Day 15: Manly Beach

I was starting to have a problem with weight.  Not my own, silly!  My actually weight of things gathered during my trip.  It wouldn't have been such a problem, but my airline was "threatening" with $40 USD charges for each kilo over, and the weight limit was only 20 kilo.  How did I know I was having a problem?  Coming from Melbourne to Sydney I was at 19.1 kg and I as carrying some things extra with me on the plane.  Then I added to that everything acquired at the conference and in Sydney so far.  Hence, a weight problem.

But I had a solution.  I was going to find the post office and mail some stuff.  I was just hoping that it was not as expensive as when I did that from Israel.  So with this plan, I headed to a nearby mall because there was a post office there.  In the end, my package of 5.5 kg was still cheaper to ship home than it was to try and take on the plane with me.  The only problem was that to ship it to my APO address it was cheapest for the 3 month slow boat to the US, which was way too long because I had some food in my package.  So for airmail it was a little more expensive.  Somehow we discovered it was cheaper to send to my Japanese address (luckily I have one) and faster.  So for just around $80 I was able to ship my ~5.5 kg to Japan.  Amazingly this arrived to my home just 5 days after I sent it (I know because I am home now).  Oh, and another problem, I couldn't ship all of the food like I planned.  Too many import/export rules, so I ended up taking a bag filled with food, mostly Tim Tams and candy bars for gifts (stuff you can't get in the US).  But in the end, the package made it here and nothing was confiscated.  Yeah, apparently I didn't remove all of the food like I thought I did.

Package mailing=success!

When I was in the mall by the post office I found this Asian Bakery.  It totally made me feel at home.  Is that weird?  I came very close to buying some things and realized that was silly because I was heading back to Japan soon and could get this stuff then.
Instead, I headed across the street to a French Bakery.
I had an amazing breakfast.  This is toast with avocado, topped with spinach and poached eggs.  Super yummy!
The rest of my morning was dedicated to teaching.  With Kaplan I teach an online live audio seminar, so I actually have to be in class at a specific time.  This happened to be on this morning, so I did that first, and then headed to the Manly Ferry.
Let me refresh your memory.  I have some serious motion sickness.  Thankfully my doctor has prescribed me some wonderful scopalamine patches and these work very well.  Armed with a patch, I was ready to go.  Well, the patch and a little snack to settle my stomach.
Again, amazing weather.  I don't know what I did to deserve this.  Perfect weather almost the entire time I was in Australia.
The Manly Ferry goes between Circular Quay and Manly beach, which is just north.  The ferry is well known for it's amazing views as you cross from Sydney Harbor to Manly.

Not sure what this is, but it just popped up out of no where.
Great view of Sydney as we got further and further away.
On the ferry I was sitting next to a gentleman that had been living in Manly.  His suggestion to me was to get a map from the visitors center, and then when I got to the beach (the ferry lands bay side) go right instead of left.  Everyone goes left.  It is the big walk around all of the beaches.  He said if I go right I can find some nice little areas and get some really good views.  It was windy out, so I decided that this made more sense than walking all the way around all the beaches and then all the way back.

So that is what I did.  Welcome to Manly!

I headed towards the beach, walking down this shopping street with cute little buildings.

Here is Manly beach.  Some nice waves because of the wind.
I took the advice and turned right, headed around towards Shelly beach and park area.
These benches are placed just opposite of where I took the picture posted above.  Not a bad spot to stop and have a rest.
There is Shelly beach in the distance.

There was a manmade swimming pool here, but it was under construction.
Getting closer to Shelly beach.  There are some guys learning to scuba.
I loved these little sculptures all around the walk way.  It lets you get an idea of what wildlife can be found here.

You are here!  This gave me some information about the area.  It was a little more protected over here, which was nice because it helped block some of the wind.

Here I am at one of the look out points on the other side of the beach.
On my way back around I decided that this spot was the perfect place to enjoy my orange.
I stopped here and just gazed out, thinking about how lucky I am to be in this spot and able to travel all over.  It looked like a postcard!
Back over at Manly beach.
Of all the things to find!  Crazy! (I teach for Kaplan online)
I am not kidding, everyone seemed to be eating an ice cream.  I couldn't imagine why everyone had an ice cream from Royal Copenhagen, but there had to be a reason.
So I investigated.  It was pretty easy to figure out.  Homemade ice cream in fresh waffles cones that are dipped in chocolate at time of ordering.  Yep, that is why everyone was eating these.  I got the cookies and cream.  It was so good!
Taking my friends advice, I boarded the 5:15 ferry back to Sydney Harbour.  She told me to take this ferry to see the sunset.  I wasn't quite able to fully grasp what she meant until a few minutes after we departed Manly.  These pictures will say it all (although can't even compare to the real thing).

Amazing!  I have concluded that Mt. Fuji was my most amazing sunrise, and this was my most amazing sunset.  Unreal!
When I got off the ferry I decided to walk back to the hotel.  It was only about a 20 minute walk and the weather was nice.  I couldn't help but laugh about this.
When I first moved to Japan that was one thing that I couldn't seem to catch on to.  I always wanted to look the other way.  In Australia they drive on the left side of the road, so it is easy to want to look the same way you would in the US.

Here is a church I passed on my way back to the hotel
I nearly died when I saw this.  This is a chain restaurant that we have in Japan.  We have one at our local mall.  It's meat, so I don't eat there, but all my friends rave about this place.
This was also too cute not to take a picture of.
For dinner later that evening, I headed over to China town.  To the heart of China town, not just the outskirts where I was staying.

I settled on Nine Dragons, and really it was a hard choice, but this menu stood out to me.
I started off with some vegetarian egg rolls.  Not that I needed the fried food, but for some reason I was having a craving.
For my entree, I had the sweet and sour shrimp.
Of course I had some rice with this, but this serving was way to much, so I didn't eat it all.
On the way home I stopped in at this place called N2 Extreme Gelato.  Actually, I overheard a girl at the table next to me the night before telling her date about this crazy ice cream place, so when I accidentally stumbled into it, I knew I had to check it out.  I really wanted to take pictures, so I thought it was only fair that if I did that, I also buy something.
So, what's the idea here and why is this gelato extreme?  The ice cream is made to order.  Yes, to order.  How, you ask?  The fresh ingredients are added to a mixer and on high speed, while mixing, liquid nitrogen (dry ice) is poured in instantly freezing it into ice cream.  Insane, right?!?!
Here is the menu.  You can pick from these items, which are mostly pretty extreme and very unusual flavors.
You can see that it looks like a mad scientist is hard at work here.  The employees were lab coats!  Crazy!
This is my ice cream he is making now.
Look at that!
Within in moments I had a fresh made blueberry cheesecake ice cream.  Yum!  
Too bad I couldn't eat it all, but there was no way I was missing out on the chance to just give this place a try.
QUESTIONS:  Do you get motion sickness?  Have you ever heard of ice cream made this way?  What is your favorite Chinese food?

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