One night away (!)

13 May 2020

Last Friday we woke up at 6am, put on proper clothes (and shoes) and drove to Sydney for a wedding where we were the only guests. At first I was really nervous about leaving our home in such a big way but we checked and checked again that we were allowed to travel, talked a lot about what we were comfortable with and what precautions we'd take (physical distancing and so much hand sanitiser) and then started to get excited about being part of a very special day.

The roads were so quiet and I was super relieved to find lots of places to wash my hands along the way (this is sad but true). We made it to Sydney in record time and stopped in to see my brother Zac and his wife on our way to the ceremony. We had a belated wedding present to deliver and had never seen their place. It was a visit with lots of space between us, because of my sister-in-law's work as a doctor. We watched them open their pressie from the doorstep, and they ran to the other side of the room so we could step inside and have a quick look around.

We gave them a framed print of Tony's and a smiley spatula, my sister-in-law handed me a bunch of dried billy buttons and a Devil's ivy cutting in a jar of water. The entire visit lasted less than 10 minutes, and yet it was completely thrilling. Zac and I have seen each other a lot over video calls, usually over a game of family Monopoly, so it was crazy to see his house/background IRL. I was so hyper as we drove away.

We'd originally planned to do a day trip but because home visits are now allowed in NSW and the ACT, we were able to go to the wedding and then back to the couple's place for champagne, lunch and cake. I made a little wedding cake, this lemon yoghurt cake, which I topped with a honey, elderflower and creme fraiche icing and edible flowers. It was a simple and pretty cake that perfectly matched the special but low-key vibe of the day.

We treated to ourselves to a night at the Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills, which had discounted rates because of all of the shut downs. Because it was kind of on the way, we drove there via the city so we could visit my brother Derrick and his wife on their final night of hotel quarantine.

I'd seen my parents and Derrick's friends wave to them from the street over Instagram and thought it would be fun and a little bit silly, which is my favourite kind of thing. It took a little figuring out, but like seeing Zachary, it was totally thrilling. Even from very far away with a window and several storeys between us.

We haven't ordered any takeaway since the pandemic started (just bake at home crossiants!), but definitely made up for it during our one night stay. The hotel is right opposite Chin Chin and they were offering room service, so we ordered a big bowl of noodles and veggies, which were piping hot on arrival.

We put on Asia Rising Forever, a video concert featuring all Asian artists that Derrick had been working tirelessly on in America. The whole concert is 4.5 hours, and we watched it in three sittings - some at night, again in the morning and the rest when we were back in Canberra. The diversity of acts was amazing, and it was kind of like watching a mash up between Rage and PopAsia, only all the acts were Asian, which blew my mind.

One of my favourite parts of the stay was... room service coffee! I loved waking up, picking up the phone and having a hot coffee delivered to my room and being able to drink it in my pyjamas. We also ordered breakfast from the cafe downstairs, and may have eaten bacon and egg rolls in bed while watching more music videos.

Everything about the trip felt new and very exciting, from the pretty skies on the highway drive home, to seeing family from afar, and being both witnesses and photographers at a very intimate wedding. It was also so different from our last trip to Sydney in March. This time round we spent time with a total of five people, instead of mingling with 100+.

Hope you are safe and well this week! Here's a film snap from the wedding - I had one chance and blinked 😂


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