I brought in the New Year at Darling Harbour, as I anxiously awaited what I was told was the best fireworks display in the world. It was an exciting time for me, and the atmosphere around the harbour was electric all evening and into the early hours of January 1st 2013. I really enjoyed the moment and was not disappointed, Sydney welcomed 2013 in style with an incredible show of fireworks. See YouTube link below, courtesy of LuckieBoot;
I mentioned in ADV03 I had booked a Leisure: Harbour Cruise, Island Tour and Open Bar through Groupon Australia, so I made a reservation with those guys along with Steven Lee for Sunday 15th December. This was a pleasant afternoon, we enjoyed the complimentary champagne and free buffet lunch as we arrived on Goat Island. Our guide gave us a tour of the island, and told us a bunch of interesting facts about the islands history. For example over the years it has served as a quarry, convict stockade, explosives store, police station, fire station, boatyard and a film set.
Keeping with the tourist theme I bought a Darling Harbour Big Ticket, which included;
Madame Tussaud's Sydney
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
Wild Life Sydney Zoo
They're all on Darling Harbour, and if you buy the big ticket you save $16. These were all kind of cool, interesting and informative.
I played both of The Star's Christmas tournaments, which included a $550 Boxing Day Bonus and a $1,100 Super Sunday. I managed deep runs in both and cashed for $1,000 and $2,000 respectively, frustrating to get close to the five figure scores without closing. I really like these bigger events, and I feel like I'm bringing my best. However I'm becoming so absorbed with winning that anything other is a major failure, I'm trying my best to accept a cash is a cash and they're big cashes. One night over the festive season there was a high stakes cash game running which was cool to sweat, I wasn't entirely sure what they were playing but three notable players included Antonio Esfandiari, Antanas "Tony G" Guoga and Jeff Lisandro.
Looking forward and the next time I'm taking to the felt is on Monday 28th January, which is Australia Day and it's a public holiday. The Star are hosting a $550 Australia Day Public Holiday Tournament, so I've registered online already and looking to lock that one out. Away from the casino I've been partying pretty hard over the holidays, on Christmas eve I was aboard the OZPARTYCRUISE boat with unlimited free drinks and light buffet, then Christmas day I was down at Bondi beach for the SUNBURNT festival, then after a few days to recover as mentioned earlier I was at Darling Harbour for the New Years eve fireworks, and finally I celebrated at SPACEIBIZATOUR on New Years day. Also my friend Iain was promoting all these events, so he got me on the guest list which included VIP complimentary drinks and backstage access.
So yeah they were all really good days/nights in good company with a good vibe, I did though have to be careful and take things easy as I was on antibiotics. Which leads me to another unwanted visit to St. Vincents Hospital, on Tuesday 20th December I was taken back by ambulance after another fall knocking me unconscious. Thankfully no surgery required and I was given some antibiotics for the pain and potential swelling, here's to hoping I have seen the last of the inside of that hospital. Keeping in line with my health I unfortunately neglected my training somewhat over the Christmas holidays, now that it is all over though I'm hoping to kick into gear and get back to a strict diet and exercise regime.
On Friday January 11th I had Alison "Mrs Fatfish" McAree visiting from Brisbane, so it was great to see and catch up with her for the weekend. We really made the most of her time in Sydney making a big effort to do as much as possible, this included but was not limited to sunbathing at Palm Beach (set for Home and Away), Harbour Bridge Climb, Opera House tour, cruise with champagne lunch buffet, dinner and drinks around Darling Harbour. I also had the pleasure of meeting the charming Victoria Ling, who is a friend of Alison's and joined us for some of the aforementioned activities. As an additional bonus, she is an amateur photographer so there is a bunch of cool photo's from the weekend. Check out a couple below, and if your interested you can find the rest over my Facebook.
All in I've had a pretty busy and exciting time throughout the holidays and beginning of January, however I have found some time to just chill and relax. It's a nice feeling waking up mid morning and your toughest decision of the day, is whether to go to the beach or by the swimming pool. We have had a heatwave here in Australia, with temperatures regularly exceeding 40°C throughout the day. I've been taken full advantage, going out sunbathing and swimming at every opportunity.
I've been enjoying some TV lately too, managing to watch all of Prison Break for the second time. I seen the ninth and final season of One Tree Hill, after watching one through to eight around this time last year. Looking to get involved in something new over the coming weeks, so weighing up my options between The Wire, 90210 and Entourage with the latter being my most likely choice. Also had a trip to the cinema with the lads last week (Sunday 6th January), we went to see Jack Reacher. This is an interesting story, and has a couple of good scenes including a really good car chase. Overall though, I wasn't too impressed and probably wouldn't recommend it.
Further down the line in 2013 I have a couple of exciting things to look forward to, these include upgrading my return Sydney > Los Angelas > Las Vegas flights in June from economy to business elite class. I've been privileged in the past to fly several times in British Airways Club World, so I know what to expect and I'm well looking forward to the relaxing journey. Check out the below YouTube link courtesy of DeltaAirLines, which will give you an idea of the luxury that awaits me;
Delta's Flat Bed Seats - BusinessElite - 767-400ER
Then only a month later, I have reserved a corporate box at the ANZ Stadium for Man Utd vs. A-League All Stars on July 20th when they visit Australia during their pre-season tour. Although I suspect Sir Alex Ferguson will field a weak team, I'm still pumped to get there and enjoy the atmosphere around the ground.
All in I'm pleased to upload this digest, the visit from Alison prompted me to get out and tick a lot of my "Sydney To Do" boxes. Over the next month or so I hope to visit both the Blue Mountains and Taronga Zoo, as well as look to book up another cruise to see some more of the beautiful Darling Harbour islands.
Stay safe, hope this year is shaping up beautifully for you all.
7 months ago