30th Birthday – Four Days in Sydney


So, I have said goodbye to my 20’s and entered into a new decade of my life, full of possibilities, new experiences and a lot of growing and changing. Was I ok with turning the big 3 0, NO, I dreaded this birthday and had anxiety leading up to it.

Age is only a number and I’m told I don’t look 30, but the harsh reality is that I am 30. I’m 30 and the societal pressures to have a house, get married, have a career and actually behave like an adult began to bear heavily on my mature ‘backpacker’ shoulders.

I was literally Joey in Friends in the lead up to my 30th birthday “why god why, we had a deal!!!”

Life on the farm had also become very stressful as we had just found out there would be no more work for us. Needless to say the combination of turning 30 and potentially being homeless, jobless and almost 50 days short of our 88 for the second year visa resulted in many days spent crying.

In spite of all of this, turning 30 didn’t actually hurt, that much, because, little did I know that my OH Kevin had been plotting my 30th birthday weekend with my Perth Rose Kerrie-Ann for over a MONTH!!

Sydney

En route to Sydney in our recently purchased $1500 Kia, Kevin informs me that we had to stop by the airport and collect a dog, a bichon frise in fact, for the dog retreat thats on the farm we work on, I thought sure thats normal.

I parked the car up and began scanning for a lady with a dog. Kevin was insistent I got out of the car. Everyone knows you cant abandon a car at arrivals, but Kevin was persistent, which led to a tetchy Heff!

SURPRISE!!

Running along the doors as a lady calls us back to get the car, looking for a dog, I hearย HIIII……its Kerrie-Ann.

Im in shock, hug her, tell her her lashes are gorge, hug her again and then “so we dont have to collect a dog”

It was such an amazing surprise to have Kerrie-Ann there to celebrate with me! I did have some slight suspicions that Kerrie-Ann would make an appearance, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

BUT that wasnt all! With the schemers (Kevin and Kerrie-Ann) in the car with myself they decide to spill on all the weekends plans…….

Friday Night

The celebrations kicked off with a reunion with my Sydney rose Aisling and her hilarious other half Andy at a Teppanyaki restaurant for an evening of food, comedy and some dangerous stunts. The video explains it all.

Aisling surprised me with the most thoughtful bag of gifts and card for my 30th Birthday. It was quite literally a bag of me… Lush Sleepy lavender body wash and lotion, boujie satin nightdress and gown, Sephora sheet masks and hand cream.

This was such an amazing and hilarious experience, which in my opinion was priced ridiculously low for the service and food you received. I’ve always wanted to go to a Teppanyaki restaurant so it was the perfect start to the weekend.

We continued the night with drinks, followed by Karaoke. I decided to stick to providing back up vocals from afar as my vocally talent ladies Aisling and Kerrie-Ann showed the pub how to really do Karaoke.

Saturday

My sore head and tender body was quickly cured by Kevin surprising me (again) with an early birthday present and as always a heartfelt card. It was an IPHONE 11!!!

I’ve never had the latest iPhone and had been complaining for months about my old iPhone 7 which had a smashed screen, smashed front facing camera and a rear camera with no glass that displayed weird black spots when I took photos.

There was no time to set up my new baby as it was time for Kevin, Kerrie-Ann and myself to hit Luna Park.

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We’ve been to Florida together so its only fitting that we go on some stomach turning rides, albeit being hungover really wasn’t the best idea. This is where the difference in age was apparent. Kerrie-Ann took each ride and the heat in her early 20’s stride, myself and Kevin began to feel the effects of our late 20s and early 30s bodies.

Luna Park in Sydney offers scenic views of the Opera House and the Harbour all for free. The park itself is free to enter, however if you intend on going on any rides a day pass is just $54.

The park has a historic charm throughout with original artwork still hugging the walls in Coney Island. It was opened in the 1930’s and stays true to it’s original intent, to entertain and provide a fun atmosphere for family and friends.

The stripped back, or retro, games and rides in Coney Island awakes the innocent child in even the grumpiest of adult. From old potato sack slides to moving floors, stack toss games and warped fun house mirrors, it shows that the gimmicks of the larger, newer theme parks are unnecessary. It’s stripped back, no frills, wholesome fun!

