Well as some of you may of read I have spent the last week or so in Sydney, Australia. The first part was for work and then the weekend for ME!
It was a great week, spent with my new work mates and getting to know the knew ones as we are scattered all over Australia. They are a great bunch of people and looked after me really well, answered all my 101 questions (as some of the technical things def go over my head) and I was made to feel very welcome being the Newbie as alot of them have been with the company for a while.
I also was very proud of myself as I tried a couple of new dishes food wise as I am quite a "plain food" kinda girl, thanks in part to growing up with my Grandparents who did the whole meat and 3 veg kinda food!
This is a pic of a Bavarian Tasting Plate. I know most of the things here aren't that really out there, but I still took a pic! It was delish although it took me a while to eat it!
We also went on the most entertaining tour of the ABC Studios for both Radio and Television.
Got to see alot behind the scenes and I have to be honest here, I am not really a big ABC TV watcher, but have to say I was very impressed with their studios.
But this was one of my fave parts! Ohhhh how I wish I could have gone inside for a closer pic!
You got it: Jemima, Humpty, Big Ted from Play School and if you could please tell me who the last dude is that would be great!
It was a big week in Sydney with Wed being the coldest day in Sydney for this time of year in 50 years!!! Then on the Friday morning someone climbed the Harbour Bridge very early in the morning, illegally to stage a protest, which held up traffic in the city for over an hour and brought it to standstill.
Due to being in Sydney for work I decided to stay down for the rest of the weekend. And had booked into a special conference on writing and publishing a book and this was cancelled at the very last minute! So I decided to cancel my accommodation and find something in the city (as I had booked Accomm near the conference).
So for a person who is a plan ahead kinda girl, well this weekend was all about going with the flow as nothing went as originally planned, but you know what? Sometimes they are the better times and you can't imagine it any other way!
And I came across a little gem called The Observatory Hotel just around the corner from The Rocks, which is where Sydney began and has alot of Convict things to check out as well as great markets!
I have to share some pics to really truly try and show you how great it was!
So I checked in and as you do decided to have a little nap, here is a pic of the bed and room.
And (later I will explain more about the next chain of events) but just to go back to the actual Sydney weekend, I had plans that night to attend a musical with my good friend Steve. The musical was West Side Story an my other friend Emily was performing in it!! And if you are in Sydney or find yourself in Sydney, go check this out! It was AMAZING!
I had a great night and got to meet alot of new people and attended a special after party!
Upon my return to the hotel I was greeted by the most amazing "Turndown Service" that I have ever seen! I even took photo's but to be honest it doesn't do it justice.
They even set up my kettle and brought in some hot chocolate!
The swimming pool was amazing too.
Note to self: Remember to take swimming togs next time you goose!!!
The hotel had alot of ambiance and it was so nice to see something different to the new funky hotels that seem to be everywhere. Can you believe that you can even take your Dog or Cat to this property!!
I had a drink, yessss I do drink. Well some days anyways.... and of course ordered a lovely Rum and Coke and JUST HAD to take a pic. I have never ever seen a Rum and Coke sent to my table this way.
It was a lovely bar with lots of atmosphere!
I wandered through The Rocks, enjoyed the markets, ate lots of wonderful food (in keeping with trying new things).
Here is a pic of the oldest house in Sydney!
And how is this for a story! When I was 18 and had just been dating my ex-husband, of course we were not married and had only been going out for six months, so to celebrate we went to this fancy restaurant at The Rocks during our first big holiday together which of course was in Sydney! And it is still there and I found it all these years later....
As you can see it is all based around a ship!
I even took an afternoon Harbour Cruise.
As a kid I used to have to fly by myself to visit my dad once a year as my parents were divorced. I can remember holding the air hostess hand with one hand and in the other hand was my doll.
And if I was a really good girl and ate all my brussel sprouts (to this day I can't eat them!!!) we could go to Luna Park, which was an amusement park and in that day we didn't have amusement parks, so it was a huge deal! I would try sooo hard to eat them, gagging on them, drinking water to keep it all down! Buttttt of course we got to go, so it was all worth it!!!!
On my cruise we went past and here is a pic!
