The thing about surprises is that they’re supposed to be a surprise…  Since Judy has arrived in Australia, we haven’t had much of an opportunity to explore so I decided to plan a weekend away.  ❤️

I wanted a city to explore, with lots on offer and that was relatively close so that we didn’t spend too long on a plane getting to our destination.  Plus, it had to fit into a Friday – Sunday timeslot.

The choices were somewhat obvious – staying within Australia gave me lots of choices, although admittedly I did look at Singapore, but the flight was long (8 hours) and cost per person way too high for a three-day weekend ($1400 pp – economy, return).

So after I’d planned it all, including some great adventures I told her that we were going away for the weekend, leaving on Friday night and returning late Sunday night.

Then came the million questions – where, what will I need, is it hot or cold, do I need my bathing suit….   You get the idea! 🤣

Maybe it’s different for a guy, but I love the idea of my partner planning a weekend away and surprising me.  We leave for the airport at this time, carry-on only and you need one outfit for dinner, your board shorts and toothbrush type of deal.

Unfortunately, things conspired against me to keep our weekend away a complete surprise.

It began to unravel with the waiver forms that we had to complete to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  I could hardly ask her to fill in a form and sign it with no understanding of what she was completing… or if she was afraid of heights.

We flew to Sydney late Friday afternoon and arrived around 8:00 pm.  We both got off the plane and quickly put on our warm jackets even though it was a balmy 20C (70F).  I suppose it was somewhat natural after living in a sub-tropical climate for a couple of years.

That being said I have no idea why Judy needed to get warm, especially given that she arrived a mere 6 weeks ago from the middle of bitter North American winter.   Now that is cold!

We went for a walk after arriving at the hotel, and it truly was a beautiful night to be out walking.  We grabbed a quick bite at the Opera Bar adjacent to the Opera House before returning to our hotel and preparing for an early morning climb.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge climb takes about 3.5 hours, but you actually spend only about 1.5 hours walking and the rest either getting fitted out, safety briefings, or listening to the history of the bridge and its building etc.   🙌🏼 🇦🇺

Given that Sydney’s last few weeks have been the wettest on record it turned on a cloudy but rain free day with the temperature hovering around 20C (70F) … perfect weather to go for a long walk!

As always (this was my third time climbing the bridge) it was a spectacular view from the top of the bridge and an awesome adventure for Judy’s first time in Sydney.

I know you’re all itching to know more about my other climbs.  My first climb was in 2005 when I was in Australia for work, the second time was with Sam in 2018 and now 2022 with Judy – it never gets old… just more expensive!

After our epic morning adventure, we grabbed lunch and shopped, before retiring to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

I had arranged dinner at Mister Percy.  The restaurant is a cosy and well known wine bar in Pyrmont adjacent to Darling Harbour, and has a great selection of both food and wine on offer not to mention cool jazz notes.  Just awesome!  ❤️

We even discussed staying at the boutique hotel above the wine bar (Woolstore) on our next visit to Sydney.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny, and so decided to head out to Bondi Beach to broaden Judy’s Australian experience.  Bondi was crowded (as always), but it was a great to see some big surf and lots of enthusiastic surfers strutting their stuff.

There were some huge waves crashing over the Icebergs pool and therefore no swimmers per se as we walked along the coastal walk to Tamarama.

Grabbing a coffee after our walk we perused the Sunday markets where Judy picked us some one-of-a-kind items and conversed with the curious locals about her accent.

Everyone loves the New York accent, she was a definite hit!  🙌🏼

We finished our afternoon walking through the Botanical Gardens to Mrs Macquarie’s chair, then over to the Rocks where we came across a cool little gallery called Squidinki.

There was one piece of original art that caught our attention and before you knew it, we were the proud owners of an awesome print that’s being shipped to us.

We were fortunate enough to even meet the artist himself – Max Mendez who is an industrial designer turned Avant Garde artist who gave us some great insights and motivation into his works. ❤️

I would say that our first big adventure was a rousing success!   Now, the trick will be to top that with the next…

Until next week