Not A Newbie Anymore!

Sydney Travel Blog

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I've been living here for over 7 months now and it finally dawned on me that I'm no longer able to hide behind the "I'm new here" excuse anymore.  This was made very apparent when an old friend from home and his girlfriend came for a visit from his current home, Seoul.  They had spent the last 2 months on a grand road trip around Australia and they were on their last few days before flying out.  So it was my duty to play tour guide.

They arrived on Saturday and after some catching up and some story swapping from our travels, we got on our walking shoes and headed for the CBD.  We decided to start with the normal tourist basics for first time visitors to Sydney.  Well, Mel had been here before but it was Sean's first time.  We covered a lot of ground visiting the Sydney Opera House, walking through the Botanical Gardens, strolling through the Art Gallery in the Domain, past St. Mary's Cathedral, then down through Hyde Park passing the Anzac Memorial til we got to Museum Station and hopped on a bus to Bondi Beach.

I thought I'd drag the whole crew out to the Travbuddy meet-up happening that night at Bondi Hotel.  I was the only TB member in our group of four but since we were all travelers (and loved chatting about it!) I figured everyone would fit right in. 

The meet-up turned out to be a great success!  Well, I thought it was, but it was my first so what do I know?  Shaun, the TBer who organized the meet-up, thought the turn out was a bit smaller than he had hoped, but it was still good times - so in my books that equals success!  When we arrived at Bondi Hotel there were about four others already there having some drinks, and we were soon joined by several others.  I think at our largest we numbered about a dozen or so.  The funniest part was that Mel ran into a couchsurfing friend at the TB meet-up.  It was a hilarious coincidence because Mel was trying to get a hold of Beth that afternoon to see what she was up to and low and behold, they both ended up at the meet up together.  Small world indeed. 

After the meet-up, we rounded out the night be heading to this great bar in the basement of the Hilton Hotel near the QVB.  Marble Bar is exactly that - with walls of marble!  The gorgeous bar has an interesting history if you ever get around to reading the cocktail menu.  There's no entry fee on Saturdays despite the live band.  This was the second time Rod and I had been to Marble Bar and both Saturdays there was an awesome live funk/soul cover band.  If you're ever in Sydney, Marble Bar is a great place to have some yummy cocktails and dance to great tunes.

Sunday was spent sleeping in and taking it easy.  In the afternoon we went back to the Art Gallery to properly view all the exhibits.  I spent some more time enjoying the Phil Collins karaoke exhibit - it's so brilliant!  It's an excellent piece demonstrating the universal love for music and its ability to inspire.  Then we indulged in some delectable affagatos and chocolate truffles at the Lindt Cafe in Darlingharbour at sunset.  Not strictly a tourist thing to do - more a yummy thing to do!  ;)

Other yummy things included Thai dinner in Newtown with some of Sean and Mel's friends from Seoul.  Tuesday we met up with them and Beth again for some Nepalese food in Glebe.  Mmmm...... food.......!   Love the momos!  Want mo' momos!  Several bottles of wine and many travel stories later, it was nearing the end of my visit with Sean and Mel.  They left the next day thus ending my first official role as tour guide to friends from home.  Having spent the last several days actually knowing what to do and how to go about getting there every time, I realized that I really have been in Sydney for quite some time now.  It was like my being a capable tour guide was some kind of threshold I passed.

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photo by: Sunflower300