You know I can also remember that Sydney had the very first McDonald's and OMG how badly did I want to go and try it. But Dad told me that it was made from horse meat so as you can imagine I DIDN'T WANT TO GO ANYMORE.... how sad is that hahaha.
I haven't been a tourist in Sydney since I was a kid and have to say I really enjoyed myself. You see normally I am in Sydney to see Michael Buble in concert of the last so many years, so was strange this time not to be doing that this time around.
The weather was magic and I met some really lovely people on my travels around the city.
This morning I had plans to have breakfast at the hotel with my brother, but life had other plans for me! You see from around 5.30am this morning until around 10am today they had closed alot of inner city roads due to the Sydney Half Marathon. Now this meant that Matthew couldn't get into town to me and we couldn't do breakfast, but more importantly HOW WAS I GOING TO GET TO THE AIRPORT!! Especially when my suitcase was taller than me and weighed 152kgs hehehe.
So we decided to maybe see each other at the airport and I decided to check out early, start the long hike (complete with dragging my bag complete with TWO LAPTOPS, work and personal etc.) to the nearest Train Station. But my friends someone was really looking out for me because as I made my way to the concierge low and behold there was this lone cab driver that had dropped someone to the hotel but was now stuck there and had been waiting at this stage for 30 mins. I think we were both excited to see each other hehehe because if he could show the security man on the street my suitcase he would then have special permission to drive and leave the city!!!
Check this pic out!
This was the Morley Evidence the driver needed to show security. But then the real fun began, we had to reverse about 300 metres with the joggers not caring and jogging either side of us. Security had to step in to try and divert them around the car.... not an easy thing to do let me tell you.
Buttttttt we made it! And we were both elated the driver and me to finally be on our way. Matthew met me at the airport and we grabbed a breakfast at the airport. So you know what this means don't you? I have to go back and stay again to partake in the infamous Breakfast that they do that was so highly recommended on Trip Adviser! Oops did I just type that out loud??
It is always great to go away but at the same time how nice is it to be going home! I missed Embee alot, then my bed, then my pillows and then Jake! LOL
But hang on a sec. Upon my return home, I enter my bedroom and what do I find? Noooo NOT THAT!!! you naughty kids..... I find this:
A belated Mothers Day gift from Jake who gets paid monthly and AFTER mothers day this year. How cute is it! It made me very happy and of course Embee too, as she lovessssssssss the smell of chocolate and before you freak out, NOOOO I don't feed her chocolate!
As I was really tired from my Sydney Town adventure I did have to do a double take and remember where I was when I did see the gift as when I checked into The Observatory Hotel I was also greeted with something similiar:
I had a wonderful time away and cannot wait to return to good old Sydney Town or as someone told me today "The Big Smoke".
But before I go this week Groovers, there is something I would just like to touch on, if you wouldn't mind. I mentioned earlier in the blog that there was another chain of events that had happened during my stay.
When I first checked in to the Observatory Hotel and had my little nap, I wasn't asleep for long and was woken up by a text message. You see a good friend of mine that I used to work with in my old job had passed away the night before in hospital. She had been sick on and off from before Xmas and a very private person. She was such a great support to me when my Grandad passed away and we used to have lunch from time to time.
The one thing that I found hard was that I know she was alone. As far as I know she had never been married, never had children, didn't have any animals and was estranged from her family. I was heartbroken to think she died all alone.
She was such a lovely person, quietly spoken, very intelligent and just had a beautiful soul.
I think I was in shock upon reading this message, actually I know I was in shock as it felt to me very unexpected and I had only spoken to her via email a couple of weeks before and only this week had said to myself I should send her and email to say Hi!
I thought of her alot this weekend, walking around The Rocks, on the Harbour, in my room and on the plane. And when I was unpacking my suitcase tonight I came across a fortune cookie reading that I had kept from our dinner out on Thursday night (the same night she passed away) and I would like to share this with you....
"Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it."
One moment we are here and next we are gone. People come in and out of our lives and they all touch us in small and big ways. How ironic to receive such a message from a fortune cookie on the very night that my good friend left us.
You will be missed my good gentle friend and I thank you for being there and listening to me during my tough times and I won't ever forget you and your lovely smile.