australia scenes, part one: sydney, the blue mountains, and farm adventures

I’ve finally had some time to sort through all my pictures from our honeymoon, so here they are! Look at them and imagine you are on a beach in Australia in the summertime, eating a Golden Gaytime and feeling wild and free.

Upon our arrival in Sydney, after spending Christmas day in the Abu Dhabi airport, we were ready for some fresh air and a meal that wasn’t plane food. Alex took us into the city and we found a cute, crowded café called Mad Spuds. I had halloumi for breakfast and I was so disoriented from 24 hours of travel and excited to be on the other side of the world and hungry that I didn’t even take a picture of it. We also visited two Westfield malls so that Leo could buy an Akubra hat and reach his final form.

The next day, Leo and I met up with our friend Simon and ate damn good chicken burgers at Little-L in Bondi, played with puppies on the beach at Rose Bay, drank old fashioneds in Erskineville, and ordered far too much Thai food in Newtown. The row houses in Newtown come in a rainbow of popsicle colors—dreamy.

We spent a night in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, where Rosey’s dad lives in a pink house with so many hydrangeas (!!!). There were eggs, toast, and Vegemite in the back garden in the morning, followed by a hike to see the Three Sisters and a lesson in Aboriginal lore from Rose (other tourists even asked if she could repeat her story. The woman knows her stuff).

Back in Sydney, we barbecued on a little portable grill at Coogee Beach (not the best idea during a fire ban, but we were living on the edge!). I learned that sausages with grilled onions are a crucial part of every Australian barbecue, and that the concept of “shrimp on the barbie” is somewhat resented by Australians. The more you know…

In a move of dazzling forethought, Leo arranged the purchase of a red pickup truck that was waiting for us when we got to Sydney. It was a beautiful monster of a vehicle, the kind that can drive through a river and come out in one piece. We drove that bad boy to Mulloon on New Years Eve to spend a few days with friends on an incredible secluded farm that had horses, chickens, ponies, and goats. I was still recovering from jet lag when we rang in the New Year, but the next day I woke up early (and hangover-free??) to eat Double Coat Tim Tams and pet the horses and live life to the fullest.

On the drive back to the city we stopped at a seaside town for fish and chips and a walk on a beach with the softest sand. Tracey, Rosey, and Simone introduced us to the wonders of French fries with extra chicken salt and I snagged a cold bottle of lemon lime and bitters to wash it all down; for dessert, Tracey dared me to slurp an oyster right out of the ocean and I did because You Only Honeymoon Once (Hopefully).

(Insert a bit here about how, a few days later, we locked the keys inside the truck in a parking garage of yet another Westfield mall, then waited three hours for a guy to come break into our car so we could get them–oh wait, we were never to speak of that again…)

A week and a half down, a week and a half to go. Next we were off to Melbourne; more on that soon!

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