The nearest stop to St. Mary’s Church is "St. James" and the nearest stop to our hotel is “Museum” but there is no big museum nearby. Being a Sunday there were quite a few street performers in the square near the church. What caught my attention was the guy who could make really big bubbles, so I ran over with all of the 8 years olds to watch. I overheard the guy telling one of the mothers that he was offered $400 for his bubble formula, but decided to pass. I didn’t know bubble making was that lucrative. He continued to tell her that he has 4 formulas that he developed, so he could have sold one of his bad formulas. Regardless, I continued to watch in amazement. I wonder if he performs at weddings and bar mitzvahs.
We finally made our way to Circular Quay, but just missed the ferry to Manly Beach. This gave us time to walk to the Sydney Opera House in order to take pictures. It certainly is impressive, but I think it looks better from further away. For some reason it doesn’t feel that massive up close. We didn’t have long at the Opera House, as the ferries leave every 30 minutes. The ride lasts an hour and the best part is the view.
On the way to Manly Beach we got to see the Sydney Harbor Bridge (another iconic feature of Sydney) and heaps of sailboats on the water that perfectly part as our ferry comes barging through. Once on land, we skip stores to go right to the beach. The weather was great, especially for May which is the beginning of their winter, but the waves weren’t that big. We did get to see a few people surfing and others playing volleyball as we walked up and down the beach. At one point we hear over the loud speakers that a boy named Luca, with blonde hair, dressed in a superman outfit, was lost. Five minutes later we walked by and saw Luca with the lifeguard crying. Then another five minutes later, his two moms finally came to pick him up.
As we walked back from the end of the beach, we once again saw Luca running off to play on his own on the swing set as his one mom was busy attending to his younger sister and the other mom was busy with the dog. A great example of parenting. By this point, we knew that our friend Adam’s plane has landed, so we start to head back to catch the ferry back to Sydney. We stop at a few shops on the way which was not the best idea as Amy found the most perfectest necklace that was just out of her price range. This made for an unhappy ride back in the ferry until we got close to Sydney and got views of the Opera House from the water. Ok, I take it back, the Opera house is a really cool building.
The sun was about to set, so we made our way to the Shangri-La Hotel which has a bar on the 34th floor where Adam met up with us. We have had drinks on higher floors before, but this was an unobstructed view of the harbor, so we figured why not. We arrived just a minute too late as the last good table near the windows facing the Opera House were taken, but we were still able to score a window facing a different direction. The host told us we could switch if we a table opens up. While enjoying our first drink, a table does open and we all stand up to grab it, when a squirrely old man cuts in front of us and sits down. I thought this was pretty rude, so I sit down with him as I thought we had the right to it, but no one else joins me. He is properly dressed (unlike us who look like backpackers) and is probably staying at the hotel, so I walk back to our table with my tails between my legs. You win this time old Australian man. We decided to stay for only one drink since the overpriced beverages were not worth the mediocre view.
Adam was hoping for a real meal since he has been eating airline food for the last 36 hours, so as we are walking back to our hotel we find an Irish Pub that is having a special on all draft beers. Since we talk funny in this part of the world, a lot of people ask us where we are from. The waitress at pub was no different. We tell her New York as that is where Ken and Adam are from and she responds that she is moving there in the fall. We continue to talk and find out that she went to University of Michigan as well. She even lived in the apartment complex next door to Ken (but 10 years later). She was just back in Australia to save up money while she worked at her brother’s restaurant. Small world. We stayed at the restaurant until it closed (10pm on a Sunday). As we continued to go back to the hotel, Adam is attracted to a nightclub called Star Bar because it’s logo is similar to Planet Hollywood’s.
As we are going in, we are quite loud and the bouncer doesn’t want to let Adam in thinking he is too intoxicated. Adam explains that it is because he has been in a plane for two days now, to which the bartender asks to see his passport for proof. We finally get the go ahead. We go in and find another special on draft beer so we decide to get comfortable. The nightclub certainly was interesting. The place was empty, but the electronica (where Adam taught us a dance move called “The Bus Driver”, see the videos below for an example) was still blasting. The only people in the club were at the pool tables lining the outside of the dance floor. We find room on a couch where Amy is scared of contracting a disease, which was not helped by the couple next to us making out. We stayed for just a few drinks before calling it a night satisfied with our taste of Sydney nightlife.
Being on a trip like this has quite the catch 22's. You want to enjoy your time and sleep in, but you also don’t want to miss out on a city. We had 5 full days in Sydney, so today the sleeping in option won. If I had my druthers we would go back to the Chinese restaurant from yesterday for brunch, but Amy and Ken vetoed that so we walked to the nearby Hyde Park to go to a super cute outdoor café for Sunday brunch. The restaurant served breakfast late, which made everyone happy. We then continued down on our way to the Circular Quay, but first we stopped at the St. Mary’s Church. I find it interesting the way they name the subway stops in Sydney.