Month of Love: Sydney, Australia

For the final leg of our trip to Australia, the Bear and I stayed at Darling Harbour in Sydney. We arrived late in the evening, and the views of the Harbour at night were just gorgeous! February was the Month of Love in Darling, so romance was in the air the minute we stepped outside of our hotel room.
IMG_2425-s(The Bear took all the photos, unless he or food are in it!)

This wall was covered in chalk paint where lovers could leave a message. I adored reading all the love notes. IMG_2434-s The city lights were stunning as reflected on the Harbour waters. IMG_2438-s IMG_2424-s Hearts could be found at every nook and cranny! IMG_2453-sCouples could even take a private boat ride in these little love boats above. IMG_2444-sAfter dinner the Bear and I stopped for desert at N2 Gelato, where a bunch of mad scientists made gelato before your eyes by using liquid Nitrogen.
IMG_2456-sThe following day we spent cruising the streets of downtown Sydney.

20140224_083748-sWe stopped by the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Can you believe that people actually climb the top of that bridge?! Talk about scary!IMG_2182-s I was happy enjoying the views from the ground. IMG_2206-s IMG_2301-s 20140224_122947-s Later we enjoyed lunch at Yuki’s at Quay, as recommended by Brittany.  The sushi was incredible and you can’t beat that view of the Opera House!  IMG_2258-sAfter lunch we waddled around the Circular Quay for a close up of the Sydney Opera House.

IMG_2325-sAfter wandering around the Sydney Botanical Gardens, we decided to discover the city from above so we went to the Sydney Tower Eye.

IMG_2359-s Sydney is known for it’s blue and green… that’s blue sky and green trees. IMG_2384-s IMG_2370-sThe only way to top our day in Sydney, was to go to Bondi Beach the following day! I am sure you have heard of Bondi because it’s one of the most famous tourist beaches in Australia.

IMG_2557-sEven though it’s a tourist beach, it’s still absolutely beautiful!
IMG_2504-s IMG_2477-sIMG_2535-s Plus, a short walk around the corner you can find some of the most beautiful ocean waters and cliffs.
IMG_2575-s IMG_2584-sIn the middle of the above picture, you can see two of the smaller beaches within walking distance from Bondi. We spent an hour or two on Tamarama Beach, as seen below.

IMG_2593-sAfter a lovely beach day, the Bear and I spent our final evening in Australia at Darling Harbour. As you know from the previous pictures, it is simple beautiful, and they also have some of the best dining experiences along the Harbour. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I am running a marathon this weekend!

IMG_2610-sI already miss my time in Australia. The people are among the friendliest, the beaches are among the bluest, the cities are among the cleanest, and the reef… oh the reef and it’s glory! My next trip to Australia cannot come soon enough!

Reef and Wildlife in Cairns, Australia

Today we are going to talk about my adventures at Cairns, Australia! I know you probably just want to see my Great Barrier Reef pictures, but stay tuned! There is so much more to see from Cairns! 613-sJust my little blue friend from the reef!

The first day the Bear and I arrived in Cairns we spent poolside enjoying the ocean (not swimmable) view at the Esplanade.

IMG_0915-s(All land pictures were taken by the Bear, unless he is in it).
IMG_0922-sAs I told you yesterday, I was keeping up on all the blog and Instagram posts while in Australia. The Bear caught me in the photo above.

IMG_0985-sThe following day we took the railway to the Kuranda Rainforest, where we spent the day enjoying the scenic views and wildlife. IMG_1000-s IMG_1060-s 20140221_092923-sIMG_1170-s IMG_1199-sJust a little waterfall!

IMG_1371-s Once we were in Kuranda, we hung out with a few tropical birds. IMG_1248-s The birds will do just about anything for a peanut or sunflower seed. IMG_1246-s IMG_1377-sOn our way down from Kuranda, we took the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway…

IMG_1440-s IMG_1417-s …where we saw wild birds in the tree tops! IMG_1411-sThat evening we spent in the small town of Cairns. I may have even done a handstand backbend in graffiti alley.

