Monday, June 6, 2011

Leaving Sydney…for now

We stopped working about a week before Easter but decided to hang around Sydney until Easter for a couple of reasons. 1. We wanted to spend Easter with family and 2. We hadn’t properly seen Sydney yet. During the week we were off we spent a lot of time visiting various friend of my aunt and uncles, but we also took a day to visit the parts of Sydney we hadn’t had a chance to do yet. I really like the public transportation in Sydney because besides buses and trains you also have ferry’s you can take home from downtown (if you live close to the water which a lot of people do). You can purchase a day ticket (which costs $20!!!) but it allows you to ride any ferry, train, subway or bus. One day we took a ferry from Circular Quay in Sydney to one of the beaches on North Head, called Manly beach. Although the weather was not warm enough for swimming, we packed a lunch and headed there. The Manly ferry is popular because it’s the longest ferry ride in Sydney and it’s not meant as a tourist attraction and is part of public transportation, a lot of tourists take it as it cruises right by the Sydney Opera house (which I still get excited about every time I see it) and it’s the longest cruise as it takes about 30 minutes. What Andrew and I forgot about is that the week before Easter was also school holidays so the ferry was packed with people and their children. On the way to Manly we didn’t get a chance to see the Opera House because there were so many people but on the way back we did. We spent the day at the beach, ate our lunch and did a small hike around the north head.

We spent Easter Sunday at my uncles parents house. They prepared a beautiful Easter Sunday breakfast, as well as a delicious dinner and then the ladies watched a movie while they guys played some PS3. It felt really great being welcomed into the home of people we only met a couple of months ago. I can honestly say we feel like part of the family now and the reception we received could not have been warmer.

When we got back on Sunday we started packing up our room. The mood from earlier in the day shifted drastically as we all became very quiet. Andrew packed up our stuff and packed up the van. We were leaving in the morning.

We woke up early on Monday, and the plan was to leave by 9am. The 4 of us sat down to breakfast at 8:30am and didn’t get up from the table until 10am. We were having such a great time chatting, the time just flew by. But then it really was time to leave and we were walked out to the car. As we were saying goodbye I was very emotional and may have shed a tear or two. Before coming to Australia I had met my aunt and uncle only once while they were on a 1 week visit to Canada 4 years ago. I really didn’t know what kind of reception to expect and I really wasn’t sure if we would get along at all. The initial plan was to stay for 2 weeks and move on. We ended up staying for over 2 months and I can honestly say we had a blast. It was amazing how well we got along. The most touching part was being welcomed into not only the home but the lives of my aunt and uncle and their friends. We went to every party (almost) with them and we can now call some of their friends our friends. Living with someone for 2.5 months is not easy when you know someone well, and living with people you barely know is even harder. I’m happy to say the past 2.5 months have flown by because we had such a great time together. I don’t know how to thank my aunt and uncle for their generosity and I’m sure “Thank You” is not sufficient, but I hope we have shown our gratitude to them and we’re always ready to repay the kindness they have shown us. I can honestly say we now feel like family and not just because we are related by blood.

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