The past few weeks were very special weeks here in Australia because they were the weeks that Della & Eric came to visit me! Della and Eric and I all met at university in Houston in 2001. At some point during their visit we realized that we’ve all been friends for nearly 11 years. And then we felt old.
Now, I love playing tour guide even more than I despise children – and that’s a lot – so I was super stoked to get to show Della and Eric around my new city. I don’t want to brag, but I think I’m a pretty awesome tour guide, and I probably did better than most Aussies could have at giving Della and Eric the true blue Aussie experience. Plus, I love showing off, and it’s easy to impress travellers in Sydney. Della and Eric flew all the way from landlocked Colorado so I knew I had to get them out to the water as much as possible. Little did I know that Mother Nature was going to be a complete bitch for most of their stay in Sydney and rain as much as possible. Ugh.
But just like the postal service, a little bit of rain wasn’t going to get in my way. I was determined to be the host with the most, so off we went to see the sights. On day 1 we did a walking tour of the city including the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and we also popped by Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in The Domain (in the rain):
The next day we braved the Bondi – Coogee coastal walk… in the rain:
For a bit of culture, I took these American football enthusiasts to a rugby league game to show them how real men play (without any pads). Luckily, our seats were covered because, again, it was raining.
And for a bit of history, we went to the convict-built Hyde Park Barracks (also in the rain). Right around the corner from my house (literally a 5 minute walk), I had walked by the Hyde Park Barracks dozens, probably hundreds of times at this point, but had never gone in. Having guests in town was the perfect excuse to check out something new for myself!
Speaking of things new to me, right across the street from my apartment sits the Australian Museum. Despite it being about a 30 second walk from my front door, I had never actually gone inside there either. So, when we awoke one morning to find it raining yet again, we spent a lovely four hours inside! We actually could have used another hour or two…
Now, the sun did come out on two of Della & Eric’s seven full days in Sydney, and I was determined to use those days to get even more new stuff in for me too. With a lift from the lovely Guy & Jessica, I took my visitors to Featherdale Wildlife Park to see some Australian wildlife!
I also took them to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park and we ended up doing a hike that I had never done before. It was a shortish hike to a place called America Bay. Appropriate for us, I suppose. There was a waterfall at the end and a stunning view of the sun going down over Broken Bay. It was an amazing find and is now on the list permanently for all visitors to Sydney.
Another first was a short hike near Dee Why beach. I hadn’t actually seen Dee Why in daylight, so I called up locals Sanja and Neil to guide us to brunch and a little exploration.
Of course there was the famous ferry to Manly. It’s always a treat to be on the harbour on a beautiful day!
And a trip up to my favourite beach: Palm Beach!
Finally, for a taste of Sydney’s cultural side, I took my mates to Vivid to see the lights… twice!
Now, the time that we spent not seeing the sights was pretty much filled up with food. Lots of food. As usual for me. As is customary, I introduced Della and Eric to Vegemite:
And of course TimTams!
We went to the Australian Hotel on day 1 for some Aussie beer…
And some kangaroo and crocodile pizzas!
I took them to my favourite little breakfast café with the cute baristas:
And my favourite restaurant for dinner on their last night – Fratelli Fresh!
Just when it couldn’t get any better, I offered up a happy ending of intense pleasure that lasted even longer… with a Magnum bar of course!
And to top it all off, I even sent them off to Alice Springs and Uluru one week when I was at work and up to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef the other week that I was at work. Now tell me that isn’t the true blue Aussie experience? If there was an Academy Award for what I do, I’d totally be the Meryl Streep of tour guides.
So, who’s visiting next?