Saturday, October 2, 2010

Visiting China... In Sydney

During my latest Sydney layover, the weather was so nice I didn't want to waste the day lounging in my room, or in the shops spending money I didn't really have. While there were a few things I wanted to buy, I didn't want to go to Pitt St, so I decided to head to Darling Harbour instead. Just for fun, I took the Monorail- something I haven't done in nearly ten years!

After my shopping, I was wandering around, enjoying the day and people watching when I passed the entrance to the Chinese Garden. I'd always meant to visit but somehow never actually made it. The entry fee was a reasonable $6, and as I was curious to see what it was like, I paid my money and went in.

At the moment, they are doing construction work around Darling Harbour Park, so there was lots of cladding up. Luckily, they've made it nice and interesting with murals, photos and historical information. I liked this toucan; he reminded me of the old Peter's icy-pole ad.

Stone lions outside of the main entrance to the Chinese Garden of Friendship.

Once inside, the first thing you are greeted with is a really neat display of tiny Bonsai trees. I snapped some pictures, but didn't notice until now they tiny bridge on one. How cute!

The garden is really beautiful, and peaceful, despite its city location. I could hardly believe I was i Sydney. It's also much larger than it looks from the outside, and has many different areas including pagodas, a "mountain", bamboo forest, and of course lots of water ponds with koi (carp?) fish.

The greenness was so nice after being in the desert for nearly 5 months! It's the type of vivid green you might see on a tree frog, not the cikly artificial green of trees kept alive with desalinated sea water.

A group of school kids were dressing up in traditional costumes, they looked so cute I had no choice but to sneak a picture! Adorable!

There were LOTS of these guys around, one scared the life out of me but once I knew they were there, I saw lots of them.

I loved these secret-looking stairs!! This would be a great place for prom or wedding pictures. In fact, they were setting up for three weddings at various locations around the garden.

Lizard vs Rock. Lizard wins!

Proof we're actually really in the middle of Sydney!

I found the gardens well worth a visit, even if gardens aren't really your "thing", the peaceful environment is just the thing to take a break from the hustle-bustle of the city or spend some time with your special someone or friends. A tea-house is on site for casual meals and the venue can be booked for functions. It's an easy walk from the Sydney CBD, or indulge your inner child and take the Monorail!

You can check out the CGF website here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Classic Wings

A year or two ago, I had the chance to take a flight in a vintage airliner. A former colleague of mine had set up a sightseeing business with his father, taking people for flights in this gorgeous aeroplane that they had restored. Sadly, due to the economy they were forced to sell the plane and so had a "last hurrah" champagne flight over the city to say goodbye.

To celebrate the occasion I decided to dress in the era of the DC-3. As it was short notice the outfit wasn't as accurate as I'd hoped, but I think I got the overall 'look'. (My inspiration was Kate Beckinsale in 'Pearl Harbour'- post on her outfit to follow)

(I have to apologise in advance for the formatting of this post, I'm not sure what went wrong but I couldn't fix it without starting over and it's taking AGES to upload photos)

I already had a cute shirt dress in a black and white bird pattern which would do nicely, and I found a frangipani hair flower (favourite of pin-up girls) and I think tropical enough for the Hawaii part =)

I would have loved to wear a suit and hat but as it was the height of summer it jsut wasn't possible. At this point I hadn't yet learned to do victory rolls in my own hair, so I made a quick trip to the hairdresser. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but as the girl had no experience with vintage hairstyles I thought it wasn't too bad, and had the right 'feel' for 1940's.

It was a gorgeous day for flying and the view was beautiful! A really neat feature of the plane was a 'bubble window' that was specially installed to allow people to take unobstructed photos of the views. You could sit right out into the bubble and be about a foot outside of the fuselage of the plane. How cool!

I just loved the retro seats with the white vinyl trim and the curtains. Flying at least LOOKED more glamorous back then! In reality I'm sure there was a lot of airsickness, oil stains and windswept hair on the ladies :P

I would have loved to fly as "stewardess" on this flight, and had the sale not had to happen so suddenly, they would have let me do it. Can you imagine, how NEAT would that have been?! I still have hopes to maybe do this in Melbourne when I come back to Australia to live.

Outfit details:

Dress: B&W bird design from Target
Bag: Thrifted (sadly ruined in storage last year)
Shoes: 1940's suede platforms borrowed from sister
Hair Flower: Price Attack
Cherry Earrings: Diva

Certainly was a great day, I had a fantastic time and also checked off one of my "bucket list" items at the same time. If you ever have the chance to do a historic scenic flight, I highly reccommend it!

"Gooney Bird" flights with ShortStop Charter Melbourne

My Instagram