Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jet Lagged in Sydney

A harbour ferry passing in front of the opera house.

Jet lag does terrible things. Not getting enough sleep, or being out of sync with sleep makes it tough to function properly, let alone be quick and alert. And for myself, when I'm jet lagged I just don't enjoy anything around me or what I'm doing. That's tough starting point when I first arrive in a new city. Regardless of how great the city may be, my first impressions are rarely good.

I was pleasantly surprised to see not just public art,
but some good public art as well.

Alas, Sydney bore the brunt of my sleep deprivation. We arrived after a 14-hour flight from Chile and faced a 14-hour time change.

We were all exhausted, had little interest in really sight seeing, and needed some sleep and a few days to get sorted out. Plus, we arrived the beginning of December and after we caught up on sleep, the excitement of Christmas began consuming our thoughts. We were all keen to get to where we were going to spend Christmas so that we could settle in to begin enjoying the Christmas season.

Sydney didn't stand a chance.

Meaghan tried a wee little bit of Vegemite on the corner of her toast.
I think her expression says it all.

Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed it. The harbour is fantastic with its ferries, Harbour Bridge, and the opera house. There are some great parks, good shopping and some wonderful beaches. We found a terrific Lego display that had a huge area for kids to play, which they both thoroughly enjoyed. But we just didn't really care and didn't have the urge to explore or discover beyond what was within walking distance for us.

The bridge climbers, Lego-style

So, we didn't actually see or do much in Sydney except the aquarium, a walking tour, a museum, hang about by the harbour, and go to Coogee Beach for a couple of days. 

The tunnel with the sharks at the aquarium was a huge hit with the kids.

To add to the general sense of malaise, our Airbnb at Coogee Beach was a bit of a disappointment. The kitchen needed a good scrub. And the couple of cockroaches we found didn't help either. 

But, the beach saved us at Coogee; the kids loved it. One day the breaking waves were quite strong. Meaghan and I found out just how strong and I lost my favourite pair of sunglasses in a spectacular takedown. But mostly, it was a family-friendly beach with good waves, nice sand and amazing people watching.

The Carols by the Sea event we happened upon one evening was a terrific find, and fireworks made for a great end to the evening. The event made us even keener to get out of Sydney to our Christmas house. 

Carols by the Sea at Coogee Beach

Aussie-style lyrics. Little did I know a Ute is really just a
fancy El Camino. They are everywhere. Nothing screams style like
a jazzed up El Camino in the 21st Century.

Ultimately, we just marked a bit of time to get caught up on sleep and wait to get to our Christmas place where we could do some Christmas shopping, decorate a little if we needed to, bake something, and let the kids' anticipation levels rise to a Christmas worthy level. 

So you see, Sydney didn't really stand a chance. 

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