I learned the hard way. You don’t want to be selected for Lane 1 at the Sydney International Airport Customs and Border Patrol.
Back in Honolulu I made quick friends with the Jetstar check-in lady. She moved me to a window seat. Bonus! I was one of the few with an empty seat next to me. 2 seats to myself! Not yet there, and already loving Sydney!
Then, after enduring the eleven-hour flight from Hilo, I was red flagged. Lane 1 means they take apart your bags and ask you repetitive questions. “Have you done drugs in the past 3 months? Are you carrying drugs? Do you do drugs? Did you pack drugs?” After I clearned the inspection, I asked the interrogator where to catch the train into the city. Twelve minutes later I stepped off at Museum Station, one of the few stops on the direct line from the airport. Another amazing sign, I was going to love this city!
My good friend Jessika from LA has an absolutely gorgeous place in Hyde Park. Her broad windows overlook one of the best parks in the city. It was Wednesday evening and Jessika’s friend, Falan, had heard about this cool food event called ‘I Love BBQ’, it was being put on as part of the, “March into Marivale” food and wine festival. This event was taking place at one of their many venues, The Ivy. We decided to check it out and it was definitely worth seeing.
The Ivy is a really cool indoor/outdoor bar venue. Different food vendors had set up small sampling stations for the event and there was live music. You got a punch card when you arrived, and each drink or small plate would cost one or two punches. The food was incredible. Papi Chulo was my favorite vendor with their incredible wagu brisket. After eating and drinking up our punch cards we went to a place called Frankie’s Pizza for a final nightcap. Frankie’s immediately became one of my favorite bars of all time, old Italian style, with photos on the wall and mismatched seating. The bar itself had an oven where you could order pizza by the slice. Order a gin and apple juice while you wait. There are two juicers!! Everyone ordered spirits with a type of juice; orange, cucumber, lime, apple, carrot, you name it.
Woke up extremely early Thursday, damn you jet lag! But, because of my early rise, I witnessed the city-center rise as well – which was beautiful. The changing colors of the sky came sneaking through the cracks between skyscrapers as the sun slowly moved into its working place for the day. I had so many things I wanted to get out and see, but I couldn’t seem to remove myself from the window.