Kylie here we come! This is our second attempt to see Kylie Minogue in a foreign country after she got sick in Ireland in October. Along with Kylie, this trip is actually timed perfectly with Mardi Gras and also with our friend Paul who happens to be working down under.
We are flying down on United from Toronto, to Chicago, to Los Angeles, to Sydney. This wasn’t our original flight but with the snow Toronto is getting and a delay we switched things up. Our ticket was purchased at a fare that we were able to upgrade using our certificates so we are flying Polaris Business Class.
Our flight home we are on the upgrade list but we haven’t been upgraded yet and there is a chance we may not be. We’ll be fine in our exit row. We are flying home Melbourne, to Los Angeles, to Cleveland, to Toronto.
There was a change we made to our return flight. We had visited Melbourne before so we figured we could sacrifice a day if it meant that we could fly home in Business class. It was well worth it, Brad was able to save a day of vacation and we flew home Sunday in Business.
We will be staying in Sydney from Friday to Wednesday at the Four Points Sheraton. We then take a bus to Canberra to visit some friends we met on a cruise years ago to stay at the Crowne Plaza. We then fly to Melbourne on Friday for the remainder of the trip at the Westin. We have stayed there before, for Housewives of Melbourne fans Pettifleur used to, or maybe still does, live in the residences above it.
We made it with ample time to spare to LAX even after a 1.5 hour delay in Toronto waiting for de-icing. We had a 5 hour layover in Los Angeles which gave me ample time to eat at the buffet, get some work done and freshen up with a shower.
We are now over the Pacific, a bumpy patch I may add, and just finished another meal. I’m going to try and get a nap in before waking just to get a real good sleep to time it with waking up in Sydney at 8:45am local time.
Saturday night we experienced Mardi Gras in Sydney. Our focus of the trip wasn't to actually be here for Mardi Gras, we are here to see Kylie, so it was a nice bonus that the trip overlapped. We met up with our Australian friends who live in Canberra which made the night that much more fun.
We bought grandstand tickets for the show which means that instead of showing up at 2pm to be squished on a sidewalk for the 7pm parade, we sauntered into the grandstand and were able to get space along the fence. We also had access to drinks and food for purchase if we so desired. It was definitely the way to go. There were risers but they seemed pretty full by the time we got there but we were more than happy to stand and watch the parade go by.
The parade itself was pretty fun. An evening parade is pretty awesome, no need to worry about the beating sun and we actually made it through the entire parade. The floats aren't overly extravagant, there were some larger corporate floats like Qantas and the show Neighbours. There was a float playing Carly Rae and a bunch of Kylie, Gaga and Madonna music.
I was totally impressed by the energy of the folks in the parade. It seems that without worrying about the beating sun, most of the groups had choreography and were dancing along to the music ahead of them. Since we were against the fence we were able to experience the energy and it was totally entertaining.
If you are a Kylie Minogue fan, she was there with Jake Shears and Courtney Act. Check out her Instagram cause she was looking fabulous. We weren't in the VIP so she was a block or two down from us.
I put together some clips of video that I took. It seems when people are constantly giving me drinks, I tend to stop knowing the words to songs...
We walked up the Sydney Harbour Bridge tonight. Read more here.
After we did the Bridge Walk, I jumped on Foursquare and found one of the highest rated pizza places in Sydney a block away: The Australian Heritage Hotel. It is a pub with lots of outdoor seating.
If crocodile or kangaroo floats your boat, then they have you covered. I was less adventurous and had a half and half:
- Crispy Bacon: slow roast tomato, egg, mozzarella, chipotle mayo
- Tandoori Chicken: yogurt, spinach artichoke
Brad did go adventurous with a half and half:
- Pepper Kangaroo: caramelized onion, root capsicum, feta and kale
- The Queenslander: crispy bacon, root tomato, chunky pineapple
This pizza was great!
Quick visit with Dominique
I was able to squeeze in a short visit with a work friend when we both lived in Vancouver. Managed to get some brekky and hear her Australian accent.
We ended the trip with a visit to Melbourne, we had two nights at the Westin. The weather was lovely, not too hot, but sunny. We did some wandering and also visited a few art installations.
Friday night we met up with Gill, we grabbed a bit to eat and headed to the National Gallery of Victoria. They had an awesome exhibit of Escher X nendo and on Friday nights it was casual with a DJ and bars. I say casual, but still some people dressed up and many people on dates we think...
Christian Marclay - The Clock
We checked out this awesome installation. It has been around for years, but we have never stumbled upon it. Check it out.