Down Under in Under Four Days

dsc021153The kids and I joined Tom on a business trip to Sydney this past weekend.  We took the red eye from Tokyo Friday night and arrived in Sydney at 7:30 Saturday morning.  After reading three different guide books and consulting with James, the concierge at the Four Seasons, i had jam packed the three full days and nights we had available with a little bit of everything there was to see and do in Sydney.  When we arrived on Saturday morning, it wasn’t quite the summer day i was expecting, but we still grabbed our towels and suits and took the high speed jet cat across the harbor to Manly Beach.  We spent the day sunning ourselves (but not swimming – too cold), eating a beautiful lunch right on the beach (annie had a delicious lobster) and i started my 72 hours of tasting australian, new zealand and tasmanian wines.  We left the beach and shopped the Corso, a long path connecting the ocean to the bay filled with surf shops and other assorted Australiana… That night, the temperature dropped significantly and our dinner outside with a view of the opera house was rushed (not just because we were frozen but the food was almost inedible (Waterfront Restaurant in Campbell’s Cove).  We turned in Saturday night with plans of waking early to cab it to Bronte Beach for breakfast and then take the 1.5 hour hike along the coastline to Bondi Beach for a lunch reservation at Icebergs.  When we woke up Sunday morning it was raining and freezing.  Hayden was the only one with long pants so the plans changed quickly and we were off to the department stores in search of warmer clothing.  Tom took Hayden and I went off with the girls and we met back again for lunch.  We had a lovely italian lunch at Darling Harbor and then went to the Sydney Aquarium to see the Great White Sharks and then the Wildlife World to see Kangaroos and Koala Bears.  The girls got to climb into the Koala Bear habitat and have their picture taken with one, and they were allowed to pet it too.  That was a big hit.  We left Darling Harbor and jumped in a water taxi back that brought us to the harbor steps across the street from the hotel.  Sunday night we had dinner at Aria, directly across from the Opera House.  When we arrived, we found the finals of the Australia Idol (the equivalent of American Idol) taking place outside the Opera House on the steps.  Our table faced the live televised event and we were able to see the fireworks and actual fire being shot out of the stage.  It was a pretty cool sight.  On Monday, Tom had to go to work!  I took the girls to Starbucks and then to the Australian Wine Export Center to ship a case of goodies home and Hayden stayed in the room to watch Sunday night football (on Monday morning) and we waited for Tom to finish his apt.  He was back in an hour, changed into a suit and we were off Bondi Beach (the weather had improved tremendously).  We had lunch in Bondi, shopped for cool t-shirts and walked around the boardwalk and then we all crashed on the beach.  We had the taxi pick us back up so Tom could make his afternoon apts.  He got back in plenty of time to put his suit back on and visit some clients!  I took the kids for a last dash of shopping – the AUD/US exchange rate was very favorable for us (for once!)  Tom arrived back in time for our last dinner out (Rockpool) which was an unbelievable meal.  Everyone ate everything.  Then it was home to pack for our 7am pick up and a 9:30 am flight.  Tom had a business class ticket that he let the kids split three ways.  Sophie started it off and she had lunch, then Annie took over and had ice cream and Hayden finished up with a snack and ice cream.  We arrived home at 7pm, tired and happy with lots of fun souvenirs… dsc02115dsc021151dsc021152

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