Catching up with old friends at the Opera Bar. It's a completely outdoors and smack-dab on the harbour bar and restaurant behind the Sydney Opera House. The Harbour Bridge makes a stunning background.
Spending time with old friends in Sydney reminded me of something that is wonderful about my existence on this planet: I get to have more than one life.
Have you ever moved far from your hometown? To another state? Or another country? Have you ever moved some place where everything was new and mysterious and took you completely out of your comfort zone? Someplace where you live a completely different life than the one you lived before?
Thinking of all the different friends I have, I can pretty much sum up my life into three main categories: My life in America with friends from all over the country but mostly they are from Detroit, Chicago and L.A. And of course that includes my life in Miami where I have friends from all over the world. Another life is with my blogging buddies and Internet friends where, so far, I have only online friendships. And my Aussie friends and family where I lived a completely different, yet sometimes over-lapping life.
The first time La Diva saw the Wrigley building (across from the Chicago Tribune building) on the Chicago river, it took my breath away.
I remember the first day that I moved to Chicago from Detroit. I was 19 , had $200 cash in my pocket and I did not know one soul. Only the day before my father, at my insistence, had driven back to Detroit with my sister, tears in his eyes. The next day, my first day alone in Chicago, a determined La Diva put on her sassy dress and pumps and black lace gloves (it was the 80's!) and hopped on a train and went downtown. It was a hot summer day in July, very hot in fact, so I took off my gloves and put them into my purse. I was in downtown Chicago, young and without a care in the world. I had a brief Mary Tyler Moore moment and feeling free and independent, I twirled around looking up at the tall skyscrapers. I really was here!
I had walked by the famous Buckingham Fountain and made my way uptown and soon found myself in front of another fountain at the Chicago Tribune building. I stared into the cool water as I teetered on my heels along the edge of the fountain. I was thinking to myself: "Hmmm....I SO WANT to dunk my feet in the water but I have on hose. If I put my feet in with hose, they'll be wet all day. I can't take off hose in public.....I'm HOT. Hmmm...."
My thoughts were interrupted by a handsome man in a suit standing on the other side of the fountain.
La Diva looked up and laughed.
I walked over to him and coyly said, "Well tell me then, how does a hot girl get a cool drink in this town?" (Yes, I really said that.)
To a gal from a city that left it's glory days in the past, downtown Chicago in the summertime can be very magical.
He laughed and we walked, talking all the way, over to the Allerton Hotel where we stopped at the beautiful lobby bar for a drink. It was like a scene out of an old movie. We hung out until it was dark, talking and getting to know one another, and then headed over to see the Independence Day fireworks down by Buckingham Fountain. I stood in the fountain's spray, laughing and thinking what a wonderful day it had been.
Jesse was a banker that worked downtown and he ended up being my first boyfriend and a good guy to know for a young lady who had just moved to Chicago. He took me under his wing and out to fabulous restaurants and showed me all of the city's treasures. My new life, my SECOND life, in Chicago had just begun.
La Diva walking down the corso in Manly, a northern Sydney suburb, towards the beach in the morning.
It was 1993 and I remember waking up in Sydney, Australia the first morning after I had moved there. It was Saturday and La Diva thought that it would be a good day to head on over to Andersonville on North Clark street to Ann Sather's restaurant for nice breakfast of Swedish pancakes with lingonberries! But wait. Ann Sather's was in Chicago. And I realized I was in a completely new city in ANOTHER COUNTRY. It was frightening and exciting at the same time.
I remember in the first few years there, every where I went I would see doppelgangers of friends and people I'd known in Chicago. "Hey, there's Thom!" Oh wait, it can't be.... Sometimes I would get soo homesick for America. If I heard an American voice, I'd eagerly introduce myself just to talk to someone from "back home." But of course, when one pines for another place, it only keeps you sad so naturally I adjusted and adapted to my new life in Sydney. At the end of almost 10 years living there, La Diva was doing just fine.
View of the Sydney Opera House from the incoming ferry en route to Circular Quay. Taking the ferry to meet friends is such a nice way to travel!
Interestingly enough, many times my blogging buddies came to mind when I was in Sydney for this last trip, more so than other friends whom I'm close with. I was out eating Lebanese with some vegetarian friends and Boxer came to mind. "I wonder if she'd eaten Lebanese before?" I would see some fabulous shoes and think of Moi or gorgeous home design and think of Jill. The Gay Mardi Gras was on when I was in town and reminded me of Making Space and her journey. And naturally, many of my thoughts would drift to Shamu when I was cooking or shopping for some exquisite seafood and produce.
La Diva and DJ Nevah L8 in the pool with Biscayne Bay, Star Island and downtown Miami in the background.
I don't take my lives for granted and KNOW I'm one lucky Diva to get to live like this. I know having more than one great life is an experience not everyone can enjoy. I am hoping to add another life to my existence one day...perhaps in Europe? France or Italy? Maybe I'll end up in Istanbul? Or one day have a lovely little cottage on the coast in Opatija, Croatia? Who knows. If anyone had told me 10 years ago I'd be living in Florida, I'd say NO WAY. Yet, here I am.
What about you? Do you have that experience? Do you have another completely separate life in another part of the world? DO TELL, La Diva wants to hear ALL about it!Ciao, darlings!cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment