We’ve Arrived Mates!

G’day loves. Afta jist seex dies din undah, wiv accleemyted quat will.

Okay, so I’m learning the lingo here. Hang in there with me! Also, please excuse any spelling errors. Given that I want to spend as little time as possible online and that I am not able to find a spell check, there will be errors!

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We arrived in Sydney 7:30 am on the 21st. The flight actually went fairly easily considering it was 14 hours long. I had 3 very yummy vegan meals – go United! At the airport after going through customs, we were stopped by the Quarantine Beagle. She sniffed out our apples and they were promptly confiscated and all with a polite thank you. For only 8 AUS dollar (that’s now $6.40 US) we took a shuttle bus to our hotel, The Altamont. Liam greeted with a warm Aussie g’day and told us our room had been ready since the night before. This was music to the ole ears – needed a shower badly.

The Atlamont Hotel is situated in the heart of Darlinghurst, a quaint neighborhood loaded with cafes, bars, zen centers, markets and restaurants. We showered and hit the streets without a moment’s hesitation. We walked for about 6 hours exploring as much of the city as our tired bods could handle. We found our way to Circular Quay (pronounced ‘key’). Do you know the way to Circular Quay? Marveled at the site of Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge- SPECTACULAR! We explored the Botanical Gardens and saw wild Cock-a-Toos (sp?) roaming about. They call them Cockies here. We hit the Rocks, another neat area. We’ll be staying here on our last fews days of this journey (December 20th ++). We hung out at the Mercantile Hotel and Pub for a refresher. Tapas for dinner at Kika’s and managed to stay up ’til nearly 10:00 pm.

On the 22nd, we awoke 6:30 am completely refreshed! Can you believe we’ve had no jet lag? All of those herbal cocktails worked! We found our way to the local and popular Bar Coluzzi for morning coffee (tea for me). It’s a busy place and many people bring their dogs. I’ve already taken many pictures of stranger’s dogs. You will also find two little and identical Supermen, who were hanging out there with their Mum. The counter guy at Bar Coluzzi greeted me with, “G’day Love”. I soon discovered that’s a popular greeting here down under. Scott and I have easily adopted that phrase. By our second morning, the Bar Coluzzi guy knew my order – Earl Gray and Soy Milk.

We explored Sydney ALL day again. We decided to hit the inside of Sydney Opera House. As I was poking around, I found Scott at will call…dazed and confused, I went over there to see what he was doin’ over there. I then accidently discovered the ‘surprise’ with which he had been taunting me…several months ago, he bought us tickets to see the Sydney Symphony’s Rachmaninov conducted by the famous Askkenazy! With this new discovery, I realized that I had no proper attire for such a grand event. So, we promptly went out and procured me a new, fancy dress. This is too much excitement for one Pennsylvania girl. Later in the day, we went to the Australian Museum and learned more about the Aboriginal Cultural Genocide. It was heartwrenching to see what they endured…I highly recommend Rabbit Proof Fence, which I’ve already seen twice. That movie seems to document well the atrocities these people have experienced.

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On the 23rd, we took the ferry to Manly Beach and had a relaxing time hanging out. I later discovered those little places that weren’t reached with the sunscreen. Needless to say, I found patchwork art of red and white all over the backs of my legs, back and neck…ya see, I fell asleep on my stomach. Fortunately (??) for us, it has been unusually chilly here, so I’ve been wearing pants (the ONE pair that I brought) since then. We had our new, traditional Thanksgiving dinner of Thai food at the Opium Den and were at the Opera House by 7:30…it was simply marvelous! The symphony was moving and…well…marvelous….breathtaking.

FOOD: Finding vegan fare has been so easy. In Darlinghurst, which to me feels like Northbeach and to Scott, like the Lower Haite (what he calls a weird mix of ‘decrepit and fancy’), there was a Hotel/Restaurant directly across the street from Altamont…Govinda, the local Hare Krishna establishment. Granted, we stepped not one foot in the place…too many college flashbacks – eating with the Hare Krishnas on Wednesday nights because it was free. That, in addition to the all you can eat Pizza Hut in which I used to line my backpack with tin foil and eat for several days after…oh yeah, and the free food at the local Hotel during happy hour…and…I digress. No Mom, I was not at all tempted to shave my head and wear my bedsheet around campus…just lookin’ for that free meal.

SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE: Yes, the Aussies speak a different language.

I’m Aftah the Bahthroom = Where is the bathroom?

Love = friend, person, family member, patron, etc

G’day = hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good-bye, hello again, have a good day

Bum = butt

Stuffed Up = screwed up

Breakie = breakfast

Cheeky = fresh

Cheeky monkey = fresh monkey??

Okay…there’s much more, but it’s late and we have a big day tomorrow – taking a tour to an animal sanctuary, where rescue animals are rehabilitated. I think we’re bound to see some Roos, Platypi (is that the plural for Platypus??), Koala Bears and more. We’ve been in Melbourne (Melbin) now for 3 days. More to report later!

G’day Loves!