Weekend Wanderer

Archive for the category “New Cities”

The Sunny Streets of Sydney

Day 2 began and ended with perfect sunshine, making up for the misty mistakes of yesterday.

Thanks to my Airbnb hosts, I found the coolest “underground” coffee shop at my train station, Salvage Coffee:


This gem was tucked away right under the train station!


Toastie = Toasted Sandwich, and my new favorite word 🙂

After an amazing mocha (one of the few places in Sydney that actually knew what that was), I hopped on the train and headed into the city. First up? A walk over the famous Harbor Bridge:
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Accidental Aquarium Date.

Are you going to eat that?

As I forced a smile and passed the crab leg, I cursed this decision for the thousandth time.

Let’s rewind shall we?

It was a lovely, mostly jet-lag free first day. Misty and subdued perhaps, but a good day nonetheless. I’d seen the museums and walked my feet off, which is always a tradition for me, since I’m usually lost.

What better way to finish off this cold day than in the aquarium? For those who don’t know, I love aquariums, and fish (fun sidenote: my name means “A Ships Harbor”). The blue light, the slow magic of floating, the sheer grace of swimming things? It slows my overactive mind.


Sealife was in the same complex as a wax museum and a zoo…

I was ready for that sort of peace, but fate had other plans for me.
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Mist, Museums, & Men, Sydney Style.

All exceeded my expectations.

Oh stop rolling your eyes, it’s harmless admiration! Believe me, it took a long time to discover these things this morning.

There was an endless, sticky line through customs (I got my passport stamped!) at 7 AM Sydney time, then another few hours of trains and moving into my Airbnb house. Before I knew it, I was in the city.

For those who don’t know, I love cities. I love feeling the bustle and observing the people (though it didn’t seem like it yesterday), and generally being swept into the life of a place.

It was misty, so I spent most of the day in museums. It cleared a little later, and I spent the day wandering, which I love!

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“You’re so brave!”

I heard this response so often as I prepared to leave on my big trip that it was practically drilled into me. Funny thing was, I didn’t feel brave.

My Brazil missions trip was out (I have a new job starting shortly!). My Australian vacation was in, and I didn’t have any time to plan.

I knew I had this rare time off between jobs, and I had to take advantage of it, and one thing I’ve always wanted to do is snorkel. What better place than the Great Barrier Reef?

Honestly, I wasn’t excited like everyone thinks. I was nervous, stressed, and just trying to finish up my job so I could move on with my life. There was no time to get excited, to dream, or most importantly, to plan.

The problem with planning a trip when you are also planning a move is that you have no time, no space to think. Packing a suitcase and packing up your life is chaotic to say the least, and unfortunately this trip became another task on my to-do list.

Before I knew it, I was on a plane, off to adventure without my adventurous spirit. What could go wrong?



Battling Cheese Steaks, Philadelphia

Can you find a bad cheese steak in Philly?

Unfortunately, it’s true.

Here’s the situation. It was 4:00PM, and after an hour of traffic (in which we moved 3 blocks), we were so ready for a reward. 

God bless my poor father for fighting through the savages on the road just to make sure he fulfilled my goals of getting a cheese steak (and seeing the Liberty Bell) while in Philly.

We finally made it to the heart of Philadelphia. It was crowded and dirty, but so full of life. I feel that about every city I visit, that it has a personality all its own, which I’ll describe more later. For now, let’s get to the meat of the story.
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Fast Friends in Phoenix

Remember those rich childhood friendships that started on the playground and required no names?

I’m talking about those times you might have needed a swing-pusher, and you became instant friends, bound by a genuine, simple acceptance of one another.

Phoenix was a great place to foster that kind of connection, especially in the beautiful outdoor playground of Sedona. I know they are two separate places, but Phoenix Fit Phonetically (see what I did there?) in my title.


It was the perfect day for a hike.

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City Personalities: NY vs. DC

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

Weekend travel is like blind dating.

You’ve never met, and you have a short amount of time to learn everything about the city. It’s exciting and exhausting, and you are never quite sure if you got to see the true personality of the place.

For what its worth, here are my observations after some excellent “first dates” with new cities!


In New York, it’s all about the glitz and glam of the theater, and how each person tries to impress the world with their relevance. I felt the thrill of the city, excitement pulsing with the lights of Times Square.

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