The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Our First Day in Australia

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 7, 2010

We’re here! (Well, we were actually here when I wrote the San Francisco posts 🙂 But that was when we first got here so now we’re really here).  Due to the time difference, I’m going to refer to our days by the day of the week instead of “today,” “yesterday,” etc.  For example, my laptop tells me it’s 4pm Eastern time on Saturday but to us, as I type, it’s 8am Sunday.  Ok, on to our first day…

Our arrival in Sydney was relatively smooth.  We made it through Immigration and Customs and met the Husband’s brother just outside. Having just come from winter and Las Vega’s desert conditions, we were a tad overwhelmed with the humidity at first but also very excited for it (I felt that I had actually packed appropriately!).  We found the Husband’s brother’s (Jeff from now on) Ute (not sure that’s how it’s spelled, but they call what we call pickup trucks “utes” short for utility vehicle), threw our bags in the back, started to get in to the wrong side (driver’s door is on the right), and were on our way!

The one thing that’s just the most surreal to us thus far is the driving on the left concept.  Luckily, we spent our first day with Jeff driving us around, but on Sunday we’ll be picking up our own rental car.  Hopefully we can figure it out quickly!

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We had a highway tour of Sydney and headed west toward Jeff’s house, about 40 minutes outside of the city.  The city looked beautiful and we can’t wait to head back in!

Once we arrived at the house, we got settled in and began catching up.  We haven’t seen Jeff since Xmas in Italy over a year ago so we were excited to finally be here! The boys chatted and I blogged until we all got hungry.  We decided to stay local today and headed out to a huge bar and restaurant area not too far from the house.

We headed to The Mean Fiddler, a ginormous place, that once inside, felt like it went on for forever.  There were multiple bars, each with their own theme, many patios, a handful of stages.  Definitely a place to hang out with friends, no matter the mood! There were private little rooms and big socializing areas.  We were quite impressed.  I only got pics of the first few rooms as I was holding up the tour Jeff was giving us 🙂

IMG_3208 IMG_3209 IMG_3210 IMG_3211 IMG_3212 IMG_3213 After the tour, we headed over to the food area – a central location where you can order food that they’ll bring to your table.  Our options included meat pies (which would have taken a half hour since they had just started baking), sandwiches, burgers, salads, pastas – a lot of items we were generally used to.

IMG_3214 IMG_3215 IMG_3216 IMG_3217 Once the orders were placed, we headed over to the bar closest to our table to order our drinks.  We’re hoping to sample as many different Australian brews as possible.  The Husband got us off to a good start, but I ended up with an English cider.

IMG_3218 IMG_3219 IMG_3220 IMG_3221 He had a Coopers Brewery Original Pale Ale and it was wonderful! Wish I had had one myself (though my Strongbow was good).  Yum!

After a short wait, our food arrived!

The Husband had the Steak Sandwich (he originally wanted to try a meat pie but didn’t want to wait a half hour).  This had a steak patty, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and mustard on toast with fries (chips to the Aussies).

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I ordered the Beef Burger as did Jeff.  (We both saw someone at another table with it and it looked goooood).  This was as good as the one we saw looked 🙂 It was a beef patty topped with lettuce, carmelized onion, beetroot, cheese, fried egg, and tomato chutney with a side of chips.  What looks to be ketchup is actually “tomato sauce,” a less sweet form of ketchup and way tasty!IMG_3230

IMG_3231 After lunch, we decided to head over to the local mall to (1) see how Aussie malls differ from American ones and (2) to look for a pre-paid phone and a GPS to use while traveling.  We ended up at Rouse Hill Town Centre.

IMG_3236 It was pretty much a large outdoor mall that felt air conditioned.  It was lovely!

IMG_3235 We meandered through the mall, looked at some GPS units, and then headed to the local grocery store, Woolworth’s, to grab some food for dinner.  Outside of the grocery store, there was a fish market, produce stand, and meat market. Unrelated to the actual grocery store as they had all of these inside too! I loved it 🙂 In my ideal world, I’d buy all of my food at separate vendors like this.

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We grabbed some kangaroo steak, lamp chops, butternut squash (butternut pumpkin here), potatoes, and some things for breakfast.  Jeff cooked this all up for us for dinner and it was so very good! He cooked up some beetroot mash to go with the kangaroo.  Yum! I meant to take photos, but the jetlag definitely was hitting us and we were fading in and out of a nap before dinner.  We stayed up to watch one of the few Australian movies, which was quite cute before heading to bed 🙂 (Although, I do have to admit, I fell asleep in the middle – not at all because of the movie).

The Husband and I slept well and are generally on Australian time now (woke up at 6:30/7:00).  The Husband was hungry when he got up and tried some Australian cereal: Wheatbix. While a bit plain (Jeff actually recommended he put honey on it after he got up), the Husband did enjoy it. I look forward to trying it myself some time this week 🙂 (We’re having eggs, bacon, and toast later this morning!)

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Hope you all are enjoying your weekends! See you tomorrow with our review of our Sunday outings 🙂

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