Friday, June 5, 2015

Hello From Down Under

It's day 2 of our great adventure though it feels like day 3.  Crossing the international dateline is confusing.  We arrived  in Sydney at 6 a.m. on June 4 after starting at noon on June 2.  Took us quite some time to get through customs because of our declaration of our half jar of planters peanuts.  Would have gotten right through except for an alert sniffing dog that immediately noticed something amiss in Hubby's backpack.   Was my Hubby a secret drug smuggler? Nope. Just someone who forgot he still had an apple left to eat. Criminal. They let us keep the peanuts but took the apple.  Wasn't even a honey crisp.

Our Priceline hotel, the Radisson Blu,  is just dandy and close to Sydney Harbor and the Rocks. We spent our first day fighting off jet lag by walking around the opera house and crossing the harbor bridge.  We also spent a great deal of time trying to spend as little as possible on food. Although we declared ourselves honey badgers with plans to not give a sh&!!, our frugalness just kept kicking in every time we studied a menu.  This led to lots more walking or in fitbit terms, steps.  Did about 13,000 in the morning of June 4.  When I synced it said I did 13,000 steps the day before when I was actually on a plane. Even a fitbit gets confused by time changes.  Did another 25000 that night. Crazy huh?  What's really crazy is I am wearing godawful hiking shoes and now have blisters on three toes.
After dinner we marveled at the Vivid lights displays on the buildings then finally called it a day. I was certain it was at least 10 p.m.   Not quite. We were in bed and sound asleep at 7:30.

Our official day 2 began early because by 6 a.m. we'd already slept 10.5 hours.  Google found us a pancake restaurant nearby so we were feeling pretty smart.   We still learned a thing or two. Black coffee is watered down expresso called a long coffee and eggs come scrambled, sunny side up or turned over.  Over easy was a new term for our waitress as well as the cook judging from the results.

After breakfast we hopped a ferry and went to the Taronga Zoo which is just delightful.
View from Taronga Zoo
We saw our first ever platypus and the other egg bearing monotreme mammal, the echidna,  The latter is famous for being the answer to a trivia question that we missed in a Cincinnati tournament.  What's most remarkable about this zoo is the backdrop of the Sydney Harbor.  Seems a little surreal to be staring at a giraffe with the Sydney Opera House off in the distance.  We spent the entire day at the zoo and plan on resting a bit then head out for dinner.  I've only done 16,500 steps so I need a few more.

Oh and one more discovery.  When you say hiking and thank you like an Aussie, it sounds like you are from Kentucky.  Now that's bloody remarkable.

Follow the leader. Big lizards.

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