This Friday is Kirk’s birthday. It will mark seven weeks for us in Manly. If our plans pan out, we’ll probably be leaving in a few weeks to move north to Byron Bay. So what have we been up to here? In a nutshell, I’ve been working a decent amount – five days a week. As for Kirk, he came to Australia to surf. In my opinion, he’s achieved that goal ten times over. He probably hasn’t missed a day in the last couple weeks. Along with surfing, a typical day for us goes something like this:

Day Break

I’m usually out of bed on the heels of sunrise, just after 7AM. If I have to work a morning shift, I am already at work setting up the patio with tables and chairs. If, on the other hand I have the morning off, I like to get in 30 minutes of yoga while Kirk’s still asleep. Once he makes it into the kitchen, I’ll join him to cook some eggs and toast for breakfast. Maybe a half grapefruit. I love grapefruit.

Morning

The rest of the day’s plans vary depending on if I work the dinner shift at 3PM. If so, we stay close to home. Oftentimes we’ll go down to the beach with a book or two and a free Manly Daily from the lobby. Or, if we need to stock the food cupboard, it’s a five minute walk to the Harris Farm Market for a bit of produce shopping. Whenever I’m at work, be it morning or evening, Kirk will go for a surf. He’ll be out in the water for up to three hours some days.

Afternoon

For the sake of argument, let’s say I have the day off.  These days of total freedom only come a couple of times a week, so we take as much advantage of them as we can.  That means traveling.  Usually, around noon we’d be stepping onto the Manly ferry.  The ferry chugs merrily along for about a half hour through the Sydney Harbor to end at Circular Quay, the transportation hub of the Sydney CBD (central business district).  From there endless destinations await.  If we’re feeling adventurous, we jump right onto a bus or train heading southeast out of the city. We’d find a beach to relax on or a coastal walk to trek. Bondi Beach is a popular destination. Its half-moon arc of sand and blue-green waves, colored bright right out of a crayon box, has enticed us back many times. We’ve also bussed it to Coogee, a sleepy cluster of residences boasting a visitor center inside the takeaway coffee stand on the beach. I asked the girl who handed me my cappucino where I can speak to someone in the visitor center. “Actually, I’m it. What do you want to know?” she asked.

Quite often after riding the ferry into Circular Quay, we’ll stay in the downtown area exploring what we can on foot. We’ll meander along, often ending up in Darling Harbour or The Rocks.

Last Friday night we walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Luna Park, a tiny amusement park with an iconic but decidedly creepy giant clown face welcoming its visitors at the entrance.

Evening

When night time rolls around, we like to find a place with happy hour specials and grab a cheap beer. On Friday evenings we’ll have a few five dollar rum & cokes at Henry Afrikas, a bar/restaurant near The Corso. If we’re at home, we’ll crack open a Toohey’s Extra Dry and watch the sun melt behind the hills in the west. We’ll cook dinner, watch a bit of TV and hang out with our flatmates. I’m usually asleep by midnight. The next day’s adventure awaits. ☼