Welcome, Tropical Cyclone Dylan! Also, Travels with Carol

IMG_2684Photo: Here’s Carol near the start of our walk. I wonder what city she’s in?

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Kaja here! The tropical cyclone now has a name: Dylan! Yay! Dylan is currently passing just north of us.

We’ve been entertaining ourselves by chatting with the people who work here, who are very interesting and in many cases very well travelled. They seem entertained by the weather in a sort of “what are you going to do” sort of way, which matches our mood, so what the heck. Phil offered to help out if any hatches needed battening down or whatever, but they only laughed at us. But you know, they were nice about it. The lovely sign that welcomes newcomers to Daydream Island blew down today, so…no welcome here at the moment. Go away. Welcome later.

When Carol and I first landed in Sydney, it was early in the morning. Fortunately, when we land in Sydney from the West Coast of the United States, we’ve found that we’re wide-awake and ready to see the World. Walking out into the warm air under that blue sky was exactly what I needed. I had been feeling pretty down as the New Year rolled on, so it was wonderful to be back in Australia.

Phil told me recently that he read a science-y article that said that when you’re feeling down, just thinking about warm sand and palm trees can have a marked impact on your mood. I realized that I’ve been doing something of the sort in recent years, but instead of sand and palm trees I’ve been thinking about the blue sky and red earth of Australia. And it does indeed lift my mood.

So Carol and I picked up the rental car, which I was not allowed to drive. (Because of the rental agreement.) This meant that I got all the amusement of watching someone learn to drive on an unfamiliar side of the road, without having to do it myself. She was pretty good at it, though, and only turned the windshield wipers on instead of the turn signal a few times. Hilarity!

We drove in to Woolloomooloo and found our hotel. Carol wanted to stay in Woolloomooloo because, twenty years ago when she was Director of Logistics at Wizards of the Coast, she had stayed there on a business trip and fallen in love with the name of the place. And who can blame her. Woolloomooloo! We walked down to Circular Quay and ate pies (readily available on the street! Civilization at last!) and toured the Opera House, which I believe one must do, or they feed you to the Kangaroos.

We also discovered the “flat white,” which seems to be the ideal way to drink coffee without sugar in it.  And…even though I am from Seattle, I finally got a lovely coffee in a nice china cup with a pattern on top drawn in foam. I was thrilled about this, and took a picture—so much of our coffee comes in paper cups now, this was a real treat. I’ve never had decorated coffee before, although I’ve seen it on the net all over the place. When the waiter saw me taking pictures of my coffee, he brought his phone over and showed me the picture of the special birthday coffee the barista had made for him the night before. I love fancy food and feel that I ought to get more of it…I’ll have to get to work on that.

Nota Bene: Phil seems to only have my login for the WordPress blog, so a lot of his posts are showing as having been posted by me. Whoops. We’ll figure that out later. This has been me: Kaja. That is all.