Tag Archives: Sydney

Sneaking in the Back Door

A barnstar given to people as an apology

(Nothing says "I'm so sorry'" like an apologetic Barnstar)
Image by Wikipedia

You know that friend you have that seems to disappear off the face of the earth?

You wonder where in heck she’s gone, leave a few voicemail messages, wonder if she’s alive or dead and eventually give up on the whole thing. You refer to her as some kind of urban legend in your subsequent conversations with your group of friends for years to come.

Then one day you’re at an event and she comes sneaking in the back door, quietly trying to meld into the crowd and pretend she was never missing in the first place. She doesn’t want a scene and she thinks she may have gotten away with it as she cheerfully joins in on conversations.

As you watch her, you’re annoyed. Agitated. You called for goodness sake! You left messages! She couldn’t even put themselves out for a simple reply?

You and your group of friends lock eyes and give each other a simple nod.

You all know what’s going on. You head on over to the person with a determined look on your faces, you will get an explanation and it better be a *doozy. (Secret CIA mission would probably be acceptable…or astronaut duties, coma, lost at sea, or even becoming a monk would scrape them by. That about covers it though.)

She knows it and you know it. It’s going to be addressed.

As she watches you all head her way, her palms become sweaty and she starts to rehearse in her minds what she’ll say. It all comes down to this. How they handle it will make or break the friendships. (Talk about pressure!)

I’m that person.

I wasn’t sure what the blogging equivalent of ‘sneaking in the back door’ was, but I wanted to attempt it and have you all forget I was ever gone.

I spent at least 4 excruciating minutes thinking about it, trying to figure out how to make it work.

I had nothing.

Zilch.

At the 5 minute mark, my mind started to wander and I ended up thinking about that special I saw in my email inbox about J Crew shipping to Australia for free. That in turn became a marathon online shopping hour at J Crew, and that got me thinking about a winter wardrobe for my son.

I was completely off course.

Trying to be clever clearly wasn’t going to work, so I had to get focused. I visualized the equivalent of the group ‘heading on over’ (and might have peed my pants a little).

I imagined Eleanor and Carrie and Elyse and maybe even UC and  SSM storming over with that ‘you owe us an explanation missy‘ look on their faces… (it bears mentioning, you people are considerably frightening when I think of you banding together in some kind of ‘pack’ mentality.)

(Just saying.)

So I decided to pull up my big-girl panties and grab the bull by the horns and address it directly. Like a grown up. One that isn’t afraid or anxious. Or worried. Or considering wearing combat gear.

“I’m just a really bad person. I’m inconsiderate, irresponsible, selfish, lacking discipline and uncaring. I have no excuse that will give me a clean slate, I’m just plain terrible… so…. is there any chance I can play again? Be one of the gang? I’ve really missed you – I have – but life just has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. Work, study, the end of summer holidays and getting kiddo back into school, planning an 8th birthday party, hubby expanding his business and a house move. 

I actually have 3 posts that I started to write but was never able to finish, I’ll use them one day. (They were good!)”

Well? Where are we at? How was it?

Pass?

Fail?

How about a little sucking up as well?

“On a positive note, I’m nearly all caught up on reading your posts, I’m good on UC, Carrie and most of Elyses. I haven’t even started Eleanors (this weekends treat!) and SSM and Dor’s I will be reading later this week. We are actually going on vacation (thank God) this week, so I will have plenty of time for my favorite bloggers gems of wisdom.”

C’mon that had to help, at least a little?

I’m moving into ‘pretend-I-was-never-gone’ mode, let’s see how that works…

It’s Easter this week as you probably know, and in Australia we have 4 public holidays in a row. Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. The only places that are really open are restaurants and of course the shops will be open Saturday – Monday for shorter than usual hours. All other businesses are closed. It’s a favorite weekend of the year here – the only one with 4 consecutive holidays – so many people go away on vacation.

We’ll be heading to Sydney again.

Sydney is kind of like the New York of Australia. If you able to go there, why go anywhere else?

It has so many fabulous things to see and do, the weather is great this time of year,  and we can be there within a day. Other people go to the beach for vacations, we live at the beach, so to us the city is our ultimate vacation destination!

