Thursday, May 17, 2012
Finally at sea!
(Don't have pictures, trouble with intrnet; maybe later)
We’ve had a wonderful week in Australia and expect that the enjoyment will continue!
We spent Sunday night with friends in Mosman, Ian & Melinda, and got to see Ian off to work in his splendiferous uniform as a submariner in the Australian Navy. I haven’t yet got all the pronunciations right in Australian: we (Americans) say sub-ma-REEN-er, the Aussies say sub-MAHR-ih-ner. Or something akin to that. I may get an Australian accent by the time we get back! But some of their word just baffle me still: what on earth is a “horse agistment”? That was a sign we saw by a farm on our way back from the Blue Mountains. I haven’t a clue! (Post script: that is someone who boards horses; learned that from the fabulous CCers [Cool Cruisers] we are meeting on board.)
Then there is the “sch” pronunciations. We asked Ian (a native Australian) why they say “SHED-ule” when we say “SKED-ule,” but say “skool” instead of “shule” (for “school”). They both start with “sch” so shouldn’t they be pronounced similarly? He changed the subject.
On Monday (5/13/12—or for our Aussie friends, 13/5/12) we had lunch with some of the Cool Cruisers from the Sydney area at a wonderful restaurant, Appetito, in the Rocks area of Sydney, down by Circular Quay that Marie arranged for the group of about 18. So nice to finally put faces to the CruiseCritic.com names!
Aside from the lunch itself being a success, our being able to successfully navigate downtown Sydney to return the rental car was quite an accomplishment! Whatever did we do before GPS? Randy is getting quite good at not causing too much consternation amongst the drivers to whom driving on the left is second nature. And we’ve successfully navigated the Sydney train system, not just once but twice now! We are, however, abject failures at reading the train “SHED-ule.”
Tuesday was spent doing last minute stuff, but Greg & Yolanda also took us to Koala Park in West Pennant Hills. Koalas are SO adorable and we got to pet a koala who was going walk-about with a keeper. And we petted some dingoes! (An aside: As a docent at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum I was aghast that they allowed a very small child [about two or three years old] to pet a dingo! Even the keepers admitted that, although they act like pet dogs, they are still wild animals [in fact it is illegal to keep one as a pet]. All I could think was “anything that has teeth could bite at any time!”) A delightful morning including sheep-shearing and Little penguin feeding—yes they are little, the smallest in fact and the only penguins to breed on the Australian mainland, but they are also Little penguins, also known as Fairy penguins.
Tuesday night we had a wonderful dinner with Joanne and Gary, of the 2011 World Cruise fame. I say fame because they had the most wonderful pictures and especially videos. Only complaint? They haven’t finished from their cruise so we’ve missed several of their stops. We will be able to see them here on board when they finally get them uploaded. Well, maybe not, considering the problems I have with the shipboard internet! Anyway, their videos are awesome! And dinner was a hoot, we’d never met, but we all couldn’t stop talking!