Happpyyyy New Year!!! Woohooo 2012! What oh what do you have in store??? For me? for you? Who knows but Im pretty stoked to watch/be/see how it unfolds! Hope you are toooo :)
Let's talk the finale of 2011- New Years Eve! That night and the 3 days before I spent at PK’s house, a guy I found thru gumtree (aussie’s version of Craigslist). All the hostels were totally booked for NYE, so I posted an add for accommodations. From amung the ZILLION replies (all male...hmmmm), he had the best resources to prove his non-creepiness, AND happened to also have a sweeeeet hookup in that he had Opera House Lawn tickets... as in, yes, the Sydney Opera House Lawn. WHOOOOAAAAA, AWESOME!!!!!!! The fireworks were OUTSTANDING... I hear the most expensive show in the world, and you could tell! Quite an electric display, and with such a view from the Opera, and over a million people -- it was a night not to be forgotten!
|Best view in Sydney!!!! That's the bridge all aglow!|
If I had been in Miami (which would have been just as greatttt..miss you people), it would have been a fun party in a short little dress, full makeup, high heels,etc. Here though, I haven’t got much for a wardrobe and only two pairs of sensible shoes... not so stylish! I started the day with a walk thru Newtown and a visit to Cockatoo Island (where I had to sneak in cuz it was ticket entry only!!). I also passed thru the Glebe markets, known to be slightly eclectic- yay! Welllllll, this was a fantastic stop because as I was visiting one booth, I picked up a colorful, thin blanket, and the guy says $1. What?! Decision Made! No question! I have a new outfit... it will be a hippy NYE!!!! I gladly handed over my one dollar!!!
6 of us met for dinner (yummy vietnamese) and we met the 7th on site. Clad in my new dress (blanket;) and no shoes, we walked a million km getting there, as well as all over the grounds cuz you know I cant sit still for long :). I proudly walked barefoot in my $1 blanket dress!! It was pretty awesome actually, I felt nice and liberated, and honestly painless! There’s something to this hippy thing... you wont be hearing the last of me being shoeless :)
|PK, Annika, Janine, me, Steph, Bree, and Mark- Happy NYE!|
|Nice view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, eh??!|
I guess I should backtrack....I’ve spent the last six days here in central Sydney. 4 at PK’s and 2 at the YHA hostel in the Rocks. Let me just note that hostel is crazy amazing.. like a 5 star hotel!!! (thx for reference Paola!) There’s been mucho mucho touring of the city, including the icons of course: Opera house, the Rocks, Darling Harbour, Waverly Cemetary (pretty amazing for what it is.. see pics!), China town, the botanical gardens (lllllovvveee these again- AUS has got this down pat!!). One morning I ran across the Sydney Harbour bridge and spent 2 hours exploring a really nice residential neighborhood called Kirribilli. I am so very well suited to being a residential architect... I do prefer this to the inner city buildings (although still appreciate those too!). Moreso though, where I find my most spirit is in the landscapes (no surprise there). One day PK, a German girl named Annika (met her at my hostel) and I went out to the Blue Mountains. We did a 6k trail out there and I LOVED it! Another Day I did a scenic trail run from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach, and a similar one another day from Manly beach to the Spit Bridge. These runs/walks were fantastic!!!! They are a fabulous combination of craggy layered cliffs, ocean views, rocky shores, beautiful beaches, even some rainforest-like landscape thrown in! IMHO, these are so much nicer than just a beach.... a little bit of everything for a KO combo! I see why so many people live here :)
|The icons: Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House|
|Waterfallssss! w/ Annika|
|Perched out on one of the "Three sisters" !!!!|
|PK, Annika and I, w/ the 3 sisters in the background|
|Waverly Cemetary- pretty stinkin' amazing really|
|Manly view back to the city|
|Cool view from the Manly-spit walk|
|Bondi to Coogee view|
One of my fav things I did was slightly dangerous!!! (Jule, don’t read!) PK dropped me off at Coogee beach (sweet name ;) and I was going to do part of the scenic trail back to Gordon’s Bay. I had seen a sign the first time I ran it, for an Underwater Nature Trail! How cool! You follow this underwater chain around and are supposed to see lots of fish and things. It was pretty rough and choppy when I went so I didn’t see much, BUT, it was still cool and worth it for how I got there! From Coogee, I was down by the corner of the beach where the cliffs and rock edge starts. There’s a sign to not pass but I could see that it looked do-able..and awesome! So I spent the next hour+ walking/climbing/jumping my way around the bend from Coogee to Gordon Bay on the rocks at the bottom of the cliff with the waves crashing in! A few areas were quite precarious and I had to rush across and beat the waves... whewwww I love adrenaline rushes! When I got around close to the bay, I dude named Steward was sunbaking, a bit surprised to see me! He showed me a “secret” local trail up the cliff face which was soooo cool. Yayyyy for self made adventure and local tricks! :) (promise I would have turned around if it was too dangerous Mom!!!)
