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The Castle

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It’s Monday again and today is Labor Day in Australia, which means no work!  We have been enjoying our long 3-day weekend.  Unfortunately, it’s been rainy so our plans to hike/snorkel in Manly didn’t go through, but instead we’ve been enjoying a lazy weekend around home.  For the first time in a long time I actually slept in until 9 a.m. on Saturday morning (wow!).  We had a lazy morning and then we headed to Darling Harbour for the afternoon.  I know this sounds weird and a bit backwards, but Oscar attended a baby convention and I went to check out the Latin Festival! : )   Oscar went for a project for school (they are marketing a baby product) and I decided not to go into the convention (because I’d probably end up spending too much money on gifts for your babies!).  So, I wandered around and checked out all the Latin food stands, gift stands, and live music around Darling Harbour.  Oscar was only at the convention for about 2 hrs so we met up and I showed him where we could have some yummy arepas con queso from the Colombian stand and we also had some Lulo juice, Venezuelan beans, meat, and avocado ensalada and finally some Colombian coffee...Yummy!  It was a really fun festival (even though it was raining) and we stayed for a couple of hours to enjoy the evening festivities of salsa dancing, Brazilian music/dancing, and entertainment. 

On Sunday, the time changed here for daylight savings.  My mom called us Neanderthals because we didn’t know the time was changing this weekend (because we don’t have a TV, we don’t really read the paper, and Oscar doesn’t own a watch :).   So it’s been a bit confusing because now we are 15 hrs ahead of you in EST/USA, and we figured out that when you fall back in November we will actually be 16 hrs ahead – (17 hrs for Jill).  That’s going to make it even more difficult to talk on Skype/online, but we’ll just have to make it work and that means I will have to keep up with these updates to keep in touch.   Anyway, on Sunday we again had a lazy morning and decided since it was raining to do Maria’s favorite thing and go to a museum!  We went to the Hyde Park Barracks and checked out the Convict exhibition.  So, a little history lesson for you all.  If you didn’t know this already, Australia was founded by the British sending over convicts.  They sent more than 166,000 convicts who basically built the colony here.  They used the convicts for labor and we learned that if you stole a horse you’d get life in prison, but if you only stole a sheep you got 7 years.  If you stole a potato you got 7 years, but if you were convicted of pick pocketing you got life!  Crazy huh?   I looked in the ancestor convict directory and there was one Seaman that kept getting in trouble for drinking and gambling and one Garland that stole something, but got out early for good behavior…they must have been our relatives : ) haha… jk! 

Anyway, it was a fun day of learning about how Sydney and Australia came to be as it is today.  We finished our Australian evening with some kangaroo for dinner.  Oscar was so wonderful and cooked us a great meal of homemade mashed potatoes, vegetables and kangaroo.  The kangaroo was a very lean and tender meat, but it was also VERY gamey…so we’re pretty sure this is the last time we will eat it – at least this way.  Since we don’t have a TV here, we pretty much are on a mission to watch every movie at the Paddington library; so every evening we watch a new “old” movie.  Last night was Four Weddings and a Funeral.   Any recommendations for us for old movies we might not have heard of?

This morning we also slept in and have been having a lazy day again.  Oscar has been doing some homework, and I went to the grocery store and called Anik and Jill for some needed catch up talks : ).  After that we went for a walk to Woolloomooloo Warf.  We had the famous “Tiger” meat pie with mashed potatoes and peas in honor of April and Dustin (it was awesome!) and just walked around the harbour.  On our way back we had a WowCow (some yummy frozen yogurt!).  Now, we are just hanging out in our little studio.  Oscar is finishing his homework and I’m writing the blog and getting organized for the week. 

Oh, and I wanted to tell you about Oscar’s birthday.  On Thursday Oscar turned 28 and we celebrated by going to the Sydney Opera House to see the Marriage of Figaro.  We both had to work a full day so I surprised Oscar with a birthday cake a work (all our colleagues sang to him :).  Oscar loved the opera – and so did I, but I just wished it would have been about 1 hour shorter!  It was 3.5 hrs long and by the end I was dosing off… but overall it was a great experience and the Opera House is beautiful and it was special to get to do this while we are here. 

Well, this has been a pretty long update.  I hope you all have made it this far, and you aren’t dosing off too! 


Have a great week! 




Piper and Oscar

P.S. If you are wondering why I titled my e-mail "The Castle" it's because it is the most hilarious Australian movie ever!  We just watched it tonight and if you ever get a chance to see it you won't be disappointed.  I'm going to try to buy a copy while we are here to bring home!


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Living in Sydney

Sydney, Australia