Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trip out to Manly

The past two days have been wonderful. It has been so refreshing to walk around without humidity torturing us.  The weather has been wonderful and around 77 degrees the past two days.  We slept in very late on Saturday not quite used to the time difference here.  We walked down to the Opera House and had a late lunch at Opera Bar which sits right next to the water in the harbor.  I had a salad that had roast pumpkin, asparagus, and feta. It was delicious.  Drew ate a pizza that was topped with Wagkyu Beef.  We then took the short walk to the Opera House and took pictures admiring the amazing architecture.  We were hoping to maybe catch a play while we are in town but the only thing that seems to be showing is "MacBeth" so we might see it, but were hoping for something a little bit more light-hearted. One of the fun things about being there on a Saturday afternoon was that there were weddings everywhere.  There were three different couples we saw taking pictures in their wedding dresses and tuxes and then saw several other groups wandering about the city as well.
After viewing the opera house, we walked back to the hotel to relax for a little bit and then freshened up to head out for Happy Hour.  We were hoping to find a place that had a rooftop bar or sweeping views of the city and the concierge directed us toward the Goodwin Hotel.  We arrived to find out that is has been closed for renovations.  We meandered through a part of the city called The Rocks which is full of restaurants, shops, and cobble-stone streets.  Heading down Argyle Street, we passed a venue called "The Argyle" which was a huge indoor/outdoor club lined with rainbow banners, tables topped with feathers, and boas. It looked like a fun spot for later in the evening but it wasn't quite the place for happy hour.  We continued down toward the water and in front of the cruise terminal, we found a perfect spot to enjoy twilight. Drew has discovered his new favorite drink, a lychee martini and downed a couple of those while we tremendously enjoyed people watching (I cannot figure out Australian fashion- it's interesting to say the least) as the sun went down.
After happy hour, we headed back up Argyle street to a sushi restaurant called Sake which came highly recommended to us by Drew's coworkers. The food was fantastic and the sake sommelier ended up guiding us through the entire menu and brought us several different cocktails and varieties of sake to bring out the flavors of the meal.  It was divine.  Several of the courses we had included King Fish, which is not something I would normally associate with high end sushi, but it was GOOD! We left feeling very happy.
Just down the street from Sake was a German pub called Lowenbrau.  They actually brew their own beer here, have a beer garden, and a dance club upstairs.  We made our way up the steps and proceeded to dance for the next three hours to music ranging from oldies, disco, 80's rock classics, to modern day pop.  It was SO much fun.  In a brave moment, I jumped up on Drew so he lifted me up I and rocked out to "All the Single Ladies" which received a round of applause when the song was over.  When we didn't think our booties could shake anymore and Drew had sweat all the way through his shirt, we made it back to our hotel around midnight and had a good night's sleep.
Yesterday Drew got me up way earlier than I would have liked and we headed down to the wharf to catch the ferry to Manly Beach.  Manly got it's name from when the beach was discovered, the local tribes were known to look very "manly".  The ride on the ferry was gorgeous and gave us beautiful views of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge.  So far, the weather has been perfect but there is a 70% chance of rain today (Monday). Once we got to Manly, we were amazed by the tall trees that stand over the ocean, the beautiful blue color of the water, and coziness of Manly.
We walked through the Corso (their version of third street promenade) which takes you out to the beach on the other side. The beach is very large but because of the strong currents, most of the water is only open to surfers and the swimming area is a very small section in between two flags.  We set up camp on the beach and enjoyed the water very much.   It was cool and refreshing, but not too cold to enjoy.  After a couple hours of relaxing, the clouds started to come in a little bit and the air got a bit chilly so we decided to rent some bicylces and go for a ride around Manly.  We rode up the bath to Shelly Beach and were constantly dodging pedestrians and am fortunate to say I didn't hit anyone (hard). Shelly Beach is in a secluded cove and is a beautiful area where it is best for snorkling.  We stopped and took a couple of pictures but since the sky had turned grey I don't think they will do the beach justice.  We rode past Shelly and ended up in a residential neighborhood where the houses looked spectaucular.  Glass windows everywhere which I'm sure provide amazing views of the beaches. We then went the other direction past Manly and ended up in a park where we hopped off the bikes to ride the swings for a few minutes before heading back.
After returning our bikes, we went up to Murray's Ale House for happy hour and another great view of the sunset on an outdoor patio. We tried the beer sampler and an appetizer and then walked up to Manly Wines. I loved this place and could have stayed for hours. The wine was very reasonable priced, the decor was french country meets art decco and the view was beautiful.  We had a pitcher of rose sangria and a pitcher of white sangria which were both delicious and unique (and only $15 each!).
We headed back  toward the wharf to check ferry times and then decided to try Hugo's for dinner at another recommendation.  I ordered Wagyu Beef and Drew had a pizza that came with lamb and figs.  Hugo's is known for their unique pizza selection and so it was something we had to try.  The meal was incredible and was the perfect way to finish off our weekend.
That said, I am going to head to the gym and try to burn off some of the gluttony from this weekend.

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