Yes, I made it back from Australia. I've been hibernating since Christmas. I'll try to catch you up on my adventure...
After our one day in Melbourne, we flew to Sydney. I quickly found out that the Aussies have different airline security rules than we do in the U.S. After being searched twice, I was allowed to carry my knitting bag onto the plane. Onboard it was a different story. Knitting is viewed as a dangerous threat on Australian domestic flights (international flights are OK?!?), so my knitting project was confiscated by a flight attendant until we landed. This put a crimp in my Christmas gift knitting plans! We arrived safely in Sydney and had a few hours to walk around.
We strolled through the Royal Botanical Gardens and found these gigantic fruit bats. They're called Grey Headed Flying Foxes. They are HUGE! We saw thousands of them fly out of the Gardens at dusk and they look just like the Batman symbol.
While Larry was working I walked and shopped and searched for a Starbucks (yes, I'm obsessed with coffee!) Two interesting things about coffee houses in Oz:
1. It is nearly impossible to find a cup of brewed coffee. The Aussies love their coffee, there were coffee houses and kiosks on every block, but they only serve espresso drinks such as a Flat White (a no-foam latte) or a Short Black (one shot of espresso with a bit of water).
2. The Aussies seem to have an obsession with toast--every sign in front of a coffee house or cafe advertises Toast. Even Starbucks serves toast!I found a great bookstore and bought some Japanese stitch dictionaries.
I found a lovely knit shop just a few blocks from our hotel. I went to a stitch 'n bitch there one evening while Larry was at a customer dinner. It was fun meeting some local knitters and talking knitting, Ravelry, and recipes (it's Rice Bubbles not Rice Krispies). I bought a few skeins of a locally produced organic yarn, and also bought some undyed yarn to play with.
One afternoon we took a ferry ride to Manly Beach, and came back to Sydney at dark to see the Opera House and bridge all lit up. It was magical!
Next, our stay in the Whitsunday Islands.