Close Enough to Perfect

Close Enough to Perfect

Written by Heather

Topics: Life in Oz

The last four months have brought a few days that were either completely wonderful or totally craptastic — but mostly days that were nice and normal and somewhere in between.

Today was one of those days that was close enough to perfect.

First, one of my best friends in the entire world was by my side. We’ve had Nicole’s visit planned since before I even arrived in Australia, and spending time with her is a beautiful cure for the homesickness that reared its ugly head just last week.

The two of us at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day
Guinness Storehouse on St. Patrick's Day

After dragging ourselves out of bed, we headed to the nearby Big Brekky for, well, breakfast! I’ve been itching to go since moving to a flat in the Inner West, and breakfast is only better when it’s for dinner or with a good friend :-)

Culinary sites and blogs have given Big Brekky mixed reviews, so it was time to judge for myself. First, the menu impressed — so much that I was stuck between three or four items and made my selection only as the server returned to the table to take our order.

When the “fruit spelt with ricotta, banana, and honey” (plus strawberry and cinnamon!) arrived before me, I was thrilled! It smelled and looked gorgeous. And taste? The bread was warm and crispy; the ricotta was cool, smooth, and mild; and the fruit was sweet and fresh. I enjoyed every bite.

Fruit spelt with ricotta & fresh fruit at Big Brekky

We followed breakfast with a trip to The Rocks Markets. The Rocks is one of my favorite areas of Sydney, and I love a good crafts and food market. Each time I’ve been, I’ve wandered past every stall, stopped at a few, and only purchased a random chocolate or two. After so much self-control, it appears the urge for a big spending spree had been hiding in the recesses of my mind, waiting to unleash itself yesterday!

First, we popped into a super cute bookstore where I found a gift for myself and a friend. I had another item in hand but decided to leave without it — after all, I was on a budget and didn’t really need the items I purchased. But they made me smile and I felt I deserved them!

No, I didn’t buy this, but it amused me greatly!! There’s actually a *series* about Walter if you can imagine…
Apparently Walter is a series...

From the bookstore we selected one end of the market stalls to start with and worked our way around systematically. Within minutes I had fallen in love with something cute and fabulous at Jessica’s Pretty in Pink. She creates vintage inspired fashion and accessories, and I splurged on something for me and my youngest sister.

Having already spent what I make in one day at work, I told Nicole that I was pleased with my purchases and probably would not buy anything else.

Ten minutes later I bought two delicious goodies from a stall that sells natural jam, preserves, honey, and dried fruit — no preservatives or nasties. I’m saving them for when my parents come to visit!

Nicole couldn’t believe my spending! When we traveled together in Barcelona two years ago, I was “Ms. Thrifty” and known to pinch a few pennies. But somehow yesterday I felt happy to part with money. Nicole said I seemed “liberated” :-) I quite liked that.

Another ten minutes after buying the honey and jam, I spotted a stall with gorgeous bags. After lots of browsing, I bought one to go with an outfit I’m planning for a future event, and Nicole bought one for her sister. It was so beautiful and perfect that I couldn’t *not* buy it.

Our market visit had to end at some point…no matter how freely the money was flowing, I don’t have a neverending source O:-)

Walking around the market forever meant we’d worked up an appetite! But who needs a real meal when Max Brenner Chocolate is nearby?!

We split a dessert that was sadly only so-so and sipped a decaf, skinny cappuccino in the “kangaroo mug” — the chocolate sits on a ledge/shelf and melts into the drink
Max Brenner's "kangaroo cup"

You’d think a day with Nicole, breakfast, markets, and chocolate just couldn’t get any better, right? Well thanks to the Darling Harbour Fiesta, it did! Fiesta is “”30 bands, 45 dance groups, 15 dance classes — 3 days and nights”!!

I LOVE dance and festivals and wanted to stop by this one badly. The steady rain throughout the day hardly dampened spirits as crowds moved to latin rhythms while others sampled food from various Spanish speaking cultures.

Food stalls at Fiesta

I opted for a plate of *cough* ultra-healthy *cough* tapas — chorizo, chicken, and chickpeas with pumpkin.

Dinner from tapas stall at Fiesta

I suppose all most good things must come to an end. After Fiesta we made our way back to the flat and brainstormed how we wanted to spend our Monday. I have a feeling it may live up to the fabulousness that was yesterday!

19 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Jaime D. says:

    That is so cool that one of your best friends was able to visit you! Ive told my friends that they should visit me at some point on my RTW trip. I really hope they can hell at least one person.

    The strawberry banana thing looks so freaking good!!! I am also glad you splurged a bit on yourself; sometimes it is needed!!!

    • Heather says:

      I definitely needed the splurge O:-) And I needed a friend from home even more!!

      Here’s hoping you’ll have one or two join you along the way. Who wouldn’t want to?!?!

  2. Lisa Filemyr says:

    My roommate has the original Walter the Farting Dog book! She read it to me a couple weeks ago. Her dog, Romey, farts constantly.

  3. Darren says:

    I am so glad that you girls are having fun, I can almost see your smile from here!

  4. Adam @ SitDownDisco says:

    Sounds like one of those days when you get home and just want to go straight to sleep! The brekky looks tops! I’ve only been a fan of ricotta over the past few years, but I love it now. They make a good one in marrickville.

  5. Andi says:

    OMG, definitely a perfect day!!!

  6. Dad says:

    Just about the time one says to himself….”Self, you’ve just about seen it all”, along comes your post on Walter. Ha, ha. Seriously, had you not posted a photo of the cover of that book, I might have wondered if you were pulling my leg.

    Hooray for saving the preserves for our visit. Looking oh so forward to seeing you in a month! Glad you and Nicole have had a great visit.

    Lots of love from the other side of the world!

  7. Jade says:

    um… all of that food looks amazing! Sounds like you had a great day- hope you are filled with many more like that!

  8. Erica says:

    My mouth started watering with that coffee. Sounds like an amazing day to me!

  9. Sally says:

    Omigod. That breakfast looks AMAZING. I was tempted to lick my computer screen.

  10. Mom says:

    Yea!!! Goodies for us when we arrive and without the ‘nasties’!!!

    So glad that you and Nicole are having a wonderful time.

    Love ya…<3

  11. Poi says:

    Sounds goooooood! I hope my friends make it out to visit us, you’re very lucky!

  12. Nicole says:

    For me the only thing as good as that Sunday was pretty much every other day during my visit! :) Since I returned home last night family & friends have been asking me about my favorite moment/experience during my trip & I’m hard pressed to come up with an answer since there were *HEAPS* of good times with you Heather! I think just being in the moment so much of the time & enjoying good coffee & pastries (lots & lots of pastries!) is what makes me smile the most. :) Missing you & thinking of you . . .

  13. Laura says:

    I was with you until I saw the food pictures. My friend is asleep, I’m starving, and it all looks so good! I’m glad your friend came to visit- my last stop on my trip is to see my best friend and she has no idea! Reunions are wonderful :)

  14. Chris says:

    I think I might just be in love with your blog. Photos of food never fail to win me over, haha. The writing helps too ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Heather says:

      Thanks :-)

      I just read on your “ten places to visit” that you love food (on the Italy part) and was about to comment…NICE!

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