Friday, July 29, 2011

12 days!

Alright, departure is getting close people! I only have to turn two pages in my day planner (yes I still use a paper day planner, because I am old school!) and I see in large writing - "AUSTRALIA!" I can't believe it is so close!

For this post, I will give you a glimpse of my time in Sydney!

Lets start with where I will be staying :)
Since I will be alone (a fact that both excites and scares me) I needed to book hotels, and since I am 26 and have a full time job as a travel agent, I decided I do not want to stay in a hostel. My job allows me staff discounts at hotels all over the world, so I was excited when I found such a great deal on a hotel right by Hyde Park (Sydney's Central Park).

Y Hotel Hyde Park:

This hotel is a little interesting cause I will have my own room, much like the one pictured, but I will have to share a bathroom. It is affordable though and right by Hyde Park in the middle of Sydney. It is a 15 minute walk to the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbor.

I got a great discount on this hotel with my STA Travel Agent Discount. But it is totally affordable regardless of the discount :)

I will only be staying here 3 out of the 4 nights I am in Sydney.

Four Points Sheraton Darling Harbor:

I have to generously thank my friend Chris for his awesome friends and family discount! I got this hotel for my last night in Australia as a treat to myself :) It is right on Darling Harbour and has great views! I also get a discount card for food and drinks, so I will be living the fine life in a hotel that will continuously make me feel poor. hahaha

So when I am not peacefully (hopefully) sleeping in my lovely hotels, I will be seeing the sights of the city!!
One of the things I am very excited about seeing is the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney! It is a World Heritage site and something not to be missed apparently.
We have a very popular tour at my work that I promote to my passengers traveling to Sydney that is an all day hike and lunch through the Blue Mountains. It costs $120, but because I am a travel agent and contacted the company directly, they gave me a 90% discount... so $12 later, I will be spending August 26th here...

and here

and here...

Next post...
What I'll be doing in the city of Sydney...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

15 days

Exactly two weeks from tomorrow I will be on my way to Australia!! As much I have been thinking about it constantly for the last few weeks and have been kept up on my count down, it stills seems to have snuck up on me. 2 weeks seems so much closer than 17 days, so from yesterday to today, I feel the pressure of imprending departure! I am beyond excited though for what God has in store for this adventure!
As stated in the previous post, I will be spending 2 weeks with Phoebe up near Cairns, Australia! Cairns is definitely a temperate climate, so despite it being just the beginning of their spring there, the weather looks to be somewhere around 75 degrees as the high. Add the humidity to that, and I am looking at pretty warm weather. I am super happy about it cause it will be perfect beach weather, and that is what I am planning on doing most of the time while I'm there - spending time on the beach.

Phoebe is still working to figure out what kind of days off she will be able to get, so I might be spending quite a bit of time on my own. Lets hope a miracle happens and Phoebe is able to get time off :)

In light of the possibility of extended solitude, I have started a list of activities I can do and that Phoebe and I can do together while I'm there. I have no set plans, so this is more like a list of possibilities rather than an itinerary:

Mossman: This is the small farming town where Phoebe lives. It seems to be pretty sleepy and relaxed and is most famously known as the gateway to the Mossman Gorge...

 - Mossman Gorge:

The Mossman Gorge is part of the Daintree Rainforest National Park. The Daintree Rainforest is the largest continuous area of natural Rainforest on the Australian Continent.

Port Douglas: This is the beach town just 20 minutes away from Mossman. I have a feeling I will be catching a bus here when Pheobe has to work and finding a spot on the beach and just relaxing and reading for the day!

Port Douglas is also where they take you out to the Great Barrier Reef! AND they Yacht club offers free sailing on Wednesday afternoons... or at least I read that on a website somewhere... gonna need to check that out.

Cairns: This is the larger beach town in the northern part of Queensland, Australia. I would love to head down there a couple days and hang out.

Other places on my list:
Cooya Beach: The aboriginal people give tours on Cooya Beach of crab spearing... sounds fun!
Bungy Jumping/Hang Gliding: My mission is to try and talk Phoebe into doing one of these things with me somewhere!

Those are the only things I have in my head for things to do, otherwise I am completely at Phoebe's disposal and I am sure she has some pretty entertaining site for me to see!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

28 days!!!!

Cairns is at the top and Sydney is at the bottom.

In 28 days I will be leaving Arizona to spend 18 days in Australia!! I am so beyond excited and cannot believe I am actually going!

I have been dreaming of this for over 2 years. Pretty much since I left England. I have saved and saved, dreamed, planned, and saved some more and now it is finally happening!

So here is the plan...
For those of you who don't know, Phoebe and I were inseparable for 6 months while both studying in London, England. We traveled all around England and Europe, filmed hilarious dance videos, made complete fools of ourselves in front of foreigners, and generally had a complete blast. I miss her TERRIBLY!

Cairns, Australia

I leave August 10th and will spend 14 days with my dear dear friend. Phoebe lives up in Mossman, Australia, which is just an hour and a half north of Cairns. This is the area in Australia that a lot of tourists go in order to swim along the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef
 It will be winter in Australia, but in since Cairns and Mossman are coastal towns, the weather will be much like San Diego. I am just praying for enough sunshine to enjoy the beaches and snorkling.

I fully plan on laying on the beach, reading tons of books, snorkeling, touring the rainforest, shopping, and just spending as much time as I can talking, laughing, and hanging out with Phoebs.

After 14 days of tropical bliss, I will travel down to Sydney to spend 4 days by myself in the most famous city in Australia! I will take a day trip to see the Blue Mountains, take a Harbour Tour around Sydney's Darling Harbour, and visit Hillsong Church just outside of Sydney.

Sydney's Darling Harbor
I might even get to stay in a super nice hotel for a night as a treat to myself. Otherwise I'll be staying a cute little budget hotel near the harbor.

It'll be a jam packed trip, but definitely an amazing adventure. I have my new digital Camera (compliments of graduation money gifts from family and friends), my beloved passport ready and waiting, and a sense of adventure that is waiting to be exercised!!

I'll keep you updated as I continue preparing for my journey, and of course while on my journey!

P.S. For those of you who are big dance video fans... you will not be disappointed on this trip!