A quick flight from Melbourne and we arrived at our final stop, Sydney. We took a cab from the airport to Jo and Dave's place. Jo's mom was pen pals with Brent's mom since their time in Hungary together as little girls. I had met Jo's parents a number of times in California and had heard such great things about Jo from when Brent stayed with her a few years ago I didn't hesitate to email her prior to our arrival. She and her fiancé Dave welcomed us with open arms. We ended up staying with them in Bondi for four nights in their guest room. Their apartment turned out to be the perfect location to explore the eastern part of Sydney from a true locals perspective.
Jo and Dave had prior dinner plans but recommended a bunch of cute places in the area to get dinner and a drink. We headed to SpeakEasy an amazing tapas place that reminded me a lot of the restaurants in San Francisco. After dinner, we walked up the street to a local bar.
The next morning Jo and Dave were not only amazing hosts, but amazing tour guides as well! We went to breakfast at one of their local spots where I ordered shakshuka. Yes, that was actually on the menu not once, but twice on Saturday and Sunday at two different restaurants. Yum. We had breakfast and then set off in Dave's car to explore the city. He and Jo took us all over including some beautiful cliff views as well as the Paddington market where we picked up a few handmade jewelry pieces.
That night they invited us to a friends birthday party at another local bar in Kings Cross which is a very lively and fun part of town. We met their group of friends who are equally welcoming and even made plans with one of them for the following week. Here's a photo of the four of us:
Sunday we went to the Bondi market that had tons of handmade crafts and jewelry. Kirstin and I walked around some more. On the beach we happened to come across an annual kite festival! We then did the long walk along the edge of the water. This was truly one of the highlights of our entire trip for me. Check out these amazing photos which honestly, don't even compare to the view in person!
After walking along the cliffs we ended up going to an early dinner at Icebergs, a restaurant and music lounge with views of the ocean and the cliffs. Attached to Icebergs is the famous pool that is filled by the tides of ocean water. Both Brent and my dad had sent the link to me as one of the coolest pools in the world earlier that week and I had to send them a photo of it while I was there. Kirstin had contemplated going in and swimming a few laps, but it was really cold as seen by the people wearing wetsuits in a pool.
We stayed at Icebergs for a few hours listening to the live music and eating and left for another bar where Dave's friends that we had met the night prior said they would be at to watch the world cup rugby game. The place was PACKED! People really do love their rugby and soccer everywhere but America.
Overall my impression of Bondi was that it was very similar to Southern California but with everything being within close walking distance. Had the weather been about fifteen degrees warmer we would have happily been at the beach all day. I totally understand now why it's such a popular tourist site during the summer and definitely have it on my list of "must come back to" in the future.