Friday, August 24, 2007



Some friends of ours from high school, Jessy and Kelli Jones, moved to Adelaide, Australia a little over a year ago. We were excited to find out that they were coming to Sydney for a visit, with Kelli's parents, and that it would be after we had arrived. They were so nice to let us tag along with them to see a few sights. It was great to catch up and get to know their kids!! They got to Sydney late Monday afternoon and the kids and I met them at Hyde Park. We then walked over to see the Opera House. At first Madi and Savannah were a little shy, but it didn't take long before they were fast friends, holding hands and running around together. Collin was a little sleepy the first day, but after that he and Cooper spent lots of time together as well.
Apparently Savannah had been waiting since moving to Australia to see the Opera House. So she was very excited. This time around we actually climbed the stairs and looked around and walked inside a bit. Kevin rode the train out to Circular Quay after work to join us and we walked over to the Rocks to find a place to eat dinner. Jessy spotted a pizzaria and they had enough space for us upstairs. It was in an old house and the stairs were steep and narrow. We tried five different medium pizzas - my favorite had chicken, onions, mushrooms, and it was on BBQ sauce. I thought it was a fun place, we will have to go back there sometime. Thanks Jessy!! We then walked around the harbor and saw the Opera House at night. It is so pretty.

The next day Kev took half a day off of work. When he got off we met them at the Darling Harbor park and the kids played for a bit. We then went to an Aboriginal show where a man told us about the aborigonies and played his didgeridoo. I missed half of the show because it was too loud for Rylee and she started to cry a bit. But what I heard was so cool. They make it look so easy. He also told about the history of the didgeridoo and how they are made. Apparently there is a termite that eats a specific type of gum tree bark. However, he can't eat the outside because it is poisionous to this termite so he eats out the inside and hollows it out. Then in the spring when it is all eaten they move to a new home and the aborigonies would go around this time of year and look for hollowed out trees and cut them down. They wouldn't paint them or anything, that is done for the tourists. They would use them for special ceremonies and then they would actually burn them in the fire when they were done. He also demonstrated the sounds that you can make with the instrument and how they were made to represent certain animals. It was all rather interesting. Jessy and his father-in-law had bought didgeridoos so they were excited when he explained how to play them - I missed this part of the show. Cooper didn't seem to like the show too much, but Madi loved it!!

After the show we headed up to the train station and rode over to Circular Quay where we caught a ferry to Manly to see the famous Manly Beach.
(This is Cooper showing his "MANLY" side.)
The kids and the dads rode out on the deck while we stayed inside. The kids were having a great time, especially Collin and Cooper. They were yelling and screaming and having the time of their lives. On the ferry over to Manly you cross a part of the bay where the head waters of the ocean meet - it gets a bit rocky. Well it was a bit windy on the ride back and the boat rocked quite a bit. I thought a few times that we were going to tip over - which logically doesn't make sense because the ferry is so big and wide that it would have to be some big waves to make it roll over.

We had a good time!! The kids played in the sand and chased birds. They didn't want to leave when it was time to go. We watched the surfers. The waves at times were huge (well I haven't seen many ocean waves, so maybe it is all relative, but to me they looked huge and I could never surf them). We saw a few really good wipe outs and some old men going in to surf.


While building the biggest and best sand castle in the world, Madi and Savannah were not paying attention to the ocean, a big wave came up onto the beach and their pants ended up soaked. They didn't seem to mind too much and pretty soon were back down on the beach trying to stay away from the waves. By the end all of the kids were wet and sandy, which wouldn't have been so bad except it is winter here and a bit windy, overcast, and chilly. We had a few complaints on our end - mostly from Cooper, who is a bit of a whimp when it comes to things like that as we all know. We are planning on going back in the summer!!

The next day we met up after Kev got off of work and went over to their hotel for dinner. It was a three bedroom and was bigger than ours. After dinner the kids went to the pool to swim. Madi was doing so well. She is getting better. She jumps in and tries to swim - I think that she will love swimming lessons when we put her in them. She was practicing diving and floating as well.

We then said goodbye until next time. We are going to try and make it to their house before they leave in May. It was so good to spend time with Jessy and Kelli. We got to get some advice from those who are in our same situation - which was extremely helpful. It was wonderful for Madi and Cooper to make some new friends. They have needed someone else to play with besides each other. It is so good to have friends! We love all of our friends and miss them terribly.

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