Does anyone else cringe at the phrase, “I went on vacation”, or any use of “vacation” in reference to themselves? I once considered myself a world traveler, and I relished the idea that I was “traveling”, not “vacationing”. Perhaps I felt that way because of my lifestyle in my 20s: fast paced, money-making, Type A All.The.Way.
My time in Australia was a true vacation, especially once Michael arrived. We didn’t push ourselves to do as much as we could in our limited time together. In fact, we didn’t go on a single crazy adventure. We didn’t dive with Great Whites, we didn’t go on any day trips (well, other then on a lunch cruse on a big river boat with about 80 senior citizens for 3hrs lol), and we were repeat-customers at a few restaurants. We even went to a movie! Yes, my injured ankle was a (literal) drag on physical activities, but my husband and I decided to do as little as possible, regardless of my ankle, so that we could focus on enjoying and savoring our time together.
20-something Rebecca would have been appalled with this vacation in Australia. 30-something Rebecca thinks that this vacation was perfect.
And, it was.
My adventure began at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo with my parents; I will discuss the Ritz in a future post because I’m staying there again at the end of August. Friends, if you’re ever in Tokyo, go to the Ritz-Carlton, even if just for 10 minutes to admire the view of Tokyo. We stayed at the Ritz for only one night, though I truly wanted to move in. Here is a link to its website, and below is a picture of the view from my hotel room – that’s my dad sitting in the window. Even the pool was perfect, and I can’t wait to swim there again. I usually avoid pools because of my insane germophobia, but the Ritz-Carlton’s pool is just … perfect.
We took a JetStar redeye flight to Cairns, which is pronounced “cans” btw, something I didn’t know before we arrived! We had a GREAT experience on JetStar and we would totally fly it again. I ended up with a row all to myself on the flight, which was perfect for dealing with my ankle. Here is the perfect view we had of Cairns from the tarmac.
From Cairns, we flew Virgin Australia domestically to Brisbane, then to Sydney, and then back to Brisbane, and I’m flying Virgin Australia to Hawaii overnight tonight. We had excellent experiences on Virgin Australia, and I’m looking forward to my flight tonight.
Sydney was fabulous. We were only there for 2.5 days, so we focused on doing touristy stuff. Unfortunately, my ankle was still in a bad way, so I didn’t do anything that my parents did, but I still had a wonderful time and I am very thankful that my parents took me along (thanks, parents!). If it weren’t for my parents, I don’t know how I would have gotten to Australia. I was still in bad shape during the first week of this trip.
If you ever find yourself in Sydney, I suggest:
– go to the Opera House, of course. However, the best views of the Opera House are from across the Quay and from a peninsula of the Botanical Garden.
– walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can do the adventure climb over the bridge, or you can walk across it on the footpath.
– I can’t recommend any restaurants, as none really stood-out, but I enjoyed everything that I ate. Pumpkin is apparently a big thing down here, and I had something with pumpkin at almost every lunch and dinner the entire time I was here and every darn pumpkin meal was freaking superb.
– definitely walk through the Botanical Garden. I loved the old-world feel with the view of the modern skyline. It’s a perfect location for a morning or afternoon jog, too.
– stay at the Sydney Marriott. It’s very modern and I loved my room. It also has a perfect view of the Opera House.
Sydney was very nice, but I liked Brisbane a LOT more then Sydney. I am an outdoorsy, active person, and Brisbane has more to offer for someone like me.
** Before I go any further, I need to stop typing because it is almost time for me to leave for the airport! I am flying to Hawaii tonight to see a friend and Navy-wife-mentor for a few days 🙂 From there, I’m going to Space A back to Japan. Wish me luck! Right now, I’m planning to stay in Hawaii for a few days, pop over to San Diego for a few days, fly back to Hawaii (if I need to), and then fly on to Guam, South Korea, or Okinawa in hopes of getting a flight from there to someplace close to our base in Japan. I will type a post about Brisbane on the redeye if I can’t sleep … otherwise, I’ll get back to you soon.
There are a few perks of being a military spouse, and Space A is one of them. I’m very excited that I have this opportunity to travel for “free” … and by “free”, I mean at the cost of my husband’s service to our beautiful country.