Posted by David

After a few months in Asia, we really needed a place to just chill-out and relax in an English speaking country.  Australia was perfect.  We stayed in two different places near Sydney, Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach.  We visited with friends who included us in on all their activities, introduced us to their friends and treated us just like family. Thanks to Susan Banki, her husband Josh, and their daughter, Pepper (1.5 years) as well as her mother Judy Banki visiting from New York; Cindi Lefari, and her husband Gary Treanaman, and their kids Samara (9), and Ethan (7), and John and Susan McMahon, and their kids Rowen (9), and Sabrina (3).  You all really made the Australia experience happen for us.

 Here are some of our Sydney highlights

  • Ate meat pies with sauce (that’s ketchup to us)
  • Swam and body surfed in the Pacific
  • Rikki was stung by a blue bottle (jelly fish sort of creature)
  • Saw Circus – Oz (awesome and the third circus we’ve seen on this trip)
  • Enjoyed watching our friend Susan Banki doing stand-up comedy (on the topic of refugees which she somehow managed to make funny)
  • Hung out with Judy Banki (Susan’s mother) who is a fascinating 84 year old woman (and 1948 graduate of the University of Wisconsin) that helped convince the Vatican to stop teaching Catholics that the Jews killed Jesus Christ (this was included in Vatican II (see articles on “Nostra Aetate)
  • Went to the Torango Zoo – saw the kangaroos, wallabees and Tasmanian Devils.  Did not feel good about the kangaroo we had eaten earlier in the week.
  • Took the ferry across the Sydney Harbor
  • Had many views of the Sydney Opera House
  • Maya and Amy went to see the Picasso Exhibit
  • Went to Samara Treanaman’s nine year old birthday, at the beach of course
  • Saw our Australian friends that we met when we were in Sapa, Vietnam –  Katrina, Craig, Brooke, and Jade
  • David bought a used 29” big wheel unicycle to carry with us to New Zealand (and beyond?)
  • Ate great food cooked by friends and even had friends over to our place.
  • Got haircuts, went to the mall, and made several trips to the hardware store to fix the toilet of our small apartment

Here’s a little overview in pictures of our stay in Australia:

Cindi Lefari, Susan Banki, and Amy...friends from 20 years ago during their time together on Otzma in Israel. Cindi and Susan grew up together in New York where they went to the Bronx Academy of Science. Ironically, they live blocks apart in Sydney, Australia!

Playing at the beach and training for bungy jumping in New Zealand

Susan Banki, Josh McConnell, and Pepper. Susan is a professor at the University of Sydney, Josh is a rocket scientist turned corporate consultant, and Pepper is just plain cute. Incidentally, Josh was born in Skokie.

Eva doing some body surfing on Bondi Beach.

I couldn't get enough of the beach.

Amy, appearing Live at the Sydney Opera House!

Maya on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk.

Luna Park

The iconic Sydney Opera House.

What would Australia be without a Kangaroo sighting? This is not the one we had for dinner.

Samara and Ethan Treanaman teaching us some acrobatic yoga moves.

Playing with new friends.

John and Susan McMahon. Susan is from South Bend, Indiana and John is from Pittsburgh. They met at Notre Dame, lived in Chicago for a while, and then moved to Sydney where they've been for 14 years.

Celebrating Eva's 11th birthday at a Korean restaurant in Sydney with The Banki's (Susan and her mom Judy who was visiting from New York), and the Lefari/Treanaman family (Cindi, Gari, Samara, and Ethan)

David, Judy Banki, and John McMahon. Judy dated the lyricist Jerry Bock (most famous for writing the lyrics for all the songs in Fiddler on the Roof) when they were both students at University of Wisconsin in Madison!

Susan doing stand-up comedy. She and several other academics performed stand-up comedy routines about their individual disciplines as part of the Sydney Festival. Susan's jokes were about refugees (she somehow made it funny), an agronomist who joked about soil, and a few others who I can't really remember.

