I’m pretty sure that Sydney is my soul city. I absolutely love it here. I just laughed and felt rather nostalgic reading my last (short-lived) blog from my previous trip here in 2010 – Down Under Diary. The trip consisted of a lot more sight-seeing and fancy restaurants and bars than this one will, but I will love both, as they reflect the current stage of our life. While in Melbourne, Isla rarely napped like she typically does in Houston – a 2ish hour nap after lunchtime. Since we arrived in Sydney on Sunday, she has picked this up, napping from 1:30-4:30pm, which is crazy. It also means that her 7pm bedtime can be pushed back, making it convenient to go out and try all of the trendy restaurants near the beach. We’re praying she quickly adjusts to her Houston schedule when we return home.
On Sunday, we arrived in Manly around 1pm and ate lunch at the nearby The Roast Office, then unpacked and we all took a nap. After waking up, we went to find the beach… only we got really lost and ended up finding a swing set, then wandered to the wharf. We ate dinner at Papi Chulo, which was so tasty and very kid-friendly (best high-chair seat attachments!).
The following day, we ate breakfast again at The Roast Office (it’s that delicious!) then wandered two streets over to Manly Beach. After a few hours on the beach (it was cloudy), we ate lunch at Hemingway’s, which made me really excited, as I’m re-reading The Paris Wife for the 1,000th time. We left the restaurant, returned to the apartment, and while Isla took her extremely long nap, I went for a run to get our bearings on the area. I got a little lost, but saw the gorgeous north point of Manly. After I showered and Isla woke up, we caught the ferry to the Circular Quay, where we took photos of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, then ate the most delicious dinner at Opera Bar (where I had drinks with friends in 2010!). Isla absolutely loved the ferry ride and kept yelling, “FISH!!!!” and pointing out to the water. Our sweet friend, Esther, who owns cuteheads made the best custom dress ever, which got no less than 8 compliments from people we saw. The tulle kills me – it’s so precious!
Yesterday was Australia Day (think Fourth of July craziness for Americans), so we weren’t sure what would be open or not. Isla wore her custom red, white and blue cuteheads outfit to be extra festive (it was a huge hit!). We fortunately had breakfast at the highly recommended Three Beans (delicious muesli bowl), and then went to the beach. As opposed to her last two experiences on the sand, this time is was really hot, and Isla didn’t know how to feel about that. I escaped for a bit with her to get a mango sorbet, which she devoured. We decided to eat lunch at Manly Grill (Sasha ate kangaroo, which horrified me), and then we went back to the apartment for Isla’s nap. I ran away to Shelly Beach for a quick tan and book session, then returned right as Isla was waking up. We went to the ocean pool, then wandered to a few restaurants which were closed for the holiday before deciding to eat dinner at Ouzeria (their halloumi was heavenly).
We’re heading to Tarongo Zoo tomorrow, and I think Isla is going to be besides herself with excitement. I cannot wait! Follow along on Snapchat at @aileepetrovic!