I keep mentioning Judy, but have never posted a photo. That's because I was waiting to use this one of Judy nestled in the sandstone cliffs that ring the walkway around the coastline. It is a perfect example of how we felt while walking the path around Bondi Beach. Judy warned us that we had to start early because of the heat, but we didn't get there until well after 9am, so yes, we broke out in a sweat, but it sure felt good, especially knowing that I was heading back to colder DC weather the next day. We trekked about a kilometer (1/2 mile) out to Mackenzies Point where the view was breathtaking and the water matched the color of my turquoise shirt.
I think I mentioned how easily Nina strikes up a conversation with everyone. It is something I greatly admire about her and was once something I wished I could do as well, but I have come to realize that it's not because I am shy or disinterested - I just don't like to talk that much. I am a listener and a thinker. But I digress. So here we are on the Point, enjoying the view and taking a breather from the walk in the hot sun and here comes a group of Aussies. They take a seat to catch their own breath and wait for stragglers. They are a walking club. Nina strikes up a conversation with them, sharing her enthusiasm and her love of their country with them. When they are rested, they get up to continue their walk and there goes Nina, walking right alongside, now a part of the club. I love that about her.
We had another amazing meal at another Thai restaurant (our favorite by far) and then Judy whisked us to the trendy shopping area because I wanted a top of some sort to take home as my souvenir, something that I could not get anywhere but Sydney, from a local designer perhaps. Fairbairn was the answer - Bohemian styling merged with authentic cottage craftsmanship, hand sewn by Ruth Fairbairn. One of her best customers was in the store and helped us decide on a frock. I chose a steel grey silk sleeveless top with brown silk ribbon hand stitching. Nina chose a red tomato linen one.
While strolling on the same street we were drawn into Ruby Slipper a beautiful flower shop that spilled out onto the sidewalk. Every display in there was a work of art. "May we take photos?" Nina asked. Lucky for us the answer was yes. They are used to it and very proud of their talent and success. Fellow artists! They told us that they were written up in the current Australian Vogue Living magazine. (I got a chance to read it at the airport the day I left.) There is something about flowers that puts a smile on your face. We wanted to take home everything in the store, but settled for some wonderful photographs. I don't know about you, but when I am away from home, I make all these commitments to myself of things I'll do when I get home. Always have fresh flowers in the house is one of those decisions.
I have mentioned the color of the water before. It amazes me. I have been in the Caribbean where the water is so clear you can see through it to your feet, standing on the ocean floor. Every summer I spend a week on the Atlantic Ocean in Bethany Beach, DE, where the water is so dark and cloudy that whatever is down there below the water's top remains a mystery. I don't know why our water is so dark compared to the oceans we have seen Down Under, but a quick Google search here says one reason is the amount of chlorophyll. Fortunately, I don't have to understand it to enjoy it. In this photo I look like I'm standing next to a pool of water. In reality, I'm way high up standing at the edge of a cliff. A very steep cliff that I wanted to stand on the edge of, but am too chicken to actually place both feet close to the edge.
where along the way I have lost any sense of invin-
cibility that I may have once had. OK, so I never had it. I am not an extreme sports kind of gal. I like to think I live on the edge, but really, I don't ~ I'm always just a smidge from the edge, a lot more comfortable taking mental and emotional risks, leaps of faith, not body.
So here I am, almost on the edge, feet planted firmly on the ground with my heart and my hand to guide me through life's adventures. It has worked well for me so far, getting me here, to Bondi Beach, in Australia and other the other magical places I never imagined I'd see. Recounting this trip has been a sort of lifeline for me, keeping me tethered to the people, the feelings, the events and emotions. I don't want that to fade away but it is time to move on. There will be equally good and wondrous things to enchant my soul and put a sparkle in my eyes, this I know, but parting is such sweet sorrow.