Oh, oh, we screwed up again!….Photos from the Sydney Opera House…

There are many interesting dining spots with exquisite views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge along the walk to the Sydney Opera House.

After all these years of meticulously planning our travels, we’ve screwed up once again; once for our current dreadful immigration status in Australia and again, my error only, on the night we’d booked tickets for the Sydney Opera House…I failed in carefully reading our ticket confirmation to discover it was on Sunday night, not Saturday.

This was Tom before he knew we’d arrived to the opera on the wrong date. The ship in the background is the Emerald Princess, a line we’ve never experienced.

I’d booked the tickets last April receiving an online confirmation which I’d copied and pasted into my online calendar placing it under Saturday, not Sunday.  If I’d reviewed it carefully lately, as I should have, it would have been easy to determine the tickets were for Sunday night (tonight), not last night.

The Opera Quay building along the walk.

Off we went with Bob dropping us at the Manly Ferry in the pouring rain with umbrella and parkas keeping us relatively dry.  We waiting for 15 minutes for the ferry and boarded for the 30 minute ride in rough waters due to the stormy conditions.

As we approached the Sydney Opera House we noticed almost everyone had a camera or phone in hand.

Upon arrival at Circular Quay in Sydney, the sun had peeked out and we walked for 20 minutes on the esplanade along the bay to the opera house.  Climbing the zillions of steps to the entrance, we found our way to the ticket office where our tickets were awaiting us.

There’s no doubt that after dark, these tables will be filled with diners.

Alas, we were informed the opera for which we’d purchased tickets didn’t occur until today.  We were one day early.  Oh, my.  Mr. Overly Grumpy reared his ugly head for about 10 minutes while I racked my brain as to how I could possibly make such an error. 

Bennelong Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens is located next to the Sydney Opera House.

I could have made all the excuses in the world such as not feeling quite well yet, the immigration thing, the missing package from the US, and my sister’s recent possibility of recurring cancer (a scare, after all) that kept my brain flooded with worries during the recent cruise and since our arrival one week ago.

I was dressed to warm for ths humid weather.

But excuses always fail me.  I tend to leave them in the dust instead simply admitting my mistake and cheerfully, in my usual “overly bubbly” manner, move on.  Mr. Grumpy was having none of that.  For 10 minutes, he was rather annoying. 

Visitors sitting on the steps of the Sydney Opera House enjoying the view.

Suddenly, I suggested we make it fun that we were already in Sydney and enjoy the amazing area and views of the bay, Circular Quay, the Opera House and the people watching.  “How about it we go to dinner, have a drink, smile and have a good time?” I asked.  He was game.

Moments later we were seated in a lovely restaurant, Searock Grill, with mouth watering smells wafting through the air, ordering a beer for Tom and a wine for me, while the mood became uplifting and cheerful.  After all, this was no big deal in the realm of things.

Grilled chicken salad with tomatoes, radishes and sprouts with a side or garlic aoili.

I apologized for my error.  Tom apologized for being “overly grumpy” and we ended up having a great time.  Today, we’ll return to the Manly Ferry to give it another try.  This time, we’ll take the local bus to the ferry since Bob isn’t available. 

Tom’s double filet fish and chips. He ordered ketchup on the side for the chips.

We plan to dine early again, before the 5 pm opera, since its less crowded in the restaurants and lately, with my condition, dining earlier rather than later seems to serve me well with less discomfort into the evening. 

Tom’s beer, Great Northern Brewing Co. was named the same as one of the predecessor railroads he worked for many moons ago.

Oddly enough, we’d like to return to the same restaurant today after we’d read menus for every restaurant along the esplanade.  Yesterday’s restaurant,  was  easily able to accommodate my diet with a delicious grilled chicken salad along with with a satisfying plate of fish and chips for Tom, photos of which are included here today.

Ferry arriving at the wharf.  There’s a constant flow of ferries heading to and fro many areas around the bay.

Based on the early arrival time, we were allowed the benefit of the lunch menu pricing and our total bill with one glass of beer, one glass of wine and our two meals totaled AU $50.60, US $38.92!  The same items were priced about 40% higher after 5 pm.  That works for us!

This is the pier where we boarded our past six cruises with hopefully, one more to go with  immigration situation hopefully resolved.

After dinner we enjoyed the leisurely walk back to Wharf #3 where with only a short wait for the next ferry. Back at our cozy house in Fairlight, we settled in for the remainder of the evening, watched a few shows and dozed off by 11 pm.

Happy face back on…

We’ll be back tomorrow with the results of our second foray to the Sydney Opera House, hopefully getting it right this time!

Happy day!

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Photo from one year ago today, March 19, 2016:

The beach in Opunake, New Zealand, one year ago.  We’ve experienced plenty of rainy weather in our world travels.  But, we try to take it in stride and make the best of it.  As indicated in today’s post bad weather doesn’t prevent us from planned activities, although we may not venture out if our plans are open.  For more details, please click here.

