Sorry about that folks. It’s been busy and quiet at once around here.  First Leon was away for 2 weeks, so I had no choice but to stop procrastinating and get some school work done.  Ok, I didn’t get that much done and I did spend a lot of time in the tub, reading emails, watching sappy movies and reading magazines (my guilty pleasure – Ottawa Public Library, I miss you so!).  But after 2 weeks apart, I met Leon and his youngest son, Bradyn, in Sydney for a relaxing weekend.

I arrived over an hour late, thanks to my flight being delayed but Leon was waiting at the airport to take me to the youth hostel at the old railway station.  It’s a neat place, well equipped with private double rooms and shared bathrooms and a very well appointed kitchen and main room for people to meet, cook, mingle or just keep to themselves.  The main attraction of this hostel is the dorm rooms inside old railway cars – 2 bunk beds per car, generally.  That is where Bradyn stayed.  So we were cozy as can be, except for the smoking area right outside our bedroom window where some rather loud tourist woke me up with their conversation over a cancer stick.  Oh well, how could they know we are over 50 and Leon had jet lag?

On Saturday morning, we cooked our usual muesli and yogurt (no actual cooking involved) and proceeded to visit the Chinese market nearby.  I tried to stay away from buying a purse while Bradyn looked for shorts.  I did buy sun glasses (my 4th pair in Australia so far) as I had lost mine somewhere in the flurry of getting from the long term parking to the airport on Friday.  I also managed to pick out a few souvenirs for the grand-children.

After a lunch of fresh salad, we took the long walk towards the harbour to catch the ferry to Manly beach.  The plan was for the guys to take in a surf lesson while I enjoyed the ocean and the beach.  Well, things went just as planned.  Leon tried to get a little better at surfing and Bradyn tried his best to catch a wave, any wave, and stand on his board.  He was not as successful as hoped and ended up hurting his shoulder.  Sigh… surfing is a contact sport!

We left the beach just after 6pm and headed towards the ferry, stopping for a nice cold drink.  We caught the ferry and sat with a group of guys who were obviously in the midst of a bachelor party, each one wearing a blond wig to make them look like Ellen.  It seems the groom had a slight resemblance to the celebrity, so that was theme of the day.  By the time we got off the ferry, it was dark and I was cold and tired (spectator sports like surfing are really hard work).  Leon whisked us into a taxi and we were back at the hostel in no time, ready for a hot shower and a nice hostel-cooked steak dinner.  Yum!!  Bedtime was sometime between my last bite of steak and my last visit to the toilet.

In the morning, we checked out of the hostel and walked on a much warmer and sunnier day to The Rocks, to see the Sunday Craft Market.  No purses for me to buy but I did manage to pick up one souvenir for a dear friend who’s been taking care of business for me back home.  Oh Marlene, the shopping is just not that much fun without you!  As much as Leon and Bradyn were trying to let me browse, it just wasn’t enough time to satisfy me.  Luckily, I had 2 hours to kill at the airport when I returned, so I did manage to look in every shop and buy myself a very affordable scarf.  In my defense, I have been wearing the same 3 pairs of pants to work for the last 9 months, I need something to perk up my wardrobe.  And since I don’t want to bring much luggage home with me, accessories are one of the few items I permit myself.  Too bad, the boots here are fabulous.  Then again, the salty winter streets would only ruin them.

So the day ended with Leon and Bradyn getting on an earlier flight and we all met at the airport in Melbourne for the drive home.  The guys have since settled in quite nicely, the laundry is once again clean, the grass is cut and I have 2 lovely gentlemen to keep me company at the house when I return from school.  But not for long…

Leon and Bradyn are off to the Outback this Monday.  They are renting a 4wd camper for the week and driving up to Broken Hill and possibly Lake Eyre.  As with our trip to Alice Springs, it’s hard to judge how long you will need to drive in the Outback, so they don’t know exactly how much they will see in 5 days.  When they return, I’ll meet them in Melbourne and we will tour the Great Ocean Road (again), stopping at 2 different hostels over the weekend.

The weekends are starting to be fewer and each of them seems to have something planned in it already.  And somewhere in there, I will find the time to teach, do report cards and finish the course I am taking.  And you wonder why I haven’t posted much lately?  Enjoy the pictures.

surf lesson
probably right after the shoulder injury
Leon at Manly Beach
they came, they saw, they surfed
happy surfers
sleeping cars at the hostel
Leon and Bradyn sharing a laugh in front of the Sydney Opera house
bachelor party - the groom is drinking a beer out of a wig