Weekend in Sydney
A couple of months ago, I went on my third solo trip since the boys have been born, to Sydney, Australia. The main reason was to visit my good friend Sarah who's been living there for a year. It was also a time-out for me after a few stressful months while we dealt with the aftermath of Liam's residency visa being declined by NZ Immigration as well as moving to a new house.
Although I spent the majority of my time with Sarah, it was really nice to have some time on my own without the kids in tow, to be able to put my own wants and needs first, which becomes such a luxury once you're a parent. I also truly believe everyone should travel alone whenever they can as it can be a wonderful way to regroup, to remind yourself of who you are when you've no one else to be accountable to, and just be.
But I digress. The last time Sarah and I saw each other was in March 2014 in Germany, when I was heavily pregnant with Nolan, so I was really excited to catch up with her and to spend some quality girly time together.
I booked into an AirBnB room, which turned out to be at the same apartment block where Sarah lives in the Pyrmont area, a handy five-minute walk away from Darling Harbour. It made things really easy for us, and I highly recommend AirBnB for accommodation choices (often more affordable) apart from your typical hotels. The weather, unfortunately, wasn't as accommodating. It rained for the most part I was there, although the weather did clear up on occasion to allow some sunshine through.
I had the Friday to myself while Sarah was working to wander around the city. I'd been to Sydney before, once as a teenager with my family, and another time in my early twenties to attend my cousin's wedding. However, I don't believe I've truly seen and experienced the city until this visit - as an adult, mostly on foot, on my own, and with hours and hours to meander and explore and stop for food, coffee and wine - just the way I like to travel.
It was pretty easy walking around the main touristy spots from my base in Pyrmont. On my own, I visited Darling Harbour, and from there made my way slowly to the Opera House, Circular Quay and The Rocks, where I arrived in time to experience the Friday Foodie Market, which I thoroughly enjoyed and where I inhaled a humongous pork bun topped with some of the most glorious crackling I've ever had the joy of sinking my teeth into.
Over the next few days, Sarah and I visited more local markets, had plenty of delicious food and wine (I was introduced to, and am now absolutely in love with, the Lamb Gozlemes from Gallon Wine Bar in Pyrmont), indulged in a wine-tasting session at her apartment, and I was even surprised with a decadent massage session on my second-last day there!
We walked everywhere, browsed for used books, stopped for a rest (and a glass of wine) when we were tired, chatted for hours, and simply enjoyed the pleasure of each other's company without any pressure to really do anything or be anywhere, which was such a nice change of pace.
On our last evening together, we had dinner on a rainy evening at Peg Leg, a new-ish pirate-themed bar in Pyrmont where I had an absolutely delicious plate of Fish and Chips that I'm still dreaming about.
It was such an amazing time catching up with someone I love but don't see often enough, getting re-acquainted with a city that's fading in my memory and most importantly, having some time to just be me - not a mum, not a wife, but simply a person free to explore and do the things she loves, all on her own time.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Sydney and thank my hubby for stepping in and being a solo-dad for four days!
As for my darling friend, I'm glad to say our goodbye this time won't be as long as the last, as she's heading my way in three short weeks to spend Christmas with my family!