It was also the birth place of Sid, my purple sloth! Kevin and Kerrie-Ann know how much I’m obsessed with sloths, so when the stack toss game showcased sloth teddies up for grabs the team got together, Myself, Kerrie-Ann and Kevin along with Paul our friend from home who recently moved to Sydney, to win this sloth.

We prevailed and Sid came shopping in Westfield with myself and Kerrie-Ann as the lads went for pints and a catch up in a very authentic Irish bar of course.

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First stop in Westfield, Priceline, for tablets for my hangover which had taken a bad turn ๐Ÿ™‚ A quick pit stop to watch a street performing kid, no more than 12, blast our California Love while I guzzled water and aspro clear.

Once cured we tackled Sephora! An hour later, hands covered in swatches and $180 down we left satisfied with our purchases.

Instagram @aweirdheff – Ill be going through what I bought soon
Surprise!!

Next stop Pandora, Kerrie-Ann wanted to pop in for a browse….or so I thought. On our way to Pandora Kerrie-Ann asks do I have any of their charms and I inform her that I do not, but my sisters have the rings and I think they are really cute.

As we enter Pandora I ask ‘What are you on the hunt for?’ Kerrie-Ann replies “Something for you!” as we stand by the rings…..another very pleasant and thoughtful surprise!

Under Kerrie-Ann’s instructions I pick out three rings I like and then leave to peruse Zara as she selects the ring that will be my birthday gift. It was one of the nicest things someone has done for me.

Before dinner, Aisling called with a package from home…a Paddy Box full of Irish goodies, party hats, a party bag of retro sweets, a chocolate cake, Wispas, Chrunchies, Curly Whirly’s, TAYTO and the best card ever!!

That evening we had dinner plans with Rose of Tralee Escorts from 2017 and 2018, Joe, Nicholas and Noel at El Camino. If you have never heard of El Camino it’s a Mexican restaurant with giant Margaritas, giant Sombreros, tasty food and a DJ, for when those margaritas kick in!

Dinner was eventful with a drinking game seeing the giant Margaritas go down quickly. More surprises….at the end of the meal birthday Churros with sparklers and the best salted caramel sauce are brought out to “Happy Birthday To You….Happy Birthday To You…Happy Birthday Dear HEFFFFF.”

The countdown to 12 begun in Retro, a nightclub that does what it says on the tin, plays retro music only. With only two minutes to go Come On Eileen is on, a song I despise because its played at every Irish wedding, but I have to go with it…..

One minute to go…. “Come. On. Eileen.”

Feck it, lets get a dance going here, if I’m turning 30, I’m turning 30 dancing. We begin to cancan slow and then faster with the beat, a group of lads begin to follow, then most of the dancefloor…..ok it was just a big group of lads.

Come. On. Eileen. too raloo rye aye
I say, too ra loo ra, too raloo rye aye
Come on, Eileen
Oh, I swear (what he means)

HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

Sunday

Even sorer heads and bodies today, but it’s my BIRTHDAY!!

Honestly, I was not a ball of sunshine and excitement today. Once again that changed quickly when Kerrie-Ann burst through the bedroom door shouting “Happy Birthday!!” with a box of Krispie Kremes and gifts.

The Pandora ring she chose was secretly my favourite one! Now for theย piรจce de rรฉsistance….. ANOTHER SLOTH!!

This had me in stitches and staring squealing for a good 5minutes. Isn’t it just beautiful but also slightly menacing…a bit like myself. I named him Sonnie, because he brightens my day every time I look at him.

If you want to get your hands on your very own Sonnie, or a dog, cat, even a commissioned piece, it’s by the very talent Perth Lifecasting.

After a hefty two days we decided on a relaxing day at Bondi Beach followed by the Bondi to Coogee Bay walk.

We did NOT make the entire walk! We made it about two beaches down and called an Uber.

Sculptures by the Sea was on, which resulted in the route being heavily congested with people. Not the relaxing coastal walk we had in mind.

