Another great part of feeling like the fam’ is waking up at 6am when the youngest child decides it’s time. Good thing I’m an early riser anyway. Over a breakfast of Milo cereal (Aussie version of Nestle chocolate) and pandoro cake, we chatted about the differences between Oz and the USA, like the strong social welfare in Australia, or the struggles of reconciling with the Aboriginal population. Our morning exercise was jumping around on the trampoline with the kids and chasing the dogs around the yard before Byron and I drove into Sydney with Ben. Since the jewelry shop is in Sydney, the family keeps an apartment downtown with a beautiful view of Darling Harbour, which was perfect for Byron and I to use for a few nights.
After grabbing lunch with a friend of Byron’s that had studied abroad at UConn (and is a Sydney native), we took the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly beach. Even though the ferry is just a form of transport people commute on every day, it was a cheap alternative to the pricey tourist cruises that take you around the harbor to give you the exact same view of the city and the beaches. We could see the Opera House, the Harbour bridge, Luna Park, and much more as we made our way to the beach. Once in Manly, we strolled the Corso (Main Street) past the shops and restaurants down to the beach. Even though it was too windy and chilly to swim, we accomplished taking our Christmas card photo on the beach in our bathing suits and Santa hats.
While waiting for the next ferry to arrive, we enjoyed delicious German beer at a restaurant on the pier and I learned that Australian drink measurements are quite different from the USA, with the standard sizes being a “schooner”, “pot” and then pint. To save some money, we bought some groceries from Woolworths and made pasta at the apartment for dinner.