Sports

Last year, I was fortunate to have watched and seen more shows/exhibitions than I expected. Big thanks to friends who gave leads and invited us. There were so many wonderful shows and exhibitions last year but the Husband and I carefully chose what we’d like to really experience. Here’s a list of memorable shows we watched in 2012.

Musicals


Annie. My childhood dream to see “Annie” came true when it showed in Sydney during the first quarter of 2012. The musical that made songs such as “Tomorrow”, “It’s a Hard-Knock Life” and “Fully Dressed” famous. I enjoyed every minute of this heart-warming story of an orphan named “Annie” as she dreams a home to call her own.


Love Never Dies (Sequel to “Phantom of the Opera”). The continuation of Phantom and Christine’s tragic love story. If you have seen “Phantom of the Opera”, this is a must see. It’s as fabulous as the its predecessor but more dramatic and poignant.


Legally Blonde. A fun and entertaining show that will remind you how great it is to have girlfriends who will always be there to share the highs and lows of your life, get over the man who broke your heart, fall in love again (with the right man this time) and celebrate the uniqueness in you. Read about my story here.


Exhibitions

Harry Potter. An exhibition which made me appreciate and love the film series even more. It was a treat for movie enthusiasts to see each character’s wands and outfits worn in the movie, the flying car, the Horcruxes, the Twizard Cup, pieces from the Wizard’s Chess, the Invisibility Cloak and the full version of Buckbeak. Read my story and see more photos here.


Love Lace. Lace is one of my favourite fabrics (next to silk and satin) because of its intricate and meaningful designs, the details and hardwork that goes into creating them, and the romance and mystery it brings to those who wear them. The exhibition showcased the things one can do to lace, may it be in the form of dresses, boots, gloves, jewellery and artwork. It was a small exhibition but it was a beautiful showcase. See more photos here.


Picasso. The most significant exhibition of Picasso’s art ever held in Australia. More than 150 important paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings created by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) have come from the artist’s personal collection – works he was determined never to relinquish. It was amazing to see his work and admire his style in art. 


Madame Tussauds. Enjoyed this fun exhibition with our family. Each Madame Tussauds is unique in every city as 60% of the wax figures in Sydney are composed of famous Australian personalities such as Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John, Kylie Minogue, Rod Laver, Lleyton Hewitt, Julia Gillard, John Howard and Mary Mackillop. Read my article on Madame Tussauds here.


Narnia. A short but fun exhibition for kids. I enjoyed seeing this exhibition because it showed the costumes used for the film. Made me appreciate the huge effort and cost in filming this kind of production. 


Ballet

Sleeping Beauty by the Imperial Russian Ballet. One of the most watched ballets in history. The music was written by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the original scenario was conceived by Ivan Vsevolozhsky and the choreographer of the original production was Marius Petipa. My first time to watch ballet and it was good. Read my story here.


Sports Event

Australian Open 2012. Another dream of mine that came true! We got to watch the best tennis player in the world, Roger Federer. And this all happened on my birthday which made me so happy. To watch a legend like Roger Federer is a gift.  For someone like me who’s far away from any Grand Slam or Masters venue, it is a once in a lifetime blessing.  The minute Federer walked inside the court, the crowd was in awe.  One will feel the air of royalty alluded to him by many but he didn’t look intimidating at all.  He looked relaxed and down-to-earth.  He has this certain grace that only a Master exudes. For more of my Australian Open 2012  experience, please read here.


In my books, this was a great line-up of shows and exhibitions. I hope the shows we see in 2013 will be as entertaining. We also look forward to learning new things as we experience a different set of shows and exhibitions in the coming year.

On the day of my birthday this year,  a lot of my wishes came true:

  • to spend the day with the love of my life
  • to be greeted by the people I love
  • to be in one of my favourite cities in  the world 
  • to experience the Australian Open once again
  • to watch a game at the Rod Laver Arena
  •  to watch Roger Federer play 
-oOoOo-

After three years, we came back to Melbourne to experience the Australian Open once again.  In 2009, we just followed the yellow brick road to Melbourne Park because the excitement of tennis fans at Federation Square allured us.  I’ve always liked the sport but after watching games the whole day at the ground courts of the Australian Open, I fell in love with it.  See my first Australian Open adventure here and some photos of the games and players we watched here.


