Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jody Says:

Hey, did you know that you can leave comments on our blog? Let us know what you think!

(You can also read more about Jody the baby wombat.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bush fires on the horizon

Bush fire on the horizon
Last weekend, after a particularly hot few days, we saw a cloud of smoke on the horizon. After sunset, the cloud took on an ominous red hue, and the sky reflected the red glow of distant flames. We later learned that a bush fire had broken out at the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, just north of Sydney's outer suburbs. The fire threatened some homes and led to a freeway closure, but cooler weather and thundershowers kept matters from getting too serious. (Here is a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.) Let's hope we don't have to get much closer to one of these bush fires!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Summertime on the beach

At Bondi beach
Well, it's finally feeling like summer in Sydney. Even last weekend, when we headed out to Bondi beach, it was a cloudy and overcast day, and once the sea breeze picked up, it was quite chilly on the beach...

In the surf
But this weekend, temperatures have finally climbed into the nineties (in F - that's only thirties C) and it actually feels hot. That means it's time to go to the beach again! This time we went to Manly, taking the Manly ferry once again. After a stroll around the beach, Sean and Jeanine plunged into the surf to ride some waves. Meghan followed suit, but it took a lot of courage, because the ocean water was ICY cold - it must have been coming from Antarctica! Shami dipped in a toe (okay, more than a toe) but decided that masochism wasn't his thing. Next time, if the water is warmer, maybe he'll ride some waves too. (Notice Sean and Jeanine in the water, highlighted.)

Sitting pretty
Meanwhile, the sun was pretty hot, and we deployed our latest purchase: a sunshade tent. The warm breeze and crashing waves made for a perfect afternoon of lounging with beach towels and books. Hmmm, we could make a habit of this...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Striking views

A dark and stormy night, with lightning over the Iron Cove:
Lightning over the Iron Cove
And a beautiful double rainbow, also from our deck:
Rainbow on the bay
Striking views indeed!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Encore at the Opera

This weekend we enjoyed one of our Christmas gifts from Meghan's parents: tickets to the opera to attend The Marriage of Figaro. Unlike our previous trip to the Opera house, this opera was a comedy, not a tragedy. But it still had the full complement of passionate lovers! jealousy! infidelity! mistaken identity! and enough plot twists to make your head spin. Along with Mozart's music and the gorgeous Opera house itself, it made for another very memorable evening...

At the Opera again

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More from New Year's Eve

Picnic on  New Year's EveThe New Year's Eve fireworks in Sydney are famous, and we heard that over a million people come out to watch them. We headed out to Sydney harbour and hoped to find a good spot to watch the display, but even with a start in the early afternoon, everything was simply jam-packed. Barricades everywhere, jostling crowds, lost tourists - it felt like a madhouse! Luckily, thanks to Jeanine, we had a backup plan: we took a bus to the zoo, where she had special staff tickets for the evening. The zoo was pretty full, too, but we found ourselves a nice picnic spot next to the giraffes, and settled in for the evening. (Notice the person sticking out of the tent next to us - that's a sculpture!) Our spot had a rather nice view of the opera house and the bridge, which displayed a flashing question mark where the evening's motif would be revealed.
Dusk panorama

As dusk settled in, boats gathered in the harbour for the best views, like a thousand glittering points of light...
Boats gather in the harbour

And then, on the dot of 9 pm, the family fireworks began, lighting up the harbour and the skies overhead. It was a short display, but quite spectacular.
Fireworks, bridge, opera house

The question mark became a coat hanger, which is the nickname for the bridge, and later on, a diamond motif was revealed to commemorate the Diamond (75th) anniversary of the harbour bridge. The Coathanger with fireworks

After we enjoyed our picnic and the early fireworks, we decided to head back. The streets were swarming with revelers as we made our way home. As midnight came, we rang in the New Year from the comfort of our own deck, with spectacular fireworks over the Iron Cove...

From our deck

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

I guess we beat most people to it...

Fireworks over the Opera House

Happy New Year to all of you from Sydney, Australia!