My sincere apologies for the tardiness of this week's blog post: I left my iPad back in Sydney when Lucy and I headed to Melbourne for our Christmas festivities.
As you may remember from my last post, Lucy is Alex's cousin(ish) (Lucy's uncle is married to Alex's aunt) and has been an absolute gem and taken me in for Christmas and NYE. She must have got a bit of a shock when she picked me up from the Greyhound station: a 17 hour overnight bus journey does not do wonders for your appearance, I can tell you that!
We jumped straight into our time together as, after I had hopped through the shower, we walked to the Sydney Opera house which you can see from her balcony! Imagine that! It's like living in London and having a perfect view of Big Ben from your sitting room!
The view from Lucy's sitting room
The atmosphere down there was lovely: it reminded me of the Southbank at home when the sun comes out. There were throngs of people enjoying the sunshine and view of the harbour. We celebrated our finally meeting with a couple of glasses of bubbly before heading to a nearby park for a big carol concert with a friend of Lucy's and his family. Talk about a jam-packed first day! Or so I thought…little did I know how much energy I'd need for the following week! Haha!
A blurry shot of the Christmas carols in the park
After a six month driving hiatus, I got to drive a lovely 4×4 the following day. Lucy and I shared the 10 hour drive from Sydney to Melbourne and chatted nonstop for the full duration; it's not often you meet someone with whom you can be confined in a vehicle for that length of time immediately after meeting, and not end up wanting to throttle! Along the drive we got to see the amazing scenery that Australia has to offer…it's incredible to drive through a city, out into green hills, then through a forest, then out into a yellow, scorched expanse of land before coming back into another city! Also, the journey is incredibly easy as it's ONE road! We had a good old giggle when the sat nav said “join the m31 and continue for 808km”.
Me with “Rocky” the car…somewhere between Sydney and Melbourne!
Lucy used to live in Melbourne and we were there to spend the festive period with her friends who still live there. Everyone is really friendly and the week has flown by in their presence! We have had girly dinners, big group dinners, drinks in the sunshine, bbqs on the beach, trips to nail salon (girls only!), days at The Ashes and visits to the wineries! It's been a pretty full itinerary!
Me and Lucy at The Ashes
Lou, me, Chad, Lucy and Nush at T'Gallant winery
Making the most of the view for Arthur's Seat.
For Christmas Day, we all headed to St Kilda beach for a BBQ and a day of sunbathing and games. It seems like a lot of people had similar thoughts as it was packed with people all enjoying the sunshine. We had a brilliant day with fantastic food, plentiful drink and lots of fun! I had been pretty anxious about spending Christmas away from my family and, although sunbathing and paddling in the sea didn't feel very Christmassy, it was a great way to spend the day. I think, had it been more similar to Christmas at home, I would have been utterly homesick. Luckily, in this day and age, I can contact my family and Alex pretty easily, so I spoke to my parents and brother on Christmas morning (their christmas eve) and had a phone call from Alex that morning too! I even got to see my whole extended family at our traditional Christmas get together when I facetimed them on my Boxing Day (their Christmas Day evening)! Technology can be a wondrous thing!
Beers and shrimp on the barbie? Must be an Aussie Christmas!
Now, after another 10 hour drive yesterday, we are back in Sydney where I will stay until I fly to New Zealand to meet Alex! I've got a few things planned and a few people lined up to meet for lunches and drinks etc so time should fly by! I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into Sydney!