Many of you will be in church celebrating the meaning of Easter this week. I will be in a restaurant somewhere celebrating with a good-quality meal and some not-often-seen family. It will be the first time these particular family members have been together since before my son was born – 8 years ago! A nice way to celebrate such an important holiday.

My son offered up an excellent ‘modern day’ Easter story to me last night that I think I’ll share with you as I shuffle out the door with the crowd, laughing and joking as though I was always a part of the party and never really left…

My 8-year-old:

“Mummy, I learned about Lazarus and Jesus in school  today. They both died and they were wrapped up in material like mummies and their bodies were placed in a tomb, and a rock rolled in front so no one could get in there. But God rose them from the dead, and when they walked out of the tomb, people were really freaking out because they would have looked like some of those guys from **Plants vs Zombies.”



Plants vs. Zombies

Out of the mouths of babes…eh?

* Doozy is a slang word that I think is only used in Australia?? Doozy:  something extraordinary or bizarre, difficult or daunting.
** Plants vs Zombies is a computer or ipad game that has these ugly-looking zombies and mummies that you have to ‘kill’ to ‘save’ your garden from being destroyed by them. It’s a huge game amongst my 8-year-old and his friends (and my 38-year-old husband).
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The Real Blog Post (Not The 7-year-old Clicked Publish Before I Was Done, Post)

English: Sydney Harbour Bridge from Circular Q...

Image via Wikipedia

***Apologies to those that received an unfinished version of this post earlier today. My son was playing around on my computer and I had my account open and somehow he hit the “publish” button. (Note to self: lock the office door when I am not around, to avoid nervous breakdown and desire to strangle child)***

I can’t believe we are this close to the end of year! We have now officially been living in Australia for just over 1 year and my husband and son are starting to jive with the culture and seem a little less out-of-place.

A few weeks back we took a trip to Sydney.

Our first stop was my Holistic dentist where I had my last two mercury fillings removed. Not the most fun thing to do, nor was it as bad as I had anticipated. An excellent practice, incredible staff and safely getting rid of those toxins once and for all, made for an all-out pretty pleasant day and they we’re done in under an hour – impressive!

Next stop was our hotel in Double Bay.

One of the most affluent suburbs (often referred to as Double ‘Pay’), it is also an incredibly beautiful place with designer shopping, quaint cafes and bars, located (as is indicated by its name) in a bay on Sydney Harbour.

It’s only a short train or ferry ride into the city (great for kids)  – for those of us not wanting to pay Sydney’s $50+/day parking fees. (That would be me.)

Double Bay, (Sydney) Australia. I took this photo as we were heading out of the bay towards Sydney Harbour on the ferry.

Even as a former Sydney-sider, I delight in taking friends and family members on a ferry ride on the Harbour. There is something completely magical about it. I have lived in a number of places over my lifetime and so many of them have that “special something”. Sydney’s “special something” is its Harbour.

As we boarded our ferry along with the business people on their way to work, I wondered how great it would be to sit outdoors in the sunshine with the sea-air blowing in your hair as you traveled your mode of ‘public transport’ to work – not too shabby!

The Harbour Bridge in the Distance, Taken From The Ferry

We then took in some of the sites of Sydney and had a blast, I highly recommend spending time in your “home” city as a tourist. Stay at a hotel, see all the sites and you may be surprised at how cool it is and what’s on offer!

Charlie Chaplin Reincarnated?

The Big Smoke

We started by wandering down “The Rocks” area, it’s on the edge of the Harbour, full of historic buildings, Australian artifacts, tourist shops, artwork etc. I love the rocks, its quaint and historical.

"The Rocks"

Next we watched an aboriginal play a didgeridoo on the foreshores of the Quay. (HA!) This guy is about as “authentically aboriginal” as I am.

I’m not saying he doesn’t have aboriginal heritage, but I promise you, he goes home to his big screen TV, and judging from his pecs, he eats plenty of McDonalds and drives his 4wd to ‘work’ everyday.

