Pro Tour Sydney: Day 0

I left New York on Tuesday afternoon; briefly stopped over in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening; and, after a 15 hour plane trip, arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning. Wednesday was stolen from me, but that’s OK. I never liked that day anyway.

When planning my trip, I had expected to be totally wiped out when I got to Australia. I figured I would go check into my hotel, nap for a few hours, wake up for lunch and dinner, and get an early night’s sleep before the Pro Tour. Steven Zwanger, who was traveling with me (and graciously used his status on United to get me into their fancy-pants lounge and bigger seats!), had similar ambitions.

However, Australia had other plans for us. Specifically, neither of our hotel rooms were ready yet. So, with no place to stay, Steven and I decided to make the best of our situation: see the sights!


Waiting for our bus
Waiting for our bus in Olympic Village
First stop: the Sydney Eye, tallest point in Sydney!
First stop: the Sydney Tower Eye, tallest point in Sydney!
Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour
St. Mary's Cathedral
St. Mary’s Cathedral

The Sydney Tower Eye features, typically enough, an observation deck with a 360-degree view of the city. Less typically, you can also go on their Skywalk: a glass platform outside and around the tower, totally exposed to the elements and the sights. Needless to say, I was eager for the opportunity to get an even better view. Steven was less excited, but, good sport that he is, put aside his dislike of heights for long enough to accompany me. Here’s a taste of what we saw:

Sydney Harbour again! Note the Sydney Bridge (left) and the Opera House (above and to the left of my left shoulder)
Sydney Harbour again! Note the Sydney Bridge (left) and the Opera House (above and to the left of my left shoulder)



Already missing home...
Back inside the tower, thinking of home…

After seeing everything the Eye had to offer, it was time for lunch! As he often does, Steven had a hankering for all-you-can-eat sushi. Although we struck out at the first place we tried (which only offered all-you-can-eat for dinner), we eventually found a place that suited both our appetites and wallets. Many sushi rolls later, it was time for dessert:

Steven's favorite treat! The first of many such photos...
Steven’s favorite treat! The first of many such photos…

We finished off the afternoon with a trip to the SEA LIFE Aquarium:

"Make sure you get my good side, OK?"
“Make sure you get my good side, OK?”
A dugong!
Wuru the dugong!
I found him!
I found him!

By this point, it was nearly 7pm, the perfect time to meet the other judges for dinner back near our hotels. After devouring some delicious Thai food, I found myself distracted from sleeping by having awesome discussions with my roommates — Simon Freiberg, Fabian Peck, and Nathan Brewer. Finally, though, it was time to go to bed, and get ready for the big day…