thursday began with another mat pilates class and a soy flat white from porch. then it was off to stretch a different set of muscles. my shopping muscles with a visit to the surrey hills neighborhood for some boutique perusal. M had also recommended that i visit a place called reuben hills which he claimed has “the best coffee in sydney” and tasty baleadas (a dish made with eggs, queso fresco, and black beans). so armed with bus tickets and a general idea of where i was headed, i embarked on yet another adventure through the streets of sydney.
so remember how i told you that i could get lost inside of a paper bag? if there was any doubt of my ability to do just that, this particular afternoon corroborated it. there were multiple times when i had to an about face because i was traveling in the opposite direction of where i needed to be going. this is precisely why joey’s whole “get in my map” theory was brilliant in that episode of friends when they are navigating london. anyway, after a few dozen wrong turns, i FINALLY made it to reuben hills for that deliciously rich coffee (so M was right, per usual) and their version of bircher muesli. i’m not gonna lie, RH had nothing on my porch. but i was glad i had at least ventured outside of bondi for the afternoon. i probably should have stuck to the baleadas…
following my meal, i browsed the shops on crown street. i was [ ] close to pulling the trigger on a really stunning architectural dress (very un-j.crew, but still fun) from a little boutique, but decided that my $80 was probably better spent elsewhere. the saleslady was super sweet though and a part of me wished i had just bought the dress so that she could have gotten a bit more commission that day. i browsed through a few more stores before finally locating the proper bus to take me back to bondi. once back at the apartment, i changed -layered my chambray over a blue and white striped dress and threw my hair up in a top knot, then it was off to meet M.
this evening in particular may have been one of my favorites in sydney. we started the night by taking photos on the other side of the harbor which offered a different view of the opera house. M snapped this one of me as i gazed out over the horizon (you know, contemplating the meaning of life) and i love it:
have i mentioned he’s really talented? this one was actually taken on film. yeah, like old school film that you used to drop off at CVS to get developed. i’ve decided that film is super fun because, let’s be honest, there are very few true surprises left in life. twitter spoils season finales and people find out the sex of their baby with 4D ultrasounds. but with film, you really have no idea how your photo turned out until you get it back from the dark room. i appreciated M throwing it back to a simpler time. especially if it meant having to wait for shots like this one.
we ended up at a bar called the “bar at the end of the wharf” and you know what, i appreciate a bar that states precisely what it is in its name. there we sipped pre-dinner libations and took in this gorgeous view:
(that’s a lemon-lime bitters in case you were wondering)
that evening M took me through a different part of the city, pointing out various points of interests along the way. after a bit of sight-seeing, we both had worked up enough of an appetite for round two of thai food. what can i say? i’m a big fan of what the people of thailand are doing culinarily. we headed to sailor’s thai and snagged a table on the patio. it was the perfect evening to sit outside and take in the balmy summer weather. i don’t even care if you make my hair frizz, sydney, i love everything about you. to combat the spice from our meal, i pleaded with M to take me to the infamous messina gelato that he and B had lauded as “the best gelato you’ll ever have.” oh hey dairy intolerance, i’m sorry in advance. y’all, it was well worth disregarding my allergy for. i can’t remember the exact flavor combination of the one i had but i know it had one flavor that i was a big fan of and that flavor was YUM.
which brings us to friday morning. early morning. if someone were to ask me what my top memories from my vacation were, this particular experience would fight for first place honors.
when M tapped my shoulder and whispered “get up!” at 5:15 a.m., i’m not gonna lie, i thought it was some kind of cruel joke. but i shot up and got dressed because after two days of hitting the snooze button, today was the day we had decided to beat the sunrise. armed with cameras and the tripod, we ventured out onto the nearby tidepools to set up shop for the sun’s arrival over bondi. i’ve often said that if given the choice, i’d pick a sunrise over a sunset any day. there’s just something so pure and unadulterated about the dawn. it’s like the Lord hits the reset button and we’re given 24 more hours to do things differently if we so please. anyway, experiencing those first moments prior to the sun’s arrival over the lapping waves that morning affirmed my long-standing love affair with the sunrise. and then the sky was set aflame with hues of cinnamon, tangerine, and citron.
i snuck this shot of the photographer in action. he was pretty pumped it got so many likes on instagram:
then i let the professional work his magic and fulfilled my role as part-time model.
following the sunrise photo shoot, we caffeinated ourselves before M headed off to work and i, to my last pilates class of the trip. though every part of me would have been perfectly content to go to porch yet again, i ventured to trio for a takeaway granola breakfast bowl instead. it was a fair alternative. after properly fueled, i logged one last coastal walk in the mid-afternoon, making sure to apply copious layers of sunscreen this time (fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, well, be ready to pass the aloe) and spent the rest of the afternoon packing for the second leg of vacation. the leg where M actually got to be on vacation, too. we met B for dinner that evening at panama house and then walked down a few shops to the stuffed beaver, a quintessential dive bar where we watched nadal beat federer for a spot in the australian open finals.
see you in two days, rafa, i thought. for that night ended our time in sydney for a week’s time. it was off to melbourne in the morning and to rod laver arena to cross one big item off of my life’s bucket list. and while i was pretty sad to be leaving sydney after becoming so accustomed to navigating its borders, i was pretty pumped to be spending more time with my traveling companion. i’m a fairly independent person but when you’re by yourself for that many hours during the day you can get pretty lonely, so i was looking forward to having a buddy with me for more than just the evening. we were entering being together for 24/7 mode. i prayed M would survive.
to be continued…