I was so happy when Spencer decided to fly to Sydney to visit me and to travel up the East Coast together. Spencer arrived this week and will be spending 2 weeks in Australia. He was unable to sleep on his 14-hour flight; however, he was able to power through his first day as we saw Darling Harbor and hung out with Jenny at the Three Wise Monkeys Pub. After sampling an assortment of Aussie beers, Spencer cannot pick a favorite and says “They all rock!” Spencer described Sydney as New York City placed on the California Coast.
Although it rained most of the next day the sun came out for 10 minutes just as we made it down to the Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Like everyone who sees the Sydney Harbor for the first time; the beauty of the Harbor and the unique architecture of the Opera House amazed Spencer. We spent the afternoon at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of New South Wales. I love going to museums with Spence as he is a painter and I enjoy learning from his knowledge and perspectives on art. When I was in San Francisco, Spence and I would go to the First Thursday Gallery Openings together…it was just like old times! Later we met up with Jenny and Danny at the Art House pub for happy hour drinks with his coworkers. We had dinner at Wagamamas and then I had to say a final goodbye to Jenny who left Australia the following morning to return to England. It was an emotional goodbye as Jenny has become one of my closest girlfriends while traveling, and I know I will not see her for a long time.
Friday April 25th was Anzac Day, a National Holiday to honor members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. Danny was nice enough to drive us throughout the city and was a great tour guide! We wandered through the neighborhood of Newtown, which has always reminded me of the Mission & Haight Ashbury Districts in San Francisco. We played pool in a pub and watched others play, 2-Up – a gambling game played that is illegal except on Anzac Day.
The sun finally came out on our last day in Sydney so we spent the day at Bondi Beach. Spencer and Danny, both ex-skateboarders, were “stoked” to see the large skating pool at Bondi Beach. Danny drove us to a lookout point where we were able to watch the sunset over the skyline and Harbor Bridge; it was a beautiful sight. I know I have seen many spots most tourists would not by hanging out with Danny. We spent the evening at my old stomping grounds… Coogee Beach.
Spencer and I left Sydney yesterday to begin our road trip up the east coast. We will be stopping at many beach towns along the way, eventually arriving in Byron Bay where our friend Stacy is living. I have had a great time with Danny the past 2 weeks and it was sad for me to say goodbye to Sydney, but I know I will be back at some point so that made goodbye a little easier.
I drove the first day and realized that Spencer is a bit of a back seat driver. “The light is green Kelly, turn right Kelly, stay in your lane Kelly, etc. etc….” Spencer disagrees with my sentiment; however, I am going to let him drive most of the trip as I think it will be best for both of us! We also learned we have very different traveling/road trip styles. Spencer gets in a tizzy if he cannot have both a map and verbal directions from a local to get from place to place. I on the other hand have become slack in planning and most often take off without a map or any real plans and just figure things out as I go along. I have found it to be overwhelming and time consuming to properly plan all my travels as I would literally have to do it every day!
Spencer and I stopped off at the Australian Reptile Park so Spencer could see his first Kangaroo and Koala. We saw Elvis, a very large crocodile, get fed chickens. I held a Python, which was fine until the snake started sliding around my body, which scared me a little!
Spencer drove us around today which worked great in my favor as we were wine tasting in Hunter Valley! Spencer did very well driving on the other side for the first time in his life. Like me, he also was very confused by the turn signal. He agreed to not ask anyone for verbal directions, which was very hard for him to do; however, I assured him we would find our way to Nelson Bay and we would be able to find a place to stay once we arrived. I am quite proud of us today as we made it to our final destination and even scored a sweet B&B in downtown Nelson Bay that we have completely to ourselves.
In spite of all the differences Spence and I have discovered about each other in regards to the way we travel, we have managed not to get into any fights and we are having fun together! Tomorrow we are headed North to Port Macquarie.
To see photos of Spencer and me in Sydney and the beginning of our road trip CLICK HERE.