Friday, October 16, 1998

Australia October 16, 1998

My friend's house was just around the corner and across the fence from Homebush Bay which was where the accommodations for the Olympians for the Sydney 2000 Olympics would be.  Tours were offered while the facilities were being constructed.  My friends were not keen on this being out there back door so talks were already in place for them to come visit me while the Olympics were on.  

Tomorrow we would be flying north to the Gold Coast for a week so we needed to get ready today.

Journal Entry

Thursday, October 15, 1998

Australia October 15,1998

This lunch was an early start kicking it off with straight champagne.  I remember thinking this was on the early side for this beverage. Could this be a sign of how this day would play out!  There were lots of firsts for me today, champagne this early, eating damper bread, sitting at a pool covered by a canopy for protection from the sun, and it was not even noon yet.  The day carried on and as it did, it derailed, but in a way that was a fun way!  I did not keep my photos from this day but the memories vividly remain.  

Journal Entry

Wednesday, October 14, 1998

Australia October 14, 1998

This tour took us outside and above Sydney to a mountainous region called The Blue Mountains.  "The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour."  The blue haze was a sight to see so was their version of The Three Sisters.  This was my kind of day away from the bustling city.

Journal Entry

Tuesday, October 13, 1998

Australia October 13, 1998

I was finally being able to sleep when I was supposed to, although it was straight through the hours were not long as we began each day very early and went straight through until midnight or shortly thereafter.  The day was spent sightseeing with C.W. and the evening was spent touring with C.W. & K.W.  While I was off their coffee, I was onto the wine!  I blame that on C.W.  I now enjoyed reds, glass after glass after glass.  As I now put together these blog posts, I am already wishing I kept more photos.  I am also wishing I noted what the photographs were off.  Some I remember, others I don't.

Journal Entry

Monday, October 12, 1998

Australia October 12, 1998

No coffee for me!!!  I had to be functional to carry on with this action packed Itinerary and their coffee was just making matters worse.  I remember on this day for the first time once we were outside for a very short period of time, my skin felt tingly and prickly.  I was told that was from the sun but was reassured the sunscreen was doing its job.  I questioned why that feeling when it was only about +18C at this point in the morning to which C.W. replied, the sun is intense down here.  We saw many sights as you can see if you refer to my Journal Entry below.  I enjoyed being near the water, seeing the color and hearing the sounds of the crashing waves.  Once the Red Tour Bus Route of the City was complete, we headed home.  C.W. and I had a big night planned!
PLEASE DON'T JUDGE ME!  I was young, I was in a foreign country, I was letting my inhibitions go by the way side.  I blame it on being lead astray by C.W. She wrangled two free tickets to this event from her friend.  I had never heard of them until I saw this on the Itinerary.   Upon my return to Calgary, many times I went to the Outback Steakhouse at Crowfoot Village and ordered "chocolate thunder from down under" desert!
 Journal Entry

Sunday, October 11, 1998

Australia October 11, 1998

Last night was a night of no sleep and today was supposed to be a busy day with a cruise and an evening bar-b-que with loads of C.W.'s friends invited to come over.  I started the day with a cup of their coffee!!!  We made a change to the plan and headed out later for an easier day before the bar-b-que.  Before heading out, we gathered around the kitchen table where there sat a super gigantic jug of sunscreen.  The daily ritual was we covered every inch of bare skin with the sunscreen before stepping a foot out the door.  We made our way to the Sydney Harbour and strolled around.  I was feeling like I needed a boost so I had a cup of their coffee from a coffee shop!!!  

Early evening 14 friends arrived for the bar-b-que.  Thinking back I may not have put my best foot forward in making a good impression.  I felt exhausted and could barely function.  I needed sleep but I could not sleep as I realized while exhausted, I was wired from their coffee!!! Bed time came and I tossed and turned all night!  I had not slept since the night of the 8th.  

I had easily 500 photos from this trip printed off and placed in an album.  Last week I went through them keeping about 40 to 50 and shredding the balance.  I did not keep photos from every day or every event.  Here are two photos from this day of sightseeing around the Harbour.
Journal Entry

Saturday, October 10, 1998

Australia October 9-10, 1998

When I was in elementary school we were taught how to write and structure letters, how to address envelopes, and we learned about the mailing process.  A program was set up where we were matched with another student in another part of the world who was learning the same thing at the same time. We were to exchange letters which was to lead to improving our communication and handwriting skills.  I was matched with C.W. from Sydney Australia who was the same age as me and in the same grade. We began composing our letters written on airmail stationary and a couple were exchanged throughout the school year.  The school year ended along with the program, but we carried on with exchanging letters.  That continued on for decades until 1996 when we finally spoke on the phone and then in 1997 we met when she and her family came to Canada to visit me.  During that visit we planned my visit to spend time with her in Australia.  Upon her return to Austrailia, we drew up an itinerary for my time in her part of the world.  

Fast forward to October 9, 1998 the day I flew to Australia.    
The Itinerary
I remember arriving at the Sydney Australia airport and while departing the plane, I was handed a phamplet that said Slip! Slop! Slap!  I didn't quite get what that was all about but learned very quickly once I was in the company of C.W.  I saw C.W., K.W., M.W. all waiting for me.  We embraced, professed our excitement, gathered my luggage then off we went, to their home which I expected, but no we went right to a pub. Toasting at a pub on this Saturday night was my introduction to Sydney, Australia!

Journal Entry