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Published: February 16th 2010
Ok, so I know Christmas is now a long time ago, but the internet in New Zealand is expensive so I haven't got around to writing this one.... but here it is!
John, Mel and Jessica met me at the airport after I had lost 28 hours of my life, 14 flying and 14 time difference, stupid International Date Line. I was glad to be out of an aeroplane and on my way to a house rather than a hostel. Where John and Mel live is an hour out of the city called Avalon. It is so nice there, 10 minutes to a beach in any direction!
Over the next couple of days I chilled out a bit, went into the city (YAY), helped wrap some of Jess's many many many Christmas presents, went Christmas shopping, ate out, ate in, met up with some of John and Mel's friends for a BBQ - standard, I mean this is Australia! I also treat my self to a pamper morning and had a haircut for the first time in forever, courtesy of my Mum - merry Christmas to me! A couple of days before Christmas we went down to the Ferry
Wharf in Palm Beach and sang some Christmas Carols, in the sunshine. It was strange it being warm and sunny on the run up to Christmas and going to the beach on Christmas Eve.... It was lovely though. I went to midnight mass in Avalon and had a lovely Christmas Day with Mel, John and Jess. the neighbours came round and opened Jess's stocking for her and the rest of the day was spent opening all of Jess's presents so that she could play in the paper instead of with the toys!
On Boxing Day Ian and Janelle and Janelle's parents all came round for lunch and Ian was teaching Jess to say grandma is a dragon instead of witch as that had quickly changed into a different word... The next day I met Tracey, it was good to see her again, even though it had only been a month and we did the Bridge Climb over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Although it was a bit cloudy we had awesome views and could see all the way to the Blue Mountains. We then had a wander around the Rocks market and went to catch the ferry to Woolwich where
Vicki, (a friend of John and Mel's) was having a post Christmas gathering. Unfortunately Tracey and I got on the wrong ferry, missed the next one by the skin of our teeth and ended up 2 hours late to meet them at the pub. oops.
I also spent a day in Manly, shopping and wandering about. Had fish and chips on the beach and a naughty sea gull swooped in and stole my fish from my fork which was on the way to my mouth. I was most put out and to be honest, quite shocked. I had a lovely day there watching all the surf dudes and hiding my fish and chips from sea gulls.
I saw the fireworks at New year and they were frigging awesome.
The plan had originally been that I would meet Tracey in the city and see them with her, but having spent all morning trying, unsuccessfully to get hold of her I headed into the city to meet Jess at the Opera House instead. Unfortunately when I got there it was already fully to capacity so I went to Mrs Macquarie's Point (where I originally wanted to see them from
anyway) to meet some new people. The fireworks were AMAZING. It was the first year they had blue fireworks over the city and people were supposed to wear blue and be all harmonious and peaceful. man. There was a Ying yang in the middle of the bridge too. I had the best time, met some really cool people and had some very expensive drinks. Great fun.
The new year was off to a bang and New Year's day was spent, traditionally, doing nothing and watching films all day. No duvet though, it was too hot. That was one thing that wasn't as weird as I had expected it to be, the weather being hot. It was strange but it was great going to the beach on Christmas Eve and singing carols at the ferry wharf in the sunshine. Lovely. Much better than all that snow in England, thought I!
Over the next couple of weeks I got my act together a bit and started doing more. I went on a walk with Jess from Bondi to Coogee and met her again to go to Palm Beach for the afternoon. Also went to the Australia Museum to see the
Wildlife photographer of the Year exhibition and met Vicki to go to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Had a lovely evening with her, went for dinner and stayed over in Balmain. I went for another walk from long reef to Dee Why, a great walk along a beach with a very rewarding lunch at the other end. John and Mel went on a date (part of Mel's Christmas present) to see Mamma Mia so I babysat Jess and had her all to myself for a whole evening.
All in all I had a great time in Sydney and felt very at home with Mel, John and Jess, which considering how far from home I was, was a very nice feeling. Arriving in New Zealand and realising that I am now travelling by myself was very daunting but as soon as I started my bus tour I felt better. I am having an amazing time here and New Zealand is beautiful, cultural and just pretty cool or sweet as the kiwis say (not the birds or the fruit obv). Unfortunately I will have to save those stories for my next blog!
Lots of love to everyone,
p.s. I have almost been gone 6 months! Can you believe it?! Only 6 more to go! xxxxx
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