Monthly Archives: January 2013

My first full day in Sydney


So, I’m probably just as curious as you about how this blog thing is going to turn out. I’ve never blogged before, nor have I ever been a journaler or a diary-ist. Gross. We’ll see how it goes.

The pic above is where I hung out most of the day Tuesday, which is Darling Harbour (note the Euro spelling because I’m refined now). No, that’s not the Sydney Opera House on the right. The Harbour is a tourist area with a super cool playground for kids (ahem), a great splash park, and all kinds of cool interactive water features. I didn’t take many pics because it was windy and rainy until around 5:00 pm. There’s a gift shop, a big grassy area (Tumbalong Park), many restaurants, the Chinese Garden of Friendship, an IMAX theater, aquarium, etc.

Things I did on my first full day in Sydney:

  • Lots of walking.
  • Started figuring out the train system. Public transit, in general, is pretty foreign to this Kentucky boy.
  • People watching. The harbour is very touristy.
  • Constant searching for free wifi as I had not yet activated my local cell service. For future reference, there is free wifi at the harbour near the McDonald’s. While sitting outside, a father and young boy and girl walked by. The boy asked “Ded, can we get Macca’s for dinnah?” To which the father replied “Macca’s or KFC on the way home?” “KFC on the way home” was the unison reply from both kids. Am I in the US?
  • Watched The Hobbit in 3D on the largest IMAX screen in the world.
  • Sunshine! Up until I left the movie theater I literally hadn’t seen the sun in about 36 hours.
  • Discussed gun control in the US with a self-proclaimed bi-polar, schizophrenic, alcoholic while a homeless man dug through yet another McDonald’s garbage can and ate whatever he found. Poverty and people in need exist everywhere, it seems.
  • Walked to Woolworth’s near where I’m staying for groceries. It’s funny how brands that were once huge in the US, but are now secondary, flourish here. There is a Woolworth’s, Aldi, and KMart in the nearby shopping mall.

For some reason, Jeremy Renner showed up at a local movie theater. It was a pretty big deal and I just happened to be walking up the street as he was getting out of a limo. Seemed like a pretty gracious guy.

Jeremy Renner visits Sydney

That’s about it. Let’s see what I can explore today…

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Hello Sydney!


Today I arrived in Australia! Well, unless you’re reading this from the US, in which case… Tomorrow I arrived in Australia! Send me a PayPal gift and I’ll let you know who wins the Superbowl.

A 14-hour overnight flight becomes a hazy mixture of napping, drooling, sub par meals, foreign odors, neck pain, and peeing. Much like a nursing home, I’d imagine. It’s kind of scary to think that there’s nothing below you for thousands of miles but ocean, so every little bit of turbulence makes me wonder if I’ll be reprising the role of Jack on Lost. If that means I get to hook up with Kate then I’m OK with it. Screw that Sawyer dude though.

Overall, the passengers around me were quite pleasant; no crying babies, no kids kicking the back of my seat, no chronic personal space violators. Of course, you always want to sit next to a local so you can pick his or her brain about your destination. In true karmic fashion, I happened to sit next to two Cajun cousins, one of whom lives minutes from the little Louisiana town in which my father grew up and the other lives two hours north of my hometown in Kentucky. They’re in their 50s, best friends, and are off to explore New Zealand. Pretty awesome.

It’s rainy here in Sydney today so it looks like I’ll be researching indoor activities. Cheers!


Happiness Redux

My buddy Mike and I attempted a near-impossible 5-hour snowshoeing expedition in the unforgiving mountains of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah. We buried supplies along the way to be dug up on our return. This video documents our experience at the last cache of supplies.

(If this makes no sense at all then you need to watch the video posted on 1/21.)

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When was the last time you were so happy that you practically couldn’t contain yourself? The back story for the following video involves a guy who did a 90-day solo expedition to the South Pole, and along the way he buried supplies in the snow to be dug up on his return. This video documents his experience at the very last cache of supplies, where he finds cheese puffs, chocolate, and mentos.

I hope it puts a smile on your face. 🙂


Fontana Overlook

Tsali Fontana Overlook

Checking out the view of Fontana Lake at Tsali in NC, USA.

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I learned early that the richness of life is found in adventure. Adventure calls on all the faculties of mind and spirit. It develops self-reliance and independence. Life then teems with excitement. But man is not ready for adventure unless he is rid of fear, for fear confines him and limits his scope. He stays tethered by strings of doubt and indecision and has only a small world to explore.

— William O. Douglas