Monday, November 28, 2005

We are Family

I went over the the Palace Central to make good on my reservation yesterday and they couldn't find it. Never mind that I'd already given them my credit card information and everything. It turns out that they had me booked for the nearby Palace Embassy, which isn't so bad because it's supposed to be a bit nicer, but I would've liked to get the same place as Patrick and Andy since it was to be their last night in Oz.

No matter. After some Vietnamese pho noodles and shopping along the Queen Street Mall, I got together with Andrew and his old university roomie Shannon for a Sunday session at the Victory Bar a few blocks away. We were enjoying the live music and $6 jugs of beers out on the patio when all of a sudden, the sky opened up and started to piss on everything in sight. We thought it'd be a quick tropical storm, but it was a sustained lashing, causing the outdoor section of the bar to shut down.

We moved inside to continue our session, with talk of old times and future ambitions over many a jug of XXXX and Toohey's. I got a photo kissing the Toohey's Extra Dry promo girls. One of them was hawt, whereas the other wasn't, but insisted on being in the photo anyway. Women. What can you do? Kel showed up a few minutes later, and not much later, Patrick, Andy, Damo and Ange did as well. We had the crew back together again, and it was great.

I can't stress enough how great it's been to hang out with this bunch from various corners of Australia and the US. It got even better when we went to the trendy Jorge restaurant and met up with Shane, Tracy, Minno, and Fiona. We practically had the whole wedding party together again, making for a brilliant evening of sucking down specialty cocktails and great fusion food. The highlight: Courtney's Love - a chocolatey cocktail served with a chocolate Tim Tam straw. Have I mentioned Tim Tams are made with crack?

A handful of us continued on to the wild and whacky Down Under Bar at the Palace for too many jugs, a little bit of dancing, and a handful of red cards from the girls. Patrick and I reflected on how the last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster, having made some amazing friends and shared some great times, mixed with the reality that it's all going to be over this week. I feel like I have a whole new "family" of friends based around this group, and having to say goodbye to some of them really sucked.

Wracked with pain and misery from no sleep the previous few nights, I crashed out hard and slept in 'til at least 1:30 this afternoon. I guess I missed breakfast with Damo and Ange, but I really, really, really needed the sleep. At one point I did wake up to the sounds of the guy in the bunk below shagging some blonde from the Down Under Bar - ah, the joys of backpacking. I think I'm going to book a single room for my last night in Oz.

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