I’ve decided a mini-break is most definitely good for the soul … especially when you spend it with friends that you’ve known for a squillion years (I’ve known Nigel for about 30 years, and Brenda for about 14). I’m definitely going to have to do that more often – and as well as that I played tourist on my own for a bit, which I haven’t done in a very long time, and it felt really good 🙂 There are a fair few photos I’d like to share, so I might split it up into a couple of posts … I’ll document it all in chronological order, so it makes more sense to me more than anything else …
My trip to Sydney started off quite eventful – I had my little ‘overnight wheelie case’ packed in good time and ready to walk out the door at the planned time, until I flipped over the top of the case to zip it closed … only to find the zip hanging off! A slight panic ensued as I struggled to find another bag that would suit … finally I found a soft-sided bag that has back-pack straps hidden away, and everything fit in it nicely … not a great start to the trip, though!
I arrived at the airport, after leaving my car in long-term parking, just in time for check-in and wandered through to the gate. My company were very kind to send lounge passes to make the trip more memorable, and gave me a ticket that was able to be upgraded to business class if there were no paying customers wanting the seat – it was a wonderful way to start being spoilt. (You may/may not recall that the reason for this trip to Sydney was for the service award presentations to eXcel winners from all over the company, and we were being flown in for a big gala event in our honour, so we got spoilt from start to finish.)
The flight to Sydney was pleasant and smooth, and when I got there I went straight to the train lines to journey into West Ryde, near where Brenda works so she could pick me up and drive us home from there. When I arrived I had 1 1/2 hours to kill so I just went for a wander and eventually found a shopping mall with a Gloria Jeans coffee shop … I plonked myself down and stuck my nose in my Jeffery Deaver book (The Empty Chair – great book!) with a coffee or two and waited.
I hardly recognised Brenda when she arrived – she’d had her hair cut off short and lightened, and has lost about 30kg … she looks amazing! She hasn’t changed inside though, and is still the same Brenda we all know and love – she’s so bubbly, and so much fun to be around … it was wonderful to see her again. When we got home I got mauled by the over-friendly border collie Dusty, and snubbed by the two cats (although we were the best of pals by the time 24 hours had rolled on by … especially with Obi who is totally schizo and normally has nothing to do with people).
We didn’t have to wait too long before Nigel got home from work, and there were more hugs all round … then we did a quick change of clothes before heading off for a short walk to dinner – they have an “Outback Steakhouse” just up the road from them, so we went and troughed out after Brenda and I slugged back a frozen Margarita each 😉 It was a wonderful night – there’s something to be said about hanging out with people that have known you for so many years … there’s a level of comfort that is so refreshing, as you know they already love you and accept you warts and all, and there are so many stories and memories that you share, it’s such an awesome feeling.
We spent the rest of the night watching TV and chatting, then we hit the hay for the night as we had to be up early. Brenda was going to run me up to the ferry terminal before work, so we had an early start. I had the earliest start of all, however … I opted against taking my separate alarm clock with me and thought I’d just use my mobile phone … hmmm, dopey me forgot that daylight saving had changed, and I’d forgotten to reset the time on my mobile phone clock – it was amazingly quiet in the house when I got up to have my shower and get dressed to start the day … and has a lot to do with the fact I was actually up at 5.30am!! What a blonde!!! Gave us a laugh for the day, though, and I’m happy to say my mobile clock has now been updated! 😉
I’ll continue the story in a new post, as there are some piccies coming.