Momiji in Calalla Beach

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.”

-Jeremy Irons-

Part 1 of Momiji’s Amazing Australian Adventure was published on this blog on January 30, 2009.  My husband, who knows me best, is reluctantly aware of my “Last In, First Out” policy when it comes to blogging, and I suppose this explains why Part 2 is only appearing eleven months after the first blog post, and exactly a year after our visit to Australia.

As much as my memory fails me in my old(er) age, I’m thankful for the bits that remain.  Recently, thanks to Facebook, I was reunited with a handful of old classmates from 20 years back, and amazingly, I was still able to remember many of the names.   Like word association, one name brought about another, and before I knew it, I was spewing out names faster than a person speaking in tongues.

Yes, I’d like to think that I am able to retain the good stuff.   Which brings me to the continuation of Momiji’s Amazing Australian Adventure…..

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On their road trip from Gold Coast to Sydney, after enjoying a delicious breakfast of eggs benedict at Byron Bay, Silly Billy’s tummy began to rumble.  ”I’m hungry,” she whimpered.  And then she saw a glittering sight, like jewels in a background of emerald green.   “It must be a mirage,” she thought, “my hunger’s gone to my big resin head.”   But it wasn’t an illusion, as she approached the shimmering ocean at Coff’s Harbour, glistening like a blanket of tiny little diamonds.

“Wake up!” she kicked Twinkle in her belly.  Twinkle grunted, “I’ll have a bacon sandwich, hold the lettuce.”   “You’re dreaming, Twinkle,” said a disgusted Silly Billy.   Silly Billy continued driving until she saw a club full of energetic little old people playing lawn bowling.  Silly Billy squealed and came to a halt.   She loved energetic little old people, but Twinkle pulled her aside and reminded her of her priorities.  ”Food first,” Twinkle said, “then lawn bowl with energetic little old people.”

Cafe Aqua, located at 57 Ocean Parade, directly across the club, seemed to be a nice welcoming place for a quick bite.  It also meant that Silly Billy could spy on her new friends while enjoying her delicious scallop and bacon salad with asparagus, roasted capsicum and butternut with a saffron dressing that immediately quelled her hunger pangs.   It almost felt like the scallops came from the sea beyond, and the bacon came from a pig in the backyard.  Twinkle skipped mains and went straight to desserts.   Twinkled swam into her glass of chocolate milk shake and licked the chocolate off her body.  ”I’m revived,” she declared, “let’s move on and play with the energetic little old people!”   And so they did.

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They reached Sydney in one piece and without any traffic summons.   On New Year’s Eve, Twinkle and Silly Billy decided to celebrate it at Ripples at Milsons Point, an amazing outdoor location near the Olympic Pool at the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that would be imprinted on their minds forever.   Serving excellent fusion food, they were gasping sighs of happiness as they wolfed down their oysters with a zesty Japanese rice wine dressing, pan seared ocean trout with coriander rice and chilli jam and…and….(momijis are known to have terrible memory thanks to their pea-sized brains)…chocolate cake with….*gasp*…fairy floss!   “Fairies died for me,” thought Silly Billy, that silly little thing.

They were a little inebriated thanks to the two bottles of wine which they had with their meals, and after their meal, they stumbled their way to the wharf, making funny faces at Luna Park along the way, to get on a ferry to the Taronga Zoo.

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On the ferry ride to Taronga Zoo, they noticed throngs of humans gathering along the Sydney Opera House and the coastline beyond, awaiting the New Year’s Eve fireworks display later that night.   Silly Billy was filled with trepidation as she anticipated being stampeded on, just like her harrowing experience twenty years earlier in Stadium Merdeka where FRU officers literally fished her out from a crowd of enthusiastic Selangor football supporters.   Twinkle held her hand and said, “I’ll protect you, Silly Billy.”  Silly Billy felt safe when she was with Twinkle.   As the ferry docked at the wharf at Taronga, they skipped, hand in hand, all the way up to Bradley’s Head at the Sydney Harbour National Park, a lovely site in a natural bushland setting.   There, they met other momijis and humans, all equally friendly with each other, as they partook of a refreshing Thai salad made by Twinkle’s aunt while waiting for the sun to set.   Families played on the grass, a plane whirred by, skywriting beautiful words in the clear blue sky…a general feeling of warmth pervaded and the momijis smiled at each other.   As the fireworks display began, the humans and momijis clapped and cheered, and a tear trickled down Silly Billy’s face.

“Happy New Year, Twinkle.”

“Happy New Year, Silly Billy.”

It has been a good year.

An amazing year.

A wonderful year.

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Other pictures from Momiji’s Amazing Australian Adventure below:

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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, 25km north of Sydney, set on the southern branch of the Hawkesbury River, the park is well known for aboriginal rock engravings

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Delicious, tender, pork ribs at Hurricane’s Grill and Bar at Darling Harbour

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Champagne breakfast with the family in warm balmy weather

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