The second of our week-long holidays was a jaunt down to Sydney to stay with long time friends Jason and Louise, who we met way back in 2005 in New York. Oh, how time has changed since then! Like us, they too now have two youngsters, so between the four of us, we had four kids under four!
Staying at a friend’s well established house is certainly a great way to vacation, and Jason and Louise were excellent hosts! They provided airport transfers, full service accommodation, cars and car-seats, and lots of delicious home-made meals. They even went out of their way to destroy their old espresso machine a few weeks before we came down, just so they could upsize before we arrived! Talk about thinking ahead!
Our week could best be summarised as “chilling out and enjoying our time with our friends”. We took a couple of trips into Sydney proper; Oscar was well impressed with the “trains with three levels!” which I have to admit are pretty awesome. Whilst in the mall one day, we took the opportunity to dine at Reuben and Moore in Westfield – easily the best Reuben that I’ve ever eaten. (Jason and Kristy both had the Reuben burger and equally claimed it to be one of their best burgers ever.) We also thoroughly enjoyed our caffeine hit from Gumption Coffee in The Strand arcade – a Durham recommendation, what more needs to be said?
About the only thing on our “must do” list was to visit the Blue Mountains, as I had never been there (or at least, not that I could remember). I figured they’d either be totally amazing, or totally over-rated. It turns out that they’re very much the former!
We were lucky enough to have a perfectly clear day when we visited, and one of the guides at Scenic World told us that the visibility was about 100 kilometres. Impressive! Scenic World is also home to the steepest railway in the world, at a redonkey 52 degrees! Very much worth a visit.
Our week in Sydney seemed to end as soon as it started, and before we knew it, we were headed back to the airport for our flight home to Brisbane. But it was a fantastic break, and we can’t thank Jason and Louise (and Adam and Emma) enough for being such wonderful and generous hosts.