This was our first New Year’s Eve in Sydney, and as we were blessed to have visits from back home, we wanted it to be special and memorable.
When I started making plans (5 months in advance) a lot of venues had already been sold out, hotels tend to have a 2/3 nights minimum length of stay during this period, and cruises were ridiculously expensive. I then came across the closed events that the Royal Botanic Gardens offer and signed up to be notified of their pre-sales.
And so, when the email reached my inbox I had already made up my mind of what to do. We booked the Lawn with a view event where we would have a gourmet picnic at the park with a privileged view of the fireworks. Nothing could feel more Australian than a picnic! (well perhaps a barbecue, lol)
The doors opened at 6:40 PM and closed at 8:30 PM. We were there for the opening, so that we could get a good spot, but didn’t have to queue for long. As soon as we got our tickets and bags checked, we were immediately pointed to the right area of the park where we were given our picnic hamper and a bottle of water. We picked a location, there were clearly marked areas allowing for people to move around without any disruption, got our blankets out and got comfy.
After a trip to the bar, we spent the time playing Uno cards, talking, eating (food was yummy!), joking around and before we knew it the New Year was upon us! The fireworks were beautiful and the spot was awesome 😀 It was indeed a special and memorable experience!!!
The following day we read very bad reviews from one of the other events at the gardens and felt so lucky that we had chosen right!
Pitt Street, Sydney
I haven’t posted for a while and my only excuse is that like a wild animal I have been hibernating during Sydney’s somewhat cold winter. After having lived in Queensland for the past 2 years, I must confess that the cold and darker days of winter were a real shock to the system. The boots and winter jackets were finally worn, the heaters were turned on at home, and I had to fight hard not to unpack the many woolen scarfs, gloves and beanies that I still own from my Northern Europe days 🙂
Yesterday, however, when I left the office at 5:40 PM it was no longer dark and the sky was still blueish. Looking up, I couldn’t help but smile. I walked down the street happy, despite the fact that I still had to button up my jacket 🙂
Spring is just around the corner and I can’t wait! I want to go camping and discover more of the city and its surroundings. I want to go on long walks and see the sunrise at the beach. I want to put away my winter clothes and take pictures of the blooming flowers 🙂
Sydney is a big city, and so life is busy, chaotic at times, traffic can be a pain and there are people everywhere you go. Now imagine being able to escape the noisy city and enter a world of tranquillity as fast as you can think it!
The Chinese Gardens are exactly that! An Eden in the heart of the city! Here you feel you have been transported to a Chinese Mountain and you can enjoy the peace and quiet. This is a perfect place to read a good book, drink some tea and put your feet up after a long day of sightseeing.
As it is near Darling Harbour it is really well located for tourists’ visits and for young business professionals on the go. I found it magical and well worth a visit 🙂
This was possibly the expression I made when I checked my inbox this morning. There, unread, was an email from the Australian Immigration to advice that they had granted us the Permanent Visa!!!
When we moved here, we had been granted a work visa sponsored by hubbie´s employer, which was valid for 4 years. It was always our intention to get the Permanent Visa that would allow us to live and work indefinitely in Australia without being tied down to one specific employer. Today we have accomplished this very important step in our Aussie adventure 😀
We are stoked to see that our investment is paying off. We are relieved to know that we no longer have an expiry date ahead of us. We can hardly wait for whatever else this country has in store for us…
When you live abroad the airport becomes the place where you have to say goodbye to your loved ones but it also the place where you get to greet them at each arrival. Therefore, getting to the airport is always an anxious and exciting time for me.
On Saturday morning we woke up earlier than usual to pick up some good friends at the airport 🙂 On the way there we could not hide the big smiles on our faces, we found it nerve wrecking when it took forever to find a parking spot, and couldn´t believe our eyes when we read in the arrivals´ screen that the plane had landed earlier.
Walking into the terminal the phone rang and we knew that the good times had begun. A couple of minutes later we were hugging each other and trying to say everything that we had bottled up for whatever many months into the first 5 minutes of conversation 😉
It is awesome to have visits that bring us a bit of home (or what we once called home!). You get to catch up on whatever is going on in each other´s lives, reminisce about old times, make plans and create new memories that will have to last until next time!
Also, when you have people visiting, you get to see your city with a different set of eyes and even discover new places that you had no idea were there. Equally, it is a great opportunity to do some activities that you had thought about but did not get around to yet.
I love having friends staying with us and it makes me feel immensely happy when people feel welcome in our home!
Wishing everyone that shares this Aussie experience with us, a wonderful holiday season 🙂
Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Time does fly indeed! I can´t believe that it has been a year since we arrived in Australia!
I have grown accustomed to going to sleep to the sound of the flying foxes, who like to nibble the berries in the tree near my window, and wake up to the sound of the kookaburras and lorikeets.
I no longer find it strange when a possum or a bush turkey cross my path in the street or when an ibis approaches me in the park whenever I am having a snack.
I have started to shorten words and find myself saying brekkie, barbie, tradie, Woolies, Maccas, etc.
I have held a koala and I have patted and hand-fed kangaroos and wallabies.
I have celebrated Xmas in the summer.
I have eaten crocodile, emu and roo (short for kangaroo ;-p).
I have had picnics at the beach, barbies in natural parks, gone antique shopping , rummaged the city in search of the best coffee, and made some new friends.
Overall, it has been a crazy year. It has been though but rewarding. There still a long way to go until I can call Australia my home but I am getting there, slowly but surely 😉
Let the next year rock on!!!