april in sydney - day three

a very rainy harbourall the water in sydney drains down to the lowest points
The word for today is wet.

Wet, wet, wet, wet, wet. Not that it really stopped us from doing very much... and it was only really a problem first thing this morning... but it's definitely been a theme.

I had a much better sleep last night... whether it was because I was all tuckered out after all the running around yesterday plus all the soaking up of culture we did last night, or whether it was as simple as rearranging my pillows, I'm not completely sure. But I only woke up just before 7am, and Ma and I were planning on heading out to breakfast nice and early this morning, so I had a bit of a mad scramble to get ready.

Before said scramble (okay, it wasn't that panicked, really) I messaged Ma to inform her of the fact that it was pelting down with rain, but I didn't get a reply after a couple of minutes... so I tried calling her, no answer.

And of course, after her fall yesterday, automatically my mind goes to all the dark and horrible places... but my mind often does that, so it's not that unusual. After trying to call her again, I decided to use the spare keycard to her room and go and make sure she was okay.

trappedye olde spiderman
Fortunately, as soon as I opened the door to my room I could hear the shower running in her room, so I stopped freaking out and went and had my own shower.

When I was ready, I took my shoes and my bits and pieces to Ma's room and then headed off for Bar Fredo down in Walsh Bay. It didn't rain all the way there, but when it did rain, boy did we know about it (thankfully we'd taken our umbrellas). It would go from almost nothing to torrential downpour in a matter of a couple of seconds. And at one point I actually heard the rain hitting the trees in front of us before it happened all over us.

The walk to Walsh Bay is a hit of a hike, but overall it wasn't too bad... we both got very wet shoes, but mostly we stayed dry. And I also got a whole bunch of photos involving rain and water.

the heavens open at bar fredo
Unfortunately though, I'm not sure it was totally worth the trip (see, Sydney, again with the disappointing food)... I don't know if Café Fredo has changed owners or something, but it really isn't as good as it has been in the past. And I think it's gotten more expensive. Which is a double shame because I then had to pay a lot of money for a breakfast I didn't really enjoy all that much.

After we were done with breakfast we headed back to Circular Quay through the occasional torrents of rain, with the intention of catching a train up to St James Station for the Sydney Brick Show at David Jones.

Alas, no trains. All the stations are closed all weekend for some sort of maintenance. But fortunately they were running free shuttle buses from Circular Quay, so we just hopped on one of those instead.

the big pit of lego bricks... careful where you stepmax, the lego club mascot... with hands perfectly sized for a boost juice
Even though the store only opened just before 10am, and the Brick Show likewise started at 10am, when we got there the line to go up to the 7th floor snaked from one side of the 6th floor to the other. So much for getting in early on the first day to avoid the crowds.

It didn't take us that long to get up to the Brick Show once the line started moving though.

sydney brick show - island campsydney brick show - the land of chima
 
sydney brick show - lego department storesydney brick show - fairytale tower
This is my first ever Lego event of this kind... we used to go to the Lego shows that would turn up every school holidays when I was a kid full of large scale models... but this was all fan-built creations (or MOC in the AFOL parlance).

And some of them were really, really, really good.

sydney brick show - giant spider attacksydney brick show - ugly harlots and pretty adventurers

sydney brick show - stormtrooper takes a vacationsydney brick show - lego chicken suit guy... the other, other white meat
My personal favourite was the large, combined display of a number of different pirates/islands creations... there were a ton of cute little details in a number of the models, from giant spiders, really, really ugly harlots, to a Stormtrooper on vacation.

Some of the models were harder to photograph than others, but I did two runs... one with my big ass telephoto lens on to get close ups and details wherever I could, and then a second run to get some wider angles. I took a lot of photos... and somehow I get the feeling that I may be a little sore in the morning from all the bending.

sydney brick show - lego bumblebee... sadly he didn't transformsydney brick show - firefighter and police mechs

sydney brick show - very friendly natives welcome the lego friends girlssydney brick show - the indianan jones venice speedboat chase guy was just an easter egg on the side of one of the models
I was hoping that they might have had Series 10 of the Lego minifigures for sale... sadly not... although there were a couple of people selling minifigures and accessories and really, really old Lego sets. I was half tempted by the full set of the London Olympic minifigures, but they were kind of expensive, I did however grab a couple of the Chima figures that I was interested in, but didn't want to buy whole sets to get my hands on.

