This weekend was supposed to revolve around giddy preparation for two things: 1. The arrival of my mom in Sydney on Nov. 1st and 2. The arrival of my dog to my apartment from quarantine on Nov 2nd. I say supposed to because the siren of the sea, sand, and sun grabbed my hand Saturday morning and gently pulled me away from my apartment and down to the beach. I was dutifully vacuuming and straightening up, plotting out my list of things to buy at Ikea or Target, when a text came in, “Heading down to the beach in half an hour, want to join?” I looked outside and saw cloudless blue skies, people in shorts and sunglasses walking the streets, eating at cafes, and migrating toward the ocean. I switched off the vacuum and changed into a bikini and flip flops, promising myself that tomorrow, I’d be sure to get everything done.

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And a short few minutes later, I was parked on the sand catching up with Annie and her boyfriend. It was a great beach day, heavy, hot sun but a cool and insistent breeze coming in off the ocean, taking the edge off the sun’s heat and fooling people into not reapplying sunscreen frequently enough. When they opted to go get lunch, I migrated farther north up the beach to meet up with a crew of American girls who also live in Bondi. We laid in the sand and girl-talked, relishing the feeling of the sun on our bodies (I was dutifully covered head to toe in SPF 50, don’t worry), and decided lunch sounded good. So off we went to the “grassy knoll” at the north end of the beach to barbecue up some burgers and drink some beers. Bondi, of course, was packed with people, and it was fun to people-watch, flirt with boys, and enjoy the sunshine with a cold beer in hand. I headed home to recharge for the evening deeply grateful that I can enjoy all of this whenever I want.

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The girls and I made plans to go see a band that night at Beach Rd. Hotel, an amazing bar literally two blocks from my house. I hadn’t known it existed until last weekend, but I’m glad I know! Two floors of fun, with pool tables and a stage upstairs for bands or DJs and a true pub downstairs for more casual drinking. We started at my house (the first time I’ve had people over, about time I guess!) with some cocktails and pizza, then walked over to the bar to dance off the calories. And dance we did! The band was awesome, playing everything from 80s power ballads to old 50s hits. I don’t know if there is AC or we just danced up a storm, but the four of us were sweaty when the band played their last song.

The next day was slightly overcast, which I was grateful for because it meant no more distractions from the important prep work I had ahead of me. My girlfriend picked me up and we headed to the megaplex that was Ikea so I could finalize my furniture collection once and for all. I can safely say that no matter what country you’re in, Ikea is Ikea; all yellow and blue and packed full of aggravated couples and screaming kids. With my final major purchases out of he way, I spent the rest of the afternoon assembling furniture (more like cursing at it and kicking it) and finishing up a couple remaining painting projects. I have to just get a BBQ, sort out the backyard and get a couple more things to make mom and pop a little more comfy, and I’ll finally be all moved in. And now that I’m nearly fully “nested,” all I’ll have to worry about for next several summer weekends is beach days and Bondi boys. Not a bad “To Do” list, if you ask me.