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Holiday Vacation, Days 1-3

Well, hello there! Now that it’s the end of January, I suppose I should get started on telling you about our summer holidays! Ha! I’m so far behind on correspondence generally (electronic mail, snail mail, social media, and blog posts), but I’m trying to get caught up.

Anyway, our summer holidays were amazing! Our good friend Jessica was here visiting from Atlanta, which was absolutely wonderful. Jessica is our first visitor from home, and it was great to see her.

We picked up Jessica from the airport early in the morning of December 23rd. We headed back to the apartment for awhile so she could shower and nap, and then we spent the day wandering around Centennial Park. In the evening, we went to Fox Studios to see Les Mis. It was a nice, low-key day.

On December 24th, we set out to explore Sydney. First, we went up to the Sydney Opera House, one of the most recognizable sights in Sydney.


We were so happy to have a lovely day! Remember when we went there in August? It was cold and cloudy then. This time, the weather was warm and the sun was shining. It was perfect.


Next, we walked around the harbour and over to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For $11, you can climb up through the southeast pylon of the bridge to get some gorgeous views of the city and harbour.






When we left the bridge, we walked down through an area of Sydney called The Rocks. It has many of the oldest buildings in Sydney, and many of the city’s museums and galleries are located in the area.

We found this interesting Christmas tree in The Rocks.


It’s made from almost 600 living plants, 143 meters of aluminium pipe, and 1000 stainless-steel pot scourers. Christmas decorations are an interesting topic here, since tradition symbols of Christmas generally involve cold weather and snow, two things that most of Australia doesn’t experience ever, much less in December. We often forgot that we were traipsing around the city on Christmas Eve! It’s hard to be in the Christmas spirit when it’s 85 degrees F outside.

When we left The Rocks, we went back to the Sydney Opera House and around the back to the Royal Botanical Gardens, where there is another fantastic view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


Now that we’ve been to the Royal Botanical Gardens in the winter, spring, and summer, we can definitely say that spring is the best. The time, not much was blooming. Much too hot.

It was still beautiful, nonetheless! We all had a great time craning our necks to stare at birds (Rusty and my favorite past-time–we introduced Jessica to it) and reading the notes about the historical exhibits.

We then left the city to do the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. It was just as lovely as it was the last time we did it. I didn’t take any new photos, but here are a couple old ones to jog your memory of the beauty of Sydney’s eastern suburb beaches.




We got back to the apartment in just enough time to shower, get dressed in our fancy clothes, and get to Christmas Eve mass at our church in Kensington.


It was a busy day! We had planned to take the day a bit easier and do the Bondi to Coogee walk on Christmas Day, but it was forecast to rain all day Christmas Day.

And rain it did. All day.

I don’t have any pictures from Christmas Day, but we spent it mostly playing board games, drinking wine, eating Christmas dinner with Rusty’s coworkers from the university, and then drinking more wine and playing more board games.

On the 26th, we were off to Melbourne!


About theacademicsabroad

Rusty and Ali are a couple of nerds who moved to Australia to go on adventures. Oh, and work. :)



  1. Pingback: Holiday Vacation, Days 4-5 « The Academics Abroad - January 23, 2013

  2. Pingback: Holiday Vacation, Days 6-7 « The Academics Abroad - January 26, 2013

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January 2013
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