My cousin Ian and his wife Jenny live in Mosman, a suburb of Sydney which is in state of New South Wales (NSW), which is over the Harbor Bridge on the “North side” as it is called. The area is lovely (even in the pouring rain) and reminds me of a combination between Laguna Beach in southern California and well, England. I don’t know why I say England except it could be a combination of the homes and shops and how they are set up in small villages, as well as the fact that my cousin is here and I’ve pretty much always seen him in England except when he is in the States for a visit. But seriously — it is the beauty of Laguna Beach without the threat of mudslides and fires. Lots and lots of greenery and hills by the coast and it is just lovely.

Previously before Ian and Jen moved to Mosman they had an apartment down by the harbor on “South Side”. Ian’s job with Red Bull placed him in a harbor community that shared accommodations with a Mr. Russell Crowe. Unfortunately during the time of their residence near the harbor, Mr. Crowe was in England filming the new Robin Hood film and was not available to be the neighborly type and bring over a pie or bottle of wine to welcome Ian and Jenny to the neighborhood. What a shame, indeed. In the need to escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney, they moved to North side (the north side over the Sydney bridge) and have rented an apartment to also accommodate the influx of family and friends descending from our trip onwards through the end of their 2+ year assignment. The apartment is modern, lovely with all of the “mod-cons” (modern conveniences) of home including a rooftop terrace with a peek-a-boo view of a harbor. We are fortunate, indeed.

So after a big catching up and getting a bit settled in, we were off to grab some lunch. In reference to the tie-in to England, Ian and Jen took us to The Lord Dudley in Woollahra. Full disclosure: The Lord Dudley is an authentic English pub — right down to the fireplace, wood benches, tables and the food. English pubs are known for their fine English food: fish and chips, meat pies, and more and more international food including Indian and good American fare. This isn’t bar food, this is proper English/French (with a little) Indian cooking and a regular of all Brits on a Sunday lunchtime with family. This is home to me. And that is probably why I referenced England in my last post. Yes, surreal indeed. 3 of us had a meat/guinness pie and it was truly amazing. Every bit of it… and definitely helped me sleep that evening through most of the night. Right now jet lag seems to have missed me, but from my trips to Beijing, I know that Day Three will be a killer.