We met up in the Royal Botanical Gardens (gorgeous) where you get a beautiful view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, and headed off for some shopping in a part of the city called Paddington (posh and trendy—Aussie style, complete with designer surf attire). Then we were off to a fish dinner in Surrey Hill (another part of the city) where I taught the boys all the Aussie vocabulary and cultural phenomena that I had picked up during my stay in Melbourne. "I dare say, they were well impressed with my knowledge of grilled tomatoes for brekky."
The next day, Chris, Amy, some of thier mates and I met up for New Year's Eve picnic in a park by the harbour-(New Year's Eve starts early here). Note: Apparently, the women of New Zealand can party EVERYONE I know under the table, and Amy and her friends were certainly no exception (see below photo--Amy is second to the right). I did my best to keep up (for purposes of cultural sensitivity of course), but had to take some breaks for a glass of water or two, resulting in angry cries from the pack of Aussie guys in the kitchen. "What you drinking THAT for?! Get back in here, Yankee, and pour yourself a real drink!"
Luckily, the fireworks distracted everyone for long enough for me to take a quick re-hydration break. The house where the party was had a view of the Harbour Bridge on two sides of a big deck--it was incredible and for sure the best firework display I've ever seen. As my Aussie mates would say, “senSAYtional!” The party raged on for another 7 hours after that, and I'm proud to say I held my own.
Three cheers for the American lass and G'day 2007!