Sunday, July 28, 2013

South King Street, Newtown, Sydney

We had the great pleasure to be staying in Erskineville with our friends upon arriving to Sydney. They just happened to live right off a great street called King Street which runs through the edge of Erskinville, into Newtown, and beyond. King Street is very cool and Newtown is a great place to explore, shop, and eat.

It was especially nice on a sunny afternoon, poking into the shops and stopping for coffee with a good friend, which is exactly what I did last Wednesday with Kaylee. One shop we walked into and actually met the designer of all the super cute clothes and jewelry. It was her shop! She made the clothes and ran the place. What a girl! I actually bought a dress and a shirt from her.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Trip to Taronga Zoo

Last week we took a trip out to the Taronga Zoo and we just happened to be so lucky as to pick the most beautiful day to do it on. The zoo is across the bay from the main part of Sydney and so we had to got to take a ferry. The views from the ferry were phenomenal!

When we arrived at the other side, we were allowed to take the Sky Train up to the zoo since we already had our tickets. Lucky us! (If you don't have your tickets already, you can take the bus up to the zoo but don't forget to take the Sky Train down after your visit because it's amazing.)

Once we got to the top, off we went exploring in the sunshine. Hope you enjoy the photos!

"Look how big this plant is!!"

a native

We saw a real platypus too, but didn't get a good picture of it. They are smaller than I thought!
tee hee hee

I think it's a boy...


The bird show was really cool!

The giraffes have the best view.

It was a really good day with good friends!

We Made it to Sydney

Here we are in Sydney, Australia! After traveling SE Asia and India and then being home for over three months, it's nice to try and get into a routine again. I say try because it's a bit hard after our mini-retirement of nearly eight months to get back to work! :)

We started looking for work right away and have managed to make a little money already. I have a small nanny gig two days a week and am looking for more work in the same field. Spencer had some temp work last week and just started this week working full time in a month-long position.  

We are currently staying with our friends, Kaylee and Gary, and they have been such great hosts showing us around, teaching us how to use public transport, how to look for jobs/apartments, and just generally being awesome. We can't thank them enough for all their generosity! Here's a photo of all of us at the zoo.

Even though we are wearing t-shirts in that picture, it does get (relatively) cold here too! That was an abnormally hot day and we got hot when walking out in the sun at the zoo. Today it's cloudy and rainy with a high of 63 degrees. Locals say it's the warmest winter since 1975 and I consider myself lucky to once again escape from a "real" winter. 

Sydney itself has been wonderful to explore. I'm loving all the little neighborhoods around the city. The shops are so cute and I love the old buildings. It's like Europe meets the old west over here. The people are really friendly and the food has been amazing. I can't imagine a better place to spend the next year of my life. I think I'm really going to love it here.

antique store wares out in Newtown

sidewalk seating in Bondi

LOVE in Bondi

under construction in CBD (downtown Sydney)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Then We Went Home

After the grand finale of Zurich, we finally came home to California. The first thing we did was eat Mexican food...and then we showered pretty quickly after that. It had been a significant number of hours since we'd had access to a shower!

We've been home for nearly three months now and most of it has been spent driving back and forth between my and Spencer's parents' houses. We've seen a lot of dear friends and spent lots of time with family. We got to go to four beautiful weddings and see almost everyone we love and missed for two years.

my brother's wedding

my sister in law's wedding

my cousin Brock's wedding

my friend Nichole's wedding
It was a hectic and super fun couple of months filled with so much love and laughter. Now, we're busy sorting through our things to decide what to pack, what to put in the storage unit, and what to get rid of. We've done this a couple times now and it does get easier with practice (thank goodness!).

On Sunday night we fly to Sydney, Australia to start our next adventure!! We're planning on staying down under for a year and will be both working and playing as much as we can. I'm beyond excited, I'm thrilled!

P.S. Here's where you can buy a print of that adorable bear hugging California

The Most Lovely Layover in Zurich, Switzerland

When booking our flights home, I realized the most amazing thing: long layovers aren't necessarily bad. A long layover in the right city could actually mean an added mini-trip!! We looked at dozens of flights, paying close attention to what time we would arrive and depart and how far the city was from the airport. We came across the flight we ended up taking and  decided it was perfect because it got in at 6:30am and gave us the whole morning to explore Zurich. Plus, the airport is practically inside the city and there is super efficient public transportation. Done and done.

Zurich is incredibly picturesque, so I'm sorry and you're welcome for all the photos in this post. There are so many beautiful details in Zurich. I loved all the old buildings and the graphic design on the posters in the streets.

We were extremely lucky to have our own native tour guide, Jeremias, who Katie met while traveling in Cambodia. He woke up early to take the first train of the morning to come get us at the airport. Then he took us to every cool part of the town in a span of about four hours. (Thank you, Jerry!!) Zurich is pretty small and we could walk everywhere easily. We walked through some small, charming shopping streets which were serenely empty due to our early arrival time.

We walked along the lake, where we saw some ducks and swans. Most of the boats were all covered with their winter coats and it was a bit windy but still pretty. Our warmest clothes for SE Asia were not doing us much good in the Swiss spring. We took a break at a coffee shop/bakery and enjoyed the hot coffee inside in the warm air.

After thoroughly warming up, we took a tram up to the university for a panoramic view of the city and a little glimpse of the lake. The tram was filled with students coming in for their morning classes. Everything was so clean and orderly. What a change from the day before in Mumbai!

We walked back into town and happened upon a little farmers market. It was so cute I wanted to just rent an apartment and never leave.

Next up: chocolate! Jeremias knew we wanted to buy some good Swiss chocolate but he also knew we were on a budget so he showed us the best of both worlds. First we went to a very famous, very expensive chocolate shop in the heart of the fancy shopping street. As we walked in he told us, "Don't buy anything. We're just going to look." It was beautiful and smelled divine. Everything was perfectly prepared and packaged.

 Then we went to a local market where we bought the chocolate that local people buy. There was an entire aisle of chocolate!! He showed us his favorite kinds (all about $2 a bar) and we bought a bunch. It was the best chocolate I've ever tasted. Epic score.

 It was the best layover I've ever had.