Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Man in the Picture



Before we went to Australia, I had an hallucination.

Now don't go worrying about my mental health. Oh wait. Wrong. You probably SHOULD worry about my mental health. But not because of the hallucination.

I think the hallucination was a healthy and normal just-coming-out-of-a-dream kind of thing. The scientific term is hypnagogia--in case any of you are interested.

I have a lot of photos saved on my computer, and I use them all in a slideshow for my screensaver.

Anyway, so I woke up from my nap on the rocking chair and saw a photo of the Sydney Opera House followed by a photo of the Harbor.

And in both photos, I see an image of a giant shadow man.

It startled me, freaked me out, and then was gone before I could think of calling Mulder and Scully. Help! I have a possessed screensaver.

Of course, I believe everything in life has some kind of deep inner meaning. I thought it was a message about our upcoming trip to Australia.

Man? A man? We will meet a man? Australia is going to be attacked by a giant shadow?

I now think it was all about Manly.

The ghosts in my computer were telling us to go to Manly.

The first time I went to Manly was for the shark dive. It was our 9th day in Australia. I think I had Manly scheduled for that day only. The plan was that I'd do the shark dive; then Tim and Jack would meet me later in the morning. We'd have fun, leave in the early evening, and probably never go back again.

I got to the shark dive too early and spent the some time alone walking. I kept thinking This is the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

Jack and Tim ended up loving it too.

We loved it so much we kept coming back. We scratched other places off the agenda. Oh yeah. Seen one Sydney neighborhood, you've seen them all. Come on. Let's go back to Manly.

It was almost like an addiction.

Once we took the thirty minute ferry ride all the way over there just for ice-cream. We loved this place called Royal Copenhagen. You get your ice-cream and then on the counter they have all these free toppings to put on your ice-cream. We thought it was the coolest thing.

On days that were too chilly for Ice-cream, we'd have a treat at Max Brenners. Sometimes we ended up getting treats at both places. Oops. Pretend you didn't just read that. Okay? Hey? Yeah. Well, we were on holiday. Give us a break.

We loved the beach. We had gone mostly on the weekdays and so it wasn't that crowded.

There were some surfing school kids. So awesome. It would be too cool to email my family back in America. Okay. Well I must go. I got to walk with Jack to his surfing lesson (Yes. Because in my fantasies we're rich enough to afford a house walking distance from the beach)

The ocean was a bit crazy--not like anything we've ever experienced. I've been to beaches before and I've never experienced anything like the sea in Australia.

The water is wild and wants to either push you down flat on your face, or kidnap you and drag you into the middle of the ocean.

Manly waves are persuasive and a bit pushy. They let you know who is boss, but are still somewhat gentle. Bondi waves are downright abusive. I think they wanted to kill us because we didn't have nice tans and perfect bikini bodies.

Still.....we had fun playing in the water and building sandcastles. These adorable little blond twins attached themselves to Jack and me. We played with them in the water and felt loved.

Then there was the materialistic pleasures of Manly. Souvenirs. Now I have been trying to buy less stuff and I've done a good job of it. But I did want to buy some Australia junk--since I'm so in love and obsessed.

Manly souvenirs are much cheaper than those in Sydney so we used some of our time there to buy t-shirts and other stuff.

I also found a lovely used bookstore; bought a nice handful of books and had a nice chat with the shopkeeper and a customer.

Jack's favorite thing at Manly, besides the treats and sandcastles, was this little escalator in the mall. I think he thought it was made especially for children. Almost every time we walked past it, he'd insist on going up and down. He didn't have to fight hard for the opportunity. I actually loved watching him go up and down. It was cute.

When we weren't busy doing the beach thing, shopping, or stuffing our faces....we'd take some walks. I'm trying to figure out the name of the park we walked in, but can't figure it out because my brain is fried from all the hallucinations.

Anyway, it's located near the wharf and Oceanworld. ????

Tim, Jack, and I would walk and talk. Jack would complain about being tired and hungry. I would talk about how we should move to Australia. Twice I pointed to houses and said, We should move there. Both of those times we got a closer look and realized the houses were for sale.

See, something in the universe was telling me we need to move to Manly.

Last, but definitely not least.

The ferry ride. We loved it. I think when we said Let's go all the way to Manly for ice-cream, it wasn't just about needing a sugar high. I think in some ways we wanted an excuse to go on the ferry.

It is a beautiful ride. I'm not good at describing scenery, so you'll just have to go and see for yourself.

It was just lovely ....and a little adventurous when you get to the rocky/wavy part of the ride.

Jack and I would sit there reading his book about dangerous animals. Tim would stand outside taking photos of the Opera House.

Maybe one day my wish will come true and we'll move there. In the meantime, we're planning on spending a week in Manly on our next Australia holiday.

Jack fretted about this preventing us from taking the ferry there. I reassured him that we'd take the ferry plenty of times. I'm sure we'll come up with some good excuse about why we need to ride into Sydney. And once we're staying in Sydney, we'll probably make excuses to go back to Manly.

If I can't figure out what to do, I'll wait for a message from my screensaver photos.