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My day did not get off to a good start. I made the mistake of hanging out and going slowly and having conversations, all of which was extremely nice. Until.

The extremely nice woman who cleans up after us knocked at the door. Christmas everything was still scattered all over the coffee table from yesterday. T. had just barely dragged himself out of bed. Brent, Syd, and T. chose that moment to all have breakfast at once, leaving me to rush around and pick things up, fold laundry, and the like so we could be out of Phai’s way. Brent pointed out that there was going to be an interruption in ferry service, so we had better get out the door to catch the next ferry or we wouldn’t make it to the beach.

Twenty minutes later, blood pressure nicely elevated, adrenaline coursing through my extremities, the kids and I got on the ferry. I calmed down, more or less, on the second leg of our ferry journey over a lunch of sausage roll and Pepsi (no Coke).

We found that all the things in Manly labeled Manly are funnier than they should be. You can take the Manly Ferry, the Manly Airport Shuttle, eat at a Manly café, have Manly ice cream, and even use the Manly women’s toilet. It is also pleasant to be there without trekking along the Manly Scenic Walkway, like we did last time.

We hung out at the beach for a while until it started to drizzle. The kids suddenly realized that they were hungry, so I fed them (Australian burger and onion rings for one, a similar veggie thing called The Hangover Cure for the other one). I should know better than to try to take a different route back to places. We ended up walking along some lovely wavy ocean beach with scary signs about currents that tend to become so affectionate to swimmers who visit them that they refuse to give them back until I consulted the blue dot to get us to a calmer beach close to the ferry.

Santa thoughtfully provided some balls that were fun to toss around. When I chose to sit down, the kids moved the game into the water and had even more fun.

And, so that this is not all prose, I offer this swimmer’s head emerging from the side of the Manly Surf Rescue Society (see, isn’t that funnier than just Surf Rescue Society?):

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