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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Australian Holiday Downunder - Part Three

And finally the last chapter of my trip Downunder...

Wednesday, January 2, 2012

We woke up fairly early the next morning (a theme for this trip it seems!) and made our way to The Boathouse, apparently a very well-known, very tasty restaurant on the waterI wish I could say that I made a bigger effort to eat new and different things but I just couldn't help myself.  LOVIN' THE TOAST.  I had te Avocado Toast with, you guessed it, avocado and crispy bacon on thin, seeded rye toast with cherry tomato salsa.  I also ordered it with a poached egg because honestly it's not Australian if you don't "put an egg on it."  The toast, and the breakfast beer, were the perfect brunch on a hot summer day.  Good start to my morning!


The second theme of my trip was stuffing my face since as soon as we finished brunch we headed to the grocery store to buy BBQ supplies.  We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the beach house, grilling up sausages and steak and drinking beers.  The end result was a pretty awesome spread that of course tasted ten times better because it was made with love... and grease.  The rest of the night resulting in debauchery with Earl the Flabongo, beers and an awesome playlist.

Thursday, January 3, 2012

Having spent the last two days AT THE BEACH I hadn't actually spent much time ON IT.  So today was officially heralded a "beach day."  Apparently to me this meant "go 15 minutes without sunscreen in n-ozone Australia" resulting in a full body burn that even 50+ sunscreen couldn't reverse.  Let's say it was a less pleasant ride back to downtown Sydney.  My only salve was the cool wind whipping my cheeks in Party Pants' top-down convertible.  At least I'm sunburnt in style.


With a full day at the cricket looming on the horizon we decided to take it easy back in Bondi Junction.  So we headed to the theater to see The Hobbit in 3-D while gobbling down some Guzman y Gomez burritos.  Amidst the previews was a PSA about a 24-year-old guy who had died of melanoma.  Okay, thank you for the warning but all I could think about as I slashed aloe all over my body in the theater was "um... too soon."

Friday, January 4, 2012

We were up at the crack of dawn for the cricket which I was pretty excited for now that I kind of get the game.  At Cricket NSW, there are a couple different areas to sit.  Our target was the Members Pavilion were the upper echelon of Sydney's elite gather to compare khakis and sip draft beers while watching the game from shaded seats.

At the entrance I was immediately stopped because my dress landed ONE INCH above my knees.  The old, angry woman manning the door was not about to let that slide and instead ushered us in the direction of the "Womens Pavilion"... really??!  I quickly assessed that the solution was certainly not to bow my head in defeat but instead to slouch as much as possible thus lowering the hem of my dress, covering my front crotch area with the largest hat available from amongst my group and to head directly for a male entrance attendant.  Worked. Like. A. Charm.  A mere glance and we were upstairs drinking in all our finery.

Okay fine, I freaked every time I went to the toilet concerned that the She Devil might catch me and throw me out but luckily the tyrant was nowhere to be seen.  All it would've taken was one cursory stroll through the "upper deck" as I soon realized I was the only female under 30 on that floor.  Definitely still a "man's" game but boy did I have fun!  After countless champagne and sunstroke we wandered as everyone had different afternoon activities.


Post cricket I as usual found myself back in Bondi Beach at Hurricanes for lunch with Captain Cous Cous.  It was good to have a chance to catch up with him as he was the only Croa-ustralian I hadn't seen much of.  The food was pretty good but nothing great so not really bothering with too much of a write-up on these one... although I did manage to order something other than toast!  Oh, and I had another one of those magic lemon lime bitter drinks.  Taking that recipe home for sure.  The Cap' also explained that you can order really good burgers from the to-go section of the restaurant for relatively cheap (like everywhere in Sydney this restaurant was stupid expensive).

The Cap was headed to meet up with his London lady, when I received a perfectly timed call from my friend, Doc, who turns out was flying into Sydney a day earlier than expected.  AWESOME!