Compared to 2009’s adventure, we were prepared to watch this year.  We planned to watch in 2010 but because of our indecisiveness, we were too late and couldn’t book ourselves a room in Melbourne. Late last year, after Sunday coffee and pancakes, we made up our minds and finally sat ourselves in front of the computer and did a turbo search for our travel.  Booked the cheapest fares and decent accommodation we could find in Melbourne and in a few minutes, I was exchanging squeals with our dear Melbournian friend Lui telling her, “We will see you soon!!!”.  Yes, simple pleasures.


The nice thing about having a birth date like mine is that there will always be an Australian Open game happening on this side of the world.  I think that is very very cool and convenient.  It was my wish to be somewhere nice on my birthday.  I was hoping for Seoul, Korea but we didn’t want to spend that much money at the start of the year.  So we opted for our second favourite city in Australia–Melbourne!


When we’ve finalized our itinerary (restaurant bookings, friends we will see, etc) and found that we definitely have time to watch on my birthday, we then bought our tickets to the 4th Round Game, Sunday, 7:00PM at the Rod Laver Arena.


Since the game will be at night, we had a relaxing day on Sunday.  We attended mass and had brunch at my favourite brunch restaurant, The European.  It was a hot day so I decided to have a nap back at the hotel while the Husband had his “Me”time hanging out at the shops.  He picked me up in time for us to have a meal at Il Pomodoro at Federation Square where we had pizza and cake.

  Australian Open 2012

As much as we wanted to sashay along the sides of Yarra River, we were kind of running late so we weren’t able to walk leisurely towards the entrance of Melbourne Park.


Other than security people checking the length of our camera lenses and what we have inside our bags, we had no drama when we breezed thru the entrance of  Melbourne Park.


The Rod Laver Arena Forecourt & Entrance were full of people waiting for the 7:00PM game to start.  For those on a budget or weren’t able to get a ticket to any of the courts, you can buy Ground Pass tickets and still watch the games at Melbourne Park at Rod Laver Arena Forecourt & Entrance.  Games are televised via a giant TV.  You can bring mats or blankets and lie down while watching the games.  For ticket prices, click AusOpen Ticket Prices.


It was nearly 7:00pm when we arrived at Rod Laver Arena.  By this time, I was beaming with excitement.  In 2009, we only got to watch at the ground courts so my dream was to watch a game at Rod Laver Arena.  

Australian Open 2012



As soon as we got in, we made a trip to the toilet and then bought two bottles of water.  Evian was one of the sponsors of AusOpen so the only brand available inside Melbourne Park was Evian.  If I remember correctly,  a small bottle costs AUD$3.50.  Hot food was also available like hotdogs, chips, etc but since we’ve just eaten, we didn’t bother buying food anymore.

Australian Open 2012

It took awhile to get to our seats.  The afternoon game just finished and people coming in and out got stuck in the halls of RLA.  No need to worry though because tickets to RLA are reserved seating.  Also, the AusOpen ushers tried their best to gain smooth traffic in the halls to avoid delays.


And then at last we got in and saw the marvel that is the Rod Laver Arena.  For a tennis fan like me, it is a big deal.


As fate would have it, Roger Federer played that night against Bernard Tomic.  It was a memorable game as tennis fans said it’s like Dumblerdore vs. Harry Potter of the tennis world, which was so true.  

Australian Open 2012

To watch a legend like Roger Federer is a gift.  For someone like me who’s far away from any Grand Slam or Masters venue, it is a once in a lifetime blessing.  The minute Federer walked inside the court, the crowd was in awe.  One will feel the air of royalty alluded to him by many but he didn’t look intimidating at all.  He looked relaxed and down-to-earth.  He has this certain grace that only a Master exudes.

