Monday, February 22, 2010

Coming to an End - Sydney

After spending 2 more days at sea we made it back to Sydney. The ship docked and we were one of the first groups off! The hotel we were staying at was only about 2 blocks away so we just grabbed all of our luggage and walked. It seemed a lot further with Dustin having 2 big suitcases and the car seat and I had the stroller, a medium sized suitcase and the big diaper bag. Once we got to the hotel we arranged for the airport shuttle to pick us up so we could go get our rental car. It would have been better to just use a taxi but we had booked a round trip ticket when arrived in Sydney 2 weeks earlier. But we finally made it to the rental car place and after a little shuffling got the car (they told us to wait for the silver Camry but it turned out there was ANOTHER person behind us that had a silver Camry too and we were almost ready to pull out when they figured out they gave us the wrong car). We had decided that we would spend that day at the Blue Mountains which was about a 2 hour drive from Sydney. Well, we picked a HORRIBLE day to go to the Blue Mountains. There wasn't much we could do since we had reservations at the zoo the next day and we were flying out the next so we just made the best of it. There are not many pictures from the day because the ones we did take (maybe 5!) all look something like this:
{A Beautiful Waterfall disguised by the fog and mist}

It was WAY too foggy to see the Three Sisters. We walked down to another waterfall but we didn't take the camera because of the rain. Then we decided to at least take the cable car and the gondola ride which ended up being funny since we were just running from one place to another trying to stay as dry as possible. It is a good thing Grace likes the water because she was pretty soaked! The cable car was REALLY, REALLY steep. When we got on it we were almost laying down and once we started going down we were almost leaning forward. I noticed a sign that said no small children allowed. Oops! I guess they don't enforce it because they saw Dustin holding Grace on his lap and they told us the best way to sit on the way down.
It took an extra long time to get back to the hotel because 4 mudslides had shut down the highway we were on. We were stuck in traffic for quite a while and it was dinner time. Grace was a good trooper... but she had Elmo to keep her entertained!

The next day was our zoo tour! The couple who were with us on our tour in Dunedin had done this before the cruise and told us all about it. It sounded pretty neat so we said we would look into it. That night they brought everything we needed to book the tour and get there! We were really glad we were able to do this because I think it was the highlight of our time in Sydney.

{At the entrance}

From our hotel we walked to the ferry and took it over to the zoo. From there we rode in a gondola up to the main entrance. It was really cool looking down at the zoo! We had a little time to kill so we looked around in a gift shop while we were waiting on our tour to begin.

Once out tour guide met us he led us to the Australia section of the zoo. He told us a lot about some of the animals and gave us the chance to get up close to some of them.

{We got to feed this emu!}

{Grace got to pet the Wallaby}

Dustin, the wallaby, and our guide}

After seeing the kangaroos (which are HUGE) we were off to the Koala bears! Since koalas can become stressed very easily and a stressed koala loses a third of his life we were not able to touch it. They have 7 bays of koalas at the zoo so none of them have to "work" more than 1/2 day every 2 1/2 days.

{This is Darwin}

Then we got to go and see how the food is prepared. Afterwards they gave us some of the glider food to try which was really sweet. It was made from mostly honey!

After we left the kitchen we went into a small room to see a feather tail glider which was really little. They had some funny stories to tell about the little gliders!

{behind the scenes}

I am not sure what this animal is but the guide brought him out to the hallway so we could see him. Then we got to go INSIDE on of the marsupial exhibits to see a big glider. There was a little animal called a pottaroo, which is the smallest type of kangaroo. It was about the size of the animal in the picture below. His name was Eddie and he had a foot fetish. But Grace thought he was the funniest thing ever and I think he liked Grace too!

Then it was time for lunch. Our tour ended at the cafe where we had "tea" but we went ahead and ordered some fish and chips for Grace. I think the birds like fish and chips too!

{Laughing at the bird}

Then we decided to take Grace to the kids zoo area. They had this really neat play area with water tables! I had brought Grace an extra shirt (since the day before we tried to find one at the gift shop because she was so wet but had no luck) so we took off her socks, shoes, and jeans and let her play. She was actually wearing more than any of the other kids at the play area.

After she played for quite a while we decided we would finish up our day with a seal show. The seals were very well trained! After seeing the seals we walked by some more exhibits on our way to the exit. It was a great day!!

{seal show}

{Great view from the zoo}

{our ship and the Opera House}

That afternoon we took Grace swimming at the hotel and then after a bath we put on PJ's and had pizza from Pizza Hut. The pizza definitely tasted a little different and the size was WAY different. We ended up getting large pizza because the medium was about the size of a small and the large was like our medium.

The next day we had a late flight so we had lots of time to kill. We had pretty much seen everything we wanted to in Sydney so after we checked out of the hotel we headed to a mall. Then we went to another mall because after asking a few people where we could find an indoor play area (we wanted to take Grace to a park but it was raining again) a lady suggested another mall on the way to the airport. I got to shop in Target and KMart and as we were leaving we saw the Australian Wal-Mart - the Big W. I wish I could have looked around in there but we needed to get to the airport because we had heard they were very strict about check-in times. Oh, well... we didn't have enough room to take anything else back! Again, Grace did very well on the flights. We had overnight flights which were nice because she would normally sleep during that time. The lady next to me was a bit concerned that I had not woken Grace up to eat when they brought by food. I wanted to ask her if she normally has a meal at 2am!

When we made it back to Okinawa, Kelly and Maggie were there to take us home. Grace was SO excited to see her friend again! And I think Maggie was pretty excited that she got to go in "Heather and Dustin's" and play with Gracie's toys before going home. Now we have been back home for 2 weeks and I am starting to get ready for our next big trip. Grace and I will be leaving sometime soon for the states!


JG said...

Ooh! Are you coming here??

I've never seen a wallaby before. Very cute. And those pictures of Grace playing in the water tables - adorable :)

d.a.r. said...

I had no idea that Koalas got stressed so easily, haha! How weird!

I have loved reading about your trip, what an amazing opportunity you guys have had!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin