April 4, 2007

I've Been To A Land Down Under

I've Been To A Land Down Under
(*sung to the tune of that Men At Work song*)

First and foremost though, CONGRATULATIONS TO MANNY AND JANELLE (and Keiran) whose baby boy was born yesterday morning. They got to the hospital at 6:30 AM and Oliver entered the world at 7 AM. Janelle didn't have time for an epidural so she delivered all 8 lbs 9 oz of him naturally. She's not just a soldier she's Delta Force. Congratulations again and I love you guys. Also, CONGRATULATIONS TO PAUL AND LOAN on their new life together. I wish you both all the best in the world, you absolutely deserve it. Also also, CONGRATS to Min on completing the Forum, I am so happy it gave you everything it gave me. I look forward to how amazing your life is going to be!

* * *

Dude, I'm fucking tired. I was determined not to give in to the evil Jet Lag Demon and so I stayed up as long as possible last night instead of submitting to a 14-hour coma. But it's kicking my ass anyway. It feels as if I'm trying to think with a pile of boiled cabbage instead of an actual brain. So I'll just give a rundown on what I've been doing for the past week.

Day 1 (Sunday March 25, 2007)

I don't die on the plane and we arrived in Sydney at 6:30 AM after a 21-hour flight with an hourlong layover in L.A.
Brunch at the Queen Victoria Building.
Drinks at the Watershed in Darling Harbour. Drinks all afternoon. Bar had a one shot per hour rule so we'd pop into the one next door then come back.
Pizza and wine at Ray and Matt's apartment
More drinks at City Extra in Sydney Harbour. Photos up and down the harbour.

Day 2 (Monday, March 26, 2007)

Early breakfast at Mickey D's (their shit is actually healthy there)
A ferry ride then parasailing at Manly Beach
Lunch at the Bavarian Bier Cafe on the water
Shopping at the Manly Esplanade (did I get that word right)
"Swimming" in the ocean and by "swimming" I mean "getting body slammed into the water and having my head held under the waves" by Steve.
Dinner at some restaurant where you get steak, mashed potatoes and a glass of wine or beer for $5.

Day 3 (Tuesday, March 27, 2007)

Breakfast, lunch and shopping at Bondi Beach
Dinner at a Thai place. Maz "borrows" a painting off the bathroom wall at the restaurant to give me as a souvenir. The 10-minute walk to Darling Harbour takes 45 minutes because we keep falling into bouts of hysterical laughter.
Dessert at an ice cream/gelati place
Steve and I wade into the fountain at Darling Harbour then race across some random bridge. Since he's speedy, he gives me the handicap of trading shoes. He's wearing sneakers and I was wearing leopard print high-heeled sandals. Yes, there are pictures.
Gung Ho Dance #1 (Some restaurant we walked by had a security cam that fed a television which faced out to the street. You can imagine what we did with this, but there's also video.)

Day 4 (Wednesday, March 28, 2007)

Went hiking in the Blue Mountains.
Stopped by the house in Annandale that I've been lusting after for the past three months. Owner let me take a picture in the backyard.
Dinner at some random Filipino place with the Stevie D clan.
Drinks at Different Drummer.
More drinks and dancing at Empire Hotel, which we ended up at because Ed wanted to show me Kings Cross, the "hooker section" of Sydney. People had to pee so we popped into Empire to use the restroom and we somehow ended up on the dance floor.
Gung Ho Dance #2

Day 5 (Thursday, March 29, 2007)

Met up with Mikey who flew in from Los Angeles
Breakfast at Ray's, a yummy spread of garlic fried rice, eggs and Spam cooked by the culinary genius Girlie.
A couple of hours touring the world-famous Sydney Aquarium followed by dim sum around the Sydney Tower area.
A couple of hours touring the Sydney Wildlife World, and damn those koalas are really really really fricken cute.
Dinner at Oporto's (fast food joint similar to Popeye's)
Drinks at 333 where Matt is DJ-ing to celebrate Googz and Loan's wedding on Saturday, a ridiculous amount of shots are consumed.
A few drinks at the most boring strip joint in the world. Imagine a crappy Indian restaurant, with a 5X5 foot stage where ugly strippers slide around on the floor. The best part though was when the Asian stripper came onstage and scrubbed the floor and pole with Windex before starting her act.

Day 6 (Friday, March 30, 2007)

Drive-through Mickey D's breakfast
Scrap plans for a morning coffee cruise around Sydney Harbour because my hung over self doesn't want to add seasickness into the mix.
Hours spent hanging out on some cliff, at the most beautiful place I've ever been. The ocean just seems so much bluer in Australia. Steve freaks me out by walking along the cliff edge in his damn socks.
Lunch at some Japanese restaurant where schoolgirls in floppy hats and Sound of Music-type uniforms kept walking by.
Watched a National Rugby League game (Parramatta Eels versus the Wests Tigers) at Parramatta Stadium (tickets courtesy of Steve's brother-in-law Mari, who brought along his cute as heck 4-year-old son Martin.) The game went into double overtime.
Karaoke at some skeevy dive place called Kelly's that was awesome. And yes, I did "Skater Boy."
Gung Ho Dance #3

Day 7 (Saturday, March 31, 2007)

Sydney Tower and Oztrek, this nausea-inducing ride through virtual Australia.
Lunch at The Food Court which I think was a mall food court without the mall, specializing in different types of Asian cuisine for a good price.
Paul and Loan's wedding at the Royal Botanic Gardens, pretty much the most beautiful setting for a wedding I've ever seen. The bride and groom said their vows against a backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The ceremony was really, really beautiful.
Fun as hell wedding reception at The American Club.

Day 8 (Sunday, April 1, 2007)

Souvenir shopping at Paddy's Markets which is pretty much a huge indoor swap meet.
Dinner at Jane and Iven's to celebrate Iven's birthday (Jane is an amazing cook by the way). Video games all night long.

Day 9 (Monday, April 2, 2007)

Matty and Mike drop us off at the airport at 8am. Ed comes by for coffee and breakfast before we leave. I don't die on the plane again and 22 hours later, I'm back in New York!

There's tons of pictures and videos. Give me a few days to at least reach the mental capacity to function of an 8-year-old.

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