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Celebrating 23 in Sydney

June 13, 2010

Birthday breakfast in bed!

Last weekend was my birthday! Saturday morning I woke up to breakfast (and birthday cake!) in bed, which was a pretty great start to the day. Oscar was also going to arrange a birthday morning skype date with Travis and Becca, but unfortunately our internet was still down. Lucky for me, I discovered I had a lot of extra money on my phone that was due to expire in five days, so I had a great excuse to give them both a call and have a long overdue chat anyways!

Certainly this all helped my day get off to a great start. I was even more elated to discover that the sun was shining and it was actually quite warm outside. The entire week had been constant rain, with Friday night bringing downpours and flooded roads. I couldn’t be happier to finally see some sun! So we definitely made sure that we wouldn’t waste any of it.

Playing with the ipad in the Apple store

We walked into the city, first making a stop at the Apple store for a little internet fix. I had yet to see an ipad in real life yet, so that was on the agenda. One long table and the whole back wall of the Apple store were lined with ipads, with enough space between each one for literally just one (non-obese) person at each. And they were all in use, it was madness. Australians really love their Apple. It seems like almost everyone here has an iphone, and the ipad was all over the news and talked about by everyone from the day it came out in the US to when it came out here a month later.

Finally Oscar and I each found a free ipad (though it took me something like five minutes to figure out how to switch the keyboard from Chinese to English, and I think I ended up with a French keyboard but made do with it), and got to playing around. Overall I thought it was pretty cool, but it definitely needs some improvements before I would buy it. It will be a perfect travel companion when it has a USB outlet or two (with the storage room for a lot of photos and videos) and a webcam for Skyping. Then I would definitely consider replacing my netbook with an ipad.

After a sufficient amount of time in the Apple store checking email and Facebook and CNN Breaking News (as I happen to know someone who has been in the headlines a lot lately…), we were off to do more birthday celebrating. We headed to the Customs House to see an exhibit I had read about. I had thought the Endangered exhibit, with classic photographs of endangered animals, sounded cool but unfortunately it turned out to be a rather small exhibition. The photos were nice, but there were only five or six of them.

Sunset under the tunnel

We decided to wander around to see what other exhibits were on, and happened to stumble across Peter Murphy’s ModelCity photo exhibit, which was really awesome. I think we spent a good 30 minutes going through and staring at every photo, debating over which were the coolest. And of course the Customs House is also cool because it has a small scale model of the entire city underneath the glass floor in the lobby (the only downside being that the ceiling is glass windows and there is always a glare on the floor!).

We wandered around Circular Quay for a bit, then we decided to head over to Darling Harbour for a drink. We went up in the Helm Bar for a glass of wine and some wedges and watched everyone walking down below. After relaxing for a while we got back to wandering around and enjoying a nice day in the city. Eventually we walked back home, admiring the gorgeous sunset (and a rainbow!) on the way. Then Oscar made another really delicious meal of chicken stuffed with cheese and sundried tomatoes and we tattooed ourselves (with cheesy temporary tattoos we’d bought at the dollar shop!). A really wonderful birthday!

Hungry for more about the city? Check out my reviews and tips for Eating Out in Sydney.

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