Last year I spent my birthday working two shifts and being too tired to go out to celebrate. It made me feel old and tired. But, for this year’s birthday I had a new adventure to look forward to and spent it in the company of good friends. Oh, what a difference a year makes!
After a day of wandering around the Royal Botanic Gardens and Art Gallery of New South Wales, I met Tina and Marta at a train station near their apartment in North Sydney. After a short walk to their place, I settled myself into their studio apartment as they proceeded to unwind after a long day of work.
In short order, the girls had uncorked a bottle of white wine, set me up with a glass and were getting into the business of making dinner. Their apartment was conveniently located about five-to-ten minutes away from the station (depending if you were walking up or down the hill) and 30 minutes away from the city by walking over the bridge. From their balcony, you could see a bit of the city around some buildings, which Tina said was great for watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks without fighting the crowds huddled around the harbor.
As the sun set and the stars appeared, they served dinner out on the balcony. We had a fresh salad, yummy bruschetta and a deliciously light pasta. Neither Tina nor Marta would let me do anything, even the washing up, so I truly felt like a queen for the day. With dessert came a thoughtful card to celebrate my special day.
After dinner, we walked back to the city instead of catching a train. This way I’d be able to see the city and Sydney Opera House alight. We crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, stopping often for photos (all lost on my broken external hard drive). Despite the time of night, walking across the bridge felt safe as there were CCTV cameras that recorded our progress. Before we knew it, we were in The Rocks.
We explored the little alleys and side streets between buildings in this historic district along the harbor’s edge. Most of the shops and restaurants were closed for the day or waiting for their last customers to leave. We peeked into shop windows and passed the oldest pub in Sydney (apparently this is up for debate).
The girls left me near Circular Quay station and we said our goodbyes for the night. All in all, it was an awesome way to celebrate one more year of life . . . and what a marvelous life it is turning out to be.