Just got back from 12 hours out and about. It wasn't that chilly today, but it rained, so we felt colder. I can tell I'm pretty zonked right now but I want to jot down some thoughts before I pass out. Jarrah finally lost it this evening, though it wasn't her fault. She put her head down on the table at the Opera Bar in Circular Quay and that is not like her, though maybe it's very like her when it's actually midnight her time. Then we were terrible parents and dragged her to dinner anyway, which she mostly slept through. I'm pretty much feeling like a heel now.
We have an early start tomorrow, so I'll be brief. We started today with a superb English buffet breakfast at the hotel, which was the best thing ever. Jarrah was particularly enamored of the English bacon, which is kind of like ham, and I loved the tiny flowerpots full of English baked beans, which I remember fondly from my "beans on toast" breakfasts at the University of London refectory. And did I mention the breakfast is free everyday? Score.
Then we took the free green bus to Circular Quay and strolled around The Rocks, including some of the charming little old stone alleyways that had delighted me eight years ago, and a hike up the stairs to the Harbour Bridge passage, from which we had a pretty great view of the harbour. The Rocks used to be a place for convicts, but now it's swank, just about my favorite place in Sydney. We finished with petits four and another glorious Flat White at a little cafe--The Rocks is legendary for their sweet little cafes.
Lots of texting with Carolyn led to us meeting her at Wharf Three for the ferry to Manly, a beach town about a 30 minute sail away, with gorgeous views back to the city and the opera house, but we were yacking a mile a minute so I didn't admire it too much. You have to picture me just glowing with happiness from this totally serendipitous chance to hang out with one of my oldest friends. It's not the first time we've been on other continents together--we traveled around Europe our junior year of college--but it's been years and years since we had a full, luxurious day of catch-up time.
Pouring in Manly, so some frantic umbrella shopping along the pedestrian promenade called The Corso (and some mirth at a place called "Are These...Australia's Cheapest Perfumes?") followed by lunch at the Manly Grill, which we braved out on the sidewalk despite the sprinkles. More talking, much more talking. A walk on the beach, a beautiful beach but wet and empty today. Much discussion of ice cream, followed by a search for ice cream--even though only one of us wanted the ice cream--can you guess who?
Ferry back, and a stroll up the stairs and around the perimeter of the Opera House, gorgeous in the dark. Aforementioned drink at the Opera House bar (singer sounding like Alicia Keys) and then a meet-up with Carolyn's friend Robert, who led us to a waterside Italian restaurant in The Rocks with some gorgeous pizza, which I ate while trying not to feel too guilty that my kid was sleeping on the table.