Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Special Challenge Participant - Sydney Aaliyah and Australia

Today’s Special Challenge Participant Feature is Sydney Aaliyah! Her Challenge theme was “Traveling in Australia.” So if you’ve ever wanted to explore the land down under, here are some highlights from Sydney.

When did you make your trip to Australia and why did you select that theme?

My trip to Australia was on April 14th to 21st, 2012. It was a birthday present for my boss/friend who was turning 50.

M was for musicians – name some Australian musicians.

Australia has a lot of great musicians from the 80’s that I loved. Icehouse, and Crowded House (not sure what’s with the house theme) had some good songs. Savage Garden I discovered because my hometown radio station was one of the first in America to play their song.
But, the ultimate Australian band had to be INXS. I saw them in concert twice and was a big fan.

Icehouse called Australia the “Prisoner Island” – is that true?

Australia has a unique history in that it was a penal Colony for England back in the early 1800’s. England would send all their murders, rapist and seasonal criminals there. A lot of them died in transit as well. It must not have been easy to get from England to Australia back in those days.
As far as today, I spent my whole trip in Sydney and didn’t notice much of a criminal element. I did meet one guy who said he had been trying to leave Australia for years, but couldn’t. I think that was more of a personal economic issue.

Tell us about the area known as The Rocks.

The Rocks was a great neighborhood in Sydney. Near the water front. It reminds me of The French Quarter in New Orleans and Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Like the neighborhoods I mentioned above, Sydney’s the Rocks as the following characteristics;
1st floor old and new retail/restaurants and bars (Ralph Lauren next to an art gallery that has been there for 100 years)
2nd floor apartments/condos w/balconies (in the quarter, rent is still reasonable, but in GT and TR expensive)
alley ways that have the coolest shops (Alley Cat Jazz, Blue Note Club, I will find out tonight)
Wine bars/coffee shops (not Starbucks)/brewhouses
tourist shops
One great breakfast spot – (Clover Street Grill, Peacock Cafe, Pancakes on the Rocks)

What was your favorite place?

The views from the top of the Sky Harbor Bridge was my favorite.

Since I’m all about the movies, who are some of Australia’s movie stars?

Why are their so many great movie stars from Australia? My all time favorites are all from Australia:
Cate Blanchett – favorite role, Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator – Oscar win
Russell Crowe – favorite role, Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator – Oscar win
Hugh Jackman – favorite role, Charlie Kenton in Real Steel – I got crap for this pick, but I stand by it. Robots, a boy and his father.
Heath Ledger – favorite role, William Thatcher in A Knight’s Tale, but I have to mention his performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight. –Oscar win

Did you have a vegemite sandwich while you were there?

I didn’t only because a couple of my employees are from Australia and they had introduced me to Vegemite before. No a big fan. The taste is unexpected. If you’ve tried it and didn’t grow up on it, you know what I mean.

If you do the Challenge next year, what theme will you tackle?

Wow. Yes, I will absolutely commit to doing it next year. It was my first blog hop activity that I every participated in and it was where I meet Alex and Arlee and the rest of the crew. They have my continuous and undying support and devotion.
But, a theme, this early, I haven’t a clue. I am open for suggestions. Go ahead, challenge me.

You heard her - challenge Sydney!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Sydney!

Nick Wilford said...

Great post, sounds like you have some nice memories. I visited Australia about ten years ago and Sydney had a great vibe. My only regret was that I didn't climb the Harbour Bridge!

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like you had a nice time in Australia! Maybe you should go on vacation so you can have another location as the theme for the A to Z challenge!

D.G. Hudson said...

Australia has always intrigued me, but it's a long flight from where I live in Canada. I'd love to visit the coastal cities. I'd have lots to photograph.

Enjoyed the interview, Alex and Sidney!

JoJo said...

Cool! Never been down to Australia and realistically I don't think I ever will so I have to travel vicariously through others. Surprised Men at Work wasn't listed w/ Aussie bands!!! I used to have Icehouse's LP. And Split Enz too.

Tina said...

It's on my bucket list, too. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
Tina @ Life is Good

Anonymous said...

Alex, thanks for the opportunity.

Nick, If you go back, you have to do the bridge climb. Highlight of the trip.

Sherry, I would love to go on vacation for the next challenge, but where?

D.G., Happy you liked it. It was 9 hours from were I live in China, but only 3 times zones, so no real jet lag. I wanted to make sure I got there while still on this side of the world. Your right, from Canada and America, long flight.

JoJo, Never say never. I forgot about Men at Work. Good one.

Tina, Make it happen. Happy you stopped back.

Arlee Bird said...

Australia is a country that I'd like to visit one day. Nice to have you with us on the A to Z Blog Sydney.

A Faraway View

Nicole said...

I'd like to visit Australia on day. I also second Sydney Aaliyah's comment about some great actors coming out of Australia. Yeah, there is some real talent down under!

Anonymous said...

Hi Arlee, I had always wanted to go and it exceeded expectations.

Ni Nicole, Yeah, I didn't realize before doing the research. But, I also just found out Russell Crowe was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia when he was 4. He doesn't claim New Zealand, though. They aren't happy about that. Hope you get to go someday.

Unknown said...

What about Kylie Minogue!! And a few more of that type of pop music of course, but even though Kylie is ‘poppy’ she is also very good at what she does and the amount of number 1’s can account for that.