07 January 2008

Diana in Sydney

Two weeks after Heather's parents left, we had another visitor to Sydney. Heather and Diana met while earning PhDs in South Carolina. She now lives in San Francisco, but decided to spend a week of her Christmas holidays Down Under. Unfortunately, when we took her to Wildlife World, it was raining. Koalas don't look particulary excited at the best of times, but these have to be the two most miserable things I have ever seen.
We also spent an evening in the Domain, where the cockatoos hang out. It's been two years since Heather and I last did this, but Diana wasn't too keen to feed them. Heather and I had the bread, but Diana got hit up for food soon enough just because she was with us. Notice two things: she has no bread in her hand, and she doesn't look happy. When I went for my camera to take the picture, my cockatoo ran out of bread and bit my finger pretty good.
We also did the Bridge Climb. This is something that Heather and I have wanted to do, but were waiting for a visitor so we would have a good excuse. There was no way Heather's Mom was going up there, but Diana wanted to go, so we booked a night climb, and it was great. It's a three and a half hour process, including safety training, gearing up and the actual climb. They put you in a Bridge Climb suit ("flattering for most body types"), and issue you a safely harness, fleece jacket-in-a-bag, fleece cap, head lamp, headphones and handkerchief, all of which is tied to you. Heather even got a geek strap for her glasses that were tied down. You aren't allowed to take anything else with you (read: no cameras), but they happily take your picture three or four times on the tour to sell you later. Yeah, it's a bit of a scam, but you never know who might throw something off the bridge into traffic, and they did take a nice picture. I was surprised that they got such good lighting on us and the Opera House in the background at night. Overall, I'd recommend the Climb.
On Diana's last night in town, we went to listen to Christmas carols at the Opera House. Carols aren't usually my favourite, but it was a nice show, and you can't argue with the venue. It was a good ending to our second week of guiding tours in a month.

The Bowles' in Sydney

I'm behind on my posts again, and I need to squeeze in a few more here really quick. I don't have time to give them the full attention they deserve, so I'm counting on the pictures to tell a thousand words.

Heather's parents came back to Australia with us after our trip to Hawaii. They had a good time, and we had a good time playing tour guide for the week. We all arrived on a Sunday night and we immediately took them to Maya, our favourite Indian restaurant. Surprise: they liked it!

I had to go to work on Monday, but I got home quick so we could go to the beach. Here's a great picture of Paul at Coogee Beach. Note the red and yellow lifeguard flag in the background. We went back on Wednesday and walked from Coogee to Bondi. It's a fantastic walk that covers five beaches, one oceanfront cemetery and about seven kilometres.

Tuesday morning, they went for a walk around Hyde Park while I visited the travel doctor. When I got back, they insisted that I look at their pictures of the park immediately. I was thinking that I see Hyde Park every day, but I looked at them anyway. Here's what I saw:

That's my in-laws with the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore. Marty had seen her on TV the night before and knew she was someone important.

We also spent some time at the Harbour, and they visited the aquarium and Wildlife World. Paul and I played a round of golf, where he hired the worst half set of clubs in the Southern Hemisphere. But we finished the week at the Friday night market at the Rocks, and pizza at Zia Pina, one of my favourites in Sydney.

Lucky Sevens: New Years

This one is going to be rediculously easy because:

  1. I'm not in Australia right now and am not up to speed on the latest there.
  2. My new PSP is keeping me pretty busy.
  3. I'm on holiday and just can't be bothered to come up with something good.

So here goes: Who celebrated New Years 2008 first: the US or Australia?