Well I’ve safely arrived and have started to settle in at my new house on Walter Street with Julia, Rory, and Ben. But before I get to my time in Sydney I should start with Graduation including a harboUr cruise, parties, and much more. Although I technically finished in December I graduated on the 17th from UCSB since they only have one ceremony a year. It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to the friends that I grew so close to and those who enriched my life with a happiness I was blessed to have. The ceremony was surprisingly fast and Nadia, Julia, Jackie, Ashley, Sami, Alex, Kip, and I all had the priviledge to sit together. After the ceremony we had a delightful lunch at Zaffiro and celebrated the occasion with a bit of Moet and most importantly all of my Grandparents! After saying goodbye to Santa Barbara with more than a few tears that night with my amazing friends at Pepe’s and OTT, it was time to get excited for the next adventure and board that plane to Sydney….
Thursday morning Ben picked me up from the airport (red roses in hand ;-)) and Siena brought lunch over before Ben raced off for an exam that afternoon. Then Siena and I did a bit of essential shopping to outfit my baby blue room followed by dinner down at Bathers with the family. It was wonderful to catch up with them before they left for their holiday in Italy and England. Ben will be joining them this Friday after his last exam and it’ll be my responsibility to drop him off at the airport – yes that entails driving on the LEFT side of the road! Friday and Saturday we spent setting up a bank account, getting a new cell phone number, unpacking, and preparing for Saturday night…
Saturday night was the long awaited 😉 ‘Jackie Warming’ Party. The theme was Round the World – Ben went as and American in a red white and blue wig and stars and stripes boxers, and I dressed in an Aussie flag. The hat I’m wearing apparently is worn in ‘the bush’ and the corks are meant to keep the bugs away although I found them very distracting when trying to hold a conversation. The party was a great success and I had a total blast. The French were there, a few Kiwis, a Limey or two, a matador, and many many more. Thanks to everyone that came and hope you had a fabulous time! The photos are priceless so definitely take a look!
So far settling in has been a breeze…in fact everyone has been so helpful and friendly. It seems wherever we go everyone wants to know where in the States I’m from since they know people in such and such or have been here or there. I’m also very impressed with all of Ben’s friends – they’ve been extremely welcoming and definitely the type of people you’d be lucky to be friends with. The weather is probably the only thing to complain about but it is winter and therefore expected. Today is actually the first day of rain I’ve witnessed although it’s been the wettest winter in 30 years – so I’ve been lucky with the 10 degree sunshine. I’ve been wearing my snowboarding jacket around the house and warming my hands with three to four cups of tea daily!
On Friday Ben is off to England for two weeks of celebrations – his brother’s 21st birthday party, dad’s 60th birthday party, mum’s birthday, and his cousin’s wedding! While he’s gone I’ll finish settling in, enroll at and explore Syd Uni, get used to the public transportation system, and get ready for our snowboarding trip upon Ben’s return.
Shoot me an email if you get a chance – I’d love to hear what’s going on at home.