I know you're probably getting sick of seeing pictures from Australia, but humor me. I've been having so much fun going through them the last couple of weeks and remembering all the fun we had.
Here's the third installment of our Top 10 (which means we're now up to a Top 30):
1. Finding Peachees
My brother served a two-year mission in Sydney (and surrounding areas), and he told us one of the things we had to try while we were over there was Peachees. We looked (and asked) for them everywhere, and everyone just looked at us like we were crazy. I was just beginning to think they weren't really an Australian thing when Mike found one (the last one in the case!) at a convenience store. I think perhaps they're not really referred to that often as "peachees," at least not in Manly. Bundaberg has a whole line of carbonated sodas (and a couple days later, we ended up trying them all). The grapefruit one was a close second to peach. (Oh, and that BenBry burger Mike's holding? Not a gross complement to the soda.)
2. The jackaranda tree
And . . . another tree makes its appearance. But tell me you don't just love this purple tree (the one in the center)? It's like a lilac bush . . . but a tree. I'm so glad we were here during the time of year when it was in bloom.
3. The Sydney Opera House
There were moments on our trip when I would forget what part of the world we were in, but this was not one of those days. I knew exactly where I was, and it was magical. We went to a performance of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor (Op. 15) and Mahler's first symphony in D major. We sat at the very back, which might have been considered the worst seat in the house, but I loved it because I could see every part of the concert hall.
4. Pie Thanksgiving
Australians may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but we Americans knew how to put an Aussie spin on it. Our whole meal consisted of pies, both savory and sweet. It was delicious! Mike's sister made five of them, and the other four were purchased. I'll always remember this Thanksgiving, and I'm so grateful we got to spend it with people that we love so much.
I think Mike and I both have a deeper appreciation for surfer dudes. It's not easy, and it's quite a workout as well. Even though I stuck with the body board, I still only managed to ride a few waves. It was actually relatively chilly on this morning, but once we were in the water we were perfectly comfortable.
6. Walking across the Sydney Harbor Bridge
We didn't do the climb over the bridge (my fear of heights would never have allowed that), but just walking across was super fun anyway. The harbor was absolutely beautiful from up above.
7. The view from the Sydney Eye Tower
First the bridge, then the Eye Tower--Friday was definitely the day for taking in the size and scope and look of Sydney. I'm glad we saved this for the end of our trip because by that time we had already done quite a bit of sightseeing and were able to orient ourselves fairly quickly once we were up the tower and find familiar landmarks. The picture above shows Hyde Park, which we walked through the Saturday before.
8 Fish 'n' Chips
Let's just say it's a good thing we left Australia when we did because I think we would have just kept eating fish and chips (as it was, we ate it three times). The snapper we had in Huskisson was my favorite.
I'd be lying if I didn't say that being in Australia with family was one of the highlights of the trip. And for Clark, I'd say it was the highlight. Man, he loved being around his three cousins.
10. Seeing Sydney at night
The night before we left, Mike and I put Clark to bed and left him with Anne and Nate and then rode the ferry from Manly to Circular Quay. When we got there, we got off, grabbed some gelato, and got back on. Oh yes, we're that exciting. But seriously, all we really wanted was to see Sydney all lit up, and seeing it from the water definitely provided the best view. It felt somewhat symbolic to ride back to Manly and see the lights of Sydney fade away. It gave us an opportunity to bid that country a very fond farewell.
That wraps up our trip, but I still have one more post to share with you about our time in the land down under. Look for that next week!