Day 1: Boots on the ground!

All in all, the 15-hour flight wasn’t bad. Premium economy really was a godsend…big seats, more recline, decent food, excellent in-seat entertainment, top-notch service…I can’t imagine making that trip in economy. I even managed to steal a few hours of sleep, as did Nellie, so when we arrived we weren’t zombies. It took a little while to clear customs and collect our bags, but then lo and behold — Australia!

My brother met us at the airport, stuffed all our bags into his little VW convertible and drove us to his place, not far from the airport. We dropped our stuff and jumped back in the car, eager to take advantage of our energy while we still had it. He drove us through the CBD (central business district, aka “downtown”) and across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Kirribilli where we got some great views looking south across the harbour.

We did a walk around the Cremorne Reserve where we got more great views, and saw three kookaburras (which aparently is quite a big deal). I also nearly walked face first into a spider web, complete with large spider. Happily, I stopped just short; it would not have done to have begun screaming like a little girl just a few hours in to the visit.

We drove back across the bridge, parked in The Rocks (which is a neighbourhood and not, as Nellie had hoped, a pile of rocks on which to climb) and had lunch & a couple of beers at the Lord Nelson, thus beginning our effort to sample all the best beer places in Sydney. We also discovered that using the term “pot” of beer (which means a half-pint) doesn’t mean anything in NSW the way it does in Queensland, and combined with my Canadian accent, ordering one just gets you a full pint. So you go with it.

We drove back to my brother’s place where, despite my best efforts, I had a bit of a nap. I woke up long enough to shake off the woozy, eat some tasty salmon for dinner, and then crash hard. In Australia. W00t!

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