happy new year everyone! 2011, the year of the rabbit. i hope you all brought in a new decade with smiles on your faces and love in your hearts. we celebrated the new year on the rooftop of a friend’s apartment just down the road. we had great views of the sydney harbour bridge and the opera house, which meant that we got to see those famous sydney fireworks in all their glory. it was a very festive gathering of tenants and friends, and we ushered in 2011 surrounded by new friends and kind-of new friends. nayou stayed up until 1.30am before throwing in the towel! here we are on new year’s day eating our grapes. its a tradition in latin american countries to eat twelve grapes at the start of the new year.
i had every intention of preparing a bunch of traditional japanese foods for the new year, but i didn’t have the chance to get to a real japanese supermarket before everything closed for the holidays. so we made do with some mochi and some miso soup. next year i am determined to do it right though. there are so many yummy dishes that only come out for the new year!
due to financial constraints and poor planning, we’ve laid low in sydney this holiday season. although it would have been nice to capitalise on the time off, it has also been nice to be mellow. this past week we have been doing all kinds of tourist-y things like going on the ferry, visiting the wildlife center and going to the australian museum. oh, and of course spending time at the beach. we’ve discovered this awesome little beach called redleaf pool just a ten minute bus ride away from our house. there is no surf, but that means that nayou can play in the water as much as he likes without having to watch his back for rogue waves. the beach is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and a library is nestled right in the middle of them. something tells me we are going be coming back to this place many times over the summer!
we also finally got around to checking out the playground at sydney park. every parent we’ve spoken to since we arrived has raved about it, and with good reason. the place is laid out really nicely, with sandpits that have built-in water features, huge slides and scooter/bike courses ringing the whole thing. since becoming a parent i’ve become really into playground design and you can tell this one has been carefully thought out. nothing makes me sadder than a playground where someone has just plonked down some random swings and jungle gym.
christmas kept on going for a bit as well with the arrival of some parcels that didn’t make it in time. hana sent us an awesome package that included the world’s cutest tea set and some mindblowing art from the talented people at nobrow.
here are some random bits and bobs. notice that nayou has taken to busting out the peace sign when he is having his photo taken. this makes my japanese half very happy. especially because he says “peesu!” while he does it!
we turned into fully fledged tourists yesterday, riding the ferry to darling harbour and visiting sydney wildlife world. our original plan was to go surfing at manly beach, but we were met with a ridiculous line at circular quay (about a ~90 minute wait!) and were forced to go to plan b. apparently everyone else had the same idea… which was understandable given the perfect weather. we ended up taking a scenic ferry route to darling harbour where we wandered into sydney wildlife world and saw some crazy animals. it was fun to be a tourist for a day!
i love the way this kangaroo is just slumming.
check out this 6.5m (~14ft) saltwater crocodile they have in sydney wildlife world. these crocs are the largest living reptiles in the world and they are truly massive! the wildlife center also has a bunch of native venomous snakes and spiders on display. i forgot how many things in this country can kill you. 12 of the 30 most venomous snakes are in australia!
today was a bit of a rainy day so we scrapped our plans for the beach again and went to the australian museum. its a bit of a shame that you can’t spend your time checking out all the exhibits when you have a kid because there is a lot to see and do. but at least they have plenty for toddlers to do, including some great dinosaur stuff.
the highlight of our visit for me was seeing nayou in these capes. brenda found them in one of the kid corners of the museum. i don’t often get overwhelmed with cuteness, but this was definitely one of those moments. peesu!