All in all it was a great couple of weeks and we got re-charged for a month driving around New Zealand in a camper.  Stay tuned for a post about some of the amazing things we have seen and done in our first week in Kiwi-land.

We love getting your comments on our blog…it helps us feel that you are all with us on this great adventure.

Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , | 17 Comments

Post navigation

17 thoughts on “Australia

  1. Looks fantastic !! Glad you are having such a good time.
    What are your NZ plans? I will be landing in Wellington on the 6th of March – will you already be gone by then?
    Best regards

    • We are leaving March 2. So sad we will be missing you. Wellington is a cool little town. Are you going anywhere else in NZ?

  2. Nison and Doreen

    Love your descriptive travelogue. We R vicariously enjoying THE GOLDMAN FAMILY experience
    thru your wonderful blog. Keep ’em coming.
    Love, N&D

  3. Cathy Smith

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! It sounds like an unbelievable and wonderful trip!

    Cathy Smith

  4. Marianne Bloomberg

    Love reading about all your adventures!! Best regards to all!

    Marianne Bloomberg

    • Thanks Marianne,
      Did I give you a hearty mazel tov yet on Allison’s bat mitzvah. Maya keeps me posted on events reported on facebook.

  5. Moshe and Rollie Frank

    Hi Guys, It’s probably too late but we’d love to give a big HELLO to Susan Banki, a very special person.We envy your time in New Zealand. It was our favorite place from the nature standpoint. We did the Milford Trail in the south island. Your trip sounds absolutely amazing. Keep those blogs coming. Moshe and Rollie

    • I will make sure that Susan gets the message. We did talk about you guys though. New Zealand is beautiful, we are in the glacier country right now. Amazing.
      Amy and David

  6. Sam Gun


    Maybe get a job as a writer/author upon your return? Love reading yours and your entire families blogs!! Enjoy!!

    Sam Gun

  7. esthet katz

    seems Otzma is a power all over the world…
    love Esther and Asaf

    • Yes, and Cindi’s Otzma adoptive family is actually living in Sydney now too. Her adoptive father is a sheliach for JNF there now. We got to meet them briefly as well. So, yes, Otzma is definitely a powerful link.
      When is Noa’s baby due?
      Miss you,

  8. susie weiner

    hope you told 9 yr old samara form aussie land– there another samara out there in CT we miss you so- love your posts-but enough about you all- we are having a non winter here- not good for me i love snow- eli is playing tons of gigs with his band every weekend- getting ready for tennis team– sounds so boring compared to the kangaroos- evie is dancing a tons and getting ready for her last year of camp- samara has gone to a couple a boy girl parties with spin eh bottle what up with that– i have a very funny 4 yr old class this year they watch way too much too old tv and are Sassy with a capital S- sometimes i tell them about your trip and show them on teh globe where you are — we had a great tu bshevat here plated lots of trees- everyone one of you looks sooo great in your pics we miss you so? love to all

    susie w

    evie just chimed in… are you going to ireland they have such cool accents- oh well

    • Of course Samara in Australia heard all about Samara in CT. What do the four year olds think of our trip? Miss you too!!

  9. Judy Mintz

    Hi Goldman’s,
    Love each and every one of your Blogs! It is so much fun to read all of your adventures and of course, Lisa and Scott’s too! Love seeing the pictures of the fam and all your friends new and old! Will have to tell Pepper about the “baby Pepper”!


    • We told Pepper that she was not the only Pepper we knew. Her parents gave her another name too, in case when she grew up and wanted to become a doctor, she wouldn’t need to be Dr. Pepper…Thanks for following us on our trip.

  10. We love reading your blog. I find it so amazing that you are reconnecting with so many people from your lives as you travel on the other side of the world. How many cycles are you up to now?

  11. Hey Suzanne….so far only two cycles! One folding bike and one big wheel unicycle but I have tons of bike pictures. Hope all is well. David

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: