h.e.l.l.o. e.a.r.t.h.l.i.n.g.s.

Only three weeks left so I’m trying to cram in all of the things on my bucket list before I leave Sydney. Which makes for a busy week and hopefully an interesting blog!

Garden Talk

While this week at Lucas Gardens was pretty mundane, it was a great one. On Tuesday, we celebrated Remembrance Day, which is a memorial day formed to remember the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. In line with Australian tradition, all of the staff and students wore pieces of rosemary and made red poppies out of tissue paper. The poppies have become an emblem of Remembrance Day because they bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of World War I. The school even held an assembly in which each class made a wreath of flowers and red poppies that sat in the main courtyard of the school for the rest of the day. It was really cool to be a part of a big Australian tradition that has such deep roots in Australian history. I can be a real Aussie now!

The rest of the week was fairly normal, there weren’t even any excursions (yay!). All of the teachers are beginning to make plans for the new school that is going to be built over the holiday, so everyone is pretty excited about that. They are knocking down the entire existing school and building a completely new one, equipped with better technology, more classrooms, and extensive resources for the teachers and students. I’m sad that I’m not going to be there to see it 😦

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Alright now for the fun parts of my week! Not that LG isn’t exciting, because it is. You guys know what I mean.

As I mentioned in my last post, Sid’s brother, Ben, came to visit so we spent a lot of the week doing things with him. It was pretty cool to watch another American experience Australian culture (aka TimTams) for the first time and be able to explain the Aussie way based on my own experiences here. Like, am I Australian yet?

On Tuesday, we made dinner for Ben in our apartment because you know he was dying to try our delicious cooking. But here comes the best part. After dinner, we went to get gelato at Cow and Moon, a local gelateria that has recently been named THE BEST GELATO IN THE WORLD. And holy cow (pun intended), it lived up to its name. I would attempt to explain it to you but I think that that would make me start salivating on my computer and that could end badly. My tastebuds are singing just thinking about it.

On Wednesday, we embarked on a journey to do one of the most touristy things that Sydney has to offer, the Harbour Bridge Climb. We had signed up for a night climb so we nervously made our way to the base of the bridge after a quick dinner. Once we had signed all of the necessary waiver forms, we were outfitted in the most attractive jumpsuits you’ve ever seen and equipped with a sweatshirt, a headlamp, a beanie, and even a handkerchief for any possible runny noses. All of these things were conveniently clipped onto our jumpsuits so that they would not plummet down into the six lanes of traffic below (probably a good idea). After a quick tutorial on how to climb up the bridge ladders and some motivational words from our guide, we finally made our way onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Lemme just give you some background on this bridge real quick: Under the direction of Dr. J.J.C. Bradfield, the Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932 as a bridge that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic across Sydney Harbour, from the Sydney CBD to the North Shore. At 160 ft wide and 440 ft high, the bridge is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge and the tallest steel arch bridge in the world. Pretty magnificent if you ask me. So anyways, we climbed and climbed and climbed, stopping at various points along the way to take pictures and hear history lessons from our guide, until we finally reached the top. Once we finally got to the top, the view was absolutely breathtaking. On one side, you could see the Opera House and the harbour, and on the other side was the city skyline, illuminated against the night sky. If I didn’t already want to move to Sydney, that view sure was convincing. Our time on the bridge lasted about an hour and half and we all went home exhausted.

Thursday night added to my terrific week, as I spent the night meeting Madison’s mom and her two aunts (I’m sure you all remember Madison from the Tasmania blog) and eating boatloads of appetizers. That’s pretty much as good as it gets. Her family was super nice and I’m so glad that I got to meet them! Again, it was fun to have visitors and talk to them about the differences between Australian and American culture. Also I’m starting to sense a trend of peoples’ families visiting them…(cough cough Dad what the heck) (even just send the dogs over, that would be sufficient).

By Friday night, we were all exhausted from our busy week so we decided to just get dinner and call it an early night. We got dinner with Ben at a yummy Italian place not too far away from our apartment and I feasted on some seafood marinara. Thinking back, I suppose this is where my seafood craving of the week began, because I ended up eating seafood everyday for the rest of the week. Continue reading if you love to hear about my horrible eating habits.

yum

On Saturday afternoon, Ruthie (whose name for some reason always autocorrects to ruthiechen on my phone) and I headed off to the world’s third largest fish market, the Sydney Fish Market. There we were met with a working fish port, a wholesale fish market, a fresh seafood retail market, a sushi bar, a bakery, a fruit and veggie market, and even a seafood cooking school, all for our consumption. Dream. Come. True. There was seafood galore and I was literally in heaven. It was so overwhelming to decide what to eat, I just wanted it all. Imagine being in an ice cream shop with every flavor ever made, and it’s all completely fresh. That’s the decision I had to make, but like 20 times harder. Ruthie and I ended up getting grilled lobster, stuffed scallops, and oysters to share. You could say I was hooked. Everything tasted so fresh and wasn’t even that expensive! This could be one of my new favorite places in Sydney. Major yum points.

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With happy tummies, Ruthie and I, along with our two other friends Kaitlyn and Jennia, headed off to take a gander at the Sydney Olympic Park, the home of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Let me just say that although I was only in kindergarten at the time, the Sydney Olympics were and still are my favorite Olympics of all time. So to stand on the ground where it all happened was pretty amazing. Olympic Park is basically built in the middle of nowhere, so when we got there we were surrounded by the Olympic atmosphere. One of the first things that we saw were a bunch of poles constructed outside of the main stadium, each one listing information varying from the names of every volunteer to the gold medal time of multiple track events. There were even two Appelt’s that volunteered at the Olympics!

Don’t worry, it gets cooler. We got to swim in the Olympic pool! Michael Phelps peed in there. It was such a surreal experience to be swimming in the same pool as world famous athletes, nonetheless the stage of my favorite sporting event.

 

Michael’s hands and feet…HUGE
I’m basically Debbie Phelps. Go Michael!

 

Then to end the day like we started (aka with food), Ruthie and I strolled into Chinatown and picked up some more baos because we love those little meat filled buns so much. Yum yum yum.
Sunday morning, the roomies and I made our way to the Glebe Street Fair, which was basically just a giant outdoor market craft fair type event. I didn’t get anything because I was saving my money for MORE FISH MARKETS. Muhaha you heard right. This time I accompanied Sid and Nat to the Fish Markets and gobbled down some salmon and chips that really hit the spot. I’m pretty sure you’re sick of hearing about me eating now, you’re welcome.
After our scrumptious lunch, we walked down to Darling Harbour to pay a visit to the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Sounds like my kind of place, right? The garden basically looked like they cut a little chunk out of China and shipped it over to Australia and plopped it down right in the middle of the city. The contrast between the hustle and bustle of the city and the serenity of the gardens was personally what made the gardens so enjoyable to me, although the beautiful gardens and ability to rent an entire Chinese outfit for $10 were good bonuses.

 

Oh hey Mulan

 

I guess this means I have to be friends with them for life…ugh ❤

Alright well I guess that’s it for my week! See you all next week for my second to last post! That’s actually so sad, I’m going to go cry now. Peace. Out.

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