We ended up spending well over an hour, which was a little bit surprising, given the fact that there weren't perhaps as many exhibitors as I had expected. Granted I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but there were some seemingly very empty areas, and also some areas that got really crowded.

sydney brick show - wayne manor and underground batcavesydney brick show - brick batmobile

sydney brick show - revolving burgers signsydney brick show - pulp bricktion
Eventually we'd had enough... I'd photographed everything that I could, we'd seen everything and were pretty much done, so we headed over to Westfield Sydney's foodcourt for a beverage. Unlike yesterday, the foodcourt has pretty much the right amount of people in it... it wasn't empty, but you could actually go places and buy things.

We grabbed a smoothie from the really nice fruit/juice place I can never remember the name of, as well as a couple of massive chocolate covered strawberries and pondered our next move.

I figured since I was already in a Lego related groove, we could pop across to Myer on the other side of Pitt Street Mall and have a look to see what they had in their Lego stock (okay, I'll admit, the only reason I went to look was to see if they had the Series 10 minifigs).

It only took me a few minutes to work out that they didn't, so we headed down to the basement foodcourt to grab a bunch of those little bottles of juice they seem to have everywhere but Adelaide (really, somebody needs to get on that, asap).

And since it's fairly easy to get from the Myer building over to QVB by taking the "tunnel" between the two buildings, we did exactly that... stopping off at the cutest little store called Pylones, which was full of the most adorable homewares.

the qvb tower domeqvb stained glass
Once we got to QVB we didn't really have a destination exactly, so we headed up to the top floor to check out Hobbyco... and there we found some vinyl toy action... yaaaay!

And then it was back to the hotel to drop off our purchases and unbox some vinyl.

We didn't really have much of a plan for what to do for the rest of the afternoon, but Ma kind of wanted to head "over the bridge", and I had a vague thought that photographing Luna Park, at least the outside, could be interesting... so we headed down to Circular Quay again.

Unsurprisingly, now that I think about it, we discovered that the buses that go across the bridge don't leave from Circular Quay. Yes, I know, it's a "dur" moment... give me a break, I've had other things on my mind. So rather than trekking all the way back up the hill in search of Bridge related buses, we decided to just hop on any old random ferry and see where that took us.

alexander the first fleet ferryleaving eyebirds at the quay
And that's pretty much exactly what we did... we picked a platform at random, and a ferry more or less at random... although the one we ended up choosing (the Darling Harbour/Balmain East line) stopped at Luna Park (although we didn't get off).

Our ferry for the trip was one of the First Fleet Class ferries (which are all share the name of an original First Fleet ship), Alexander... which I think are my favourite classes... they're little and squat and green and beige, and they're always the ones I enjoy seeing scooting around in the harbour.

I enjoy ferries... I think I've said it before but it's an altogether civilised way to travel... and while I'm sure that for some people it's just the most efficient way to get from A to B on their daily commute, especially if those two places are on opposite sides of the water, I don't think it would ever not really, really enjoy it. Even with small children making random annoying noises for no reason and generally being slightly painful.

stopping at luna parkalexander takes us across the harbour
Fortunately they either got off or moved inside the ferry about halfway through the trip.

I'm not sure how long the trip took all up... although the timetable would seem to indicate that it took about 50 minutes for the round trip... which is strange because it didn't seem that long.

And the weather also cleared up for the first time all day while we were out on the water, which was nice...

blue sky over sydneyriding the ferry
When we got back to Circular Quay we picked up a timetable for pretty much every other ferry line in existence.

Then we headed to the Opera House concourse for something warm to drink (and thankfully after the dumplings last night, the same place actually makes a decent beverage... mmm hot chocolatey goodness) and after thumbing through the timetables, we decided that since we'd both enjoyed ourselves so much and we had these very expensive tickets that let us ride as many things as we want, as often as we want, we should go again on another line, and maybe a slightly longer trip... or at least one that went somewhere we hadn't been before.

