8.08.2013

DAY 4 - THE ROCKS


Today it drizzled for a good portion of the day. We started out with a late breakfast of Tim Tam slams, which Tyler informs me were a regular breakfast for him when he lived here, especially on chilly winter mornings. We took a train into the city and went to the Pitt Street shopping mall, suggested by Shaunee. She forgets, though, that we don't have expensive taste, which resulted in us doing very little shopping.

We did see a Magnum kiosk, though; I had never heard of Magnum ice cream bars until our grocery trip and Tyler told me I had to try them. Well, this Magnum kiosk was double the greatness because you could build your own and they make it right in front of you. You first pick your chocolate (dark, milk or white), then you pick up to three toppings (they ranged from pistachios to dried rose petals and everything in between), and lastly you pick what type of chocolate you want drizzled on top. Of course we both picked honeycomb as one of our toppings.

After we devoured our ice cream bars, we window shopped a little longer before leaving empty-handed and with semi-empty bellies. It was clear we had only had sweets and not one substantial meal, so we sought out a Pie Face (they are everywhere) and pigged out there while it rained. Neighboring the Pie Face was the Queen Victoria Building, an amazing Romanesque building turned shopping mall that took up the whole block. Again this was recommended by Shaunee, and again these shops were extremely pricey, but we enjoyed looking through the building.

We took a train back to Circular Quay and walked over to The Rocks to find the Museum of Contemporary Art. We went through the exhibits in the museum seeing some pretty interesting pieces. One of our very favorite installations was simple but clever: the artist used 100 flip clocks, but instead of numbers she replaced them with different colored cards. They were all a little bit off of each other, so it was just this massive colored checkerboard. It was so mesmerizing with the faint hum of the battery operated clocks and the every-once-in-a-while click when a card flips. It's hard to do justice in a description, but we've embedded a video below. After walking through the whole museum we stopped in the gift shop. Museum gift shops are my very favorite; you could seriously just buy any item in there for me and I would love it to pieces. The only problem is that museum gift shops are ridiculously expensive, so I rarely buy anything. I did find the most perfect neon green leather sketchbook, but it made my jaw drop when I looked at the price tag. I went to put it back, but Tyler said that it was too perfect and he would hold onto it while I thought about it. I made my way to the children's section (again, everything in there was the best of the best). I turned around to show Tyler some vintage drop cap letter blocks and saw him through the small crowd purchasing that sketchbook at the counter. He spotted me and I shook my head with a smile; he is so good to me.

We then made our way to the Customs House, which was just across the train station and was a suggestion in the tourist guide I had picked up at the airport. We didn't know a whole lot about the building going into it, but we knew that there was a city model under glass you could go see. We walked in and there were so many swanky people in tuxedos and formal gowns, we felt super out of place. We took our photos and got out of there as soon as possible. We were going to hop on the train and head home, when we passed (for the fourth time this week) a sign for pumpkin soup at a restaurant just outside the station. Pumpkin here is different than in the States; it has a thicker wall and they roast it, like squash, and Tyler highly recommended it. We broke down and bought one to share—well that's what we asked for, but the waiter brought us two. Turns out we were hungrier than we thought because both gigantic bread bowls were gone before we could even think to photograph them. We took a train home and it felt like 10:00, but alas it was only 7:00. Between the overcast day, the sun going down sooner because it is winter here, and jet lag, we are so disoriented.



On our shopping trip Monday we bought up every kind of Tim Tam. My new favorite is the honeycomb variety; I cannot get enough of the honeycomb here. So. Good.





Our custom-made Magnums were wonderful. I picked milk chocolate, topped with crumbled biscuits, hazelnut, and honeycomb, and drizzled with dark chocolate. Tyler went with dark chocolate, topped with honeycomb, merengue, and crumbled biscuits, and drizzled with white chocolate.



In the very center of the Queen Victoria Building there was a huge ornate clock hanging from the ceiling. It had all these moving parts that had numbers and Australian paintings on them that lined up to what time it was—what a beaut.



The Sydney Opera House is located right across the bay from The Rocks; it was funny to see it so small now that we know how big it really is.

We loved this facade; isn't the Museum of Contemporary Art already awesome before you even go inside? There's one other thing that the outside and the inside of this amazing museum have in common; they're both free!

Tyler loved this exhibit; from far away it just looks like a weird chandelier, but up close you can see (and touch as my naughty husbandry did) that it's encased in ice.

I wish I could portray in photos how incredible this exhibit was. Firstly, it's massive, probably about four feet long and three feet tall. Secondly, it's a shadow box, so there were just layers and layers of these little confetti webs. It's depth and intricacy were awesome.





video   video

We left the Museum of Contemporary Art and walked out to see the Sydney Opera house all aglow in the night. Neither of us had seen it like that and we were glad we did.


We still don't know what the Customs House is really for, but the city model under glass was worth stopping in for. Fun fact about the city model: it is kept meticulously accurate, updated every time there is an update to the real city. Now that's a lot of updating.

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