Hello again,

I had great plans to come back from dinner, jump back on the computer and bang out another Day in the life of Jennifer Whitaker. My plans were thwarted however, by Tony Romo. Who is Tony Romo? I don’t know either but he makes ribs and he does it very well. So needless to say we came back and slipped into a meat and sauce  coma which I have just come out of.

One thing about being on the other side of the world is getting used to the change in days. Not just the time difference but since its beginning summer here, my length of days clock is thrown off. At 4:30pm here I am too tired to keep my eyes open, but then again I have been up since 4am. Since we are recovering from all the traveling and the mad dash to prepare, we are grateful for 12 hours of continuous sleep. However that means we have been missing dinner and wake up starving!

Day 2

Its 4am and I am awake. So I give up trying to go back to sleep, throw on some clothes and wander downstairs to the lobby. This was before I had internet in my room so I sat at one of the computers they provided for the next couple of hours and checked emails. Thank goodness for email, facebook, myspace, and this blog. They give you a real sense of still being connected and close by.

By this time I am weak from hunger so I go back up to the room and rouse the man. I drag him back downstairs to have breakfast with me. They had an excellent buffet with everything you could possibly imagine. I had scrambled eggs and cheese, a croissant, sausage, macadamia nut pancakes with real maple syrup, watermelon, kiwi, cantaloupe and coffee. JD had coffee. He apparently wasnt ready for breakfast.

We went back to the room and got ready for the day. Yesterday we had located a cell phone store that was open so we had that marked off of our list. Things have been closed since we got here for the New Year and then weekend. We wanted to start looking at apartments but everything here is done thru a real estate agent. They were all closed too but thought in the meantime we can check out the suburbs and see where we would like to live. So we started towards the subway. I love the signs here and the one I came across was no exception (see photo).

We had talked about living in Bondi Beach before so we got on the train and rode out to there. It’s a beautiful beach with lots of tourists. It reminds me some what of Virginia Beach but it’s very hilly. Some of the walk to and from the beach was at a 45 degree angle. Since thats a good way to keep me from the beach, we decided to keep looking. This was around the time that the sky opened up and dumped a bunch of rain fast. I have been told this is very unusual for Sydney but feels like Virginia to me. We ducked under an awning to wait it out for a bit and it had a feel of Romancing the Stone. Yeah, I love that movie too! We did get pretty wet as made it back to the subway but we are both from hardy stock and we pressed on.

We stopped first for JD to eat since I wasnt hungry yet. He had a Turkish shish kabob sandwich and chips (fries). We chatted with the owners and asked about the area. They were very friendly and gave us a good scope of the neighborhood. I even got to sample some of the breads they were making in the back. Yum!

Not long after this I was getting some complaints from the peanut gallery about how their toes were a bit raw from his sandals. So we stopped at a Foot Locker and got him some new sneakers. However he didn’t want to buy a pack of socks when he has 10,000 back at the hotel so he didn’t put them on until the next day. By this time I am hungry so we limped over to the restaurant named The Zoo and I had a beet, apple, and ginger juice. Delicious! Also I had a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and capers. This dish like the rest of what we have had to eat was nothing short of spectacular.

We were feeling the effects of our walking from the day before so we made our way back to the hotel and feel asleep almost immediately.

Day 3

Once again I am up at 4 am. So again I make it down to the computers and catch up on everything. When I got back to the room and out of the shower, the man was up and ready for action. We decided to hunt down breakfast somewhere new this morning and got a great tip from a taxi cab driver. Those dudes know everything. Turns out Woolworths is still alive and kicking here Australia. Plus they have a pretty mean breakfast too! I had scrambled eggs, sausage, grilled tomatoes, and toast. The coffee that came with it was very strong, so as I sipped it with its now added 20 sugars, I could feel my chest hairs starting to sprout. Great. Another thing to wax…

We made it out of there content and full went back to the hotel room. We found out about the availability of the in room internet (YAY!) and fired up the Magic Jack. After calling credit card companies and mothers, checking emails, and downloading pictures, we started looking at online apartments (www.domain.com.au). We emailed a few and very quickly got a response on one. We didn’t think the real estate agent would be working on a Sunday so we left her the cell number where we could be reached and left the hotel to do more exploring especially in that neck of the woods.

Near by our hotel there is the Darlington Harbor that has a large aquarium and a wildlife conservatory. This is where the giant crocodile is that was being advertised by the sign I was scoffed at over (Ooops #2 Day 1) The lines were enormous so we decided to come back the next day and just wandered a bit. We saw a big Navy Ship and JD perked up a little (see photos).

As we made our way over to the subway again to go to Rockdale for neighborhood stalking, I am again noting the architecture. When they go modern, they go all the way (see photos)

I was starting to get hungry again so we stopped off at a cafe called “Pie Face” (see photos). I wanted a Large Tingle My Toes and a ham and cheese on a croissant but went for just the sandwich. Flakey cheesy goodness! I figured that I had my lifetime fill of caffeine a breakfast anyhow.

We made our way on the train with no drama and got to Rockdale. Like all the suburbs around here the streets are lined with shops of all kinds. No Walmarts here, you have to get your meat from a butcher and its as fresh as fresh can be. Same thing with produce. Same thing with everything. All of your makeup and personal products can be found under the sign that says “Chemist”. Oh and McDonalds is refered to as “Mackers”  by everyone including the commercials for it. Same logo and signature “I’m loving it!” but they call it “Mackers”.

We found the apartment easily enough and inspected the outside. http://www.accommodationsydney.com.au/b009.shtm It’s an older building but everything has been updated inside. It has a large backyard and a walkable distance to the beach. It’s even a nice slope versus the harshness of Bondi Beach. Pretty beach thats smaller than Bondi so it feels more quaint (see photo). Around this time we received a call from the real estate agent. She was going to be this way anyhow and would we like to look at it? YES!

We met her about an hour later after sampling a cafe’s sausage rolls and mango mousse (<—divine!). There is a Thai place less than a block away and its a ground floor so we don’t have to worry about aging Chubby having a hard time getting up the stairs. She loves her dog too so its great to have someone who understands. She is very excited about the fact that I love to garden and she will buy me all the plants I want! Inside is small and quaint but plenty of room for us and guests when they arrive. They kept a lot of the original charm by leaving the crown molding that they probably don’t make anymore and the lead stained glass windows. We have french doors that open out on to a small porch facing the street. It’s perfect! Price is right so we go ahead and plunk down our money and our signature. We can move in starting the next day (which at this point is today)!

As we make our way back to the train station, I notice one more item that makes it complete. There is an ice creamery. Yes!

We came back to the hotel and went to dinner and you know the rest.

They don’t have internet set up there yet so the pictures may died down for a bit. I can make up for it as soon as they get it up and running and I will continue to blog at an internet cafe in the mean time.

Stay classy America!