Well, I am in Sydney now and I am a little disappointed to see how slow the internet is in my hotel room. It was slow in Melbourne, but I never imagined it could get worse. I have actually already moved rooms once because it was taking nearly an hour to load my email last night. I am happy to day, after about 18 hours, all of the pictures for this blog post are now uploaded into blogger and I am able to write this post.
Let me first finish up my time in Melbourne. The weather on my last day was wonderful. It was sunny and had warmed up some. I had a few hours before my flight, so I was able to walk around the laneways and arcades again. Basically, there was some time to go shopping!
I had yet to have an actual breakfast, or brekky as they call it here, since arriving in Melbourne, so I decided to locate something yummy to start my day. I found a great little alley way filled with coffee shops and breakfast cafes. This was just what I needed.
I looked at a few places, but in the end I picked Barista Express.
The barista did an amazing job making me a coffee just the way I wanted. I have discovered that coffee here is a bit stronger than I am used to, even by European standards. The night before I had a cup of coffee that resembled motor oil and was awful to even smell. Needless to say, this girl made me the best cup of coffee I have had in days. I drink a cafe Americano, so here it is called a long black, and it is not called fat free milk, but rather skinny milk. I learned that I need to order my long black half strength with skinny milk on the side.
The food here was also delicious. I ordered 2 poached eggs on toast with a side of smoked salmon. Basically I took the smoked salmon eggs benedict and ordered it separately to avoid the Hollandaise sauce and pay a little less for my meal. It was very good.
After breakfast I walked around and around and around in the little alleys filled with shops and malls inside and between buildings. It reminded me of the set up in Tokyo, except with less food and more clothing/merchandise. I passed by this chocolate shop called Chokolait multiple times, so I knew I better head in and give one a try.
Yep, it was as good as I had expected.
One more photo inside this arcade. I thought it was cute.
This is another store that I found interesting. Basically it is sugar candy. Just sugar. You can watch the employee pulling and molding the sugar substance in order to make pretty colored sugar candies.
If I was hungry I would have liked to try out this little crepe cart on the side of the road.
Also, if I was hungry, I would have loved to try one of these beautiful sandwiches that I found at a little cafe.
But, after a little more walking, I was hungrier and it was lunch time. I decided to try out this place called C&B.
At just barely noon, I went for it, and ordered a nice glass of local white wine.
I was in between a pizza and these dips, so after some consideration and discussion with my server, I ordered the hummus and babaganoush.
After some more walking in and out of the little shops and alleyways, I found myself at the fro-yo place again. I decided to get a chocolate fro-yo with some strawberries and eat this while waiting to be picked up to head to the airport.
Goodbye Melbourne, it's time to head to Sydney.
I kept seeing licorice around, so I picked up some raspberry licorice bites at the airport.
The Qantas terminal in Melbourne for domestic flights was really interesting. I never had an employee assist me as I checked in. I used a computer at the front. I checked in and was printed a tag for my luggage. Then I went to a baggage area and placed my bag on a scale. I put my tag on the bag. Once it was confirmed that my bag was not over the weight limit, the bag was rolled off and I was ready to head through security. What an interesting experience that was! I never even had to show my ID! That would never work in the US although I think it is a great idea. Oh, and I never showed ID going through security. People are still allowed to go to the gate to meet people getting off planes. I don't remember the last time that was allowed in the US. I remember my grandparents used to always come meet us as we walked off the plane, but it's been years. Here, anyone can go through security, as long as they put their stuff on the belt to be x-rayed. So weird!
I thought this was cute on my Qantas flight. These are crackers and a pesto dip. But the part I liked was the little bag to put your trash and directions on what to recycle.
Oh, and I thought this little bottle of water was cute too.
Before I knew it we were approaching Sydney.
I found a shuttle to my hotel and was on my way. The reason I have 2 beds is because I am sharing my room with someone at the conference. I am in Sydney for the International Congress of Dietetics. It's a big nutrition conference for all the various dietetic associations around the world. I picked the Oaks Goldsbrough hotel because it is attached to the convention center. The room would be good, but I had so many issues upon check in that I thought I was going to go insane. First, the internet is beyond slow (I have moved rooms and it is a little better), someone unplugged the cable box so I thought the cable was broken, and the first time I flushed the toilet it would not stop running. To make it worse, it was cold at night and the heat did not work in the room. First thing the next morning I called and changed rooms. As I was leaving the room, that is when the heat kicked on. Go figure!
This is a studio apartment, so the bathroom is a decent size.
Plus it has a washer and dryer.
Not to mention a kitchen.
After getting settled in, I was ready to head to dinner. But first, let me show you what I purchased earlier when shopping in Melbourne.
I love these! They were just what I was looking for and a good price, too.
I also bought this adorable workout shirt from an awesome yoga/active wear store. I love it. Will work for chocolate!
I had quite a few options for dinner in Darling Harbour by my hotel. In the end I decided I wanted some pasta. I gave Criniti's a try.
My server was helpful to start, but I never saw her after I placed my order. I know they share the tables around here, but I actually never saw her again. She never even brought me water. I had to ask 2 more times to get something to drink. I was nearly done eating by that time. But, she did suggest this pasta dish filled with local seafood, and it was pretty good. Other than the really poor service here (I waited 10 minutes after finishing for anyone to walk back over and then wrap up my food and give me a check), I was happy with my meal.
Hoping tonight produces a little more service oriented dining experience. I guess there is something to be said for a tipping based industry. It can go both ways, but I guess in a very touristy area, the service drops off because they know they are going to be busy and aren't making any more whether they check on you or not. Maybe it is like Portugal and they don't come back to check on you after they bring you your food and you are just supposed to go and find someone if you need them. I guess I need to ask about that before assuming they just don't care about the service provided.
I was also excited that my hotel is next to the Hard Rock in Sydney. It made it easier for me because I had to get over there regardless of where I am staying. But I got my shirt, so I am happy!
I couldn't head back to my room without a sweet treat for later if I got hungry. I found these 2 lovely macarons, and I was set. The white one is cookies and cream and the read is PB and chocolate. Both were yummy!
Whew, I am happy that I have finally written this post. It took nearly a day of waiting, but I am finally done with it. Looking forward to more time in Sydney and the conference, of course.
QUESTIONS: Do you have a pair of Uggs? Do you like poached eggs? Have you ever been to Sydney?