Part 2…What does it cost to own and maintain a gorgeous vacation villa in Sumbersari, Bali? Photos, pricing and expenses!

View from the second story veranda of the new villa currently offered for sale.

 “Sightings on the Beach in Bali”


Fisherman near the shore fishing with nets.

Today, we’re excited to continue sharing the final photos and expenses for Gede and Egon’s new villa down the road from our villa in Sumbersari, Bali.  To reach Gede with any additional questions please contact him by email at:  gedesiska@gmail.com

Living room on second level.

As mentioned in yesterday’s Part 1 of this two part post, today we’re including estimated expenses for owning this villa, comparable to expenses owners may incur for similar villas in this area.  This totals are subject to change based on individual use of services and utilities.  

Upper level living room in new villa.

As indicated in yesterday’s post, the asking price for this particular villa is IDR 3,616,896,723, EU 249,000, US $279,017.

Credenza, wiring and space for TV and audio equipment in upper level living room

Estimated monthly expenses for the following:
IDR 3,000,000, US $230, EU 205:  Household staff of two, including one cook/cleaner and landscape/pool maintenance staff member.
IDR 2,000,000, US $153, EU 137:  Electricity, well water, bottled gas for stove.
IDR 6,000,000, US $460, EU 411:  Internet, satellite (TV) services.

Estimate annual expense
IDR 200,000, US $15,  EU $14:  Annual property tax (This is not a typo.  Property taxes are paid at the time of the purchase of vacant land).

Estimated income for vacation/holiday rental (per night)
IDR 2,000,000, US $153, EU 137 (a 5% governmental rental tax is payable).

Outdoor dining area in villa’s upper level.

A prospective buyer must be prepared to either pay cash for the purchase of property in Indonesia or arrange for financing outside of Indonesia.  No mortgage funds are available for foreigners unless its under special circumstances.

Bean bag chairs for lounging on the second story veranda.

For those seeking an affordable vacation home in a beautiful, peaceful and safe location, this villa may be worth considering. One can only imagine the excitement and pleasure of owning such a property in this lovely area.

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Master bedroom on second story with en suite bathroom.

As an aside, we’d like to thank and give kudos to our mailing service, MailLinkPlus in Nevada.  Eric, our loyal and diligent representative at the company, has proven to manage all of our packages and snail mail with the utmost of confidentiality, attention to detail and professionalism. 

En suite master bath with double sinks, huge shower with tile, stone and wood finishes.

Often responsible for opening certain confidential pieces of mail to scan and email to us, plus sorting and securing all mail until we request a shipment and then, the eventual packing and shipping of items we’d like to receive in any given country, the service has been impeccable.

Alternate view from second level.  Java is located at the horizon.

With this month, the four year anniversary of our annual contract with MailLinkPlus, we want to thank Eric and his staff for handling our snail mail with the utmost of integrity.  Today, he shipped a large box of supplies to us here in Bali which we expect to arrive within a few weeks, in ample time before our departure from the villa on the 29th. 

The cost for the shipping via USPS was US $181, IDR 2,358,701.  I asked about insuring the package but Eric recommended we do not insure it to reduce the risk of theft.  Had we insured it, the likelihood of being able to collect the insurance would have been a time consuming and difficult process, not worth the contents. 

Pool view from second story.

We sit back and keep our fingers crossed it will arrive safely and in time.  Most likely, the contents will be checked upon arrival and we’ll be subject to paying customs fee.  Gede explained this can be negotiated at the time.  We shall see and report the results here at the time.

As for what’s transpiring otherwise, we’re doing very well.  The Minnesota Vikings won yesterday’s football game.  Tom was thrilled.  They’re 4-0 since the regular season began, weeks ago and we’re optimistic for the remainder of the season. 

View toward the security/common party building located to the right of the paved narrow path to the beach.

With only two more games until we board the ship on October 31st, we’re hoping for a strong enough signal on the ship’s new Wi-Fi system, ZOOM, to be able to stream the game using the NFL’s GamePass app which Tom’s purchases annually. 

Today, sunny and hopefully a little less humid, we’ll spend most of the day outdoors.  Its rained quite a bit these past days since our return from Lovina but part of each day has been clear. 

Exterior view of the entrance to the villa.

Tonight, we anticipate one of our favorite meals perfectly orchestrated by our two excellent cooks, Ketut and Ketut.  Once again they’ll prepare the spicy Balinese chicken in a sugar and starch free sauce along with a big bowl of locally grown sautéed spicy organic vegetables.  Tom will have coleslaw and white rice as side dishes while I stick to the main course of chicken and veggies.

May your taste buds soar over a tasty meal and may your day be bright and sunny!

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Photo from one year ago today, October 5, 2015:

Seeing Vanua’s Levu Blue Lagoon in Fiji was pure pleasure.  The color was breathtaking.  For our story on local culture, please click here.