I think I'd be wanting to leave a little later in the morning next time I went to Australia if I was going back to Hillsong. With my persistent tendency to stay up later than I know I should, early flights start my trips on a bad footing. Getting up at 3:30 to get a lift to the airport, an then needing to wait around for about an hour after getting checked in and stuff wasn't good. I do admit that arriving in Sydney around 7am and being out of the airport by not much after 8 was good though, we had plenty of time to do things during the day.
The first thing was to head to the Hotel we'd be staying in the first couple of nights so we didn't need to keep carrying bags around, particularly important for she that didn't have a bag with wheels. We actually made more use of the public transport to get to the Hotel this year, no walking for ages because we didn't know how far it actually was. Once we'd stored our bags we headed into Darling Harbour and after a short walk around some of it decided to go to the Maritime Museum. I have now been on another warship, this time the HMAS Vampire
, and while I don't remember any real details of the tour I'm happy to have spent the time being shown around it. Just after that the four of also went through the HMAS Onslow
which is a submarine from the same time period. All of us agreed that serving on the ship would have been preferable.
After getting lunch the other three decided that they would go to the IMAX and see the "Grand Canyon" experience. Instead of that I went for a walk to the two game stores I was wanting to visit and ended up getting the 1910 expansion for Ticket to Ride and the Abbey & Mayor expansion for Carcassonne. Once we all met up again we went and checked in properly to the Hotel before going back to the museum to look over the Endeavour replica they have there. I don't know where from, but I'd picked up more info about the time time period than the other three seemed to have over the course of our respective lives, not to surprising when I'm older than each of them. I'm not much taller than a person would have had to have been to walk around the middle deck at the stern comfortably.
We went out in the evening to eat, at the "Blackbird Cafe" again. This time everyone but me ate Kangaroo, I had another pizza. Once we'd all finished eating we took a slow walk back to the Hotel and ended up spending about 90 minutes in the gym/pool. I should have taken shorts with me, exercising in trousers isn't really comfortable. I did spend some time on an uncomfortable exercise bike though, and I proved myself weak as far as lifting weights is concerned. I was also told I have no "core" strength when I was unable to hold myself stable on one of those large squishy balls. I did go swimming, sort of, when the others did, something I hadn't really expected to do even though I made the effort to pack togs.
Pancakes on the Rocks for breakfast, I'm sure I ate more than I did last year but still felt wasteful. Once we'd finished eating we heading across to The Rocks
and walked through the market that was operating on one of the streets. I have a new wooden gift for my parents, a castle that expands out when shaken the right way.
Once done with the market we found the ferry that would take us to Manly and ended up spending about an hour on that beach, with the two younger members of our group fighting over their individual sandcastles and then working together on a third. It seems that I've mostly got over the issues I had with travel, the ferry ride was calm and I felt fine, as was the actual flights.
That evening the three I was with headed out to the nearby casino buffet for their evening meal while I stayed in the Hotel eating my leftovers and watching TV after I finished the first of the four books I took over with me. I saw the new Doctor Who episode that I had thought I was going to miss, as well as most of a program about cars and the need for renewable energy for them.
That evening most of us went to the gym/pool again and while I didn't spend any time on the gym equipment I did swim a little again and spent some time in the spa.
After getting up later in the morning than we intended we checked out of the room and left bags in the storage area like we had before checking in. After making our way into the main city area again from the Hotel we went and rented a car which we then proceeded to leave on the side of a street while we went walking. The court house that we went into is quite old, and has original sewer pipes visible in a couple of places through clear flooring. We also went into a rather large church, that I think is significantly bigger than the Christchurch Cathedral, maybe 2 or 3 times the size.
Getting back to the Hotel in the car proved to be a little difficult as the map reader had a little trouble working out where we were, but mostly because there are a large number of intersections that don't permit right hand turns and those weren't shown on the map we had. I think we ended up at Bondi beach (it was the one I kept hearing had signs up saying "No Fun") before we actually got back to the Hotel, collected our bags and headed out to get checked in at our Motel. That ended up being a little difficult as well, none of could remember the street name the motel was on. After getting past the turn-off we should have taken the street was remembered, directions were found and we made our way to where we were going.
There wasn't really anything else before the Conference began besides us deciding that the room was bigger than what we'd had last year and I think it was then we realised that we weren't given enough towels, 3 for the 4 of us.
Part 2 of this should be up tomorrow I expect, there isn't much to it as I wasn't as aware of things this year as I was last year.