September 29, 2013

Birthday Edition Of The Weekend That Was

Posted in: Family

^ Toby enjoying life at his aunty Dani and uncle Darren’s place.

When Toby was a puppy we made sure that he was in a lot of different environments. We did this in the hope that he would become confident and nonchalant in all sorts of places and situations. We also made sure he had lots of overnight sleepovers at various places so he would know how to behave if we ever had to leave him with someone for a long period of time. This has definitely paid off and allows Andrew and I to leave him with people when we go away and not worry about what he may be up to or the problems he may be causing.

A place Toby loves to go to is my sister Dani’s house. Last Tuesday, my sister came to pick Toby up for a five day sleepover while Andrew and I went on my birthday vacation. Toby had a ball visiting beaches, having cafe dates, watching the AFL grand final and mingling with Dani and Darren’s friends. While Toby was having a ball so were we.

On October the 8th I’m turning the big Three Zero and it’s a little overwhelming. Thinking about leaving the land of the twenties is like leaving a holiday that was so much fun, you know you will never experience something like that again. Even if you return to the same destination and recreate the same experiences, it just won’t be the same.

For me, the scariest thing about turning thirty is realising that thirty is half way to sixty, argh! I’m sure most people who cross the boarder from twenty to thirty, feel like this, but once they get to their new destination and look around, thirty is not so bad. Your thirties are a time for new adventures, new highlights, new memories and new milestones and I am certainly looking forward to all that.

So, to celebrate the end of a chapter, I am having a two week birthday celebration, starting off with a five day mini vacation with my favourite person, Andrew. We decided to be tourists in our own country for once and fly to Sydney where I would do my two favourite things, eat and drink. Our friend Dana helped us create a food trail around Sydney and it was awesome. We stayed at the Shangri-La which overlooked the harbour and was central to all the pockets I wanted to visit in Sydney. This was my first time exploring Sydney and I have to say, Sydney is beautiful. I was surprised how much I loved this place.

This was easily the best birthday celebration I have ever had. What’s better than waking up each morning, opening your curtains and being greeted by sparkling blue water, the Oprea House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then getting ready to complete only one mission for the day, find excellent food?! It was a dream. Here are some photos of the highlights of our trip, the only thing that would have made this holiday any better was if Toby had come along. Sydney, thank you for your awesomeness, Dani thank you for way too many cocktails at Icebergs and Andrew thank you for allowing me to drag you all over Sydney to find food, you’re the best. And obviously my time wouldn’t have been so carefree if I didn’t have someone like Dani and Darren looking after my fur son, thank you!

^ Day one of our mini vacation and Andrew finds a very appropriate book.

^ Ready to find food for the next 5 days.

^ First stop, Eathouse Diner, which is located downtown Redfern. The Eathouse Diner rocks a cool South American flavour with lots of soul and bright fun colours.

^ The Eathouse Diner food. YUM!

^ Stopping by a photography exhibition.

^ I love Thai, even bad Thai is still good but Big Boy’s Thai was seriously amazing, such fresh flavours. Big Boy’s Thai knows how to throw a party in your mouth.

^ Andrew and I fell in love with Thai squid salad in Thailand last year. We have been searching for a place that does Thai squid salad like the ones we had in Thailand ever since. Big Boy Thai came very close.

^ The best iced coffee I have ever had came from this whole in the wall (literally, it was tiny) coffee store, Coffee Tea and Me.

^ Sydney put on the best weather show while we were there, bright blue skies and days warm enough where iced cold beers went down a treat.

^ Cheers, to you Sydney.

^ Our one and only tourist snap.

^ The sun rising across the Opera House.

^ I was able to tick off hanging out at the Iceberg pool from my bucket list. I only wish it was warmer, the water was pretty freezing but the views were incredible.

^The Iceberg Bar was stunning, we enjoyed lots of cocktails here while taking in the beauty that is Bondi.

^ Inside the Iceberg Bar.

^ We trekked for an hour to get here, The Bourke Street Bakery. It was so worth it.

^ Their fennel and pork sausage roll with homemade ketchup was out of this world. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

^ And for breakfast dessert, ginger crème brûlée, amazballs.

^ Ever since Masterchef introduced me to Adriano Zumbo, I have wanted to go to his store. We caught a 40 minute ferry to Manly just to get one of his patisseries, again, it was worth it.

^ The Dirty Dani was in here, yum, yum, yum.

^ On one of the nights we went to a comedy show. We saw Lucy Gransbury who is my best friend’s friend, we have seen two of her acts and the reason we keep going back for more is because her performances are smart and hilarious.

^ We heard great things about the restuarant Ms. G and were really excited to try it. It has a no reservation, just walk in policy so we decided to have a late dinner to increase our chances of getting a table. We got there at 9.30pm but we still had to wait for an hour for a seat. We couldn’t be bothered waiting so we went down the road for cheap and cheerful dumplings.

sydney72^ Dumplings, extra crispy.

^ Messina, oh em gee, no other place will ever live up to gelato like this. We made a mad dash for this place one night at 10.30 hoping to get there before close. We made it and waited in line which snaked out the doors, it was as if we were waiting in line to get into a club. The next day, after lunch I asked Andrew if he was keen on walking for an hour back to this place and he replied with, it’s your birthday so you can do whatever you want, bless his heart.

^ The walls of Messina.

^ The best news I heard while in Sydney, Messina also has one shop in Melbourne which you can view here. Music to my ears and mouth!

^ Paramount Coffee Project was beautiful, a big open space, soft r ‘n’ b beats, white walls with marble top benches and high charcoal stools, love.

^ Oh, and the food was amazing. I really need to find some more synonyms for amazing.

^ Nom, nom, nom.

^ We spent our last night in Sydney at Tio’s Cerveceria, a fun, cute mexican bar. Melbourne really needs a space like this, a dark cave filled with tecquilla and beers where you can gather with friends on long tables and have a great time.

^ Popcorn on arrival, my kind of place.

^ The only photo Andrew and I got together, this one is not going in a frame, ha!

^ Good bye Sydney, you were so much fun.