IMG_2095-sOn our final full day in Cairns we went to Green Island and the outer Great Barrier Reef. At Green Island, I saw…

GOPR0071-s…claws the size of a medium dog…GOPR0065-s …a giant blue starfish…GOPR0080-s …turtles…GOPR0079-s GOPR0078-s …lots of turtles…GOPR0034-s …a jellyfish, eek!…GOPR0040-s…and a little stingray looking up at me!

After snorkeling at Green Island, I was beyond excited to go to the reef!

IMG_1943-sAnd it didn’t disappoint! GOPR0145-s Oh the colors!G0430311-s And the fish!G0260255-s G0900517-s Such blue water!G0250251-s And blue fish!GOPR0173-s GOPR0160-s GOPR0109-s I may have even touched a turtle there! Shh! Don’t tell!G0090203-sI couldn’t leave the reef without saying goodbye to my giant blue fish friend!

One thing I learned while in Cairns is that fish and birds can be quite friendly. I never realized how pet-like they can be. Plus, the city and reef were absolutely gorgeous! I am already planning my next trip.

Upside Down in Down Under Melbourne

Hello!!!!!!! It has been too long! While I have been enjoying my time in Australia over that last two weeks, I have not forgotten about you! I have been reading all your blog posts silently while traveling along the Great Ocean Road. No big deal!

IMG_0736I have decided to recap each of the three cities the Bear and I visited in separate posts this week. Today we start with Melbourne, Australia.  It was a long 17 hour flight from LAX to Melbourne, but every hour on the plane was worth Australia’s glory.  It was absolutely magnificent!  Once we landed, the Bear and I went exploring the city.

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All of the photos were taken by the Bear, unless the Bear is in the photo! ;) 20140217_140504 IMG_0250

Melbourne is a wonderful city. I just love the combination of modern and old world architecture.

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All of the locals were young business people, who were absolutely fabulous.20140217_161609-s 20140217_142425-s

Melourne is filled with little arcades and alley ways with endless amounts of dinning and shopping.

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And I just love the Melbourne style!

After a little shopping, the Bear and I went to the Skydeck 88, where we could see the entire city.

IMG_0292-s A view from the Skydeck. IMG_0256-s

A view of the Skydeck and Yarra River. I later ran a few miles along this river.

20140217_150201-s Capturing the Bear in his natural form. :-) IMG_0258…And the picture he captured.

The following day, the Bear and I visited some Kangaroos on the way to Philips Island for the Penguin Parade.

IMG_0418 (2)-s They just wanted a bite to eat and maybe a little shade from the hot sun. IMG_0403-sThat evening we arrived at Philips Island where little blue penguins waddle up the shoreline to lay eggs in burrows along the cliff-side.

IMG_0527 IMG_0532Urban development began to destroy the penguins’ natural habitat. In an effort to resort the penguin population on Philips Island, they started to install little boxes like the one below.  On any given night, you can see between 500 to 5,000 penguins at the parade.
IMG_0531-s IMG_0533-sIn the picture above you can see the “stadium” for the penguin parade.

Although we weren’t allowed to photograph the parade, it looked a lot like the picture above. (picture source)

IMG_0670On our final day in Melbourne, we went on a tour of the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

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I finally mastered the handstand without a wall! Sure, it may have only lasted a few seconds!IMG_0654-sWe stopped at a few beaches and the rainforest before making our way to the 12 Apostles. IMG_0724 IMG_0702The view at the 12 Apostles was breathtaking! Fun fact: there are only 9 apostles left due to erosion.

IMG_0798-s Just another handstand at Loch Ard Gorge! There always seems to be a love story behind the names of these ocean landmarks. This gorge is named after a ship called Loch Ard, where it was ship-wrecked, with only two survivors: Tom and Eva. It is said that Tom never married in his lifetime because he fell in love with Eva the night they were stranded together at the gorge.

IMG_0804Finally we went to the London Arch, which was formerly called the London Bridge before it fell down and stranded two young girls on the arch before they were rescued. Naturally, we couldn’t finish our time in Melbourne without another cool story!