With my nerves in tact, I boarded the night flight a few deep, how else was I going to sleep on a plane? When I landed in Sydney, Natalie was there to greet me which was so wonderful! It had been too long since I had seen my best friend, probably the longest we had ever gone without seeing each other. I wasn't jet lagged so I was ready to get out and see the town. She took me to the Sydney Opera house which has a few bars and restaurants next to it and had a few glasses and caught up. Afterwards, we went over to our friend SS's who lives there as well. She has an awesome upstairs patio overlooking Sydney. We didn't stay too long as we all had a flight the next day to Hamilton Island.
I would liken Airlie Beach to something like South Padre Island. I enjoyed myself more than I would ever at SPI as the beach is much prettier and well it's Australia. The vibe is very spring break and 'anything goes' seemed to be the theme. So like any twenty somethings post college we made our "Adult Spring Break" a memorable one. There were only a handful of bars to go too and our favorite seemed to be Magnums which we went to everyday. On the first night we hit up the only Irish pub since it was St. Patty's. So naturally it was bound to be a bit raucous. They kept passing out cider with alcohol guised as something to actually drink. It was awful. I would say it was on par with Vegemite, another sick tasting thing they enjoy down under. We friended a "Buck Party" (their name of a Bachelors) and hung out with them which made the evening pretty hilarious.
The next day we took a boat during a monsoon to Whitehaven and Daydream and attempted to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef but we couldn't due to the massive amounts of rain. So that was a big blow to the old bucket list. The experience itself albeit slightly horrible was to say the least "educational." These beaches were so pretty but it was hard to enjoy them when you are being pelted by rain. Oh well, there is always next time...ha
When we flew back to Sydney the sun was shining which was so nice as I was used to 'swimming' on land due to the lovely monsoon in Queensland. My first day back in Sydney I decided to do the Bondi to Coogee beach side walk as I had heard that was must. I first stopped at Bondi's Icebergs swimming hole/gym/spa which was insanely gorgeous. I had lunch there and took advantage of the spa facilities. If only Cali could incorporate these type of ocean water swimming it would beach it much more enjoyable. Just sayin. The walk is a few miles stretch along the ocean and it goes from beach city to another beach city. All with their own "swimming hole." Pretty rad.
That evening I had drinks with a dear friend who I met while living in Spain in college. I hadn't seen Michael in 7 years so it really nice to catch up in person. It was as if time hadn't passed at all which was really amazing. I had planned to go see the Blue Mountains but he convinced me that it was a waste of time so I decided to go to Manly Beach instead and surf. The quickest way to Manly was via Ferry which was a nice of pace since I took I had to take buses and trains to even get to Bondi the day before. Surfing in Manly was an absolute thrill. It was my first time attempting to surf..yes I realize that is pretty ridiculous since I live in Los Angeles. My last attempt I ended up standing up which was a really cool feeling. I am definitively going to try to take lessons this summer.
My last Saturday in Australia, Natalie's friend Mark, wanted to take us out on his boat which was so nice of him. So Natalie, SS, Lucy, Jilly and I stocked up in alcohol pre boat and enjoyed the sunny Sydney day. We stopped at the fish market for lunch which was amazing. I had never really seen anything like it except maybe in SF. Everything was so fresh and delicious.
All in all, I loved my trip to Australia. Sydney is like LA/SF/NYC and has the best aspect of every city. There was so much to see and do that I felt as if I didn't get to do everything I had planned. I felt refreshed and recharged after this trip. It made me feel like my old self again that sometimes LA makes you lose. This was one of the best trips I have ever had in my life and had such an awakening feeling that I haven't lost yet. As I sit here slightly wishing I was at Coachella and Meg snoring to my right (Hi Meg) I wouldn't give up going to Oz for anything. Who knows, I may just go back sooner than I thought....