Monday, 10 October 2011

A wander around arguably the most beautiful city in the world - Sydney Part IV...


And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City.  The Bull hit the gym tonight, logging 45 minutes on the treadmill, which covered 21K.  That, however, is NOTHING in comparison to the likes of the one, the only, the house plant, the donkapotamus himself - Matt Miller, who completed a THIRTY-ONE MILE RUN this weekend in a shade over 5 hours.  I may hate the guy, but I gotta admit - he was more than a CNN doctor this weekend...just sayin'...

T-bone - you should recognize this.  If not, keep reading...
Okay, so it's time to pick back up where we left off with Sydney.  Tuesday was my last day before 3 days in the office, and I needed to pick up my race packet from the expo.  As Dommy was running with Jenny in the Bridge Run and needed to collect her packet as well, we rode in with her.  Given that this race was billed as "the biggest running spectacle in Sydney," I thought the expo would be HUGE.  So imagine my surprise when I rocked up to find the WORST EXPO EVER.  Seriously - it was 1 tent with a few boxes of bibs, you do NOT get a t-shirt (shocking, since the race was almost $100 USD to enter), there are NO stands giving out free stuff, there are no ads for upcoming marathons, there are no guest speakers, and there's nothing set up of any kind to walk through or look at.  I was absolutely in shock - even SINGAPORE does a better expo than this.  The worst part was actually the bib pick-up.  Here was the conversation (NOT JOKING):

Sammy the Bull (StB):  (after picking up his packet) "So just a question about the start..."

Old, Clueless Volunteer Dude (OCVD): (cutting me off) "Ah, you've run this before.  You know all that stuff, right?"

StB:  "No, it's my first time." 

OCVD:  "Really?  Oh, well, it's all in the race guide."

StB:  "Yeah, but if I'm going to the starting line and I live in Manly, what's the best way to get there that time of day?"

OCVD:  "Eh, there's a bunch of ways.  You could go by bus, taxi, ferry, train - you name it."

StB:  "Cool.  So the trains are running that early?"

OCVD:  "Eh? Oh no - trains don't run that early."

StB:  "Oh, okay.  What about the ferries - you're saying I can take a ferry?"

OCVD:  "What?  A ferry?  Oh, I don't think so.  That's too early.  I don't even think they go there."

StB:  (trying not to punch his dingo ass in the face) "Sooooo, really, it's a bus or a taxi I guess.  Are there buses on the main street in Manly?"

OCVD: "Eh, I don't know.  Buses that early...hard to tell.  Not sure if you could get one."

StB:  (biting lip and considering if they deport you for putting morons out of their misery) "  Taxi it is."

OCVD:  (NOT JOKING)  "Yep!  A taxi would definitely get you there."

StB:  "Thanks."

The day did get markedly better after that, however, as Jenny and I had a stroll around the city to enjoy it properly.  We started with a stroll through Hyde Park (T-bone, yes - I once again took the Lonely Planet photo - you know you love it...), which I had always remembered as one of the best "Poet's Walks" on earth.  Seriously - the walk from the fountain to the Anzac Memorial is one of the prettiest stretches of real estate anywhere, and the trees swaying in the breeze and shading everyone reading, playing, and drinking their flat whites was just about perfect.  I walked as slow as I could to enjoy every minute - which, it should be noted, is still 4 times faster than people in Singapore walk.  Sorry, couldn't let that one go...

We then reached the Anzac Memorial, which was every bit as somber and impressive as I remembered.  War Memorials, particularly WWI and WWII, bother me quite a bit, leaving me rather silent and typically close to (if not in) tears.  This one was no exception, as it's always tough to reconcile the perfect day filled with the sounds of children playing against the horror and bloodshed of so many, particularly during the Anzac run through Gallipoli.

We then headed up to King's Cross, where we saw the flat Jenny lived in a decade ago when she came to Oz on a Summer Program through UCF and met D & D for the first time (their story about trying to guess which American couple was Mike and Jenny was QUITE hilarious).  We then strolled around Wooloomooloo (yeah, say that 4 times really fast) harbour, stopping for lunch at the Wooloomooloo Hotel.  This place was GREAT, complete with a new microbrew for me - Vale Ale - SO GUUUUUUUUUD...peppy cheekies.  The weather was amazing, the sun shining, the food delish, the scenery spectacular, and all was right with the world.

After that it was into the Botanic Gardens, where we took a stroll past Ms. Macquarie's chair and wandered through the gardens for the better part of an hour before finally ending back up at the Opera House steps for about a basquillion photos.  We also stopped by Opera Bar, where we had a beer and watched the sun set beyond the Harbour Bridge, the light radiating and changing colors against the Opera House.  It was then the ferry back home for dinner and an early night, as Wednesday was a work day for Sammy.  However, given that I'd ALWAYS wanted to say, "Ah, I've gotta go to the Sydney office tomorrow," I didn't really mind too much.  In fact, it was an INCREDIBLE experience, but that'll just have to keep until tomorrow.

And yes, I realize that once again I've gone overboard talking about how great Sydney is.  But I'll say it again - you've just gotta see it:  then you'll be hooked as well.

Ray - just in case the issue is in doubt, let me
say it again:  "YOU CAN'T HIDE SEXY..."
And lastly, as I mentioned in my previous post about the rugby - "REAL MEN DRINK HALF PINTS."  Don't judge - it was hot, and you can't do a pint of the black stuff warm...just sayin'...

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print.  Chat tomorrow!


Sam and (hopefully dry and livin' it up in Railay) Jenny

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