(In no particular order and Volume 2 is coming)
1. Mikey, Steve and Maz's interpretive shark dancing at the Sydney Aquarium's shark and stingray exhibit:
2. Going to Bar/Cub 333 and seeing Prinz and his wife Charito, who I met last year when they came to New York in July. I mentioned to some of the Aussies that for the few days after we had met them, none of my friends could figure out what Charito's name was (becuase of the accents) and we didn't want to ask. So eventually we just settled on "Sara." So for the beginning of my trip, everyone kept saying "Prinz and Sara" hoping to trip me up when I saw them (which was SO not going to happen!!) Except that when I walked up to Prinz at the club he hugged me and said "Riss!!! You remember my wife Sara don't you?" He then gestured to her and she waved while everyone laughed. All I could say was "Oh, fuck." I asked him who had put him up to it and he replied "I don't want to name Ed, but he came up to me and said 'You gotta fuck with Riss.'" Thanks Ed!!!!
3. "Gung Ho-ing" on our way home at nights. We'd walk past this restaurant that had a security camera which fed a television screen facing out. Sometimes there'd be an audience. I have like 3 of these from different nights:
4. On Tuesday night, we all hit up a restaurant where the free-flowing wine was very thoughtfully provided by Ray. Except that we'd also had a little Riesling beforehand and so the subsequent wine packed quite a punch. On the way back to Darling Harbour for dessert, Maz and I are walking back a bit behind everyone else. She whispers to me "Hey Riss, I got you something. But you have to keep quiet okay." So I agree and she shows me this painting and I'm like "When did you get that?" And she says "In the bathroom. I was peeing and thought 'Hey that's really nice. I should get it for Riss.'" I looked at her purse, which she had smuggled it out in and the thing is like a foot tall. But the painting is like 2 feet wide. I fell on the sidewalk laughing and I really thought one of us was going to throw up.
5. Sitting in the car with Girlie, Luke, Steve and Matty, who was driving. Matty is like the most relaxed, patient person ever but Ray's road irritation has been rubbing off on him. At one point he got agitated and let out a very piratey "ARGGH." Which of course, in the re-telling of the story got changed to "ARRGGH, the cars." Now whenever I get annoyed over something, that's what I'm going to say. Even if I'm annoyed about my PSE&G bill or spilt nail polish.
6. I can't do justice to the most beautiful place in Sydney with words so just watch this.
7. Googz and Loan's wedding was amazing. The love that was so present between them and their loved ones sharing in the day was humbling, and so was the fact that it was taking place in such an awe-inspiring setting. They said their vows in the Royal Botanic Gardens, against a backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Like I said, amazing.
8. Steve is planning to move back to Australia in a few years so a couple of months ago he started looking at Sydney property online. I started digging around the real estate site he was browsing and stumbled upon a house in Annandale, a suburb of Sydney, that I completely fell in love with. The house was on the way to dinner on Wednesday night, so we stopped outside of it. As I was standing out there, I figured how often am I in Sydney and decided to ring their doorbell. A woman answered and I explained that I was visiting from New York and had seen her house online and thought it was the wonderful. Anyway, she let me take a picture in the backyard. See if that ever happens in New York without having to slip someone a twenty.
9. The Blue Mountains are gorgeous. I don't exactly remember seeing blue mountains, which really would have been smurfy (shhh stop groaning) but it's always awe-inspiring to be in the presence of nature's magnificence. Okay I'll stop sounding like National fricken Geographic now. Also, the BK King really enjoyed himself. It was quite a change from serving people breakfast in bed and having to hang around the likes of Drew Rosenhaus.
10. At the Los Angeles airport, we were in the expedited security line because our flight was leaving. As we walked past the line of people still waiting, a group of boys called out to the woman in front of us, asking if she was from Australia. She nodded and they asked her to say something and she nervously laughed and asked what she should say. They exclaimed over her accent and I smirked to myself, knowing Steve wouldn't be able to resist despite his alleged shyness. The boys asked her if it was like a 20-hour flight and Steve makes his accent as thick as possible and replies "It's actually about 23 hours mate." The boys started hooting and hollering and I said "Hey Steve, you just made seven 12-year-old boys cheer in excitement." Incidentally, Australians are as intruiged by the "American accent" as we are by theirs. It's like an EF Hutton commercial when you talk (did I just date myself). I heard more than once from someone listening, "It's like watching a movie!"
Huge ass photo album coming soon.