But, the tourists love it. (As did my son and husband. I just snorted in disgust and took photos for my blog. Note the gold rimmed glasses. My husband named him “Kanye Dundee” )

"Kanye Dundee"

We took a walk to Darling Harbour (about 25 minutes walk from Circular Quay – where the Sydney Harbour Bridge is located), and discovered a cool playground with a mammoth climbing structure (amongst other things), that my husband declared. would never exist in any playground in America.

His reasoning? “It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen”. We wouldn’t sue here, we’d just brush little Billy off after his fall and tell him he’s “fine”, and to “stop complaining, you’re scaring the other kids.”

Regardless, it proved hugely popular with the kids, including ours who in this photo is perched on the top left.

"Lawsuit Waiting to Happen."

Next to the playground was a water park that had an awesome array of lessons. How water works, ways to pump, divert, spray and more. It was the perfect place on a warm summers afternoon and we spent hours there.

Cool toes on a hot day can only be a good thing!

The afternoon had worn on and we left the water park behind.

Father and Son Are Insperable!

On our way out of Darling Harbour we saw Santa trying to escape the city unnoticed.

Someone needs to tell him when you are this big and jolly, incognito is not really possible.

We decided to walk back down to the Circular Quay (where the Harbour bridge and ferries are located) to eat. On our way we passed a floating Sunglasses Hut store, my husband thought it was ingenious.

The ultimate transferable store

And motorbike parking that was markedly cheaper parking (reason to own a motorbike when living in the city).

We grabbed a quick dinner at Mad Mex, a place my husband had been dying to visit since we moved to Australia. It had rave reviews as fast food Mexican, and as we haven’t found any decent Mexican in Australia ( I don’t think Mexican restaurants even existed here when I left to move overseas in 2000), he was desperate.

It was as good as he hoped it would be and their frozen margaritas were as authentic as any we’ve ever had. The most spectacular thing was the Corona beer bottle chandelier, something we had never seen before, but a totally cool idea!

We decided to put an end to the day and caught the train back to the hotel, much to our 7-year-olds delight.

"Train Expectation" - Town Hall, Sydney, Australia (Iphone Photo)

All in all, we had a fun day, and after a good nights sleep, we took on the city again the next day!

________________________________________________________________________

While I was on my SIBL (Self-imposed Blog Leave), my all-time favorite red-haired blogger (C’mon Carrie, don’t be thinking you’re the only red haired blogger, their must be plenty!)  had a surprise waiting for me when I returned.  A blog award!

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m pretty un-talented. I’m not good at much of anything, which has resulted in a gaping empty space in my awards cabinet (What? It’s weird to buy and awards cabinet in the hope that it will karmic-ly cause awards to be bestowed upon you?? Apparently NOT, because it worked!)

No more!

Carrie from A Sassy Redhead has broken my 37 11/12th years drought, and given me an Liebster Blog award that I will be forever grateful for.

(That one in Kindergarten for “best talker” doesn’t count because we all know what was the five -year-old equivalent of a backhanded compliment from the teacher).

(In all seriousness, Thank you Carrie, you rock! )

(And not just because of this.)

(Really)

My job is to now send you on your way, to explore the wonders of five other awesome bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve your support. So this I shall do, as I bid you adieu.

1. The Unknown Cystic – He and I get each other. (Which kind of sucks for him, because I’m pretty odd.)

2. Fifty Four and A Half – She is the most interesting writer, and she uses her age in the title. Being another person that cares not a whit about telling people my age, I think this rocks  – and that’s all before you start reading her awesome blog!

3. Spit and Spirits – He doesn’t post as much of late, he’s getting married and preparing to be under the thumb (kidding!!) but his posts are awesome, and he assures me he will be back, so you gotta love you some Jake J Fox.

4. Good Food 4 All – I just found this blog in the past few days. It’s awesome, all about toxins in our day to day life, organic living etc. For all those that don’t know I’m a closet hippy (if you want to see more of my activist-hippy side you can check out  Natures Conspiracy or This Dish Is Veg). Before you do check out GF4A.

5. Meg’s Simple Life – Meg has a family friendly blog about life, love and family. It’s wholesome, interesting, and she seems sweet as pie.

(Note to Mark at Yelling Near You. Wanted to add you, but I couldn’t because Carrie stole you first.)

She has it coming now…

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