Our flight landed right on time. There was some confusion as we went through immigration. We could have gone through the expedited line but the guy told us the electronic passport readers was a faster line. We waited in that and then someone asked us how old Rachel was and then told us based on her age we had to go through manual processing. So at that time we went back to the expedited line and continued on our way.
Passing through customs I declared that I had food on me and that we had been swimming in fresh water lakes. Both of those seemed to be no big deal and nothing was confiscated.
Next up on the agenda was getting a sim card for my phone. I researched international costs for my phone using Verizon while we were gone and it was going to be $10 USD per day for very limited data. Or, I could pay $25 AUD (the equivalent of around $20 USD) and have 6 gb of data and unlimited text and calls. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. The Vodafone booth was right as you exited customs.
After getting the sim card we got cash from an ATM and then waited in the taxi queue to catch a cab to our lodging. You could take the train from the airport, but the cost of that is roughly the cost of a cab. Plus we would have had to walk half a mile from the train station with our luggage….so the cab seemed like a no brainer.
We arrived at our rental around 9 AM. We are staying on Agar Steps, right next to the Sydney Observatory. We have a two bedroom townhouse which makes it really nice to be able to spread out. There is also an outdoor space and a park next door. The best two things about rentals versus hotels are kitchens and laundry!
The parents decided to nap, where as the kids decided they did not need to. Now, we all did get sleep on the plane, but when I was in the cab I realized I was dozing off. I set an alarm so I wouldn't sleep past 11:45 AM, but then I changed that to 12:15 PM 🙂 We finally were ready to set off around 2 PM. First order of business was to find somewhere to eat.
I had a printout that had several gluten friendly restaurants. We decided to try Mexican and eat at a place called Mad Mex. The first location on my map apparently does not exist there anymore (or we could not find it). Luckily there was another location a ten minute walk away so we headed there. Both Rachel and I ordered tacos on corn shells. After I had eaten my first taco my husband pointed out to me that they looked like they were flour tacos and not corn. I went back to the restaurant and asked them to double check and at that point the woman realized that they were in fact flour tacos. Apparently someone had put the flour tacos where the corn ones normally were. This is my first "known" about exposure to gluten in over a year so I am curious as to what the effects will be…Rachel only had two bites of her taco before we realized, where as I had a full one. I thought the tacos tasted really good.
After we had our late lunch Jonas was complaining about not feeling well and you could tell the kids were tired. We decided to split up. I took Rachel and we ended up riding a ferry round trip, then we took a metro train and got groceries.
The first place we went to they had no gluten free substitutes so we walked a couple of blocks to another grocery store, which later we realized was actually in the same building as the original grocery store. When you eat gluten free and you go into a new grocery store, or a store in a different country you spend a lot of time walking the aisles and looking at products that are gluten free. We found some GF cookies, GF pizza base, and GF bread.
On our way home from the grocery store I passed a wine shop a block from our townhouse. I dropped the groceries off and then I headed back to the wine shop.
I asked the shopkeeper to recommend a good Australian Chardonnay. For kicks I asked him if he had heard about Yellow Tale wine, which is supposedly Australian. He had not. I also noticed the price his shop was selling La Crema for and it made me chuckle. It is a moderately priced wine in the US (between $12 and $18 I think), but in his shop it was $54 AUD. I need to go back to his shop and see if he sells Cakebread – I'm sure he doesn't but it is a US wine that he really needs to try.
After my visit to the shop I was hoping to make dinner at our rental. For dinner I had planned on making spaghetti and corn on the cob, per Rachel's request. However while I was typing this post Rachel ended up putting herself to bed, and Jonas was already sleeping, so it will be interesting to see what happens tonight. I am curious how jet lag will affect all of us this week. So, instead of cooking dinner tonight I will be enjoying Hoddles Creek Chardonnay and Cheerios. I guess tomorrow we will have the dinner I had planned on making tonight.