One of the coolest and probably my favorite part of Sydney was who I got to stay with. The trip would not have been the same without Whitney and Will being my hosts and also my tour guides! Whitney is the all time best friend/adopted sister of my sister in laws, Marylou. She has always been around since I've known the Cravens and we instantly became friends. The last time we saw Whitney and Will was at our wedding 2 years ago, and to be honest after finding out they were moving to Australia we had no idea when the next time would be. How amazing is that? Who would have thought the next time would be in Sydney, Australia?
The first night I got to Sydney I stayed in a hotel with my friend Cait and we had the most amazing view of the Sydney harbor. We met up with some other girlfriends, walked around and had dinner.
The second day we spent the whole day exploring and shopping. There were so many familiar stores, and even though sadly I didn't buy anything it was so fun having a girls day and trying on clothes that actually fit you. Haven't had that yet in Japan…
Whitney picked me up after work and took me back to her humble abode she shares with her fiancé Will, where I stayed the rest of the weekend. Whitney and I woke up the next morning and took a walk around their sweet little neighborhood. Now let me preface this by saying when I go on walks in Japan its usually on base where it is very flat. After the first 3 mountains we walked up and down, I found myself wishing I had an oxygen tank handy. I will remember that for next time. The views we saw and place we stopped for breakfast on the way back made the "walk" (hike) worth it though.
Whitney had to go in to work after our walk so I took a bus down to an area called Manly, where I met up with my navy girlfriends and we hung out and ate dinner together.
The next day was gorgeous and we knew we wanted to be outside again. Whitney and Wills friend Ben was going to hang out with us too but before we did our hike, I was told I had to see Ben's families house and the view it had. They weren't kidding…it was amazing.
After meeting Ben's wonderful family, we drove to the area we were going to be hiking for the day called "Spit to Manly". The whole thing is about 10 kilometers which is equal to about 6.2 miles. It was never boring and you had a different view everywhere you looked. If I had not been staying with Whitney and Will I would have never seen this, and for that I am so grateful!
Even though we were a little tired from our day…it wasn't over yet! Whitney and I were going to meet some girls out and celebrate my birthday that night. We went to a dumplings place for dinner where we met up with my navy girlfriends and 2 Raleigh girls I hadn't seen in YEARS! It was the most amazing and random reunion ever with Tori and Carrie. Tori's family lives a few houses down from the Cravens and we have known each other ever since Will and I started dating in high school. She now lives in Australia and seeing her was the best! Carrie is also from Raleigh and even though she is a year younger then me we have always hung in the same crowds through school. She is in Australia for the summer doing a nanny job and my mind was blown when I heard she would be there too!
After dinner we went to a bar on the top floor of a hotel, and it was the kind that slowly did a 360 degree turn over the course of an hour. The views were amazing and the company was even better. Never did I ever think I would celebrate a birthday in Australia and with such great friends surrounding me. You girls are the best, thank you for making me feel so special!
|Elevator picture of everyone!|
|Raleigh Reunion in Sydney!|
The next day was my actual birthday and sadly my last full day in Sydney. Whitney and I got our nails done, did some shopping, and laid low. I did get a special birthday "cronut" when I woke up compliments of Will, and even a birthday candle to complete it. Seriously could not have had a better birthday and felt more loved. Obviously I wish my Will had been there, but it was pretty darn close to my favorite birthday ever.
That night Whitney and I cooked dinner with 2 of her friends Olivia and Jackie who both have the CUTEST little boys, and if you know me you know I was in heaven. It was so fun to meet more friends and I couldn't think of a better night to wrap up my trip to Sydney. The next day came very early and before I knew it I was back on a 10 hour flight to Japan.
Whitney and Will, you have no idea how much fun I had with you guys! You made me feel so welcomed and I hope to return the favor one day in whatever state Will and I end up in :) I love you both and can't wait to see you back in the States for your WEDDING!