Busy weekend...

It's been a busy one this weekend, James & Emma arrived in Sydney on Thursday, they stayed at James & Nad's house, but Emma wanted to go shopping in the City so they all came in on Friday, and used the free parking facilities (e.g. my parking space, as I don't have a car). The girls went shopping and James, James and I went out for some lunch. Oh, and a beer of course!

After a few games of Motorstorm, where both James Sh and I consistently came 15th out of 15 in the races, we all headed back up to the northern beaches and the awaiting curry house :)

The end of the evening saw James Sh showing us his skill on SSX tricky, which involved landing on his head most of the time.

Saturday night, James Sc cooked up a storm, with a fantasic dinner, and a few of their mates came over, and a considerable amount of beer and wine was drunk.

Which meant Sunday was a slow day, spent recovering. James and Emma were staying until Tuesday at my place so we headed back over to the city, with Emma planning out the rest of her shopping time :) James and I ended up in one of my local pubs, Jacksons on George Street, for beers and pool.

The weather has been fantastic all weekend, blue skies and sunshine, and around 20 degrees, it's been a real tough winter. So much so, James and I had to spend the afternoon in the pub (well the opera bar) drinking Boags and watching the crowds build up for World Youth Day. This is this thing that means the Pope's in town, and they are expecting massive crowds of pilgrims... and it's looking like they are right, the place has really filled up, many people carrying round flags, and there's nuns and vicars galore. There's also lots of cheering and singing, which is a little weird as it only seems to be one song, something with hallelujah in it. It's a bit creepy, and cult like if you ask me :P

Last night we went out to a restaurant in Woolloomooloo called Manta, a fish restaurant, which was just down the road from Harry's Cafe de Wheels, and the food was fantastic. I had raw fish tasting plate to start, there were all sorts of fish, ocean trout, king fish (and a couple of others that I can't remember) and then a whole grilled flathead for main. mmmm. I'm getting hungry again thinking about it!

James and Emma flew back home to Perth this afternoon, and things quietened down around Circular Quay for a while as everyone seemed to disappear as they headed to Darling Harbour for the start of WYD and their big mass or whatever it was they were doing.

I think it finished around 10pm as there was a massive fireworks display, wondered what was going on at first, then I grabbed my camera and tried to take a few shots, I only managed to get them towards the end of the show and the sky had filled up with smoke, but I guess it's good practice for NYE. I'm leaving my camera and tripod out just in case they have some other shows, as the World Youth Day goes on all week... The Pope is doing his first gig on Thursday, and they are shutting the Harbour Bridge on saturday at 2am until 5pm... I guess he's wanting to have a walk over it once he gets out of the nightclub up Kings Cross at 2am... oooh, i might be going to hell for that one!

Anyhoo, here are the shots I took (click on the pic for more):

Well that's all folks, I'll keep you posted on whether or not I see the light and become a member of the god squad, most likely I will lock my door and not see the light (of day) until it's all over!

The things that I see out of my window...

...got up this morning and what should be there when I opened the blinds? A hooj cruise ship parked up, or moored, or whatever the nautical term is for parking a massive vessel outside my house.

Should have expected it really, what with that bit of the harbour over there being the overseas passenger terminal, and that's where the ships stop to let people on and off. They have had the QE2 there as well apparently.

You see all sorts of things out of my window, the other night I saw a police helicopter, with search lights on and the red and blue flashy lights flying around across the harbour, looked like it was going under the bridge, it was really low.

Then yesterday three choppers flew really low from the harbour back over the city, all very exciting.

I reckon it has something to do with this World Youth Day, that has a lot of the city shut down for a week or so. It's some religious thing, the pope is visiting, and they reckon there will be about 500,000 extra people coming to the city. There are massive road closures, which is causing the delivery of my table not to happen for another couple of weeks, so I'll have to keep using the ironing board. :( God has a lot to answer for!

Another weekend in Melbourne

Just got back from another weekend visiting James, Amelia, Mollie & Jess in Melbourne. It's James's birthday this week and so Friday night was a bit of a do for him. He'd borrowed a Wii from his cousin and a few of their mates came over for mexican food and a wii-athon. It was good fun, we played bowling the most and also Andy brought his PS2 and a copy of Buzz music quiz, so we had a few games of that too. Also James and I had a bit of a tennis tournament going over the weekend, I think I won, 2-1... I'm sure James will correct me if that's not the case!

The weather was a lot better than when I went last time, blue skies and sunshine for most of the weekend, but it was still very cold, a lot colder than it is here in Sydney :)

We went out on Saturday and Sunday and I got to see a bit of the area, we went to Sorrento on Saturday morning, really nice place, nice beach, and it's where the ferry leaves from to go to Queenscliff, the north heads of the bay.

On the way back we stopped off at Arthur's Seat, which is one of the highest points in the area and has great views over the Mornington Peninsula, a lot better views than the last time when Amelia took me there, the weather was pretty bad then. You could just see the city skyline way across the bay this time.

On Sunday morning we took a trip to Gunamatta beach, again, it was sunny but cold, but there were lots of big waves and plenty of surfers out catching them, and a lot of beach fishermen too.

