Weekending in Sydney

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I just got back from a busy but amazing weekend with my parents in Sydney.

My parents are currently on a month long visit to Australia and New Zealand. They started off by flying the longest flight in the world from Dallas to Sydney. I took off work Friday so that I could meet them there for the weekend before they headed off to visit my mom’s childhood friend in New Zealand.

The morning started off a little rough after I missed my flight check in by four minutes and had to get on the next flight. For the record it wasn’t my fault, my Uber driver somehow got turned around on the 15 minute drive from my house to the airport. There were tears shed (and more dollars than I would like to admit) but I got on a flight thirty minutes later.

It was so exciting meeting my parents in Sydney and getting to show them around one of my favorite Aussie cities. It was my sixth trip there and my fifth playing tour guide to someone from home (my sister, my in-laws, Sean, and Thomas and Jenn’s trips are all recapped as well).


That guy really wanted in their picture.


First order of business was keeping them awake and active all day to fight the jet lag. After some coffee and a trip by the air bnb we headed to Circular Quay to get a glimpse of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge before hopping on the ferry to Watson’s Bay. This was actually my parents second trip to Sydney, the first was in 1988 with a one year old me!


We ate a mandatory lunch of fish and chips at Doyle’s before hitting the trails to work off lunch. We took a scenic walk through local beaches, old military sites and up to the lighthouse. All while admiring the stunning views of the Harbour and Sydney’s skyline.

After putting a serious dent in our daily step count, we took the ferry back to the city. All three of us were pretty drained from traveling, walking and of course the Aussie sun but we stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few staples for the apartment (like Diet Coke, bananas and wine).

After relaxing a bit we headed up to the rooftop to watch the sunset. While we were up there we chatted with another tenant who happened to be an American expat. He recommended a casual, local spot to eat dinner at called Dumplings and Beer. Luckily for our tired selves it was just around the corner and even though it was a tiny establishment, they seated us right away. We all three shared several plates off of the menu and especially enjoyed the pan fried pork and cabbage dumplings.

We hit the hay early since we had an early wake up call for my parent’s opera house tour. Unfortunately we had a little disruption fro the nightclub next door. I probably should have double checked the air bnb location a little better before giving my dad the OK. The apartment was very nice and the proximity to public transit ideal but it was much closer to the seedy party section of town than I realized.

While my parents toured the opera house I ran a few shops in the city unsuccessfully looking for an inexpensive backpack to use on our walk later that day (packing fail). I hit my 10,000 steps on the fitbit before 10am and I knew I was in for a big day of walking. After meeting up with my parents and becoming appropriately caffeinated we took a local’s advice and headed to Chinatown to pick up a cheap backpack.


Not only did we find what we were looking for but we found a street named after my mom!


From there we took a bus to Coogee Beach to start the Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk. Even though I’ve done the walk many times, it never gets old. Plus I love seeing everyone take in the beauty of the scenery for the first time.


We made it all the way to Bondi and rewarded ourselves with an ice cold beverage at the icebergs. We got very lucky and swooped up a balcony table up just as a couple were leaving.

On the bus ride home we learned that the reason we kept seeing Mardi Gras signs everywhere all weekend was because it was the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras that weekend, apparently one of the largest of such festivals of it’s kind. While the festive vibe in the streets was contagious as we walked to our apartment that afternoon, we did not enjoy the noise level outside of our apartment until 5am, which then was replaced by the loud cleaning truck going up and down the street for an hour. Once again, should have double checked those Air BnB reviews a little more closely.


I didn’t bring the selfie stick so the big mirror had to capture us all. Baby A was making a serious appearance that night. The original Rhoads 3 take Sydney 28 years later.

ANYWAY back to Saturday night, we decided to head to the historic Rocks area to get dinner and check out the night views of the Harbour and opera house. We took the train to Martin Place and took a scenic walk through the city so I could show them the bird cage alley all light up.


We enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner at Appetito before heading back to our noisy pad. I literally had to push past some highly intoxicated 19 year olds and side step puke to get to our door. As annoyed as we were then it made for a funny story in the morning and isn’t that what counts?

After a restless night’s sleep we lounged around the apartment for a while before walking to Amperstand- an adorable cafe/used bookstore Travis found on our last visit. My dad is a HUGE reader and this was pretty much his dream place- food, coffee and walls and walls of books. The food was much better than I recall and my mom and I both had the Mediterranean breakfast which included pesto and halloumi- two faves.

We lingered a while before heading back to the Harbour to do a little photo recreation.

1988 | 2016

A photo posted by Courtney Alkek (@courtneyalkek) on


Clearly I thought my head was turned a lot more in the original but we were rushing to take it before the yellow ferry was out of the frame.


We spent the rest of the afternoon browsing around The Rocks markets and museum before heading back to the apartment so I could get ready for my flight (don’t worry I made it this time).


I couldn’t resist the Krispy Kreme stand by my gate, and what kind of blogger would I be if I ate a donut without photographing it first?

We had such a great weekend and I can’t wait for them to get to Brisbane Friday so I can show them around my home!

Linking up with Biana for Weekending!

19 thoughts on “Weekending in Sydney

    • It is so cute. Travis saw it when he was there for work and was so excited to take my friend Jenn and I there when they were visiting, because we both are book lovers. Thanks I can’t wait until I have the baby though, your Sloane pics make me so happy!

  1. Oh my gosh you’re made of sturdier stuff than I am. I think I would have had to bail on that Airbnb. The whole weekend sound perfect though! I can’t wait to take a trip to Washington DC with my parents this summer!! Are they gonna get to come to the actual city where you live on there trip?

  2. Looks like you guys had the most amazing time minus the few little hurdles of a missed flight and the airbnb! I have to get back to Sydney one of these days! I often forget how awesome it is 🙂 must have been so lovely to have your parents in town too 🙂

  3. i wish you would go to sydney every weekend because then i get to look at photos and think i’m at home 😉 that absolutely sucks balls about the flight, god that would have made me so mad!

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