On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!


Today, pictures from valued commenter Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes.

Flush with miles and some earned perks, we decided to burn them up and celebrate our anniversary and New Years Eve in Sydney. It was a whirlwind for me – we left 12/28 and I was back on 1/2. Wife stayed on as our youngest daughter met her there shortly after I left and they spent a week in Tasmania (her plane literally crossed mine).

We do “blitz” travel well. Happily, I’d been before so I knew what Inwanted to do.

Taken on 2018-12-30 00:00:00

Hyde Park

We actually arrived on the morning of our anniversary, and most of the day, took no photos. We ate at a delightful high end Vietnamese restaurant that evening and chose to walk back to our first hotel through Hyde Park.

We saw this little dude along the way. I’m given to understand that this is sort of a special sighting.

Taken on 2018-12-31 00:00:00

Viewing Circular Quay from the Manley Ferry

We actually managed to go to the beach every day we were there. In Sydney, the ferries are a vital part of the transport network, and you use one card for everything – trains, subways, buses and ferries. They’re cheap and quick. This was a view toward the Quay at the center of the city (most of which is built out in filled-in land).

Taken on 2018-12-31 00:00:00

Manley Beach

The water was, in my vernacular, rough as shit. Stayed that way the entire time I was there. Generally speaking, the lifeguards spent all of their time yelling at people who were trying to drown by swimming outside whatever temporary swimming areas they deemed less deadly in a narrow band.

Literally, we’d go there for three hours, and there would be 3-4 rescues. I stepped in to my knees in a “safe” area, said “I’m going to die, and then ran in.

Anyway, water safety is really big for the people of Sydney. We saw countless water safety classes full of kids of about 8-10 learning lifesaving and swimming skills in rough water as they hauled body boards with them – I thought it a brilliant concept.

Taken on 2018-12-31 00:00:00

Hickson Road Reserve, Sydney

This was our site for watching the fireworks – patch of green space located between the Four Seasons and the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Taken on 2018-12-31 00:00:00

Hickson Road Reserve

So a bit of misidentification on the previous photo – the green space was between the Park Hyatt and the bridge.

Anyhow, at about 6:30 pm or so, a monsoon opened up. This was the wettest I’ve ever been…


Thank you so much Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


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9 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    What a great trip. Thanks, Comte. What’s the mystery animal?

    Good to hear about the kids’ water safety and rescue classes. WTG, Aussies.

  2. 2
    eclare says:

    Yes, who is that little guy?

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    We saw this little dude along the way. I’m given to understand that this is sort of a special sighting.

    I’ll venture a guess: A type of bettong?

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    On 2nd thought a Phalangeridae?

    eta Phalangeridae being the family name, this one possibly being a common brushtail possum?

  5. 5
    Another Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I immediately thought it was a young wallaby, but I’m no expert.


  6. 6
    JPL says:

    The animal is a cutie and I’m just going to call him Sam.

  7. 7
    arrieve says:

    I have no idea what Sam might be but he’s awfully cute. And unlike many of the critters in Australia, he doesn’t look particularly dangerous. Great pictures.

  8. 8
    TomatoQueen says:

    Great pics, Sam is a lovely little erm matey. I bet he has something weird and toxic going on in his saliva or his claws, aussie animals are like that.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Pictures are beautiful.

Comments are closed.