Thursday, August 7, 2008

THIS BLOG HAS BEEN MOVED

Loyal readers,

I've moved from blogger to typepad, for a few reasons. One is the flexibility and control over the blog, the layout, and the content. Another is the very Mac-like feeling of the typepad website and publishing tools (even if I do have to use Firefox to publish my posts… sigh). And finally, because typepad has a really cool iPhone app that lets me publish blog entries with MULTIPLE PHOTOS (gasp) and even to categorize them on post! I know, shocking.

Oh and it allowed me to do something I've been wanting to do for years on blogger… MERGE BLOGS! Yep, if you haven't found my other blog (I had one that was specifically about photography but has been quiet for quite some time), you'll see those posts now that they're all together in one big happy family.

So blogger comes to a close. Soon http://www.ConfessionsOfATravelJunkie.com will point to the new site, but in the meantime you can visit it at http://traveljunkie.typepad.com -- see you there!

RSS FEEDS -- I've had a question on this already; yes you'll have to re-sub to the RSS feeds, sorry. And if you do it now, you'll have to do it again when the proper domain parks on the new site. Sorry for the hassle folks… I don't know that there's any way around it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sushi at Shiki

I was hungering for sushi my first night, and Sydney has a reputation of great fish. Being Sunday many places were closed, but the concierge at the Westin pointed me to Shiki at The Rocks, a very cool shopping area by Sydney Cove. I'd been there already in the morning exploring the shops, so was excited to go back at night.

Shiki Japanese Restaurant

The atmosphere in The Rocks is very cool; young and trendy, but with a lot of history packed in. A fun mix of old and new, and a lively vibe even for a Sunday night. I found Shiki relatively easily, and while the restaurant was almost empty, it was beautiful inside, again combining a decór of classic Japanese with a modern edge. The sushi bar was clean and the chefs friendly, and the aquarium of snow crabs behind them was full. Almost too full actually; it was a bit depressing seeing all those crabs piled on top of eachother, barely moving, eyeing their bretherin getting masaccered in front of them. Hmm, on second thought, that's kinda wrong.

The sushi presentation was beautiful, and the fish looked great. However the Hamachi (yellowtail) didn't look or taste like Hamachi, and I even questioned the chef but he insisted it was. Hmm. I'm not convinced. Sake (salmon) was delicious, but he laid several pieces on top of a slice of lemon, and by the time I got to them, the lemon overpowered the fish. D'oh. Don't do that again please!

Beautiful presentation

The chef offered some fish that I'd never heard of (and never did quite get the name he repeated five times), which was tasty and unique, so that was a nice surprise. My closing selection, a salmon skin handroll, was nothing like what I'm used to and quite disappointing. The skin had almost no flavor, was overcooked, and there was no sweet sauce on it like I usually see. My sushi 'desert', wasn't.

When the bill came I had to send it back as it had $30 of food I didn't order; apparently he forgot to "clear the register". Um… seriously?
Shiki Japanese Restaurant
Clock Tower Square
Corner of Argyle & Harrington Streets
The Rocks 2000
www.shiki.com.au
+61 9252 2431


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rating: 3 feet
verdict: Good fish overall, but questionable Hamachi. The lemon slice under the Sake was just wrong. Great atmosphere, but overpriced. Some tasty chef selections. I'd be able to conditionally recommend it if it was half the cost. OK maybe 2/3; this is Sydney and the US dollar is weak.

G'day from down under!

My first time on this island… and besides a bum foot that's seriously limiting my walkabout capabilities, I did manage to walk around (probably a bit too much) the first day and second morning to see a few sites.

Syney Opera House and a P&O cruise ship just after sunrise

Sydney Opera House

Along the way I met a Yorti Yorta man; an Aboriginal man making his living in the city selling artwork. I bought from him a beautiful dotted painting of the Rainbow Serpent; the Creator.


Urrunga, a Yorti Yorta man

On the second morning, thanks to a jetlag-induced 5am wake-up, I made a run for sunrise to the other side of the Opera House, and due to road closures because of World Youth Day (someone should tell them to rename it to World Youth Week-and-a-half), I had to hoof it the last mile and came over the hill just as the sun kissed the fins of the Opera House. Pretty, but with a cloudless sky, not terribly interesting. I'm hoping for some more dynamic weather before I go (it is winter after all… can't you tell?!)

Sunrise from Mrs. Macquiries Point

This is a public photo gallery; (this same gallery is linked on all Australia posts)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

As seen at the ATM

I've never looked over my shoulder at the ATM as much as I did this morning!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Family Vacation, Lake Henshaw, Day 5

The last local diversion on our list was to explore Palomar Mountain, the largest mountain in San Diego county; the road to which was just a half-mile from our cabin. The road up is not to be missed, as it provides gorgeous views of Lake Henshaw and the valley around it, as well as sweeping vistas towards San Diego and beyond on the other side.

Vista of Lake Henshaw

Vista from the other side, looking towards San Diego and the Pacific

Near the top of the mountain is a state park, open for picnickers and day hikers. We clambered among the boulders and a sadly disproportionate number of cut and fallen trees until the heat became unbearable again, chasing us back down the mountain before noon. Back at the cabin after lunch we escaped to the pool to spend the rest of the hot afternoon underwater.

We ended our vacation and final night at Lake Henshaw with another fine dinner of fire-roasted hotdogs and s'mores, and spent the twilight hour walking around the mostly empty cabins (number 17 looks very nice, although it's missing the view of the lake), working off the sugar high brought on by entirely too many melted marshmallows, and enjoying our last evening together before parting ways again.

This is a private photo gallery; please email me for the login and password (same gallery linked on all Family Vacation posts)