Australia

A Birthday Celebration in Sydney, Australia


We settle into our apartment,

home for the next month. We have lucked out with our location – we are (for those who know Sydney) on the south-west corner of Hyde Park, literally across the street from the Anzac Memorial, and less than a 5 minute walk to the Museum rail stop, and the bottom end of the CBD, and 1 minute from the intersection of Liverpool and Oxford Streets. The apartment is ultra modern – stark for my personal tastes, but it will certainly fit the bill while we are here. We are hoping that this part of the trip will give some normalcy back into our lives: develop a routine of, perhaps, grocery shopping, working out, and eating in. It’s amazing how much you miss those little things. Oh, and celebrating John’s birthday!

Friends from Canada

We meet up with some fellow Torontonians, Grant, and Bob, and give them the quick tour of Sydney (we are such experts now). Sydney is gearing up for Mardi Gras, and there is a real sense of anticipation in the air. Although our plan is to catch up when we lunch, it’s obvious we are not following our plan – so we head to a café, and over coffees get all the latest from Canada – the Governor Generals problems, Paul Martin’s problems, Belinda Stronach’s leadership bid, heads rolling everywhere. After 30 minutes we decide that we were better off not knowing any of this, and head off for our tour. (We had expected to log on to the Globe and Mail and CBC websites fairly regularly, but the difficulty in finding web cafés has meant that we have not been doing that with any regularity, and when we do, we get frustrated because all the stories assume you read yesterday’s story. If you didn’t you often, don’t know what they’re talking about. So we’ve stopped reading them.)

Late in the afternoon of a lovely day (38° – but not humid and so not oppressive at all), Grant and Bob head back to the suburb (ferry to Manly Beach, then bus or taxi farther north) where they are visiting friends. We head to a bottle shop, pick up a bottle of champagne (oops! – sparking wine) from Domaine Chandon, which we toured in the Yarra Valley, and a spectacular South Australian Shiraz/Sangiovese blend, and then head to Yipiyiyo! (unfortunately now closed) to celebrate John’s birthday. This restaurant was highly recommended by everyone we know who has been to Sydney recently, and the meal was magnificent – the food delicious, the service attentive and easy (thanks, Tony!), and the conversation scintillating.

Happy Birthday, John from Sydney!

 

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