, leaving us in LAX for longer than desired, and washing our underwear in the sink for a few days because our luggage stayed in America long after we had left.
We were supposed to meet Mike’s family in Sydney on 12/21/2014 but we didn’t get there until the 22nd. Nonetheless, we got there!
Day 1, 12/22/2014 – Sydney
We arrived in Sydney and took an Uber to the airbnb that we rented. The house was a nice, 3 story place. Each couple got their own room, there were 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, living room, and big deck for us to relax on. I remember being pretty stressed that I didn’t have any luggage to unpack but there wasn’t anything we could really do except shower and borrow some clothes. Luckily Mike’s sister and I are close in size.
Mike’s parents went for a walking tour of Sydney while we got ready and had a much needed drink (even if it was probably before 10 AM!). Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, everybodyyyyyy… Except Wendyyyy. We found out Mike’s sister was pregnant! It’s pretty crazy to think about that now, having met Ella this past Christmas when we went to Canada.
For lunch, we tried something new and went to a place where you grilled your own food. I’ve since forgotten the name but still remember how good the lamb was! We spent the afternoon grilling and drinking beer before taking a ferry to Manly beach. It was insane to see the Sydney Opera House with my own eyes and I think the moment I realized I was actually in Australia.
At Manly, the beach was windy (a sort of premonition for the trip) and we all quickly decided another drink indoors sounded better. We then took the ferry back and headed to the airbnb where I’m sure we figured something out for dinner and then fell fast asleep.
Day 2, 12/23/2014
At this point we learned that our luggage was still in Los Angeles and that we would be given ~$60 a day for clothes until it arrived. Off we went to spend an afternoon sopping where we stocked up on underwear, dresses (for me), shorts, shirts, and bathing suits to get us through the next couple of days without our luggage.
Lunch was at a Mexican joint nearby and then some window shopping for the girls and table tennis at a pub nearby for the boys.
Day 3, 12/24/2014
Mine and Mike’s luggage was still MIA so we didn’t have tennis shoes to join on the Blue Mountains hike that Barb and Dan went on.
Instead, “the kids” went out to explore. We walked from Bondi to Bronte beach which, according to Google maps, is just over 1.5 miles. The walk was gorgeous but windy! We stopped along the way for fish n chips. Everyone told me how fresh the food in Australia was and I found it to be pretty true!
After beach bumming for most of the day we took a bus back to the airbnb and grilled Christmas eve dinner on the deck.
Day 4, 12/25/14
Wendy and Andy actually live in Melbourne which meant none of us were “home” on Christmas eve or Christmas. This was also the first Christmas that I was away from my family which was paradoxically really hard and easier than I expected at the same time…
We woke up to stockings (thanks Barb and Dan!) and enjoyed coffee with Bailey’s and mimosas. We lazily ate breakfast and opened presents, trying to really get into the Christmas spirit.
Mike and I STILL hadn’t got out luggage by this point and we were leaving for Melbourne later that day, which added to the stress. Luckily we knew that they had arrived in Sydney. It was only a matter of actually getting them… We deiced to go to the airport early in an effort to track of bags down while Barb, Dan, Wendy, and Andy went to the Botanical gardens.
After more miscommunication and scrambling around, we finally got our luggage!
Only to part with it again for the flight to Melbourne.
To be continued…