Happy New Year!!!

Trip Start Nov 08, 2010
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 2011 to you!!! :) Day 2 of the New Year and it's going well so far. I had a pretty good week! On Wednesday I received some mail from my old roommate, Korie and on Thursday I got a package from my friend Megan. She sent me some homemade pumpkin/walnut/craisin cookies (my favorite) as well as a CD, necklace, some truffles, a Christmas note pad, and a card. It was very expensive to send the box, but it really made my whole week! Thanks again for the mail girls!

We didn’t have internet for a few days last week, as my landlord’s brother took our router, so I was a little frantic without it, especially since my friend, Lacey, was due to have her baby on the 25th and I wanted frequent updates. She ended up having her on the 30th, so congratulations to her and her new family! By the way, I was the one that set up our new internet and spent hours on the phone with technical support… you’re welcome flatmates! ;)

This was definitely my most crazy New Years Eve celebration yet! Not because I drank and went wild, but because of the sheer number of people! Millions and millions of people everywhere; shoulder-to-shoulder! I read that 1.5 million people come into the city for NYE... I’ll start from NYE day:

My friend Fanny (from day 1 in Oz) and her sister, Margeaux, were both coming for NYE. Fanny had to get a ride from her small town which took 4 hours. She was supposed to leave at noon, but didn’t leave until after 2pm and then had to get to my house to drop her backpack off. Margeaux got here about 2 hours before Fanny, so we chatted and drank some wine and waited. When Fanny showed up about 7:30pm, we got ready and made some little drinks to bring with us to do a wee bit of celebrating. We got into the city by 8:30, then started walking into the Circular Quay area, which is where the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are and where it’s supposed to be prime viewing. We heard the family fireworks show that started at 9, but couldn’t see them because the tall buildings blocked our view. By the time we got to the Quay it was UNIMAGINABLY packed. There were gates to get into the actual Quay by the water and most were closed or full to capacity! We found an open one and went in very slowly with hundreds of others, then the crowd just stopped moving. I asked what the holdup was and a guy said that was where he was standing to watch the fireworks. It was 9:45 at this point and the fireworks didn’t start til 12! We didn’t really know what to do because we didn’t know where it would be less packed, so we just stood there. Margeaux didn’t want to stand, so she just sat down in this very crowded area. We thought it was pretty funny and teased her a bit at first, then Fanny and I joined her after standing for 15 mintues. Everyone around us was standing up, so it was kind of awkward at first, then this Asian girl sat down next to us, then slowly a few more people around us sat down. We started playing a fun little drinking game and our new Asian friend was our referee, so that took up over an hour and was lots of fun. At midnight, the fireworks went crazy all around us. There were some off the buildings behind us, to the right and left and the bridge was in front of us. It was rather overwhelming because I didn’t know where to look half the time. We actually had a good angle on the bridge, but when the fireworks started, everyone was taking pictures and had their cameras up in the air, so it was hard to see. There was a lit-up hand on the bridge the whole time and I didn’t quite understand that. The fireworks weren’t as constant as I thought they would be; they would shoot some off the bridge, then wait a while, then shoot more off. I read that they’d planned for 16 months, so I expected tons of fireworks. I wouldn’t want to do it again I don’t think, but just being in the city with all of those people so anxious to see those fireworks was quite a cool experience.

Leaving the Quay was insanity. There were thousands (probably more) people all leaving the city and walking south toward train stations and whatnot. We just followed the crowds down George street until we got to a bar we thought we wanted to go to (right below my old cockroach-infested hostel) to have a few drinks, but most bars were full, so we just went home. It was about 3:00am when we finally walked into the house. The girls and I set up the empty room with a bed for them, and we all were sleeping by 4:00am.

Yesterday morning, Fanny, Margeaux and I had some blueberry muffins for breakfast (not even close to being as good as mom’s, but sufficient for my MN blueberry craving). We sat around for a bit, then Lisa called and told us to come to the family’s house she's staying at up in Seaforth (north of Sydney and Manly beach) for dinner and to stay the night. She was a nanny for a family and they were out of town, so we got to see an actual nice family neighborhood and a "real" house. We bought stuff for nachos and some wine and brownie mix and made dinner. We drank some wine and chatted for a long time, then watched a movie (Baby Mama). It was a nice evening.

Today I stopped in Bondi Junction on the way home and got a whole cart of groceries for when the girls come and spent $115! I pushed the cart full of groceries all the way home, which would have been slightly better if the cart didn’t just go whatever way it pleased! I must have looked just pathetic and weak pushing it all the way back, and maybe a bit homeless, but I bought lots and needed to get it all home. After I got back and was sufficiently exhausted and sweaty, my roommate Damien asked why I just didn’t get a cab… sure wish I would have considered that! Now we have a cart sitting in the front.

My sister, Kasshia, and cousin, Kelli, are coming tomorrow morning, so I’ve been just anxious and excited all day! I’ve been checking the flight status of the girls’ MN to LA flight and it left 2 hours and 15 minutes late due to bad weather, but they’ve made it to LA just fine and they’re due to leave LA any minute, so it seems to be going alright so far! They’ll arrive tomorrow morning about 9am, so I’m going to go meet them and I still need to figure out the best way to get them home. I was just going to have them hop on the trains, but that sounds like a hassle with their big luggage. I’ll figure it all out, no worries! I have no plans set in stone, as lots of things depend on the weather, but it should be a fantastic 2 weeks!

I hope you have a WONDERFUL 2011!!!
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