Archive for the ‘Pancakes on the Rocks’ Category

Dinner in Darling

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Getting off my international flight in February I was wide eyed and ready to explore every inch of Sydney I could get my hands on. For the first few weeks/months I made good on this goal. Yaella and I did walking tours of neighboring suburbs, I explored the beaches, islands and attractions, but over time got into a routine and stopped venturing too far out of my way. I guess you could say I found myself in a rut. Yes I was still in this amazing international city and yes there were still pieces of it I had yet to see, but with classes and my internship I just got bogged down in work and spent my evenings sitting in my apt rather than being out on the town.

Once Justin flew in I found myself looking at the city with a fresh set of eyes. He wanted to explore things I had yet to see and since he only had two weeks here there was no sense in doing anything more than once. I have been to Darling Harbor many times this semester for various reasons, but I hadn’t been back in a while. On Justin’s to do list was to see the Maritime museum which is in Darling Harbor. So one day after my morning classes we met up and walked to the harbor to spend a few hours in the museum.

Darling Harbor

The maritime museum was alright, I think Justin enjoyed it more than I did, but it was free so I have no real complaints. At one point we were watching a video reel of major Australian battleships and Justin said

“Doesn’t that just give you chills?”

Me: “Does what give me chills?”

Justin: “Those huge battleships, all that firepower, don’t you just think its incredible?”

Me: “I mean I guess, but I’ve seen battleships before, its kinda whatever”

It could be that since my Aunt lives close to Norfolk, one of the largest deep water ports in the US, I have become jaded to such displays of naval prowess, or maybe I am just not a boy who is in the military and therefore the whole ‘military might’ thing is lost on me. Or perhaps I have just watched a few too many episodes of Modern Marvels with my dad, but regardless, Justin enjoyed the museum far more than I did.

We had purchased tickets to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at the IMAX theatre. Darling Harbor is home to the largest IMAX screen in the world, and the film was being screened in 3D which meant that even if the movie wasn’t so great we were guaranteed a great viewing experience. The museum closed at 5 and the movie started at 8:45 so we had some time to goof around in the harbor.

Getting my feet wet in the spiral fountain in the harbor

Happy in the harbor

We caught a happy hour at a bar called Home Bar and ended up hanging out there for a few hours since the drinks were half price and there was a live band that was quite good. Even after a few rounds of drinks we still had an hour and a half to kill till our movie started so I suggested that we go to Pancakes on the Rocks, an amazing pancake restaurant that is named for its location, with the flagship restaurant being located in an area of Sydney called “The Rocks” but oddly enough they have another restaurant in Darling Harbor. So we ate at Pancakes on the Rocks, which was really Pancakes in Darling Harbor. Justin wasn’t as excited about this as I was, but I think our experience may have effectively converted him into a pancake lover. I got the Blueberry heaven pancakes and he got the strawberry patch pancakes and we ended up sharing and eating off of eachothers plates. It was divine.

We lingered at the restaurant chatting and then strolled over to the IMAX theatre around 8:30.

The tagline for this movie should just be "Mooooo" because it is just Disney milking the cash cow

The movie was alright, very low on plot and heavy on action sequences and sword fighting. The screenwriters seem to really like to watch Johnny Depp swing from things. Instead of Jack Sparrow they should rename him Jack Sparrow of the Jungle. Not having gone into the film with very high expectations we weren’t disappointed, and the whole IMAX/3D thing really made the experience.

I have walked by the IMAX theatre every time I have been to Darling Harbor but never found a reason to check it out until Justin was here, this has been true of a lot of things. Having Justin here really helped me to reopen my eyes to the city and get back into exploring. While I won’t be able to do too much venturing around in the next week or so with finals on the horizon I am very excited to share this city with the rest of the Lapointe family in July!

Matching outfits were completely unintentional

Good Friday on the Rocks

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

As the weather has cooled down a bit the lower state of New South Wales has entered into a period of gloriously sunny and temperate weather. While this week me and my roommates had been very busy turning in assignments and trying to prepare for our upcoming spring (technically fall) break travels, today we all woke up to a beautiful day and nothing to do. Kaela and Jill proposed that we head down to this small park near Sydney Harbour, and invited me to come along, and of course I agreed.

After a slow meandering morning we caught a bus from Glebe Point Road around noon to head downtown. We arrived at Circular Quay-West, an area better known as The Rocks. This area was established shortly after the first colony in Australia was set up in 1788. The original buildings were made mostly of local sandstone, from which the area derives its name. Originally it was a rough and tumble area, the bad part of town. It was a slum type area that was frequented by sailors and prostitutes.

In the decades that followed through the 20th century plans were drawn up many times to have the area and its crumbling structures demolished. Large world events like the break out of the bubonic plauge, WWI and WWII stalled these plans every time they arose and doing anything about the area was put off until 1968 when the state government gave control of The Rocks to the Sydney Cove Redevelopment Authority with the intention of demolishing all the original buildings and re-developing them as high-density apartment buildings.

This plan was opposed by a group of local residents who didn’t want to see their rents raised and the history of the area destroyed. They requested a Green Ban from the Builders Labourers Federation to halt the demolition from happening, and in 1973 it was implemented. This ban remained in place until 1975 when instead of demolishing the area renovations began which transformed the area into the commercial and touristy precinct that it is today.

Self explanatory

Walking around it reminded me a lot of the inner harbor in Baltimore or downtown Alexandria, as it is a beautiful bustling downtown area with swanky stores and fancy restaurants. The three of us spent a good two or three hours just walking around, people watching, taking goofy touristy pictures of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and of the Opera House. It was such a wonderfully pleasant day we lingered outside with no real goal or destination in mind. We saw street performers and lots of tourists and families. Australia takes its holidays very seriously apparently, because most stores were either closed today, or closing early for Good Friday, and most restaurants had signs out front saying that they would not be serving alcohol that evening.

Me and Jill and the most photographed building in the southern hemisphere

The "Mary Cait and Ashley" pose as Jill calls it

I'm in Australia! Every so often this dawns on me, because sometimes I forget.

*pokes*

Apt 18 ladies!

Baw. Cute

Harbor skyline

Under the Opera House

Getting up close and personal with the opera house

Roomies!

After a few hours of wandering around we started to get hungry, and Kaela had been saying for the past week how she was really craving pancakes, in particular pancakes from a restaurant called “Pancakes on The Rocks.” Jill and Kaela had been before but I had not, and they both insisted I was in for a treat. The menu read more like an ice cream shop than a pancake house. I swear there was nothing on there that wasn’t sprinkled with powder sugar, stuffed with creme, dipped in chocolate, or drizzled with syrup. Among pancake variations with names like devil’s delight, strawberry jam, jaffa orange, hot n troppo, macadamia madness, strawberry patch, bavarian apple, and banannarama I landed on the simplest variation I could find- blueberry heaven. And it was that. It was two of the thickest buttermilk pancakes I have ever had with blueberries in sauce served with cream and vanilla ice cream. Ihop this was not. These pancakes blew Ihop into the next universe.

Blueberry heaven. mmmmm

After we had eaten our fill we wandered back towards the bus station to catch the bus that would take us back to Glebe. Then Kaela, Courtney who joined us later, and I all settled in for an evening of packing and preparing for our trip to Thailand!