I couldn't keep the surprise upgrade a secret for too long, as even though I have known about it for months, I kept it under wraps as long as I possibly could. For fear that Hannah may make a scene at the ticket counter while trying in every way possible to prove that she was recently a bride in order to be awarded an upgrade she already owned, I told her en route to SFO. This was probably a good idea, as I fear for any ticket agent who tried to deny my bride an upgrade on her honeymoon, and I could not imagine the confusion as she tried to argue for something she didn't have to argue for...that sounds a lot like a fight we once had. The flight was a great and relaxing one, as you will see from the pictures that Hannah took of the menu, her complimentary bathroom kit, her sleeping while eating, watching a movie, and drinking. I think at one point Hannah said we should skip Australia and just fly back and forth a few times.
We arrived Sydney around 630am, and were greeted by a sweet little dog who worked for Australian customs. The dog sniffed around our peanut butter pretzels and dried mangoes, but luckily she did not sit down in front of our bags, as that would mean we were smuggling drugs into the country....luckily I did them all on the plane, as that's the best way to smuggle. We were then escorted to our hotel in a BMW 7-Series, by a nicely dressed but overtly racist driver who was Australian but of Greek descent. He apparently had been bullied as a child by Muslims, because he held quite a grudge against them. This was a conversation that no one wants to have at 7am after a 15 hour flight, but that did not stop the racist, Greek, Australian driver.
Our hotel, the Sydney Circular Quay Marriott, is not what one would call the most luxurious Marriott in the world, but after a bit if back and forth we were upgraded to the honeymoon suite, which was really like any other crappy room, but with an extra crappy room attached to it. All negativity aside, it is doing the trick, and Hannah managed to tell enough people that she was a bride and eventually they waived the upgrade charge....I look forward to a life of getting crappy rooms for less.
In order to avoid the impending sleep deprivation coma that would surely occur if we were to sit for too long, I inhaled several coffees, and we hit the town. We walked and walked and walked, and managed to find ourselves in only the most touristy of areas, those which you must visit once and never return to. We took a stroll through The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney, which is also the most touristy, so much so, that it is the one place in Sydney where tipping is expected. We ate a Margarita pizza at an Italian restaurant which was staffed mostly by Asian waiters, I figure they were of Italian lineage. I never knew Margarita pizzas were submerged in cheese, I guess they do things differently down under. I expect that things will differ outside of The Rocks.
As our cheese induced coma started to come on, we returned to the room to shower and dress, it was 3:30pm. At 7am we woke up. No, you haven't missed anything.
Day 2 - Bondi Beach to Coogee
We awoke bright and early at 7am and headed out to catch the bus to Bondi Beach. The 333 bus took us through some wonderful, local areas of town, ones that we definitely plan to visit over the next couple of days...specifically to drink. The bus ride took about 30 minutes and dropped us at Bondi Beach. Beautiful beaches, crashing waves, it was perfect. It reminded us a lot of California, the weather is dry, when in the sun it's warm, in the shade it's cool, and the water was a perfect temperature to cool us after a walk.
We then walked the coastal trail from Bondi to Coogee Beach, I was very disappointed to learn that it was not called Coochee, as that was a great name and a source of embarrassment as I had been looking for Coochee all day. We stopped in several towns along the 3 mile walk, having a delightful lunch in the small town of Bronte. The walk was fabulous, and just when it got too warm to continue we would stumble across another beach and jump in the waves to refresh ourselves.
We are now back at the hotel, and we are enjoying the champagne that came as a surprise gift from Laura and John, thanks guys!!
Tonight the plan is to visit the Sydney Opera House for dinner and drinks, but knowing the Goldbergs anything can happen!!!
More to come.....