As I mentioned in my Goals post, I spent the first half of this month in Australia! This was my first time visiting the Outback and my first time in several years traveling abroad so it was quite an experience!
Keep reading to see how I spent my first weekend in Sydney!
These amazing noise-cancelling Bose headphones (right) my dad got me were a lifesaver on the plane!
My Aussie Friend
I’ve always wanted to visit Australia for all it’s vast beauty and unique native animals. I would probably would have put it second on my list of countries I most wanted to visit (Japan being number one). However, the main reason I decided to do this trip was because of my lovely friend Courtney. We “met” through Twitter sometime last November when I replied to a random Mystic Messenger tweet of hers and now we rarely go a day without messaging, tweeting, or snapchatting each other. FYI, Courtney makes a variety of super fun and positive videos! They range from vlogs, how tos, hauls, tags, makeup and cosplay tutorials, “Let’s Talks,” and more – you should definitely check her channel out – Courtney’s Grotto.
After growing so close, we couldn’t wait to meet in person and had decided Los Angeles’ Anime Expo in July would be the perfect time and place for that to happen. Then I decided to speed things up a bit… With a bunch of overwhelming life changes currently happening and with more on the horizon, I thought an Aussie vacation might be just what I needed for a little R&R. I’ve always wanted to go there and now I had a friend who could host me and show me around – why not?
Flying to Sydney
Before I knew it, it was March, the month of my trip, and I was on a (thankfully) non-stop flight to Sydney! I didn’t have time to sleep the day before since I was so busy and neither could I sleep on the plane due to my insomnia (and fear of missing out on any of the yummy food) so I’m surprised I was able to stay awake as much as I could upon my arrival.
Once boarded, my plane was delayed over 4 hours (thank goodness for an extensive movie selection and snacks). I did my best to keep Courtney informed about my arrival, but I knew as soon as I left the States I wouldn’t have any cellphone service and it had slipped our minds to make a plan of where to meet once I arrived – whoops. She did end up waiting a good hour for me, bless her heart, but luckily thanks to her pink hair, she was very easy to spot once I got through customs. After exchanging my US dollars for some pretty and colorful AU money and coins (which I regret not taking any photos of), we were on our way for some much-hyped Australian KFC.
We’re Not In America Anymore…
We stopped by a mall where I got to eat some magical KFC chips (we call them fries) that were very deserving of all the hype I’d heard from Courtney. I really have to question why we don’t have these in the US – they’re so much better than the potato wedges.
I also realized on the plane that I had forgotten to bring my outlet adapter so I had to purchase one. This is where I quickly realized just how much more expensive things are over there. Courtney was very amused by my shock at their “steep” prices – a Revlon lipstick for $25?? I know the US dollar is a bit stronger, but not THAT much stronger! Still, I wasn’t planning on any big shopping sprees but it definitely made me aware I wasn’t in the US anymore.
Among the various shops we stopped at was a rockabilly store with some super cute dresses. To my surprise, Courtney generously treated me to a beautiful rose print dress. She said I’d need it for the day she had planned for us tomorrow. She even got me a petticoat to go with the dress!
Courtney normally lives with her parents but for this first weekend, we stayed with her mother’s foster mom on a beautiful rose farm. It’s closer to Sydney so this allowed us to spend some time there before moving going to her parent’s place.
This looked pretty in the front but didn’t quite work out in the back so we changed it to a half-up and half-down do.
So the day Courtney had planned was for us was “1950s” themed starting off with vintage dresses, hair, and makeup. I felt so pretty and feminine wearing my retro dress with petticoat underneath. I definitely wouldn’t mind wearing dresses like this more often! We both donned bold red lips and big lashes reminiscent of the decade. I have the weakest lashes that do not do well with falsies so I was stunned when the pair she gave me by Cosmic Lashes actually worked for me! I am SO not used to seeing myself with luscious lashes so that took a little while getting used to but I LOVED the way they looked! As I mentioned above, my original hair style didn’t quite work out so Courtney quickly whipped up a cute alternate do for me.
We got a little bit of a later start due to me having to work and take a nap (major jetlag still). Yes, I still worked my agency job although a more limited schedule. Having to remember that the US is always a day “behind” took some adjusting. Eventually, we did head out and had lunch at a super cute 1950s diner. I got a pastrami sandwich with some kind of special apple/watermelon juice drink and Courtney got a classic hot dog and milkshake. As you can see, we took a couple photos there and got lots of nice compliments for our outfits ^^
Those lashes though!
Next, we took a train ride back up to Sydney to go to Luna Park, an amusement park that’s right across the famed opera house. It was Mardi Gras that night so most young people were off celebrating, leaving the park nearly empty which we didn’t mind one bit.
This was probably as “crowded” as the park got the whole time we were there.
After getting a 2 ride pass, we decided we definitely had to go on the ferris wheel first. It was probably the longest ferris wheel ride I’ve ever been on which was amazing – not sure if this was because so few people were there or what. Either way, we got our money’s worth and some really amazing views of the Sydney Opera House, the harbour, and the rest of the park (and city).
Before we went on our second and last ride, we asked if we could take a quick photo on the carousel. It was just too picturesque to pass up! The friendly staff member gave us the okay and after we got our photos and were about to leave, she said we could stay on the ride!! Courtney insists it’s because of my American accent we got the free ride (haha), but I think it’s more just that no one else was on the ride but a mother and her daughter so what’s the harm when you can make two girls’ night? I don’t think one could find two girls in their 20’s who can enjoy a carousel as much as us XD
Afterwards, we went on our second ride which had us spinning in a circle in the air and, amazingly, my lashes stayed in tact. We did some walking around, dancing around (they were playing instrumental Disney songs, how could we not?), and spinning around (we were wearing the perfect twirling dresses).
Sydney Opera House?
It started to rain so we got some cotton candy to snack on and took a ferry over to the opera house. I took tons of video there but can’t seem to find a good photo – I blame the rain. We then browsed a few souvenir shops. I didn’t buy anything, but Courtney taught me a few “Australian” fun facts. For example, I had never heard or seen a cork hat ever in my life – apparently, they keep flies away from your head – gotta love learning something new!
It was getting late plus we were tired, so we headed back to the rose farm. Thus ends my first full day in Australia! I was hoping to write about my entire first weekend there but due to the amount of photos on this first day, I thought it best if I split up the post. Keep your eyes open for another post on my Aussie adventures!