Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Last Day Down Under

Judy in a zen state of mind on Bondi BeachI 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.

nina joins the walking clubI 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.

Fairbairn shop window. Ruth (left) with a favorite customerWe 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.

Ruby Slipper ~ moments with flowersWhile 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.a still life at every turn (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.

Becoming one with the waterI 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.on the edge, but not too close
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.

be here now 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.at the airport, waiting to board the flight homeward 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.


Ev said...

Thank you Lesley for guiding us through your trip, I have thoroghly enjoyed reading it, and have been shocked to see my smiling face popping up on one of the days!!! You have such a way with words and I feel honoured that I was a small part of your big adventure. I have never been to Sydney and have a strong desire to now go where you have been.

Judy said...

Ditto EV's remarks. What an absolutely amazing recount of the trip. All that I can say is that it was an honour and a privelege to have been your guide to only a small part of Sydney. There's always next time for part 2. You and Nina were great company and it was indeed exciting to watch both of you enjoy every little aspect of the tour. But next time i must remember to provide pepsi and not coke for your pleasure. Sorry about that. I miss you both and very much look forward to meeting up with you again.

Ro Bruhn said...

Thanks Lesley for sharing your look at Australia with us, it's always interesting to see your own country through other people's eyes, we really do take things for granted sometimes.

Sharon said...

Thank you Lesley. I enjoyed the telling of your adventure so very much. It was the next best thing to actually being there too. One of the greatest things about the trip was that two best-friends were on it and sharing the experiences of a lifetime. It is so kind of you and Nina to take the time to give us an account of the fun. We dream.

Terry said...

I have been enjoying your trip vicariously! Thanks so much for sharing. It does make my feet itch to travel to that part of the world. Seeing other countries and cultures is life-changing and you have really communicated that. You write with such love for the people and places you encountered.

I also love your red shoes--what are they? (And are they comfortable?)

SeamRippstress said...

What a glorious adventure! Your red shoes against the rock and turquoise waters would make a great quilt!