Wake up! Wake up!
Arriving on Christmas Eve into Sydney is quite the experience. Our hostel stands tall on the corner of Pitt and George Street, and right away you can’t help but think it is going to be an “up” lifting experience. Yes, puns aside, Wake up! is an imposing hostel. Everything is “up,” from the phones (cash up!) to the internet (hook up!) to the laundry (wash up!) to their inticing slogan (wake up! with someone new). We booked into an eight-bed dorm for nine nights and headed up to our penthouse suite on the top floor. Everyone was decked out in full head-to-toe christmas party gear. Santa and his elves were aplenty. Sarah and I decided to miss out on the Jaeger bomb world record (Jaeger bombs are jaegermeister and red bull shots) and head down for some more wholesome fun at the Darling Harbour. There we listened to carols around a beautiful blue Christmas tree, licked at some chocolate sundaes, wore silly hats and generally got into the spirit of the season.
Christmas day broke… cloudy. In fact, it is the coldest Christmas in 30 years in Sydney. That didn’t stop Sarah and I from heading down to Bondi Beach. Wake up! sold us tickets to a special Christmas lunch at Bondi. Unfortunately, we got there to a very disappointing nothing. Yep, it was a complete bust. They tried to make it up to us by giving out tickets to another event not too far away, but at that point we just wanted our money back. Which we didn’t get.
Not wanting to make a complete waste of Christmas, we found a few of our non-Wakeup friends at Bondi, found a sheltered picnic table, ate McDonalds (for Christmas lunch) and had a couple of beers. Despite the blustery wind and clouds, it was a great day. We made our way down to Coogee beach later, and then back to the Darling Harbour for a lovely Italian dinner.
As far as Christmases go, it was one I will never forget. It wasn’t all that we had hoped for; we didn’t get to top up our tans or eat shrimp on the barbie. But it was spent with the best of friends and there were lots of laughs.
Merry Christmas everybody!