The weather here has begun to cool down as the southern hemisphere summer I have been so enjoying slowly fades into my first fall season where the trees wont change colors or lose their leaves. I have been watching the temperatures go from 90′s to 80′s and recently dip as low as the 70′s. While this makes my 30 minute shlep to school far less sweaty, it also means that the window of time for going to the beach will soon close for the season. The beginning of this week was cooler but jam packed. I had two big assignments due on monday and was on campus from 9am till 8pm on Tuesday. So when Wednesday rolled around I found myself already exhausted and looking at the weather forecast to find that it was going to be a beautifully sunny 85 degree day.
I have heard it said that:
“There is no fun in having nothing to do. The fun is having lots to do and not doing it.”
Well on this particular Wednesday I decided to embrace this philosophy with open arms. The two lectures I had on Wednesday were for classes I had spent all weekend doing homework for, and turned assignments in for on Monday, so I sent Lyndsay a facebook message that said
“OK so tomorrow is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL. Like 80 degrees and sunny and amazing. What say you to skipping class and hitting the beach for one last day of surf and sunshine before the fall really sets in?”.
Her reply: “sooooo down! where do we sign up?!”
So it was on facebook so shall it be done
Before going to bed on Tuesday night we made plans to head out to Manly beach the next day, which is located a half hour ferry ride from the city directly adjacent to the Sydney Harbour National Park. We agreed we would get up around 9 so we could make the most out of the day. I have not exactly been reliable about getting up for social things since I have been here (surprised? anyone?) and of course today was no exception. My alarm went off around 9, and when I woke up there was a text from Lyndsay saying that she wanted to sleep in till about 10 and we could leave then. I was more than happy to oblige this request, so I fell back down into my pillow, but forgot to reset my alarm. So I jolt awake around 10:15 to three missed phone calls from Lyndsay. I call her back and she says that she has already left and is already on her way. I freak out, but she insists that she will not wait and I will have to just meet up with her. (I had flaked on her a few times prior due to oversleeping so I can hardly blame her for this)Seth and Andy were supposed to come with us as well, and she said they hadn’t left yet and that I should just leave with them. I get dressed, get breakfast and go down to the boys room. Seth answers the door and says that they aren’t leaving until after 1 when Andy gets out of class. If I’m skipping class I’ll be damned if I’m not getting the whole day out of it. I decide to try and find Manly on my own.
I set out with no idea where I was going, I just started walking towards the bus station. Lyndsay had told me what station I needed to end up at, Circular Quay, and that I needed to get the ferry from there, but that was all I knew. Luckily the bus station information booth was well staffed and the lady there told me where to catch the bus and what number bus I needed. Since it was still early in the morning the busses were coming fairly often and I didn’t even have to wait five minutes for one to arrive. Once on the bus, it was less than a 30 minute ride to the ferry station, and getting off the bus I asked the driver where the ferry ticket office was and he pointed me in the right direction. The ferrys leave Sydney on the half hour, but they stop boarding five minutes before they head out. I arrived at the ticket office at 11:22, got my ticket and got on the ferry in the nick of time. As luck would have it, even though Lyndsay had a 30 min head start on me, she had missed the 11:00 ferry by mere minutes, and had been waiting in the warf for the 11:30 one, so when I got on the boat I called her to tell her that I was sorry for not waking up and that I was now on the ferry and she told me she was too! We found each other and after I apologized profusely and she forgave me we laughed it off and ended up really enjoying the ferry ride out to Manly.
Once the ferry let us off at Manly we found the info center and got directions to the beach, which turned out to be only a five minute walk away to the other side of the peninsula, to the ocean side. Once there we set up shop with towels, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Lyndsay even brought out some homework to do while we were there.
