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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jan 1 – 12, 2012 Hello 2012 from Sydney With Love...and Karen’s visit, cont’d.

The first day of 2012 we awoke to lovely blue skies, and the conviviality of good friends. We munched on freshly baked croissants that we'd put into the oven to proof before going to bed. Mark and Heather radioed to ask for a ride back over to Blackwattle with us. As we were loading them aboard I asked Janet and the girls if they fancied a sail through the harbor or if they wanted to depart from the Taronga wharf. They happily elected to ride to Blackwattle Bay with us where they would catch a bus for home. We enjoyed an absolutely lovely sail back, past the Sydney Opera House, under the Harbour Bridge and then a little detour to show them the sights from the water before passing under the Anzac Bridge into Blackwattle Bay. Karen and the others reveled at the sights and the experience of sailing through the harbor. Karen perched herself right up by the bow, snapping photos and waving to other yachts that passed by. It was a perfect day to begin the New Year. We dropped our friends at the little Glebe Point wharf and returned home to phone our loved ones back in the States to wish them all Happy NYE. The father and daughter duo voted for a lazy day of doing nothing this first day of the New Year (could there be a hint of a hangover in there somewhere???)

Over the next several days, we showed Karen "our Sydney", via water and hiking trails. She had made a list of TTD's that we ticked off as we went. Some of those were: Do the Manly to The Spit walk – check! Manly Beach – check! Tour the Opera House – check! Ride the Manly ferry – well we sailed her to Manly on Destiny (even better!) – check! Go to The Rocks – check! Shop for an opal – check! Dinner or lunch at Doyle's Watson's Bay – check! Do the Coogee to Bondi walk – check! In fact, on that day, Janet picked us up early, drove us to her place at Coogee for breakfast where we were joined by Helen and Alicia, and then we walked Coogee to Bondi. Pauline met us at Bondi Icebergs for lunch. Afterward Frank, Karen and I joined the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour. We spent the remainder of the day and the next morning completing the tour. One night, Frank and Karen set off for a Pub Crawl of the oldest pubs in Sydney, including drinks at the Sydney Tower. I opted for dinner and a movie with Pauline and Janet. We dined at Chef's Gallery, which became my favorite Asian restaurant in all of Australia so far. It was nice to have my girlfriends around to hang out with while Frank and Karen scored some Father-Daughter time. We took Karen over up into Bantry Bay, followed by Bernd on UPPS (Tanja had returned to Germany). Pauline and Martin invited us for dinner at their home one night, and we took the train so Karen would have that adventure as well. She literally saw all of Sydney Harbor and most of Sydney.

One particular day, Karen wanted to anchor over by the Opera House, so we moved over to Farm Cove where UPPS was also anchored and then took the dinghy into the Opera House wharf. We had a beautiful day in town; Bernd joined us at the Rocks Markets and then guess where we had lunch!?!? Chef's Gallery.  After lunch we strolled for a while and then Frank and I left Karen in town to wander about and to take photos, arranging to meet back at the Opera House wharf at 4 PM to go into the Sydney Festival's opening night events. When we retrieved the dinghy, however, we lost our dinghy anchor at the wharf, (the waves were so rocky that our line just snapped!). Frank returned to pick up Karen, and when they arrived back at Destiny, the waves were really ripping up and tossing them about, Karen miss-stepped on Destiny's stern platform and went right into the water! She was a great sport about it - just laughed and laughed, bobbing around until Frank could manage to fish her out. Poor girl! We told her that she has now been christened by one of the rituals of being a guest on Destiny – the other is to get sick. She was happy to have gone into the drink instead. We did not make it back to shore for the Sydney Festival, and in fact decided to move out of the now white-capped Farm Cove.

January 12th, Mark and Heather invited us for breakfast on Karen's final day with us before offering her a ride back to the airport. We didn't get to EVERYTHING on her list but managed most of them.

That night,we met up with Heather Olsen and her boyfriend/friend Paul Atwood on Thursday night to run the Hash. Anyone who does not know what this means should “google”: Hash House Harriers.  I was/am a member of the H4 – Houston Hash House Harriers, although it has been years since I ran with them. Heather’s home group is called the “Sydney Thirsty Hash House Harriers.” The theme for the run was to wear your school uniform. We obviously borrowed from Heather and Paul. It was such fun! Although I am ashamed to admit we did not run, as neither of us is in any shape to run 7 km, so we followed the walkers trail. Although I should add another side note that we didn’t actually do the walkers trail – Frank and Paul CHEATED cutting out most of the real trail, resulting in their being forced to drink many down-downs and to received switches from the “matron”. I was happy and relieved to be given gingerbeer for my down-downs. I really didn’t want to waste a beer over my head! We enjoyed dinner with the gang afterward at one of the university campus pizza joints. It was such fun that we vowed to do it again. Here is a link to the pictures.Thirsty Sydney Hash

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