window shopping and sydney planning

Saturday, February 16, 2008

window shoppingToday was very much a "it's hot, let's go somewhere cool" kind of day...

We did the usual Random Supermarket Crawl... made slightly more interesting by the seemingly insane number of vans belonging to tradespeople that were cluttering up the car park when we got there at 8am. We kind of assumed they must be doing something rather large and impressive... but no, turns out that the teeny tiny optometrist office near the doors was being made over, and that seemed to require an army of about fifty thousand, and a huge enormous skip bin... weird...

Anyway the usual shopping blah-di-blah... grapes, ham, iced coffee, cheese, chicken, milk, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Lip Butter, blah, blah, blah... home to unpack... blah, blah, blah...

And, just for something different (not!), neither of us had very much of a plan as far as what the hell to do next. Which always ends well...

We settled on Arndale eventually... for no other reason than it was a destination, it was close and it wasn't going to take much time to wander around. Unsurprisingly, it lived up to all of those things. Ma did want to get some enlargements from the photos I took at Second Christmas (of her grandnephew), so we stopped off at Big W to use the "make photo" machines... but Ma had changed handbags when she got to my place... didn't put her USB drive in the new handbag... d'oh!

So we decided that Marion sounded like it could be a plan... for no other reason than it has just about one of every kind of large scale store under one roof, and we hadn't been down there for a couple of weeks. Is anybody else sensing a theme of a total lack of thought process behind our choices today?

We didn't really buy very much of anything... well, a couple of books and a couple of DVDs, but beyond that nothing much else... except that while we were in the car taking what seemed like the extremely long and scenic route to Marion (I can't even complain, because I was driving and also navigating for the most part) Ma was digging around in her handbag, and what did she find... yep... USB drive... so we managed to get the photos printed (and within about ten minutes too, which is pretty damn good) after all.

The other thing we tried to do all day was get a hold of another one of the Sydney travel brochures that went AWOL... Ma had scored one )or at least one very much like it) at the travel agents near her... but nowhere we went into all day seemed to have the brochure in question... *mutter*

And, switching topics slightly, but also in the realm of "really, really, really strange"... we were headed downstairs on the escalators when I either heard somebody call my name or just call out, I don't remember... looked up and it was Marc... who I haven't heard from since the end of May 2006... and he was waving at me like some sort of slightly crazed person. I mean, seriously, I haven't seen him in almost two years, and he was waving at me like we keep in regular contact. Weird.

Also weird was my answer when Ma asked me if he was "from work"... I said, "no, he's from the sex"... hehehe.

Then after we'd wandered about, seen everything, done everything, blah-di-blah... we came home again...

That was when we started looking at things for the Sydney trip...

I have to say that a lot of my stress from the other day has kind of been settled down quite a bit. We've got more of a plan about what we're going to do (although not really when, just that it's stuff we want to do... I am thinking beers on Wednesday evening though), and it all seems much better now. Having said that, I very nearly threw the computer out of the window while we were trying to book the hotel. I updated my Norton Virus thingy this week (and while it wasn't quite so much of a headfuck as last time, it wasn't too far behind), and I think it's just eating system memory like a mo-fo... everything seems two hundred times slower, and my system keeps freezing up if I do more things than it things I should be doing... which it did right when I was trying to do the room bookings.

Actually, that's not true, I'd already looked at the single rooms we'd been originally aiming for, but they only had one of those rooms available at the cheapass rate on the Tuesday and Wednesday (bummer!)... so in the end, we spent an extra $20 and got rooms with double beds. Alas, I think they're going to be "internal" rooms, so no view and either no window, or else a window with a nice view out over the internal courtyard and dumpsters... ah well.

So, computer froze, so I thought I would just cancel the window, open a new one... except that for whatever reason it wouldn't open a new browser window... nothing, nada, zip... so I had to quit all my other windows and reboot the computer... which took it's own sweet time too... *mutter mutter kill die pain mutter mutter*

But on the up side, once I had rebooted, it all seemed to work fine (although that whole "new window" thing is still prehistorically slow... as is closing a browser window come to think of it).

So, hotel rooms... booked!

We also went through a bunch of stuff... the bus service from the airport to the hotel, the Sydney Explorer "tour bus" thing, a variety of stops it makes that we have to go and explore... and how much everything is going to cost. And I did discover something quite interesting... if you're planning a trip (I'm not sure if this just works for Sydney or everywhere), and you know there are various touristy places you want to visit that require an admission fee, check their website... both the Sydney Aquarium and the Opera House tour have an discount (10% and 30% respectively I think... and the Opera House has even more of a discount if you book for one of the first three tours of the day) for tickets booked online! Who knew?! Also, woohoo!

After a while we got a little delirious... and possibly a little overheated... and I think we'd viewed a couple too many websites, so we gave up and since it was around that time we went out and got some noodles for dinner.

So, yeah... that was about it really. I'm less freaking out about the trip, especially since we have somewhere to stay now.

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Tom Saturday, February 16, 2008 11:12:00 pm  

Give the Sydney Explorer (big red bus) a miss, and do the Bondi Explorer (big blue bus) - it is much more interesting and goes further around. You can get off and on and it stops in Bondi so you could walk to Coogee (along the cliffs where the Sculpture by the Sea would have been had you come in November!) and get back on. The Sydney Explorer does the inner city and you can walk around that on your own and get much the same out of it.
Also I have a whole buggery load of unused half price and BOGOF tokens (buy one get one free) in my entertainment book for lots of attractions... I'll send them to you if you like. Let me know!

yani Sunday, February 17, 2008 7:11:00 am  

If I was coming to Sydney on my own I probably would just walk everywhere and probably hop the BBB to Bondi, but since I'm gunna be there with a woman on the other side of sixty (although only just and a pretty damn spritely one), I think the BRB is going to be helpful. Also, I think the BBB actually stops in Coogee ;)

I'll email you about the BOGOF tokens :)

Johnnie Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:11:00 am  

Wow, I'm impressed. I never have any plan when I go on a trip. Could be why I freak out the day of, on route to said destination. Maybe I should adopt your plan of action... Have an actual plan!

davey z. li Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:30:00 am  

also, forget about taronga zoo. the $37 admission price isn't worth having to look at some animals scratch and lick themselves. not that this is related, but i just remembered that when i last went there (i think 7 years ago for a school excursion) that the giraffes were, let's say, in the mood and tried to mount each other, and that the male giraffe had an unfortunate case of premature ejaculation.

yani Sunday, February 17, 2008 10:24:00 am  

Planning is good Johnnie, I always like planning... except of course when I make myself crazy doing it. But it's always nice to have a vague idea about what you're going to do before you have to go do it... cuts down on all that "ummm, well... ummm, I dunno, what do you think" crap too! ;)

Yeah Davey ;P Taronga was probably never on the cards, just because I know going to our zoo here is pretty much an all day event, and I can only guess that Taronga is about a billion times larger. Plus, you've seen one lot of animals scratch themselves, you've pretty much seen them all. Oh, and the giraffe story... WAAAAAAY too much information... :P

Sunshine Sunday, February 17, 2008 12:28:00 pm  

Question - wouldn't it be a little awkward and weird if you hooked up with someone and want to go back to the hotel and Ma is lying on the bed next to you looking on?? ;)

yani Sunday, February 17, 2008 2:34:00 pm  

It probably would be... but that's at least part of the reason that I refuse to share a room with her (which came in handy when we were in Melbourne) :P

I'm just not up for the whole room sharing thing anyway... but yeah... there is the whole possible hookup angle. I didn't come down on the turnip truck, as they say... I consider these things ;)

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