What We Did:
Today was rich in fun, rich in flavour, rich in culture, and rich in adventure. Sometimes, life can just be a real feast. And when the weather hands you lemons, it’s OK to grab them by the rinds and squeeze the juice out of them. While Dad did some writing in the morning, the kids went to the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour. It’s quite the contrast to find such peaceful traditional gardens surrounded by the glass and concrete of downtown Sydney. There was also an opportunity for Mom and the kids to dress up, continuing our own tradition we started months ago at Sovereign Hill in Victoria. The kids fed the fat koi fish, stared at water dragons, and then it was the turn of the fish to feed us. We met Dad at Cafe Del Mar for an amazing lunch, more below. Then we hit the motorway for a drive into the Ourimbah State Forest of New South Wales. Mom, Dad and Jaci had to tick off the longest rollercoaster flying fox in the world, and the first of its kind in Australia. Without doubt the star of the show was Raquel, who waited patiently with Gali for the adults to fly through the trees, and then impressed everybody by conquering four challenging obstacle ropes courses – all by herself! More on that below too. Back in Sydney, we celebrated our successful forest adventures with another fabulously memorable and meaty meal. A sad farewell to our lovely friends, and that’s it for Sydney. Tomorrow we pick up our trailer, and north we head on a long road trip all the way up the coast to Queensland.
What We Ate:
Lunch: Hoo boy, where do we start? Kingfish ceviche with pomegranate, herb gnocchi with asparagus and shallots, pimento prawns with ginger and crispy garlic, fried zucchini blossoms with ricotta and roasted corn, mackerel tartare, washed down with a glass of Sauvingon Blanc. And best off all, a dessert called Golden Moon that consisted of marscarpone flash frozen with nitrogen!
Dinner: What do you order in one of the finest steakhouses in the city? Bountiful beef ribs, tenderloin steak, and for the kids, mac and cheese (and for the adults, fine cocktails) all served with a smile and a view over the water. Oh, and monkey gland sauce, which has neither monkey or glands, but is a South African BBQ sauce sweetened with nostalgia.
Where We Ate:
Lunch: We once listened to smooth quality beats on Cafe Del Mar chillout compilations. Now we eat them! Cafe del Mar in Darling Harbour has a refined menu with elements of Spanish, Italian, French, Greek, Turkish and Moroccan cuisines.
Dinner:Hurricanes Grill has become an institution since opening in Darling Harbour in 2008, inspired by the steakhouses of South Africa (hence the monkey gland sauce). Dad never fails to visit when in Sydney, with other locations in the city and around the country. The ribs are just ridiculously good.
My Favourite Pictures Today
Where We Slept:
Our final night at the Oaks Goldsbrough. As usual, the Oaks staff were wonderful and we learned a few tricks around the area, like the quality coffeeshops downstairs, crossing the railway tracks into Darling Harbour, deals at the Friendly grocery store, and using the Penthouse elevator. We’re sure going to miss our wonderful view of the city.
Sydney traffic can be tolerated provided you’re not in a rush and give yourself plenty of time, although if you’re living in the city, may we suggest owning a Ford Fiesta or Focus for the narrow streets. We learned that little girls will always go for pom-poms. That one should never underestimate the determination of a toddler. That Chinese shrines have steps because it protects them from evil spirits. That monkey gland sauce is yummy. That Gali cries when he sees his Mom flying through the trees.
Reflection of the Day
The Best Part:
Swinging on the tree-top rollercoaster and Raquel conquering the obstacle course. And those meals were pretty epic too!
The Worst Part:
Raquel: It’s really hard because today was my best day, but it was when I scraped my back coming in too quickly on the biggest purple zipline. For Mom and Dad: Saying goodbye to our Sydney friends and family.
We'll Always Remember
- Name: Jason
- Favourite Place: Koh Samui
- I Love Travel Because: I love seeing new things, new places, and meeting new people
- My Advice for Kids: Do as you're told
- Name: Jen
- Favourite Place: The Crystal Cascades in Cairns
- I Love Travel Because: It gives me a new perspective
- My Advice for Kids: Stay a kid forever
- Name: Budha
- Favourite Place: The Himalayas
- I Love Travel Because: Meeting different people and trying new experiences
- My Advice for Kids: Follow your dreams and do what you want to do
- Name: Georgia
- Favourite Place: The lookout at Forrester's Beach, NSW
- I Love Travel Because: I love experiencing different cultures
- My Advice for Kids: Be open to diversity
- Name: Jess
- Favourite Place: Samoa
- I Love Travel Because: It’s the only thing you can spend money on and get more back
- My Advice for Kids: Combine a passion with your job and you’ll never work a day in your life
- Name: Liam
- Favourite Place: Florence
- I Love Travel Because: of the history
- My Advice for Kids: Be happy, have fun
- Name: Paul
- Favourite Place: Terrigal, NSW
- I Love Travel Because: I love seeing different parts of nature
- My Advice for Kids: No dream is too small, go get it
- Name: Caitlin
- Favourite Place: Royal National Park, NSW
- I Love Travel Because: I like exploring somewhere new
- My Advice for Kids: Never forget how to play
Today's Random Thing
A Note from Mom and Dad
As Dad hummed the theme song to Indiana Jones, Raquel wowed us all on the ropes course at Treetop Adventures. She was clearly scared and out of her comfort zone, but she stuck with it, closed her eyes, said “I can do this!” and showed an independence and spirit we’ve never seen before. She was having fun, but we were positively beaming. Kids age at a slow and subtle pace, especially when you’re around them all the time. Some days we notice Gali seems a little bigger, or Raquel has a different look in her eye, but can’t quite put our finger on it. Today, as our little girl balanced and swung and climbed, her development – and the confidence that she has built these past few months on the road – was strong and clear.