Christmas on the beach!

We had a lovely christmas picnic on the beach.

Emma drove!
Emma drove!
Claire opening presents on the beach...
Claire opening presents on the beach...
Emma and her Christmas scarf!
Emma and her Christmas scarf!
Christmas antlers on the beach
Christmas antlers on the beach
Me and the girls at Manly beach on christmas - there were people playing cricket!
Me and the girls at Manly beach on christmas - there were people playing cricket!
Emma on our Boxing Day walk
Emma on our Boxing Day walk
Then we ended up in Botany Bay...
Then we ended up in Botany Bay...
Where Captain Cook first made landfall on the East Coast of Australia in the 17th ?? century
Where Captain Cook first made landfall on the East Coast of Australia in the 17th ?? century
We caught some salmon and ate fresh sashimi right there on the beach! Good thing I happen to carry a fishing pole with me everywhere I go.
We caught some salmon and ate fresh sashimi right there on the beach! Good thing I happen to carry a fishing pole with me everywhere I go.

Ok, actually, after our touristic drive, we went back to Flinder’s street, and ate a delicious feast thanks to Claire!  I contributed absolutely nothing to the meal except a healthy appetite.  Then, after gorging on turkey, we fell asleep before even finishing a bottle of wine.

The next day we went to the Blue Mountains, about 2 hours NW of Sydney.
The next day we went to the Blue Mountains, about 2 hours NW of Sydney.
And we hiked around some more...
And we hiked around some more...
and I (pictured in the foreground) saw "The Three Sisters" (pictures in the background)
and I (pictured in the foreground) saw "The Three Sisters" (pictured in the background)
rarely do I not look ugly in photographs so I am posting these somewhat flattering shots.  Thanks to my official photographer, K. E. Knowland.
rarely do I not look ugly in photographs so I am posting these somewhat flattering shots. Thanks to my official photographer, K. E. Knowland.
If you choose to go hiking in the Blue Mountains, be sure to remember your walking stick (for gentlemen) or hair kercheif (for ladies).  Attempting to hike without these items could result in you doing the side-splits off the top of a cliff.
If you choose to go hiking in the Blue Mountains, be sure to remember your walking stick (for gentlemen) or hair kercheif (for ladies). Attempting to hike without these items could result in you doing the side-splits off the top of a cliff.

We returned to Sydney sometime in the evening, and I made some guacamole and a salad, which we all ate for dinner, with left-over turkey.  Then, we tried to watch TV, but, we realized that only nerds stay at home and watch TV on a Saturday night, which explained why there were only weir science fiction movies on.  So, instead, we went to sleep at some ridiculously early hour.

This morning we got up, and did some shopping at the Rocks Market, and Paddy’s market.  I plan to go back to Paddy’s to try to find some gifts for my colleagues at UCL… I’m considering buying 20 pairs of Australian flag underwear.  It’s just the sort of bawdy gift a Lao person would enjoy!

Any other suggestions?

As the year 2008 draws to a close… HOLY SHIT!!!! is all I can say.

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