Writing to you as you know we’re considering Byron Bay as a place to hang our hat and we have just arrived after having only been in Australia 2 days. My thoughts? In short…Byron Bay is like Venice. Great shops. Cool vibe. Bigger than I thought it would be – reminds me of Sayulita, Aspen, Santa Barbara, Telluride. Young people. Lots of dreads. Beach area reminds me of La Jolla a bit. Traffic crazy. Every kind of notion and potion – herbal treatment – colonics – even gluten free sausage. Probably too buzzy for me, alas. Fun to visit – make no mistake, I would buy pretty much everything in the stores – caftan, boho chic – great great style. I probably HAVE half the stuff in the stores, already. Still – the word that kept coming to me was…unremarkable. Feels a bit like a lateral move.
Did look at the house that I have loved from afar – the one on the beach. And…it was pretty damn amazing. Turns out the realtor is American! Who knew? We had only emailed so didn’t know what to expect. A giggle she was one of ours. And from Ventura no less! Married a man from Hermosa and they came here 40 years ago to surf. She bought real estate right away for like $6000 and just sold one of her properties for $3 million. She’s a very interesting woman, and I liked her instantly.
This house is pretty incredible. Smaller than I expected but the moment you walk into the front door, all your eyes can see is the green grass and the ocean. Cosmetically, there were definitely a couple of issues, but my God! The grass lawn (communal with the neighbors, which I kind of really like) and a sandy path that puts you right on the best most beautiful beach in about 100 feet. Great for running. White sand. Dogs would go ape sh*t. Wild turkeys running across the lawn. Not in Kansas anymore!
But the answer to the burning question? Are there snakes in Byron Bay? Yes. There are snakes. You’ve got your brown snakes that can’t climb (the house is raised), but hang out in the flats around the garden beds (they lay their young in the mulch). Then you’ve got your tree snakes that will curl around the deck railing. And then – the best part – the pythons, who hibernate in your roof – specifically on the rafters above your ceiling and who have a tendency to just…drop. Particularly after they’ve been hibernating for the winter. As if they’re stoned. I’m sure the drop is as much of a surprise to them as it would be to anyone in the immediate vicinity. Heard many funny stories about the pythons. So much so that I have developed an affinity. And that’s saying something.
But the thing is…the snakes here don’t seem to be a big deal. Everyone’s seen them. They are no bother. Heaps of dogs and children playing around the houses. Snakes are smart about avoiding everything. A big non event. Still…I would keep the dogs on the huge expansive deck until I felt more comfy and Stu would put up an invisible fence so they stayed in the yard. But oh my god – they would love the beach. Plus – the wild turkeys eat the snake young – so we like them. I would pay good money to see Indi with a wild turkey. She’d run that thing to death – totally chase him off the property.
The bottom line, though, is that already we’re thinking we don’t have the mindset for Byron Bay. Stuie too, which I think, bums him out a bit. We thought it might ring our chimes right off the bat, but thus far, we’re luke warm. Which is what we ultimately, wanted to find out. Sydney is just so special. So much going on. Culture. Vibe. This feels like coming straight to Topanga. But it is exceptionally beautiful. And that house IS amazing. But could I be happy here? Or would I feel isolated. The big question.
We have houses to see tomorrow, which we will continue with. Have checked into this amazing place – The Byron at Byron Bay. The hotel is on 45 acres in the rainforest with beach and it is sooooo well done. Just stunning. Details and fitments so well thought out and in such good taste. That’s the thing with Australia. Their aesthetic is beyond reproach. The taste is really good. The food is fresh, inventive and healthy! They give the US a big run for the money in terms of sense of style and eco savvy.
Also happy to report that the nerves I was feeling so intensely (thinking I was going to have a heart attack on Wednesday) have gone. I’m relaxed and feeling at home in Australia. But of course, I know I will bottom out next week! But all of this has reaffirmed my faith in Sydney. I’m crazy about it. So much to offer. So beautiful. That’s definitely where I want to be.
Had lunch with Auntie Craig on Wednesday, but I was too out of body and totally freaked out to enjoy it. All felt really weird. However, I’m so better now and he’s roped me into trainee (as in transvestite) trivia night with the lady Chamonix (or something like that) on Wednesday nights. Seems to be a big deal here. Well, maybe not the trainee thing, but trivia nights for sure.
So…settling in. Still in la la land, no doubt. Looking forward to seeing the dogs on Tuesday and hoping they are more recovered. Cannot even fathom how unsettling being in a crate on a plane for 18 hours can be. Poor little guys. When we saw them yesterday, it was tough. They were so tired. Poor Stuart is crying. Just so worried. But they’ll be OK. Kind of a really interesting place, the quarantine station. Interesting vibe to it – way outside of Sydney. Laid out like a prison, complete with cell blocks.
Will visit again when we get back into Sydney on Tuesday.
Love you and more to follow…