Imagine not wanting to get off of an airplane after a 15-hour flight. Business class, baby. Cashing in a lifetime of mileage points is truly a grand experience for budget travelers like us. Marilynn reminds me, “Don’t get used to it.”

Blog Swans

Dancing swans in Darling Harbor

First impressions of strolling the streets in Sydney: casual, clean, costly, and friendly. The scent of fresh air gets interrupted by whiffs of coffee from sidewalk cafes, and garlic from the numerous Asian, seafood, and specialty restaurants.  Rare to see anyone dressed in suits.

blog skyline

Sydney Skyline

Sydney’s opera house attracts folks like a magnet.

blog opera house

The photo everyone takes

You could shell out $300 to walk the apex of The Sydney Harbour Bridge nearby, also called “the coat hanger.” Strolling the streets for drinks and eats keeps most of us content. A cold beer can cost $12, so we cannot stay in Sydney for long!

blog bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Take a ferry to Manly Beach for amazing views of Sydney, as well as, well, beach stuff. A local grocery store sells kangaroo steaks.

blog butts

“Beach Stuff”

Let’s rent a car and get out of town, which means getting lost. We pull onto a side street in busy Sydney to try and figure things out. A random stranger walks over and says, “Are you lost?” He gives us directions with a smile. Thank you, random stranger. It doesn’t take long to enter entirely different ecosystems and alien landscapes. Kangaroo and wombat carcasses replace deer and raccoon road kill that we’re accustomed to on roads in the US.

blog change of scenery

Changing landscapes

I’m getting so good at driving on the left side of the road, that I can do it while eating raw oysters in a rainstorm.

blog eating oysters in car 2

Raw oyster take away

Head out for a coastal drive that weaves through temperate rainforest, bays, lakes and rivers. Relax in the town of Kiama to watch surfers, and walk along the beaches.

blog room with view kiama


Hey Mate, drive through the lake district and mellow out in the town of Metung. Black swans float, while exotic birds awaken with songs of the strangest sounds we have heard. (Thought the car had a mechanical problem)

blog black swans

Black swans in Metung

The Great Ocean road remains a popular tourist route. Limestone stacks carved from years of waves and weather represent the 12 Apostles. Only 7 apostles are left. The others must have gone to heaven, hell, or are still partying in purgatory.

blog appostles

The remaining apostles

Stay tuned, the Australian adventure continues…