In the afternoon we headed out to a nearby winery, Stumpy Gully, and had a taste of a few of their wines, all very nice, I bought a couple of bottles, a Pinor Noir and a Merlot.

Hehe, didn't go overboard though, like we did in the Hunter Valley, Dan. ;)

All in all another great weekend.

Funny name corner...

...and this week it's what Aussies wash their clothes with...

Omo, and in fact, small and mighty omo!

So now my clothes are kept clean and fresh by a small and mighty omo... whatever next!

Sunset

A couple of days ago there was an even nicer than usual sunset behind the harbour bridge, the sky turned a fantastic orange/pink colour. It was so nice it interrupted my WoW playing long enough for me to get out my camera!

Tour Guide Evans...

...and to your left you will see the Harbour Bridge!

Had a busy weekend this weekend, James and Amelia came over to stay, arriving Friday morning, but James had to head off to Manly to a meeting, and Amelia hadn't been to Sydney before so I got my tour guide head on and we went off around the sights of the city for the morning. Had a walk over the bridge (at a more sedate pace than Drill Sgt. Sadler had me doing last time I went over it ;) and then caught the ferry back from Luna Park to Circular Quay, and then headed over to the Opera House and got some lunch in the Opera Bar, where we met up with James as his meeting had finished.

We then caught the next ferry to Manly and had a walk around the corso and up to the beach, before stopping at Manly Wharf for a beer before we caught the ferry back. After all that touristing we were hungy so went up to China town and had chinese for dinner.

The sun came out on Saturday, and it was nice and warm, we went up to Darling Harbour for breakfast and then had a walk round the city, and checked out the new Apple Store. Once we had done our trip round all 3 floors of the store we headed to the bus station and grabbed a bus up to Bondi Junction and then got the next bus to Bondi Beach. The weather was just great, blue sky, no clouds, sunshine, and warm, really not too shabby for the middle of winter :)

As it was James & Amelia's wedding anniversary that day, they went out for dinner, they went to a nice restaurant on Stanley Street and I met up with them for a beer after their meal. James got refused entry to the Three Wise Monkeys bar for looking to pissed, so we ended up at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe for some really bad for you desserts.

It's been a good weekend, I enjoyed showing off Sydney!

Geek Alert... The new Apple Store

The new Apple Store opened on George Street on Thursday, it's the only one in Australia, and it's a pretty impressive building. Three floors all with a glass front, and the stairs to get to each floor are all glass too... We went to have a look round yesterday, it was pretty busy, lots of mac's, iPods, they also had the Apple TV box, but sadly no iPhones :)

Have to give them credit, they know how to design nice looking stuff (gadgets, puters and buildings :)

First trip to Melbourne

Had my first trip to Melbourne this weekend to visit James & Amelia, and their two girls Mollie & Jess.

The liver took a bit of a beating again, as it seems to when I meet up with James :) Friday night was a night out in Mornington, down at their local boozers, and then on Saturday we took a trip into the city as we had tickets for the Australia vs Ireland rugby match at the Telstra Dome.

Got to the city (and a bar) just in time to see the England vs All Blacks match what was played in Auckland, and watched England get beaten. Then it was off to the match at 8pm to watch Australia beat Ireland, this was my first Rugby match and it was pretty good. We're up for watching Australia vs England (rugby league not union) in November, so that should be good too.

Had a great time down there (even though it was a bit chilly, hehe) and James and Amelia cooked a top sunday dinner as well :)

I'm returning the favour this weekend, as they are coming to visit me in Sydney, although I don't think I'll subject them to my cooking, as there are plenty of nice places to go eat around here :)

Thundery

Later on this afternoon it got real dark, real quick, and big black clouds appeared, then it started thundering and lightning, it was a pretty good show, and here's a picture I managed to take of it:

It was pretty tricky to catch the lightning on my camera, this was the only good shot out of a heap of shots :) And I probably had the exposure too long as the sky was lit up too much I think.

Still it was impressive to watch!

I've been out and done something... at last!

Now that my liver has recovered after James's visit, and because it was sunny today, I've managed to leave the flat and all my gadgets and go and do some touristy stuff, just local though.

I hopped on the ferry to Manly, then caught a bus from Manly Wharf up to the Quarantine Station and walked up from there to the fort and the Fairfax walk around the North Head. The North Head is the northern most headland of the Sydney Harbour, which is here on the map:


View Larger Map

Nice views back over the harbour to the city and out over the ocean. There's a walk called Fairfax walk which is a loop right at the end of the head, that's about 1km long, which I had a meander round with my camera. Nice views, the sun was out, a good way to spend the afternoon... better than working anyhow :)

My pictures are being uploaded onto Flickr as I type, so feel free to check them out...

I also took some of my building, here's one as we arrived into Circular Quay on the ferry from Manly. The big arrow isn't normally there, thought I'd point out which unit was mine!

Right, I'm hungry after all that walking... so I'm off to cook my dinner! (See I said dinner, not tea, turning into a posh city lad I am!)