Its CogDog and friends night gathering at Almustafa, a fab Lebanese restaurant in Sydney
Leaving Sydney in style…
Actually the last night in Sydney was two nights ago… or tomorrow…. or I am #*&ing tired of trying to get time zones sorted out. It was more than a 24 hour travel journey from hotel in Sydney to LA to Phoenix and capped with a drive home to Strawberry.
But what a great time it was connecting with past and new colleagues and getting to see just a wee bit more of the grand Australian country (and cities). Twice as long in Australia would have felt like it was not nearly enough.
And Sydney is such a lively place, with our without the thousands of unexpected extra guests, though a few of my colleagues who live there refer to their living quarters as “grotty little moldy box hovels” (inside joke). I took maybe more photos in Sydney than anywhere else.
I was down under for two weeks for NMC related projects, primarily the Horizon.au meeting in Melbourne on the front end of the trip. The rest of the time was spent visiting other NMC members in Brisbane and Sydney with some needed R&R up in the Reef country north of Cairns.
And it was really not all that blogged, cause it gets, well tiring to try and write up so much, and taking photos is more rewarding. But I’ve got a string of things to back blog, so in true blog fashion, toss in reverse chronological order.
And for the last night, our colleague Angela Thomas had coordinated a casual meetup dinner at a great local spot, Almustafa, a Lebanese family style restaurant, which besides great food (the grape leaves were to do for, and I was popping the falafal like candy), erupted into loud music and belly dancing, and a number folks at our table were pulled onto the floor. I have some grainy video, but will hang on to it, thinking how I might feel if it were me in front of the camera.
So along with NMC colleagues Larry Johnson and Rachel Smith, larry’s wife, and Angela, also joining us were (oh, hoping the memory cells are working enough), Gary Hayes whom I’ve crossed in Second Life and blog space, a new colleague, social networking expert Laurel Papworth, my good friend, colleague and hiker Sean Fitzgerald (who looking to do something beyond ed-tech), media artist Kate Richards and Kerreen Ely-Harper (who is like a real star) who are working on an exciting SL project with us and Angela, Stephan Ridgeway who I met on my October trip (and who gifted me with sime great beer in giant bottles at dinner), Robyn Jay who I also get to know last year and was part of our Horizon.au board, the irrepressible and always active Alex Hayes, who was the wizard behind the curtain for my Sydney presentations in October 2007 and I think roped me into doing some future event, Illaria Vanni, a new colleague at UTS, Paula Williams whom I forgot how connected to our group but was fun to meet, Bronwyn Stuckey someone I have seen in other blogs and circles and was glad to finally meet in person, Anne Paterson who enthusiastically reminded me I met and forget her from my October speaking tour…and… and .. who the heck I am I missing?
Anyhow, what a great dinner it was, a bit hard to talk to everyone, but it seemed like a good time was had, especially for those that got a littler exercise on the dance floor.
It was perhaps not the wisest plan to have a last night party the night before needing to get up at dawn to race the pilgrims to the Sydney Airport, so my energy waned pretty quickly knowing what the travel day would include a parking lot jam in taxi getting to the airport, a long long check in line at Qantas, and the usual fun of being crammed up 12.5 hours in a confined economy class seat.
There’s more to back blog on the great Manly Scenic Walk (10k!), the projects we were working on with University of Sydney, the meetings we had at University of Queensland, and more of a recap of the Horizon.au meeting.
But I have a bit of jet lag to catch up on tomorrow (no to mention not having a crumb of food in the house or any clean clothes).
And as Arnold is prone to say, I shall be returning. To Australia! Ogs Pro bited!