I know this is a cupcake blog and I promise to get back to that but for now, I'm posting about our awesome adventures in Australia.
Landed in Sydney and went immediately to the hotel, where they managed to find us a room at 7:00AM. Breakfast at the hotel and we were off. We decided to find a Vodofone store for a SIM card and Pandora for my Australia charm. We strolled to Darling Harbor (with Wagamama for lunch along the way) and a stop at Redoak for yummy beer to wait out the rain. Since it was raining and cold we ended up at the aquarium where were saw platypuses for the first time along with dugong (which looks very similar to manatees) and tons of other animals. A drink was in order after spending that much time around screaming kids (which is universal in all countries and all aquariums apparently). We sat up on the second story deck of the bar called The Helm right next to the aquarium overlooking the harbor. From there, we took the ferry back to circular quay, by our hotel and found a little market near our hotel. People were selling anything from corn on a stick to organic soap and tons of neat crafts. We picked up a sun necklace and finally made it back to the hotel in time to see the cruise ship off from the roof of the hotel on the pool deck. As the ship left port we finally got a view of the famous and beautiful Opera House from our room. By then, we were famished and walked to a microbrewery called Lord Nelson where we got delicious beer and food before retiring for the night.
Woke up fairly early and caught the ferry to Manly Beach. Breakfast consisted of a Brekkie Wrap for me and Angry Onions for James. Apparently Burger King is called Hungry Jacks here and has different (tastier) options. The ferry ride was pretty intense in some spots from higher than normal swells but fun and beautiful nonetheless. We wandered around Manly for a bit, exploring the small craft market and ships before getting ice cream (me) and a chicken kabob (James). Our goal was to hit up the two microbreweries and wander along the beach for the day. I'm proud to say mission accomplished. 4 Pines was our first stop where I had amazing stout and James had a cask ale and pale ale. Next was some tai food nearly next door. I thankfully got mild and was quite happy. James on the other hand tried a chile in his hot dish and said it was the hottest thing he had ever eaten although the rest of the dish was apparently good. We then wondered back towards he beach for our final microbrewery of the day - Murray's. There we sat looking out over the water, drinking double IPA and single IPA (James) and porter (me). From there, we got the ferry back to the Rocks where we watched the next cruise ship leave before heading out to a German restaurant nearby fir good food, good beer, and a surprisingly good polka band.
We finally made it to the zoo! There were koaloas, wallabies, kangaroos, poisonous reptiles, and a myriad of other animals to be seen! I dragged James to the seal show at 11AM where we saw a New Zealand seal among other species, all of whom were adorable. There was even a mountain goat exhibit with a fake mountain. The meerkats were posing for us, with one lying drunkingly on his back sunning himself. The zoo also had some amazing views of Sydney to boot. Mid afternoon, after we were both zooed out, we caught the ferry back and walked across the Harbor Bridge, which is much taller than I though, especially when you see giant sailboat under you feet. After a quick stop at the Apple store and hotel, we went on for dinner at Sailer Tai. James got braised beef and I got soft shell crab plus the kitchen sent us a small appetizer for free, all of which was delicious. We the walked along the cruise ship terminal, attempting to find a micro cache, though both of us had a slight uneasiness with sticking our hands in dark places without seeing what could be lurking in them so we didn't look too hard. A quick drink at the Irish pub rounded out our last night in Sydney.