A beach visit is not complete without a dip in the sea and petting a few wet doggos, so that is what we did!

Full disclosure, I went into the sea for a picture with Kevin and Mother Nature decided my hungover head could do with freshening up a bit so fire a huge wave at us. *see video below.

At Coogee Bay Hotel we met up with the gang, Aisling, Nicholas, Noel and Joe for drinks, some UFC and more drinks. Myself and Kevin nipped off for some food which was fab, we got popcorn chicken and a chicken burger to share…order the mushroom gravy and thank me later.

The plan was to head back to the apartment, get dolled up, have cake, wear party hats and then head out, BUT when the craic is good, the craic is good.

We hit the TeaGardens that evening in our beach gear, a very glam 30th Birthday outfit I must say, and it turned out to be the best night. Singing Irish songs, pretending to Irish dance, running around with sunnies on inside and a Coopers bucket hat (thanks Dean) on as I FaceTimed home not being able to hear a thing.The band saying Come on the Town (Cup Final Day) and a DJ getting us all on the dance floor after.

I definitely didn’t look or act like a 30 year old!

I always thought my 30th birthday would be a very glam party, involving an expensive dress, make and hair, photoshoot, glam cake….very boujie altogether, but there I was in an Irish bar in Sydney with some of the best people I know, in a swimsuit and skirt having the time of my life!

Monday

After evacuating the apartment and parking up our red rocket it was time to visit Darling Harbour. Everyone was after the cure and some carbs so we stoped at Mediterranea Restaurant for the nicest wood fired pizza ever and I had a delicious Strawberry Daiquiri mocktail (driving).

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Once our bellies were full it was on to Sealife, which was such a nice experience. I love aquariums and this one featured Shark tunnels, a Penguin boat ride, Manta Ray passages and a florescent aquarium of the most beautiful creatures.*see the video below

We of course couldn’t leave Sydney without a picture at the Sydney Opera House. Following a recommendation from Aisling, we took the Water Taxi from Darling Harbour, under Harbour Bridge to the Opera House.

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This was a wonderfully relaxing way to see the beauty that Sydney Harbour has to offer. You can hop on and off at the key tourist spots, stand on the front of the boat for breathtaking views of Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and the driver provides some charming tidbits about the buildings you pass.

Although he locked myself, Kevin and Kerrie-Ann out on the front of the boat told us to hold on tight and put the foot down (or whatever you do to make a boat go fast).

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Harbour Bridge

We had driven over Harbour Bridge earlier in the weekend which allowed us to really see the architectural beauty that makes this one of the most famous bridges in the world.

Near the Opera House is the perfect spot for some tourist photos of the bridge and should you get thirsty from all that modelling there is a host of cafes and restaurants where you can sit and take in the peacefulness of the sea and the wonder of the bridge.

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Sydney Opera House

While you can’t go inside, a walk around the Opera House and a rocky moment up the stairs for photos is enough to take in another magnificent piece of architecture. I would highly recommend the water water taxi as it allows you to really take in the wonder of the Opera house.

After a jam-packed weekend of wonderful surprises, thoughtful friends, tourism, drunken messing and shopping we had one final meal in Aisling’s local which provided us with the best steak I’ve had in Australia, accompanied with the most authentic pepper sauce (to my Irish standard).

The meal was quickly followed with goodbyes as Kerrie-Ann had a plane to catch and myself and Kevin had the hour and half drive back to our cabin to make.

Admittedly I was anxious about turning 30, but this weekend highlighted just how lucky I am to have such caring and considerate people in my life. The effort everyone made to make this weekend special really warmed the heart of this middle-aged balding beauty.

They even tried to find a Sloth Sanctuary to visit so that I could hold a Sloth!! IMAGINE!!! It’s probably best there wasn’t one because I would probably pass out and die with excitement.

To everyone who sent me birthday wishes, cards, messages, videos and voice messages THANK YOU!

I, of course, missed celebrating with a LOT of family and friends for my 30th, but the weekend I had, with the people who came, has made for one memorable entrance in the next decade of my life!

AJxx

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