Well we celebrated our first Easter Down Under and the heathens that we are, we never made it to church. But we did manage to rent another van and this time it started and kept running without incident! Found several car rental places and dealerships up in Artarmon so this will be our go-to suburb when a car is needed.
Unfortunately it rained all weekend, straight through Friday & Sat., combined with holiday store closings, made Sydney more of a ghost town than the thriving metropolis it usually is. It is considered a public holiday straight through from Fri into and including Monday. While in Artarmon though, we found Fantastic furniture and Bunnings were open on Sat. so we bought shelving, lighting and a trash bin. I even remembered to look for Henry to surprise him with an American dollar bill but he was not working that day. From there, we went to Chelsea and James apartment. They are a super nice couple we met on the Sydney Americans Facebook group. Great timing that they were headed back to Texas and needed to unload everything from an iron and ironing board to a kitchen table and chairs and pretty much everything in between. We got so much accomplished, it was great!
The rain finally stopped a bit on Easter so that was a nice break but at least it kept us indoors to put our cheapo furniture together before heading out for more exploring.
Yesterday, later in the day, after sorting through mail and putting together furniture, we went for a hike (called bush-walking here!) through Ball's Head Reserve. The council converted an old BP oil refining and coal mining facility into bush-walking trails, replanting native plantings with Million dollar views of the harbor in the distance. We saw monstrous-sized spiders everywhere, holy crap! lol Had no idea how close a walk it was from our apartment. We just walked up Lavender and onto Union St. The suburb changes from Lavender Bay to Waverton, a very nice neighborhood! We may consider it if/when we move next year. But I have to say that it is a challenge to find a balance between street & train noise and an easy walk to the train station. During our walk in Waverton, we came across an adorable cafe, The Grumpy Cafe, formerly The Grumpy Baker.
A little history and description here: http://www.bestsydneywalks.com/balls-head-reserve/
Check out these beautiful views of the city skyline and harbor from Ball's Head.
We met a friend along the way (water dragon, like the spiders, they are everywhere too)