Monday, September 6, 2010

Frightfully Awry

Sometimes a weekend goes so frightfully awry that it ends up being delightful.  This is what happened to me this past weekend.  I usually plan everything out, but as of Friday morning, the only item on my agenda was my usual weekend man-date with Todd.  The weekend’s adventure:  an 11am Sunday morning tour of Government House.

Everything changed Friday afternoon at 2:14pm when I received this exhilarating text message from Karen, my American girl from Philly:  “Dinner esta noche? I feel like Mexican”

Well, I always feel like Mexican.  After failing to secure reservations at Café Pacifico and Flying Fajita Sisters (both would have been new to me), we ended up at Baja Cantina in Glebe.  Baja Cantina hosts the burrito stand every Saturday at the Glebe Markets, and I have ranked Baja Cantina my #1 burrito in Sydney ever since the first time I went.  But I hadn’t yet been to the actual restaurant and I was a bit worried that a trip there would ruin it all.

Boy was I wrong!  It was so delicious that – for a moment – I forgot that I was in Australia and imagined that I was in the cozy confines of a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles – sans the tacky mariachi music.  It was American quality Mexican food (if that makes sense).  Ok, it wasn’t Texas quality Mexican food, but it was certainly California quality – and certainly better than anything I’ve ever had in Florida or Seattle or New York.  We had nachos to start, followed by our mains of a chimichanga (Karen), giant taco (Elsbeth), and Chicken Suiza (me).  For dessert:  churros and a chocolate tres leches!  And let us not forget the 3 margaritas: 1 frozen, 1 on the rocks, and 1 strawberry… each.  And - still to my dismay - the margaritas were American quality too.  HEAVEN!

Saturday started off far less exciting than Friday night.  Raining and dreary, the only smile I had in the morning was a trip to my cute baristas around the corner.  Then I headed up to the North Shore to hang out with Jonathan and his mother – a great diversion from the weather – though the trains weren’t running so I had to bus up there.  Grrrr.  Things took an exciting turn later that evening.  What was supposed to be an early evening at home with a bottle of Moscato turned into a spur of the moment movie after a call from a friend who had two extra tickets to the Israeli Film Festival.  Score!  Then my new American friend - Jill from Boston - was out on Oxford Street right near the theatre so we popped by to see her at a local coffeehouse.  3 minutes later, I was talked into going to Stonewall – one of the local gay clubs that I had tactfully avoided for 7+ months because I’m boring.  The next 3 hours were spent dancing, drinking, and chatting with a mass of the boys from the gay Jewish group who we happened to bump into there.  Unexpected?  Yes.  Scary?  Slightly.  Fun?  Yes.  Saturday success!

Sunday showed that great days - like great deaths – come in threes.  After a morning Starbucks, the tour of Government House proved to be educational and enjoyable.  Todd had to go to work afterward, so I decided to train out to Bondi Junction to grab my favorite falafel.  Then, inspired by a driving tour that Jonathan gave me the night before, and urged on by Todd that morning, I spontaneously took the bus up to Vaucluse to do a little exploring on foot.  Thanks to the map on my iPhone, I stumbled upon the Hermitage Foreshore Walk which winds its way around the harbor.  For the next 90 minutes or so, I enjoyed the views and the beautiful weather.  I’ve included a few pictures below.

I hate not being completely organized, but I will say that the spontaneity of the weekend was exciting and completely enjoyable.  Now, if only I could find a way to plan the unexpected…

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