I spent the next hour or so learning the Sydney bus system which probably would've been less challenging if I had cell service and thus Google Maps.  Instead I found myself getting off at the correct bus stop but with no idea how to get to Doc's actual apartment.  I ended up in a bar where an older gentleman and the younger bartender went to war to see who could answer my question first.  The gentleman appeared from the back of the bar with a massive book of the Yellow Pages (those aren't extinct??!) and the younger bartender of course opted for Google Maps (which I watched with thinly veiled jealousy).  The bartender of course won by a landslide and I continued on my merry way.

It was great to see Doc and his fancy-schmancy new apartment.  A landowner!  Congrats!  We spent the next few hours shooting the shit, catching up since our last meet-up in NYC.  All this chatting got us hungry but we were too lazy for a real restaurant so we opted for a juicy burger from Grill'd down the street.  Another early bedtime.  Man all New Yorkers should visit Sydney when in need of a real holiday.  I was feeling close to completely recouped!

Saturday, January 5, 2012

The next day was the closest I came to sleeping in, this time actually being able to call my first meal of the day "brunch" instead of "brekkie."  Doc had opted for this little place he really enjoyed up the street from his apartment but upon closer inspection it was closed for renovation.  We pushed on and were rewarded with an awesome little restaurant, Royal, featuring waitresses with flowers in their hair and fresh pressed juices touting colorful straws made from paper.  So organic!  In a bout of obstinacy I ordered the toast. haha. yup.  It was the best one I've had all trip, the biggest portion, and the CHEAPEST!!  This place was adorable, cheap and had such friendly service.  It was the perfect start to the day.

In an attempt to make this the most boring blog post ever, we returned to Bondi Beach, which ironically I had my first real beach day (all the other day were punctuated with day drinking, gale force winds and intense jonesing for burritos).  The weather couldn't have been more perfect and the water was the optimal temperature.  I could've spent all day on my back, the waves moving me to and fro, under a blazing blue sky.

After a delicious nap stretched out like lazy lions soaking up the sun, we meandered up to the bar, Bucket List.  This will forever be the site of my very first Pimms' Cup.  And by cup I mean one or two "jugs."  I desperately wanted a t-shirt but they are apparently for employees only.  Well clearly I know where I will be working should I ever make the move to Sydney.  I would have to say this is probably my favorite place in Sydney thus far.  There is something about sitting outside in the afternoon sun, staring out at a gorgeous beach, surrounded by hot Australians that really does something to a girl.  I could stay frozen in time here.

Photo Credit: Bucket List Website

But alas there comes a time to shed the sand-stained, heat-baked swimmers and class it up for an end-of-holiday fancy dinner.  Doc, always knowing the best places to go, landed us at The Winery, which is one of the most whimsical, beautiful outdoor restaurants I've ever seen.

 Above three photos credit of The Winery website

And the food was unbelievable.  Definitely the best meal of the trip.  We started with the toasted ciabatta, ash chevre, vine cherry tomatoes and olive paste.  Ash chevre is my favorite kind of cheese and the tomatoes were roasted and hot so they just exploded in your mouth.  It also either came with prosciutto or we ordered it extra but it was finely sliced and not too salty.  Could not have been a better start to the dinner.

We decided to share everything for purely selfish reasons (the more you share the more you get to try!).  So for entrees I started with the ocean trout with beetroot, fennel, goat’s cheese, grape tomatoes and saffron dressing and Doc tucked into the linguini pasta with grilled calamari, garlic, chilli oil, basil, green olives, and crumbs.  He literally had to wrestle the plate of trout away from me and is lucky he still has five fingers on his left hand.  The trout was perfectly flakey and the mixture of all the other ingredients just created this amalgam of flavors that covered the spectrum of soft, creamy, crunchy, spicy and salty.  A true treat to the tongue.  The linguini had a surprising kick to it which elevated the dish to something more than your standard grilled squid with lemon.

