I have had such a lovely Anzac Day long weekend, and boy, can I use a week to recover from it!
As per usual, the festivities kicked off with drinks at the office. There was an added reason to stick around for a few drinks too – one of the lovely fellas in another division was leaving and Thursday afternoon was his farewell bash. A few beers turned into a few more and soon after, I found myself standing in the pub across the road from the office, having the first of many Magners.
There was plenty of laughter and fun, and even a little bit of dancing too. But soon, the party crowd started thinning out and at the mention of the Cross, I quickly took myself to the nearest taxi for a bumpy ride home. I recall very little of the taxi ride, nor what was going through my mind when I staggered into Coles Express and bought all the ingredients necessary to make hearty chicken and vegetable soup. Also on the "no thought process" front was the microwave dinner that I hovered shortly before I passed out on my couch. Hot tip: consuming Magners and a McCain Roasts Lamb Dinner in that order is not recommended, especially when the McCain meal is preceded by at least 4 Magners.
Friday morning was interesting, and surprising, when I discovered that the previous evening’s shopping expedition in Coles was not a dream. So, at lunch time, I set out to cook my hearty chicken and vegetable soup. J was originally slated to join me for most of the weekend, but due to poor health, he rested at home on Friday in readiness for his play date with Miss M on Saturday. I wound up spending the entire Friday in my PJs and caught up on gossip magazines and TV shows taped from the previous week.
Earlier in the week, I had set myself a mission to complete over the weekend – to visit the supermarket and buy some groceries. On reflection during the week, I realised it had been 3 weeks since I stepped foot inside a real supermarket (Coles Express does not count as a real supermarket). I had run out of a number of cleaning products, so off I went to Macquarie Centre where I spent the better part of 5 hours, wandering and window shopping before braving the massive Woolworths for my groceries.
J had mentioned on Friday that he would like to spend Saturday night and Sunday with me, and by 5.30pm, I was getting quite impatient waiting for his phone call. I had all but given hope of seeing him on Saturday night, so imagine how sheepish I was when I found that not only had I missed his call at 5.00pm, but he’d left a voicemail message that suggested (in the tiniest way) that I was screening his call. Bad me.
Thankfully, J was feeling a lot better and he had had a good day with Miss M. We spent Saturday evening hanging out and watching Harry Potter on TV before retiring for an early night, as we had plans to walk into the city on Sunday.
Sunday dawned bright and sparkly, an amazing day lay ahead for our outdoor adventure. I was so pleased to see the sun in the sky – it had been raining in Sydney for just over 2 weeks and most of us were over the wet and dreary conditions. At 9.00am, we strapped on our backpacks and set off for our long walk from St Leonards to the city.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that I had never walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Ever. I’ve driven across the Bridge a thousand times or more, but never have I ever walked the length of the Bridge. I can now proudly say I have, and it is a wonderful walk with gorgeous sights of the harbour and the Sydney Opera House – a must for all visitors to Sydney.
The walk into The Rocks took about an hour and a half – I have short legs, after all! When we arrived at Circular Quay, J said he wanted to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. Another first for me, we wandered into the Museum to find free entry into 3 exhibitions. We took our time and looked at everything that was on display. I particularly liked the Aboriginal bark paintings.
It was almost lunchtime by the time we finished our Museum visit, so we headed down to Chinatown for a feed. Market City was our destination and we took in the sights and sounds of George Street. Again, I had never visited the food court at Market City, and was amazed by the selection of shops when we finally reached the "real" food court. After much deliberation, J settled for a sizzling beef with rice and I ordered a bowl of noodles with roast duck and preserved vegetables.
We needed to work off all that food post lunch, so we walked around the shops in the Market City complex (where I bought some gorgeous tops for my nephews) before heading downstairs to brave the crowds in Paddy’s Markets. It was a strictly window shopping exercise for us, but J did find something he liked related to one of his favourite anime and he just couldn’t resist. We spotted these awful fleecy jackets with monkey prints displayed in at least 6 stalls and laughed at the garishness of the print. We also laughed at the vast number of wig shops and wondered if there really was a market for so many wigs!
After walking past the fifth wig shop, we decided it was time to leave Paddy’s Markets and headed to one of J’s favourite shops, Galaxy Bookshop near the QVB. On our way, we meandered through Chinatown where we were shown menus and invited to sit down for a bite to eat at every restaurant!
We spent about 20 minutes inside Galaxy, where J indulged his inner (and outer!) nerd and shared his passion of sci fi and fantasy novels with me. I tried very hard to understand but to no avail, so I looked at a number of other things in the shop that caught my eye.
The QVB was our next stop, where J took me to new heights again. Until Sunday, I had never visited the QVB higher than the Ground Level, so it was absolutely delightful to visit Levels 1 and 2 and wander through the shops on those levels.
So much walking certainly worked up a thirst, and we soon headed to a café for a coffee and to rest our weary legs. Thoughts of walking back across the Bridge were quickly set aside for another day as we waited for a bus to take us back to St Leonards.
We could have happily ended our Sunday when we walked through the door to my apartment, but for the fact that I had pre-arranged to have dinner with my parents. So after some rest and a much needed shower, we headed out to a yummy meal and gorgeous red wine with Dad and Mum.
Our full bellies ensured that sleep was still some time away, so after dinner, we settled in for some Family Guy hilarity before witnessing the train wreck also known as Cheaters (so low rent white trash but oh so compulsive viewing). I went to sleep still laughing at the stories that unfolded in Sunday night’s episode.
Phew! Yes, it has been busy, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I can definitely have more weekends like this.