Waiting for Chicago

It’s 7 o’clock on Saturday night and I’m in my pajamas, 3 cups of tea in, dinner long since eaten. I did stay up until midnight last night, but it was only because I was hooked into ‘The Girl on the Train’ and threw caution to the wind, determined to stay awake until I finished the book.

Three day weekends: doing it right.

I am in an enforced nesting stage, laying low in anticipation of big events to come. It’s not hard – winter is here and the cold mornings support my urge to become a hermit, swathed in the duvet, dragging it like a royal cloak as I roam around the house. The cold is temporary, because in three weeks from this exact moment we will be on a plane to Chicago, where it will be warm and the daylight hours will stretch luxuriously into the evening instead of coming to an abrupt halt by 5pm.

Jared has it in his head that he will essentially eat his way through the city, bouncing from deep dish pizza to juicy hot dogs. I’m looking forward to flinging off my scarves and checking out of work for three weeks with family and friends in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Wisconsin. We don’t know anyone in Wisconsin, actually, but Jared found a tempting brewery in New Glarus, only a couple of hours’ drive from Chicago.

Of course I haven’t been spending all of my time inside. Last weekend we went to Sydney for a birthday party. Jared’s cousin turned 18 and celebrated with a cruise in Sydney Harbour, right smack in the middle of Vivid Sydney. This is an annual festival where Sydney lights up at night, a scene that is especially stunning from the harbour.

Sydney Harbour
The lights change frequently, controlled by the  public from an interactive station.
Sydney Harbour


This weekend has been decidedly less glamorous (see: pajamas by 7pm), but today was, as my husband would say, a pearler. June 1st in Australia marks the first day of winter – none of that equinox stuff here – and it also ushers in the whale season along the east coast. I jumped on my bike and pedaled up over to the beach to see if I could spot any. They’ve had nearly a full week to get here, so my expectations were high.

I saw nary a whale, but my vigil was rewarded with a pod of dolphins playing at Newcastle Beach. They swam right amongst the surfers and competed for waves, reminding me of the surfing sea lions of the Galapagos.


Spot the fin – always such a relief when it’s a dolphin.
Super jealous of that guy.
Newcastle NSW
Dolphin conga line.

I spent most of the day outside, which I miss so much. While I like my job, I still can’t come at the idea that sitting in an office most days, for eight hours, is a good idea for anyone. Today was largely free of computers, phones, and tablets. The best kind of day.

Newcastle beach
Synchronized pelicans
Newcastle Ocean Baths
A true lunch break at the ocean baths.

I keep opening the desk drawer that contains the passports, wondering if it’s too soon to get them out and put them in a prominent don’t-forget-me location. For now, the drawer is closed and I’m going to refill my tea.

Soon, though.

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