Last up was hazelnut ice cream with salted butterscotch and pineapple.  Doc called me out when I asked if we could get it without pineapple (I'm not a huge fan of pineapple) and it was nice because I realized hey, who knows, maybe the pineapple will make the dish!!  It didn't make the dish but it certainly didn't hurt what turned out to be a refreshing sweet ice cream with a shock of salty scotch to it.  The ultimate end to the ultimate holiday meal.  Add in a bottle of wine and I was finished.  I can die happy.

Sunday, January 6, 2012

My last day in Australia and I feel like there is so much I still want to do and see!  Probably because I've spent my whole time here at Bondi Beach.  So today I decided to play tourist with my friend who was randomly in town from Melbourne!  I've always wanted to go to Manly Beach so that became the task of the morning but not before I wandered the Botanical Gardens and got some amazing photos of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.  We hopped on the ferry to Manly which resulted in more awesome shots and spent the next 45 minutes catching up. 

By the time we got to Manly Beach I was STARVING.  Unfortunately, restaurants don't serve alcohol until after noon (yeah we wanted to get to it) so it was a beerless brekkie.  We ended up at Sugar Lounge right on the beach because I at least wanted a view!  The restaurant was uber hip with cozy thatched chairs and an open view of the ocean.  I finally switched it up opting for blueberry pancakes.  The large pancakes was WAY too much but they were soft and oozy with syrup.  Such a fat kid breakfast.  I could've sat at this place all day but the beach was calling me and the wifi didn't seem to work. 


We spent the next two hours wandering the little town which is very cute (outdoor flea market, surf shops, ice cream stands, etc) and lying around on the beach.  The ocean in Manly seems to be a little rougher than Bondi since the area to swim was tiny and filled with small children.  No thank you.

As early afternoon set in on us, we couldn't cook any more and one of my best friends from USC was finally back in town and I wanted to maximize time with her so we eventually headed out.  While I'm glad I saw Manly I have to say I prefer the stroller-bare streets of Bondi better.

Bear and Booker picked me up from Bondi Junction and we wandered down to the Cruising Yacht Club in Rush Cutter's Bay.  Yet another blissful outdoor patio surrounded by expansions of blue ocean.  Switching it up yet again (I know right?!) I ordered the fish n' chips because you can't say you were in Australia without ordering this at least once!  The fish was crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside and it came with my favorite kind of fries.  Mid meal Booker tossed me two US dollars and said "Don't say I never gave you nothing."  What a sweetheart.

 Photo Credit:

With it being a Sunday Funday and all, it was only a matter of time before we ended up, you guessed it, back at Bondi Beach to meet up with Doc and some of Bear's other Sydney friends.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon on the balcony of Bondi Social taking in the stunning views of Bondi Beach while sipping rose like a bunch of classy people.  A perfect ending to an amazing trip.

 Above two photos credit of Bondi Social Website

Monday, January 7, 2012 

I woke this morning feeling the impeding depression that could only mean I was headed home, weaned from Australia once again.  Ponyo had offered me a lift to the airport after a farewell brunch which I gladly accepted.  He recommended Bills, which apparently is famous for their brekkie, so I was excited to try it out.  Unfortunately the dish they are best known for are their pikelets (baby pancakes) and I'd JUST had pancakes.  Plus, at Manly Beach the day before my friend had ordered the corn fritters and I'd had such bad food envy that today I ordered the sweetcorn fritters with roast tomato, spinach and bacon.  It was one of the best meals of the trip.  The juiciness of the tomato paired with the saltiness of the bacon and the sweet, crispy corn of the fritter made each bite a flavor explosion.  It was a culinary crescendo of the trip.  The service on the other hand was pretty awful...

Photo Credit: Bills Blog


With the end of brekkie came the end of my two week Australian holiday.  Ponyo drove me kicking and screaming to the airport clutching my Arnott Mint Slices (the only piece of Australia I would be able to return with other then my memories).  I end where I began with lyrics from St Lucia, the song we listened to as we pulled up at the terminal...Until we meet again Australia...

I will never take back
The words that I said then
I will always come back to you

Even in the meantime
I will always stand by
A mirror on the shelf

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