|Super excited Becky- about to follow those rocks around!|
|One of the spooky parts... I waited a bit for a crazier wave I'd seen |
first but figured I better go on while it wasn't so bad ;)
|How cool are these cliffs???|
|The sidewalk to the Underwater Trail!!|
Before all that, my first day to Sydney I went straight to Bondi Beach, it was Christmas Eve. I played pick up beach volleyball for like three hours which was awesome. I stayed at Radley’s (Dragon Boat hookup!) apt right off the beach. We/I bike toured around and I called it an early evening. Possibly subconsciously in preparation for the next day....
Christmas on Bondi Beach!! I’d heard this was a great backpackers holiday destination... and for sure it was memorable. Admittedly, I got decently pissed (the aussie way to say drunk!) hahah. Not purposely, as I’ve been barely drinking here, but I had signed up for an all day hostel event.... which included a yummy pancake breakfast (aussie pancakes are the BEST!) a Christmas Lunch event, and surprise, FREE “goon” all day (box wine!). I have a hard time refusing free stuff ;). I met and hung out with Sharni and Chris from the UK all day. We wore our swimsuits and santa hats and spent the day on the beach. We ate ice cream, splashed around, hit the bar, ate yummy fish and chips, and had some pretty funky fun singing and arm wrestling with the homeless;).
|Not you ordinary day on the beach (can't believe I dont have a|
better pic... blame it on the alcohol.)
|Merry Christmas from Bondi!|
Around ten we got back to the hostel where the party was starting. My mind just went, “...nope” haha! It was great actually. I said my goodbyes ten minutes later and went home! Yay for me! Again, it was quite freeing to arrive and just say, I don’t feel like partying, Im going home! I really don’t have intentions to drink much on this trip. For yeeeearrrrs Ive been feeling like Im outgrowing being drunk. Alcohol: Not good for your health, your wallet, or you waist... but it’s def good for new friendsssss :)
Since meeting new friends is like the numero uno thing when traveling solo, it’d be easy to just drink all day, which I think most hostel-ers are doing. But that’s just not appealing- at all. Contrary to what those of you who have partied with me may think, (seeing that I certainly enjoy a good drunken evening) I do prefer natural highs and natural fun! Its been three weeks since I’ve arrived and I already can tell I prefer to stay with locals, get to know the people and places that way rather than just bonding with other tourists or drinking to make pals.
So, that was Sydney, a nice cap to my 2011, a pretty kick ass year. I gave much thanks today for all I have... which is a lot! Im a very lucky person, and I just can’t give enough gratitude for everyone in my life... LOVE you people!
It’s still New Years Day (Im on the greyhound currently- 6 hr drive.. ugg!) I went for a run in the botanical gardens this morning after Yum Cha chinese breakfast (please try mango pancakes!!!) w/ the NYE crew. There’s a “wishing” tree there, where it is said if you walk around 3x forward, and 3x backwards you get a wish. I specifically went there today to do this, and made an incredibly looooooonnnngg wish, which in essence boiled down to enjoying and learning from everything and everyone, good or bad, and appreciating/giving thanks for it all with gusto. My resolution is to give thanks everyday... for at least one thing. That shouldn’t be a problem :)
This new year of 2012 is certainly going to be competing for the title of most exciting year. It will def try to be, but I don’t think it will be the best year though, because I’m so far from you wonderful family and friends, but it’s something very exciting, a necessary change and pretty holy-whoa awesome :)
|How I got where I am right this very moment :)|
My wish for your new year is for you to have lots of Hope, lots of gratitude, and to give and receive lots of love (for yourself and for people and things that make you smile). Lots of peace and happiness, lots of epiphanies, clarities, eye opening experiences, lots of bear hugs, smiling, laughing and moments without description.... generally just lots of wonderful things (....and for maybe you to come visit me somewhere ;)
Full photo albums here! Day 13-21!