Well, after about 9,000 miles and 20 hours of flying, I arrived in to Sydney yesterday AM around 7:30 a.m. After weaving my way through customs, the baggage help desk (my luggage didn't make it either to Auckland or Sydney), and the quarantine bag check line, I was out into the sunny weather, not caring that the cab line was the longest line I have ever seen in my life. This puts the cab line at Vegas and Los Angeles to shame.
I got to my hotel about 9:30 a.m., and graciously enough, was allowed to check into my room. While I was pretty tired at that point (even though Qantas Airlines rocks my face off and I had a sweet seat/bed that laid completely flat that allowed me to sleep), I made myself stay awake as long as possible in order to adjust to the 16 hour time zone difference, knowing that today (Sunday), I would be flying 9.5 hours to Bangkok and they were 4 hours behind this time (or a full 12 hours ahead of CST).
My hotel is located at Darling Harbour, which is on the water, as you may have astutely guessed. I walked around the harbor for about 2.5 hours, taking in the sunny, 80 degree weather. It was wonderful. I found some fun postcards, especially a great one for Steph that I am anxious to see her response on. I then went to chill in the hotel for a little bit, as my luggage was supposed to make it's way to my room (it did, thankfully).
I then went on a run around Sydney, partially to keep up my training for the half marathon, partially just to see the city. I ran for about 85 minutes, and I ran from Darling Harbour to the Rocks, the Sydney Opera House, and through the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was a blast, and I got to run along the water the entire time. There were a ton of people out enjoying the sunny weather, and there were plenty of runners. It was great having a trail right along the water. A Garmin would have been extremely helpful on a run like this, but it is still difficult for me to swallow paying $300+ for a watch. Using mapmyrun.com and the street map I have, my guess is right around 8 miles, +- a little bit here or there.
I then went back to my room and took a looooong shower, and then got dressed and went back to Darling Harbour for dinner. I ate at a local bar and grill on the water and people watched. Then, even though my feet and the blisters were screaming at me, I walked back to the water down by the Rocks and the Sydney Opera House and got some cool night pictures. It was fun...I took my time walking back as my feet were killing me.
Today, my plan was to go to the Taronga Zoo, but it is $37/person and doesn't open for a few more hours on Sundays. Since I need to get to the airport around 3-ish, I don't think it's worth it. I may go hang out by the pool and will probably do some walking again...need to find some authentic Sydney XMAS ornaments!
That's all for now...I will try and post my pictures soon.