“The only things certain in life are death and taxes…” and a blog post about any friend who comes to visit me. If you drop $1,000+ to come see little old Phill in his land far away, then a blog post is the least I can do. That and seriously run you ragged.
And run ragged is just what I did to good old John. John, being one of my top straights from Seattle, got the star treatment here in Sydney. Oh, and yes, I rank my straights. It gives them something to aspire to. Anyway, John was here for 12 days and he left completely exhausted and sick of the sun.
My work here is done.
John had the true blue Aussie experience. He drank Aussie beer and met Aussie people. He ate Aussie food and had to ask what certain words meant. He even killed a giant spider that we found in the kitchen sink when we got home from the bar at 2 o'clock one morning. That's the real Aussie experience right there.
Now, of course, I’m a working man, and I have to bring home the bacon, even though it’s not kosher. So I had to let John run around Sydney on his own for a few days. I gave him an itinerary and a map and some bus passes and he was off like a prom dress. I sent him to the Botanical Gardens and Government House and the Sydney Opera House (duh!) and the Harbour Bridge and The Rocks and Taronga Zoo and Sydney Tower and the Queen Victoria Building… and one day I even sent him on a two-hour train ride up to the Blue Mountains for some hiking. All of that, of course, was accomplished on the three days I worked.
When I was off work, we did heaps more: we walked, we ferried, we conquered. We did the Bondi to Coogee Walk, Centennial Park, Manly, and drove all the way down to Wollongong and the Sea Cliff Bridge and Royal National Park and all the way up to Palm Beach and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. We did trivia and we had beer, we did dinner at the Wharf Bar and we had beer, we did dinner at Una’s and we had beer, we had dinner at Trinity Bar and we had beer, we had dinner at Oporto but we didn’t have any beer there because they are a fast food establishment and they don’t serve beer. But there was plenty of beer at all other meals. John likes beer. I like beer.
Together we like a lot of beer.
We went to the Shady Pines Saloon – my favorite country & western bar in Sydney (probably the only country & western bar in Sydney) – and we visited the cute baristas – not once but twice. We spent a whole day doing Thanksgiving (our third Thanksgiving together!) and we went to the Westfield Bondi to buy ingredients and we cooked (well, I mostly cooked… John grated cheese, but I’m a control freak so that was my decision) and we dined and drank copious amounts of alcohol at our multinational Thanksgiving dinner at Karen & Elsbeth’s apartment. And on top of all of that, John flew up to Cairns to check out the Great Barrier Reef for three days. So yeah, all of that other crap was squeezed into just 9 days. Not 12. Remember in the first paragraph when I said I ran John ragged? That was an understatement. I should’ve said…
Of course, this was a big 12 days, and several more posts will come out of it, including a post on The Gong and a post about the beach that will make you jealous and a whole post devoted to chocolate, because John brought me Theo Chocolate from Seattle and I don’t blog about food enough.
Or do I?
But those posts will follow later this month. For now, I leave you with pictures of me and my straight.
This was taken somewhere between Wollongong and Royal National Park. In case you’re wondering, I’m the one on the right. I look short, but I’m really about average. John is freakishly tall.
A nice jolly woman took this for us at West Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Haha, I said head…