Australian Open 2012

Federer was that he doesn’t look breathless even if he ran around the court.  His composure and grace is really admirable. I told my Husband, “Grabe si Federer, kahit ang paghingal niya graceful pa rin!”

Australian Open 2012
Australian Open 2012



We noticed that most of the time, the photographers are dead set on capturing every move Roger Federer makes inside the court.  It’s amazing.

Australian Open 2012
Australian Open 2012


A big support was given to Bernard Tomic that night.  Australia loves Tomic and Federer but being an Australian weighed more so the cheer for Tomic was louder.  The fans would cheer Tomic to give him more encouragement but the crowd cheered when Federer makes an impressive shot too.  Federer was gentleman enough not to play his tricks on Tomic, careful not to offend Australians.  Over-all, it was a great game and entertaining show because both players played well.  I hope Bernard Tomic continues to be great in tennis because the boy has talent.

Australian Open 2012

Australian Open 2012

Australian Open 2012
Group of Aussies who cheered for Tomic and provided entertainment to the crowd

The second game at the Rod Laver Arena that night was the Women’s where we got to watch Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic.  We only watched the 1st set because it was not an exciting game.

Australian Open 2012
Caroline Wozniacki
Australian Open 2012
Jelena Jankovic

Went around the Melbourne Park and saw the Wilson Tent.  Wilson stays open until the last game of the night is finished.  This is where the rackets of all tennis players are taken for restringing.

Australian Open 2012



The Australian Open Shop was still open when we went out (thank God!) so we went inside to buy a few items.  The shop offers a lot of Australian Open souvenir such as shirts, caps, towel, bags, fridge magnets, iPhone 4s cases, jackets, etc.  They also sell a few shirts worn by the players.  We saw Roger Federer’s shirt and I offered to buy it for the Husband but he didn’t want one.   (Tip: The Australian Open merchandise in Rebel Sport are cheaper!)

Australian Open 2012



We didn’t come home empty-handed as I bought a few AusOpen items: the Australian Open Official Program, fridge magnets and an iPhone 4s case.

Australian Open 2012
Australian Open 2012
Australian Open 2012



Trams to and from Flinders Station are available to all AusOpen ticket holders for free so we got on and bought my favourite Churros from the Spanish Doughnuts outlet before going home.

Australian Open 2012



When we got back to the hotel, the Wozniacki vs. Jankovic game was still on so we watched it on TV while we packed our stuff.

-oOoOo-

I have a few friends who are very much interested to know more about travelling to Melbourne during Australian Open so I will be sharing some tips.  If you have any questions, let me know by leaving a comment here and I will try my best to answer them.


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A few Fridays ago (11 June 2010), I had dinner with friends, Jackie and Chie (Jojo, Jack’s husband eventually joined us).  We had a taste of the yummiest burgers at Grill’d.  It’s the newest burger place in Darling Harbour and they serve the healthiest burgers ever (will blog about them soon).
International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney
It was the opening night of the International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney at Darling Harbour, so after dinner we had a bit of a walk around Darling Harbour and took some photos (our group photos courtesy of Jojo).

International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney
For this year’s FIFA World Cup, Sydney has joined London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City as International FIFA Fan Fest cities.
International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney
Sydney’s International FIFA Fan Fest is setted up at Darling Harbour, one of the globe’s leading waterfront leisure and entertainment destinations with more than 100 restaurants, cafes and bars and over 20 nearby accommodation options from serviced apartments to five-star hotels.

International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney
They have this massive soccer ball that has TV screens, it’s so cool.

International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney

International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney
This area gives soccer fans a chance to watch matches live on a 50-square metre floating screen, with a view of Darling Harbour and the city skyline as backdrop.   Soccer fans come to watch and  enjoy live music and soak up Australia’s amazing cultural and culinary diversity at the biggest World Cup celebration in Australia.

International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney

International FIFA Fan Fest Sydney

There are booths for food, drinks and souvenirs.  The soccer celebration at Darling Harbour is on til 12 July 2010.