And because the ferry riding deities were looking out for us, when we got there, the SuperCat Class ferry, Susie O'Neill was actually already there ready to go. I'll admit, I don't like the new fancy ferries half as much as the old ones, but it was something different.

susie saves sydney soulssunset buoy
As we started to take off, it did begin to spit with rain, which was a bit of a bummer because sitting in the front seats in that class of ferry, you actually can't see a damn thing out of the front windows other than the front of the ferry and the sky.

Fortunately, like with all the rain today, it didn't last long and once we were underway, I went out onto the bow with my camera (fitted with my telephoto lens this time, which actually came in handy, oddly enough).

I tell you what, once those SuperCats get going, it's a whole world of DIY facelift standing right at the front... I could actually feel my face being pushed back by the wind. Although I'm not sure if that says more about my face or the strength of the wind.

Anyway, it was a lovely ferry ride, we saw a bunch of places we hadn't seen before, there were pretty sailboats for Ma to ogle, there were lots of photos for me to take, what with the stormy skies and the fact that the sun was setting... I think there will possibly be some horrible shots amongst the ones I took though given that on occasion the ferry lurched like crazy just as I was taking the photo.

Sadly, halfway through the return trip my camera's battery finally gave up the ghost, which is pretty good, given the fact that I didn't have it fully charged when we left and I've taken a grand total of 932 photos currently... and we still have Manly to go tomorrow... I just wish I could remember how many photos that SD card will hold.

sunset sailboatswhite pleasurecraft
When we got back to Circular Quay it was pretty much dark... which is a little odd, given that we've usually been here in November or February previously (other than my solo trip last April), so the light stays around for a lot longer and I don't think either of us is quite used to it suddenly being pitch black at 6pm here. It always feels much, much later.

We then took a wander up Elizabeth Street to find the Bendigo Bank ATM that's up that way since I think we were both running kind of low on cash. Plus I don't really want to have to deal with my new cards/accounts from the bank until we get home... so I drew out way more cash than I'll need, but I'd rather have it than not.

Our very definite dinner plans this evening were to go to Wagamama... I really do love that place so very much... and rather than heading back the way we'd come, we kind of wended our way down some of the windy streets between the bank and Bridge Street.

We were stopped at one corner, waiting for the lights to change when this older guy who had crossed the road the other way walked right up to me... and I mean right up, way inside my personal space up and said "That's a good one". I honestly had no idea what he was talking about, but I'm also not sure if he was actually talking to me or even knew that I was there because at no point did he actually make eye contact with me, I think he may have been talking to the dancing pixies in his head. He wasn't aggressive, but he was in my space, so I asked him what he meant... no response... so with one hand I moved Ma back around behind me, just in case, as he took a step forward and said something about "yeah Debbie, turn those four fucking 9's upside down"... at which point I was already moving back away from him, Ma still behind me.

And then he just wandered off up the street. When I looked behind me I think he must have been talking to the For Lease sign on building behind me, because the realtor's name was Deb something and the phone number did have four nines at the end.

Ma said that she also saw him stopping to talk to a doorway further up the street... so yeah, a tiny bit scary for a second there, but I really don't think he even knew I was there.

Fortunately dinner was a vast improvement on crazy street people getting up in my face.

We'd never actually gotten around to having any lunch... beverage yes, lunch no... so I think we were both a bit starving by the time we got to Wagamama.

Sadly, they didn't have any tori kara age (sad face), which is one of my favourites... but as always we got a big bowl of edamame and some dumplings and then we both decided on the ramen... chicken for me, spicy vegetables for Ma. So good... just so, so good. Although I did feel like there was less ramen in my bowl than previous times, but that could just be my memory playing tricks and the fact that I was starvingly hungry.

I'm always impressed at Wagamama how they never write down what you've ordered... well, they do, on your paper placemats, but they don't take it away, they just have all the numbers for everything memorised and we've never had anybody bring us the wrong thing. Now THAT is good restauranting!

We finished off the meal with some coconut crème brulee with a chocolate/banana spring roll and even though we'd eaten a lot of food either of us felt overly stuffed... just comfortably full.

And then once we got our respective legs working again, and Ma finished fighting with the zipper on her jacket, we wandered back to the hotel.

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