Hello again,

I think I’m getting the hang of this walking long distances thing…

Day 12

I opened my eyes this morning and saw that it was overcast out. No sun and, after a quick scan of the room, I could confirm no spiders either. Since I only bound out of bed for sunny days, I started the coffee and went back into bed. Roughly an hour later, my conscious was telling me I was too lazy for words and to get my butt up. After I had slithered down the hall and poured myself a cup of coffee, I logged in my usual computer time. It’s great to be able to keep up with everyone from so far away. By this time the overcast, had blown along and the sun was out.

I started a load of laundry and got ready for the day. The white tub was in need of scrubbing along with the sink in the bathroom but I didn’t have my favorite cleaners that I am used to. I thought now that we know our way around a bit perhaps we should go on a hunt for suitable replacements. I figured that Woolworths was a big enough store to provide me with a selection since the little stores around here were really only great for cheap stuff or fresh stuff. While we were out and over in that direction, I had been wanting to wander around Hyde park, a beautiful expanse of grass, flowers, and trees. JD had gotten me a long flowing hippie type skirt that I had been eyeing in town so I decided it would be a great time to wear it (see photo).

At the train station, I noticed a soda machine that advertised an energy drink called Mother (see photo) that touted “HEAPS OF ENERGY” and a “MOTHER OF AN ENERGY KICK”. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the type of thing I must try. So I fed in $4 so I could share my MOTHER OF AN ENERGY KICK with JD. I certainly got an energy kick and I wasn’t hungry all day. It tastes just like Monster which I like but I don’t think it’s anything I need on a daily basis.

We got to Woolworths and found a great selection of cleaners. I opted for the Ajax Triple Action Glass Cleaner, the Ajax Creme Cleanser, and, the prize of my discoveries, the Pine Cleen disinfecting wipes. I am a Clorox Wipe junkie and had been missing those babies BIG TIME. Everything around here would benefit from a good wipe. I had been using soapy water and a sponge but it’s just not the same, so I was elated to find these. Ladies, I know you, know what I mean. These even come with Micro-lock Technology which makes them even better. Not only do I have disinfecting wipes but I have high tech ones (cue Heaven and angles type music). We also found a certain type of cookie that JD had discovered and had been searching high and low for. They are called Kingstons and they look sort of like a two crisp macaroon cookies with a chocolate creme filling in between them. I vowed to try them that evening!

Now that we were stocked up on needed items, we started moving in the direction of Hyde Park. I had been needing some shoes since it’s still going to be a bit till our stuff gets here (could be another month and half) and I had just brought the bare essentials. Bare as in a pair of sneakers, a pair of black Sketchers, a pair of black flip flops, and a pair of black heels. I spotted a super sale and got three pairs of shoes for $50 (see photos). They are all really cute and the white ones I put on right away. Today was turning out to be a really good day. High tech disinfectant wipes AND new shoes? I’m surprised I didn’t faint. JD found a store called Lowes (nope, no tools) and got a couple of tank tops. He is trying to keep from getting a farmer’s tan and is shunning sleeves until he has to go back to work.

We got to the park and found where a chess game was going on. Not just a regular one, but a GIANT one! These two gentlemen where very engrossed with what they were doing and you could tell that one of them had the calm assurance of one who knows exactly what they are doing. After I watched for a while, I left JD there to watch the finishing moves and moved on to the other parts of the park.  I saw an Ibis that had decided to go directly to the source and had hopped up on the trash bin (see photo). He had his head down in the trash can poking around and every so often he would pull something out and gobble it down. Next I moved to the Nagoya Gardens. They had various decorative patches of liriope here and there and some spirit houses (see photos).

Then I moved on to the big fountain in the distance (see photos). It was beautiful! Its called the Archibald Fountain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_Fountain) and one of the figures is Diana who is my favorite, since she is the Greek version of Artemis the Goddess of the Hunt. There are three other figures, the central being Apollo, then Theseus who is vanquisher of the Minotaur, then another who seems to be unknown for sure. I noticed that he has a syrinx in his hand so I want to say he is Pan but Wikipedia thinks he is Aristaeus. Who knows… After watching the people playing the water and enjoying the cooling feel of the mist myself, I moved back to check on JD. He seemed to be almost finished so I took a seat at a nearby bench. As in most parks there are tons of birds and lots of the usual kinds. Pigeons were abundant and even a few sea gulls. They seem to be in every corner of the globe.

After JD was finished watching the chess game we went to look at the fountain again and then moved on to the heart of the park. The trees are old and very big and give a calm serene feel to the park (see photo). We walked along in the shade, hopping in and out to check out other statues or fountains. We soon found one that was sculpted by Gerard Havekes that depicts Water, Fire, and Earth (see photo). Nearby was a fountain that was made of different color tiles. It was in need of a good scrubbing since all that sunlight makes for a lot of algae but it was pretty all the same (see photo). Then we moved on to the Sandringham Garden that was a memorial ot King George V and VI (see photo). It is a large circle that is sunken into the ground with a large pool and small spurts of water everywhere.

At the far end of the Park is the Anzac Memorial that is dedicated to all the Australians who were killed at war in service of their country (see photos). Similar to our tomb of the unknown soldier, there was complete silence out of respect. There wasn’t a guard that paced back and forth like ours but the feeling was the same. There are two levels to look at the figure in the middle and then the ceiling is a dome. In the dome are 120,000 stars representing those who fought in WWI. The stars are made from plaster covered with gold paint and have been glued into place. No one knows why they increase in density towards the top of the dome. Out front is a large square pond that reminds me of our Reflecting Pool in DC but on a smaller scale.

Last but not least there is a statue of Captain Cook who discovered Australia. They of course celebrate him like we do Christopher Columbus. A replica of his ship is at the Australian Nation Maritime Museum which we have already visited.

We were tired and JD even dozed off on the train so I supposed I had sufficiently worn him out. I decided I wanted to have some baked chicken so we stopped off at the poultry shop and got a couple of chicken breasts. I noticed that they also had chicken hearts for sale. Chicken hearts have always seemed like the prize of the chicken as there is only one and when Mom would make dinner I would race to see if I could get it before my brother noticed (Sorry Lewis). Now before me were multiples of these prizes and you could get them by the Kilo! I got a few handfuls and asked JD if he would make them for me. Breaded, half in the Fry Daddy and half in the oven with the breasts. We also picked up some salmon in his first effort to make sushi. We already had tons of veggies back at the house and a half ton bag of rice so we picked up an avocado and went home. I was not aware that JD didn’t know about the tools needed for sushi so they didn’t look like the nice neat rolls up at the train station but they were still really good. The hearts turned out fabulous and I felt indulgent as I popped each one into my mouth. I believe I like them baked better. They have more of a chickeny flavor that way. JD ran out of sushi wrap paper and patience long before he ran out of salmon so he chopped the rest up into cubes, breaded and fried them too. They were really good too. FYI – the Kinston cookies are excellent!

I was almost full before the actual dinner was served so I ate as much as I could and then wrapped up the rest for the next day. We were definitely worn out, so we went to bed relatively early to read a bit and soon I was snuggling down with thoughts of the day dancing in my head. What a great day!

Stay classy America.