sydneytrip2010: day five

montage: sydneytrip2010 the overviewAnd here's the Pictorial Montage of SydneyTrip2010... not the definitive experience, but a reasonably summation at five images a day...

I sure as hell am not going to miss that stupid hotel bed... I know I've commented on it every day, but it really was bad... not so much the bed, but the pillows and the whole sleeping experience really. I don't think I've had a decent night's sleep the whole time we've been here. So very looking forward to climbing into my own bed tonight!

In the end I packed last night... or rather, the early hours of this morning, since by the time I was finished everything else it was after midnight, and I figured it would be easier to just get the packing over and done with rather than leaving it for this morning. Turns out that the only thing that wouldn't go in the suitcase were my new Converse shoes, so they just had to be carried onto the plane.

On the up side, once I wake up I don't really want to lay around in bed, so I do end up getting up.

And in the perfect send off, it was raining again this morning. Four days of rain, one day of sunshine and I manage to get sunburned... *mutter*

Anyway, after I got up and had my shower, packed up the last of my stuff, got dressed and sat down briefly to finally eat the cereal they gave us on the plane on Monday while catching up on my reading thanks to Google Reader.

Eventually Ma messaged me to find out where I was at, so I took a final look around the room to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything and then, as seems to be the reoccurring theme during our holidays, hauled everything down to Ma's room.

Neither of us particularly had much of a plan about what we wanted to do with our final morning. We'd pretty much done everything we came to Sydney with the intention of doing, and this holiday was much less "structured" than the one to Melbourne earlier in the year, so we were pretty much at a loose end.

But, first things first, we needed to go out and find some breakfast! We did consider going to the Museum cafe, but it all looked too lala (the whole big, sit down breakfast kind of idea), so in the end we wandered around to The Rocks instead, and went to La Renaissance Patisserie again... but because it was raining it was a little harder to find somewhere to sit and eat, but we found somewhere sheltered on Playfair Street.

Once we'd eaten our ham and cheese croissants (although unlike any other ham and cheese croissant I've ever had, these were filled with ham and cheese béchamel sauce) we wandered around The Rocks for a bit, and ended up following Harrington Street down into the city until we found our way to George Street again.

We were kind of looking for somewhere to grab a drink (and unlike Melbourne where there's a 7 Eleven on every corner, in Sydney you have to keep your eye out for the convenience stores), but we wandered past one of the little kiosks that sell a bit of everything known to man and one of them had little cubes of watermelon in a plastic box... best idea ever! And just as effective for quenching our thirst as a drink.

Since we didn't really have a major plan, we ended up doing a big circle, stopping off at The Temple of Shiny (the Apple Store) so I could a) say I'd been in there and b) play with the gadgets. Next we detoured through Westfield Sydney again and then back down Pitt Street to the hotel just before 10am so we could check out.

Check out was a pretty simple affair... the rooms were already paid for, we didn't have any additional charges, so essentially all we had to do was give them back the keys and ask them to store our bags for us.

Since the Museum shop had looked interesting when we took at look at the cafe earlier, we went back to have a poke around... I wouldn't mind putting the museum itself on the list of eventual places to see in Sydney, it could be worth a look.

Our next stop was the Opera House Shop... we'd actually looked in there earlier in the week, and I didn't think their merchandise was as good as it was the last time we were here, but Ma wanted some stuff to take home for people.

By that point we were both wholeheartedly sick of walking around, so we stopped off at the Guylian Cafe in Circular Quay. They do a great chocolate and banana shake, but we also had a little ginger cookie tartlet, and while it was nice, I really should have gone for something savoury. I think I'd kind of OD'ed on sweet stuff by that stage.

Once we were finished, we went and sat by the harbourside for a while and then ended up doing a bit of aimless wandering...

We also didn't have that much time before the car was due to pick us up, so we couldn't really have done very much or gone very far.

Like I said earlier, we'd done everything we really set out to do for this trip, and we were both pretty tired and very footsore. I think it's definitely going to be a plan in future that we try and get a flight back in the morning so that when it's check-out time we actually check-out and leave the hotel rather than having extra time to kill.

Eventually we went back to grab our bags and wait for the car to pick us up. This is the third time we've hired a car for the return journey to the airport... and of those three times, the driver has been late twice. Thankfully I'm somewhat obsessive about making sure we have more than enough time to get to the airport, because otherwise we could have been in trouble.

I do like this company though... after I rang and told them we were waiting, they actually dispatched a second driver from the office who rocked up within six minutes.

In the end we got to the airport with about 20 minutes to spare before boarding.

Now I've flown on airplanes more than a dozen times... and I've probably worn the same belt for more than half of those flights (or at least most of the recent ones), and I've never had a problem. However this time the metal detector decided that my belt was a problem (it wasn't when we went through in Adelaide) so I had to go back and take it off... *grrrr*

I knew we were going to be flying on a larger plane when I did the check-in yesterday... the seat number was about double the seat number for the plane we took over here... but I think this was my first experience flying on a 767 (or at least on a Qantas 767, if there's a difference).

I like it! Definitely a lot less squishy, and even if it did turn out that we were essentially in the ass end of the plane, we were pretty much at the front of the queue for getting on, so it seemed a lot quicker.

I think the two corridors help...

As with the flight over I wasn't nauseous at all during the flight... I enjoyed both a little raspberry cake and an itty bitty airline can of Solo with no problems... but when we really started to descend I did feel a bit queasy... and the whole taxiing process didn't help either.

Anyway, we finally made it off the plane, and managed to get out bags reasonably quickly, so when we went out to grab a taxi we managed to walk straight to the head of the line and get straight in.

It did feel a little weird being back though... we'd been away a good chunk of time and although everything looked familiar, it was still a little strange.

Once again we got a taxi driver who didn't chat... and this one didn't even have the radio on which was a nice way to ease into being home.

The one thing I was very glad to see when I walked into my little apartment was my little bed. Oh I've missed my little bed!

Then I bundled Ma into her car and sent her on her merry way... and I won't see her again until Monday at the earliest... it's nice to spend the time with her, but it's also nice to send her home at the end of it all.

Of course the apartment looks somewhat like a bomb has gone off after I unpacked... not even the clothing, all that went straight off to be washed... just everything else... all the bits of paper and all the stuff I bought.

Speaking of which...

sydney shopping stuffI'm pretty sure I came home with a bunch more stuff than Ma... actually I know I did... I don't think she bought that much of anything really...

Whereas I came back with two 2011 calendars, some cards and a bookmark from the Museum shop, chocolate from Haighs and Lindt as well as some Lindt macarons, nipple clamps, some new shoes, a rainbow flag and some other bits and pieces.

All in all, with the possible exception of the sunburn, an incredibly successful and enjoyable holiday!

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