jen yu: australia 2007 - day 7

australia 2007 - day 7

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sydney, manta
march 14, 2007
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I wasn't about to sit around in Alice all week while Jeremy did his astronomy thing. Originally, I had hoped to visit our friends in Melbourne and then fly to Sydney to see our other friends - but there wasn't enough time and the flights from Alice to anywhere were rather limiting. Since we had just visited with our Melbourne friends in Colorado, we decided we should pass through Sydney.

Jeremy dropped me off at the Alice Springs airport in the morning. There were flights to Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Yulara... From what I could observe the majority of the people flying into and out of Alice Springs were on holiday. My flight to Sydney was full.

From Sydney Airport, I caught the train to Central Station where I met with Kell. She said she had a surprise for me - that Jerad was going to cook dinner for us that night! Did I mention that Jerad is a chef?! We walked a few blocks from Central Station to their flat at the edge of Redfern. I know that Redfern has a reputation, but their section of town was quite nice and their flat is gorgeous. Perhaps that is more a function of Kell and Jerad's good taste. A quick change of outfit and we were back on the trains to Kings Cross Station (I think it was Kings Cross). Kell walked me through lovely parts of Sydney and pointed out major landmarks until we arrived at the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo, where several fine restaurants opened out onto the wharf and overlooked the city and the water. The biggest local celebrity there is Russell Crowe. Just a tad bit more famous than our own town's illustrious Grandpa of the Frozen Dead Guy Days.

As we approached Manta, we were greeted at the entrance and then stepped into the back to say hi to Jerad, whom I had never met. Seated outside, Kell and I enjoyed one another's company in addition to the beautiful cityscape, the fine service, and the incredible food. Jerad sent one amazing plate out after another. We had scallops, crab and corn soufflé, prawns to die for, slow-cooked veal with saffron pasta, ocean trout, granita over melon, and a berry cake with sorbet. The only downer was that Jerad could not join us because he had to work, but he did drop by quickly to say hi and ask how things were. Jerad and Kell are a darling couple.

The evening was cool and Sydney (as I learned over the next few days) was deliciously breezy - a gentle and carefree sort of breeze. We planned to walk off dinner by taking a stroll over to Circular Quay, but took a cab at Jerad's urging. Not that Sydney at night isn't a safe place, just that Jerad is a gentleman. The Sydney Bridge and Opera House are spectacular to see at night. Sydney was a breath of fresh air and the cool evening won me over along with the sights and sounds by the water, the food and the friends.

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