Darling Harbor

On: Pretty & Cool III

by Donnie HAyden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Pretty & Cool or Pretty Cool Part III this

Ruby Slippers

Ruby Slippers

By the time you get this in the west around 10:00 AM there, it is around midnight of April 30th, and in just a few hours we will take a ride by car then catch a train to Sydney International Airport and we will be on our first flight back home, starting first with an overnight in Tokyo, Japan.

And the confusion or weirdness begins. For our long travel back from the future into the past begins. I am not looking forward to the long flights, time changes and the dreaded jet lag from passing back into yesterday, sixteen hours later when  we have already lived in your tomorrow. I’d love to click my heels three times and have it over.

As we leave The Land Down Under as many pronounce it here OZ-tralia, it does feel somewhat like we are not in “Kansas anymore,” like Dorothy said to Toto. Our time here has been wonderful, but as Dorothy also said to Toto…

"There's No Place Like Home!"

“There’s No Place Like Home!”

But until we get back to yesterday, today, it’s Pretty & Cool or Pretty Cool Part III! 🙂

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Realy Cool Real Plant Arrangement Three Sisters Mall Store at Echo Point, Blue Mountains, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

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Beautiful Fruit-Like Berry Blossom, Belgenny Farm, Camden Park Estate, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Blue Somewhere in Australia 🙂

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Pretty & Poisonous Toadstool under shrub at Entrance to Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Smiley Face Flower, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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A Bud, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Delicate Texture, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Black Swan, Indigenous to Australia, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Nature’s Fractals (Fern), Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of Nature’s Fractal (Fern), Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Blue-Red, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of Blue-Red, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Peacock, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of Peacock, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Pink Hibiscus, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Little Flowering Tree, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Lilly Pad Flower, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australia

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White Gardenia, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Beautiful Rose, The Memorial Rose Garden, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Susan, My Beautiful Rose in Front of Waterfall at, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Beautiful Rose Bud, The Rose Memorial Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Beautiful Lavender Rose, The Rose Memorial, Camden, NSW, Australia

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The Money Tree, in a Park Outside of Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Little, Lily Pad Pond, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australai

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Pretty-Cool Whatever it is, The Blue Mountains, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

Pretty Peaceful, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australia

Pretty Little, Lily Pad Pond, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australai

Pretty Peaceful II, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Austraila

Pretty Peaceful III, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Austraila

Pretty Peaceful III, The Chinese Friendship Garden, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Austraila

Categories: Australia, Australian Life, Belgenny Farm, Birds of Australia, Birds of Paradise, Blue Mountains, Darling Harbor, Family & Friends, Flowers, Harbor Bridge, Homeward Bound, Inspiration, Japan, Katoomba, Missing You, Plants & Cool Stuff from Australia, Sydney, Taronga Zoo, The Chinese Friendship Garden, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On: Pretty & Cool II

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Pretty & Cool or Pretty Cool Part II

By 10:00 AM in NY (eastern standard time) today,April 28, 2014 it is midnight of the next day here in Australia (April 29th. Hopefully, I am asleep, for when we arise, it’s packing day, for tomorrow morning we will be leaving the ‘Land Down Under,’ for Japan, and our trip home.

So I, like Tooter Turtle  will call upon Mr. Wizard the Lizard to get us safely home.

Tooter Turtle (sometimes spelled Tudor or Tutor) was a cartoon about a turtle that first appeared on TV in 1960, as a segment, along with The Hunter a detective dog, as part of the King Leonardo and His Short Subjects program. “Tooter Turtle” debuted on NBC, on Saturday, October 15, 1960, and ran for 39 original episodes through July 22, 1961. These episodes were later rerun as backups on other cartoon shows,[1] but no more original episodes were made.

