The next day, the wedding party, immediate family, and I are invited to Penny's parents' house for lunch. It was a casual event and surprisingly--even though I had only just stopped drinking several hours before, I managed to down a couple of glasses of champagne, chased by a couple of glasses of shiraz.....mmmmmmm....i love champagne and shiraz. Oooohh, sparkling shiraz is also really nice...
ahem, I digress...
after lunch, we load up the cars and I drive back to Sydney with Penny (Michael & Oscar followed in the other car), unload the cars, and pretty much call it a night.
the next day I bid bon voyage to P&M (they were headed to Italy and Spain for the honeymoon!) and I spent the morning walking around Sydney and in the afternoon headed to Cronulla to meet up with Nerida & Geoff. We had coffee along the beach, did a bit of shopping, had a drink (or two) at a local pub, a few more back at Geoff's flat, and then went back into Sydney to dine at Diantha's--which has the BEST fried calamari on the planet....AND the turkish delight's pretty fab as well!!
the next morning my plan was to walk down to the harbour for a few parting shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House....but it was raining, so I modified the plan to dropping my luggage at the train station lockers, and taking the train to the harbour for a few parting shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. HOWEVER, it turns out there are no longer lockers for rent at the train station....and there was NO way I was going to tote all of my luggage down to the harbour for a few parting shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House....so I decided to head on to the airport....thinking I could check in, get rid of my luggage and then head down to the harbour for a few parting shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, but the train to the airport, back to the harbour [for a few parting shots, etc, etc], and then back to the airport was going to cost about $32....so I decided to skip out on going down to the harbour for my few parting shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House [okay, I PROMISE that's the last time I'm going to say it!!] and just went to the airport.
of course, it's now like 8:30am....my flight doesn't leave until 1pm and after I stand in line for 30 minutes, find out it's too early to check in [all the while getting strange glances from QANTAS staff, probably wondering why I'm there so early...sniff, sniff--I just don't want to miss my flight!!]. So I head to the nearest coffee shop, drink several cups of coffee, read the paper then my book, get bored, do a bit of last minute shopping [because, well, the airport is the ULTIMATE last minute shopping place!], people watch for awhile....and awhile....and ding! finally I can check in!!! Needless to say, I'm the first on my flight to check in [everyone at the Austin International Airport would be proud! If you've never checked in at the AIA, you MUST be there 4 hours early if you even hope to get a decent seat!]....more people watching. Check my email. Send out a few last minute postcards [because, again, the airport is the ULTIMATE in last minute postcard sending!]. Have a coffee, decide I need a beer. Had 2. FINALLY time to head back to the gate. There's a delay [big shocker], more waiting. Am now hungry, but no time to eat, as we're finally boarding....one last good-bye [for now] to AUS, the door shuts and soon we're on our way back to LAX.
and that in a nutshell [and several blogs] was my latest trip down under!
ps--on the way back LAX was faaaaaaaaaaaaar less eventful that when I was going down. In fact, the only thing that happened was a few baggage handlers--apparently UCLA fans, aka not USC fans--commented on my tattoo "GO TEXAS LONGHORNS!" ahhh....I LOVE TEXAS!! :)