After a few hours and at least two liberal applications of sunscreen, the boys showed up and joined us on the beach. We hung out there for a while, but soon clouds began to move in from behind us. The lifeguards informed us that a torrential downpour was headed for the beach in a matter of minutes so we packed up our stuff and headed for drier and higher ground. We found a bar on the beach and sat down for a beer while the summer storm rolled in and the rain poured down. Thankfully the storm was short and passed in only a few minutes. With and hour and a half left before we needed to get back on the ferry to Sydney we decided to do the 40 minute cliff walk around the northern edge of the peninsula that provides beautiful cliff views of the ocean.
We got back to the ferry station right in time to miss the ferry that had just left. We found a guy who was selling 8 dollar ferry tickets for the express ferry, which is smaller and faster and was leaving sooner than the next regular ferry, but we had purchased round trip tickets for the regular ferry. We debated for a good five minutes what to do about this, wether or not it would be advantageous to spend more money and loose the round trip ticket we had already purchased. Well, really Lyndsay and I debated it while Seth seemed unconcerned, and Andy’s only concern was wether or not he would have time to get McDonalds. The express ferry guy was observing all this and getting quite a good chuckle out of my panicked reasoning clashing with Andy’s intense longing for a McDonalds cheeseburger.
Lyndsay and I had tickets to see Spring Awakening at 8pm and we were trying to get back in time to shower and change before we had to go to the show, and the ferry was a 35 min ride, and then we had to either get a bus from the warf back to Glebe or walk. If all went according to plan we would be get back around 7:15, which would mean 15 minutes for a quick shower and change and then another 20 to walk up to the Seymour Center. Luckily we had already purchased our tickets, good life decision there.
We calculated we could still manage to get to our show on time even if we took the later one, so we opted just to wait. The next boat departed at 5:45 and we made sure we were on that one.
I have watched Grey’s Anatomy for years now and listened to Derek (McDreamy) go on and on about how he loved ferry boats and I never understood what the big deal was. Its a big boat that doesn’t even go very fast, I just didn’t see the appeal. Well, NOW I GET IT. Most forms of transportation offer street views that you would see normally, and the destination is whats important, not really how you get there. But with a ferry boat, the journey is also a destination. Getting to ferry through Sydney Harbor Bay was gorgeous and so relaxing. Sitting on the ocean for the 35 minute trip out and back was just as fun as the actual events of the day. So now me and Derek Shepherd have something in common, a mutual love of Ferry Boats. Maybe while I am here I will also come to understand why elevators are so great, because Grey’s Anatomy writers certainly seem to be obsessed with them. Stay posted for progress on that, the elevator in my apt building is now working again for the first time since I have been here. Who knows what magic awaits me between floors one and two!
We got back to Sydney and the boys took the train back because they had already purchased tickets, but Lyndsay and I decided we would just walk in back to save some money. After a few wrong turns and guidance from friendly Australians we found Glebe just fine, and got back around 7:10, which gave us enough time to shower, change, and walk up to the Seymour Center without needing to sprint. When I was getting dressed for the play I noticed that I had a bit of a sunburn. When I woke up the next day I found that definitely had a sunburn. When a rough morning follows a long night of drinking many people will say things like ” I will never drink again!” this is how I feel the morning after a sunburn.
The show was well done. The actors were all played their parts with depth and conviction and sang extremely well. That being said, the sound mixing was way off, but it was a tricky situation since the Orchestra was seated above the stage, which makes mixing difficult because normally you have them sitting off stage or have an orchestra pitt to swallow some of the sound, thus making the sound easier to control with microphones. Also- the choreography was SO AWKWARD. This show should really be done with very minimalist choreography and more just staged movement and free form stuff. Like I said, I could write another 1,000 words EASILY on this, but I won’t as this post has already gotten to 2,000.
I sat next to Lyndsay who got a bit peeved at me because I was singing every word. During intermission she said
“Valerie I paid to hear them sing not you!”
Everyone liked the show and I sang all the way home from it. A bunch of the girls even cried during the final scenes where things really get intense. It was like my mom was there in spirit to cringe at the sex scenes and cry during the sad parts. It was a great ending to a great day. I never get sick of Spring Awakening.