The plots followed the same general format. Tooter (voiced by Allen Swift) calls on his friend Mr. Wizard the Lizard (voiced by Sandy Becker), an anthropomorphic lizard wearing wizard cone hat, robe, and pince-nez eyeglasses. Mr. Wizard lived in a tiny cardboard box at the base of a tall tree. The introductory segment had Tooter knocking on the cardboard box, having “another favor to ask.” From inside the box, Mr. Wizard would shrink Tooter small enough to enter through the box’s front door, and invite him in. Mr. Wizard has the magic to change Tooter’s life to some other destiny, usually sending him back in time and to various locales.

Mr. Wizard sending Tooter Turtle somewhere in the past, present or future

Mr. Wizard sending Tooter Turtle somewhere in the past, present or future

Tooter Turtle being brought back

Tooter Turtle being brought back

As Tooter is doing his destiny, Mr. Wizard narrates about it. When Tooter’s trip finally became a catastrophe, Tooter would request help with a cry of “Help me Mr. Wizard, I don’t want to be X any more!” where X was whatever destiny Tooter had entered. Mr. Wizard would then rescue Tooter with the incantation, “Twizzle, Twazzle, Twozzle, Twome; time for this one to come home.” Then, Mr. Wizard would always give Tooter the same advice:

“Be just what you is, not what you is not. Those that do this are the happiest lot.” 

Source, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooter_Turtle

Anyway, back to your present and ‘Pretty & Cool’ or Pretty Cool Part II

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A Pretty ibis in an habitat reserve nearby

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Bee & Lavender flower

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Butterfly and Lavendar

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Another Pretty, Belgenny Farm, Camden Estate Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Cool flowers, Belgenny Farm, Camden Estate Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of prety cool flower, Belgenny Farm, Camden Estate Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Pink, Belgenny Farm, Camden Estate Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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This pretty white flower looks like the tips of its petal were airbrushed pink., Belgenny Farm, Camden Estate Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Lime Tree, Belgenny Farm, Camden Estate Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of Limes, Belgenny Farm, Camden Estate Park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Ducks, Habitat & Reserve in park, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Cool Window Display, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Cool Advice, on street outside store, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Cool Display and sculpture made out of wood, inside store, Camden, NSW, Australia

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Beautiful delicate little fragrant flower, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

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Bee and Yellow Flower, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of Yellow Flower, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

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Pretty Pink Flowers on Fence Line, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of Pretty Pink Flowers, Katoomba, NSW, Australia

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Beautiful, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Closeup of Beautiful, Downtown Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Another Beautiful, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Categories: Australia, Australian Life, Belgenny Farm, Birds of Australia, Birds of Paradise, Blue Mountains, Camden, Darling Harbor, Family & Friends, Flowers, Harbor Bridge, Homeward Bound, Inspiration, Japan, Katoomba, Plants & Cool Stuff from Australia, Sydney, Taronga Zoo, The Chinese Friendship Garden, The Gathering Place, Travel, Uncategorized, Visual Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Sydney Opera House

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

Guhday Mates

Guhday Mates

Well, not even a year ago if you would have told me I would be in Australia, I would have been just as surprised then as I am now! Once the reality set in (whenever that was), one thing for sure I wanted to see here (besides grand baby Felix, his Mom & Dad and the animals of Australia) was the Sydney Opera House. I would have been glad, just to see it from the outside and with a further glad, to seeing it inside. I spent several hours on line at http://theoperahouseproject.com/ looking at a timeline of the making of this beautiful architecture. I invite you to click on the link above, do yourself a favor and do the same thing! It is interesting, informative and awe inspiring!!

Harbor Bridge

Harbor Bridge

Darling Harbor

Darling Harbor

Sydney Opera House sails

Sydney Opera House sails

WOW, were we in for a surprise! Surprise and excitement is really an understatement!!! Why? Well not only would we see outside and inside of ‘The House’ we were treated to a whole day downtown Sydney, a fabulous dinner of fresh oysters and on-and-on, and tickets to a live performance of the world-class Sydney Orchestra and choir! Did I mention or emphasize enough the word, “LIVE’?!”

SSO 2014 - Gladiator Image

DESCRIPTION:

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

Powerful, spine chilling and epic. Ridley Scott’s blockbuster, Gladiator, comes to Sydney for its world premiere, and the film score will be performed live in concert by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Lisa Gerrard.

The Sydney Opera House will transform into the Roman Coliseum as Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard’s sweeping and dramatic score, among the all-time favorites, is brought to life by a full symphony orchestra while the movie is played in high definition live on the giant screen above.

Gladiator, winner of five Academy Awards, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture follows loyal Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe – born in New Zealand, but now an Australian citizen), who is betrayed when the emperor’s ambitious son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), murders his father and seizes the throne. His family dead, and reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his emperor.

excerpt from: http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/gladiator_with_sso.aspx

soundtrack to: ‘Gladiator’

Now I have seen this movie a couple of times previously, but NEVER like this! There was an intermission where you could move about, get something to drink, go outside and etc., but OMG, by the start of the rest of the movie, I kind of got lost into the music itself and the vocals from the choir and the lead vocals from Lisa Gerrad that actually performed on the original soundtrack for the movie. The timing and the volume and the acoustics of the opera house were incredible!

Inside Sydney Opera House

Inside Sydney Opera House

The performance received and was much-well-deserved of a long, standing ovation! And by the way, the people of Australia generally and genuinely love to dress up when they go out. It was nice to see this!

Many years ago and even before my time, 🙂 the first movies were black and white and before the “talkies” (movies with sound), background music was performed by a sole pianist, some other musician, musicians or a small orchestra. Our experience at the Sydney Opera House was like a trip back in time. By this I mean, the old becoming new again. Obviously we cannot go to the movie, rent one or buy one and expect like “fries come with that,” to count on a live symphony and chorus to show up. But WOW, wouldn’t it be great if this was the common thing!

For me, I have never appreciated the importance of music in a film as much as I now do! And it was just beyond words to express my gratitude for this experience, for the incredible seats and to not only hear this music “live,” but to see the musicians as they played and the vocals as they were sung by such a world-class orchestra, choir and the vocalist that sung on the original soundtrack. All together, this was perhaps a lifetime experience being first in Australia, 2nd in this theater, 3rd to experience the movie/live music/visual display acoustics and to share this with my best friend and the love of my life! And I am thankful that Jonathan and Caitlin our ‘gifters,’ were here to join us and that they had some much needed time together. A big shout out to Wendy that took care of baby Felix, so they could enjoy date night! 🙂

I do apologize for some of the pictures above as they are not to my satisfaction. I have been having some difficulty with my camera recently. Also, the favorite digital media card for many professionals and me is compact flash. Unfortunately, it is a terrible design for downloading via a card reader to my computer. Before I left for our trip, I bought a new card reader so I could download my pictures to our laptop. Yesterday, the pins got bent and I had to get a new reader today. Today was raining so I spent it recouping my energy, and catching up with pictures and posts. I will need to address my camera with perhaps something new after we get home and I find some money or knock out all my teeth so the tooth fairy can visit me big time! 🙂

Sydney Opera House is a marvel of vision and construction. I believe I am correct in saying that each year, Sydney and Australia celebrate this icon in what is called, ‘The Lighting of the Sails.’  This year, the event starts on May 23 through June 9th, 2014. I would love to be here for this, but we will already be home. Each year it is different. I will close with a beautiful picture from http://vividlive.sydneyoperahouse.com/lighting-the-sails/?gclid=CO-Ph9Pixr0CFQUJvAodA7IAIg and two (2) YouTube videos, highlights from 2013 and 2012. If possible, crank up the volume and watch these FULL SCREEN! Enjoy! 🙂

Lighting the Sails

Lighting the Sails

‘Lighting the Sails’ 2013

‘Lighting the Sails’ 2012

Categories: Australia, Beauty, Darling Harbor, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fun, Harbor Bridge, Inspiration, Japan, Music, Sydney Opera House, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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