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  1. So Much To Do, So Little Time

    We’re in Florida hanging with friends who are more like family… if our family was a bit dysfunctional. (I know she’ll object to that statement, but all I’m going to do is mention “frogs”… and I rest my case.)

    A year and a half of multiple longings have been quenched since we got here. We’ve had Chick’n Minis for breakfast two days in a row. We’ve had numerous Starbucks coffees. (Not the greatest coffee in the world, no. But it’s like a comfort beverage to me.)

    Another highlight was going to Anthropologie, a favourite of mine since forever. I got a frame, a little bird thingie, and an apron.

    Tomorrow we might even get to see NASA’s rocket launch depending what’s happening. Cool, eh?

    Posted in Exploring.

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  2. Things I Have Done in America

    ♥ Seen my family.
    ♥ Eaten at Baja Fresh, McDonald’s (the new Southern chicken sandwich is their answer to Chik-fil-A, yum!) and Pizza Ranch.
    ♥ Seen Up… twice. (It comes out in AU in September.)
    ♥ Shopped at Super Target, and super it was. Overwhelmed by all the selections. We may have jumpstarted the economy with all our purchases.
    ♥ Bought Advil by the hundreds. (They only come in packets up to 20 in AU, not in bottles of 150.)
    ♥ Plugged in appliances without having to check if the outlet was on.
    ♥ Drank Dr. Pepper and root beer!
    ♥ Walked home from the movies at 9:30pm while the sun was still setting.

    The Trip
    We left our house at 8:30 on Friday morning. We flew via Auckland to LA with a fair amount of turbulence. It was nice to know that when you’re sleeping, you just sort of rock with it. It’s much less alarming than when you’re awake and gripping the armrests with white knuckles.

    We were delayed in LA due to thunderstorms in Denver. And then we were delayed again there, because our plane had a mechanical problem they wanted to double-check. Yes, please go ahead and take your time quadruple-checking that, thanks. By the time we got to the hotel in Omaha, I believe we had been gone for 36 hours. Blergh!

    I’ve had jetlag worse than ever before. I’m not sleeping at night and feel like poo all day. Tonight I’m taking a sleeping pill if I’m not down in an hour.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  3. Oh Honey Mustard

    I’ve been a member of Vibe Village for almost a year now. In that time I’ve tried some fun products, but last weekend I got to host a party that featured some Masterfoods Family Favourites sauces with a bonus Glade Scented Oil Candle.

    We had Tuscan Meatballs, Honey Mustard Chicken, Beef Stroganoff & Cheesy Potato Bake, and they were all pretty darn good. I’ve never met a potato bake I didn’t like, so that was a given. But my favourite was definitely the Honey Mustard Chicken. The recipe on the packet was SO EASY and would be something I could throw together after work. It only requires chicken cutlets, sliced mushrooms, 100 ml pouring cream, and the sauce base. Yum.

    Anyway, I took some photos of the night and thought I’d upload them as I’m clearing off my memory sticks.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  4. Money, Money, Money… Must Be Funny

    Last night we pulled out The Money Drawer. We throw all of our loose change into a drawer at the end of the day. We’ve been accumulating for years, only taking out the gold coins when we’re desperate. I’ve been worried about losing the bottom of the drawer, because it was so heavy it could hardly be pulled out anymore.

    Coin Drawer
    At our bank, they want you to count out the coins and put them into bags before you bring them in. So we watched Wipeout and sorted coins until we ran out of bags. What you see below is $1000 in $1, $2 or 50¢ coins. One THOUSAND dollars. In CHANGE. That was sitting in a drawer in our house.

    $1000 in Coins
    And that’s not even all of it. We have a ton more $1 coins. And then there’s all of the 20¢, 10¢, & 5¢ coins to go. I’d bet there’s at least another $500 at least. I feel a bit like someone with a mattress full of cash, but it’s a nice little stash to deposit right before we go on holidays!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  5. Queens Park on Queen’s Birthday

    After reading about all the get-togethers of the Sydney American Expats, I thought I should mention that we’ve got a few in Brisbane, and we know how to have fun too! So today we had three Americans and a Kiwi celebrating the Queen’s Birthday at Queens Park.

    We joined Brisbane-newcomers Nat & Chrissi at the Nature Centre to have a stroll through the animal enclosures. I must say that the more times I visit, the more I’m starting to love those ugly emus.

    Emuuu
    We had afternoon tea at the cafe and saw the resident cockatoo Cocky. He can dance and say “scratch my head”, and he made a friend in Chrissi when she did just that. I believe I snapped this photo just before he attacked my camera and gave me a fright.

    Cocky
    It was a beautiful day and lots of fun hanging with some American peeps who share a lot in common with us. We leave Friday on a mission to partake in white cheese dip in remembrance of them.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  6. Through the Looking Glass

    This past weekend after launching a new CD on Thursday night, we took off for a little anniversary getaway. We headed up the coast on Friday and spent three nights at Glass on Glasshouse. I found that place when looking for accommodation over Easter break and thought it would make a good romantic destination. It really was perfect.

    The place is ultra-modern and two full walls are glass. (Do not worry, there are blinds.) Polished wood floors, leather lounge, huge spa bath, king-size bed, media system, and views to blow your mind.

    There was a covered porch with a dining table and electric grill. Below is the view coming down the path towards the “pod”.

    Outside

    Just inside is the living room. We watched both “Bridget Jones” movies and then the Lord of the Rings trilogy — director’s cuts. Eeeep! The couch had a fold out bed, which we pulled out a couple of the nights when it was getting hard to sit and keep watching.

    Living Room

    There was a small desk where Hanslset up for a while. He was doing music, and I was on the couch backing up all my photos. Aren’t we the geeky couple? But I don’t know how he got any work done with a view like that. (And yes, Manda, those are my Spongebob slippers in the bag.)

    Desk
    Next to the television was the ethanol fireplace which was double-sided and could also be seen through a glass panel from the spa.

    Fireplace
    The giant spa bath filled from the ceiling. It seemed like a really cool and romantic idea, but to prevent it from splashing all over the whole room, it couldn’t be on much more than a dribble until it was half-full.

    Waterfall
    Also modern and cool was the bathroom sink with water coming out of the mirror. It looked so zen, but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, it was a bit gross while brushing teeth. I don’t particularly enjoy watching my spittle traveling across the porcelain square into the moat at the front and floating around to the drain in back.

    Sink
    Comfortable bed and more great views. Several kangaroos would tend to hang out outside the windows on this side. The last night we slept with the blinds open and woke up to the glorious sunshine.

    Bedroom
    I drew a quick, not-exactly-do-scale floorplan one afternoon while we were there. You can click through to flickr to see the notes explaining what each area is.

    floorplan
    I took along my anniversary flower that I got on Wednesday, because I wanted to enjoy it while it was still in its prime. I had it setting on the edge of the spa so that I could see it from the sofa. One morning we had the blinds down while we watched movies, but the sunlight came through one crack and made the flower glow. I didn’t even notice the reflection until after I looked back at the photos.

    Gerbera
    Other highlights from the trip:
    ♥ Italian pasta lunch on Saturday at the fabulous discovery Cappriccio’s in Maleny. (We even tried to go back to try the pizza on Monday before we left the area, but unfortunately they were closed. We’ll be back!)

    ♥ Going for a Sunday bushwalk on the Glass House Mountain Lookout Track.

    ♥ Spending several hours strolling through Maleny on Monday before we came back home. My souvenir was a silk pillowcase from Maleny Additions. (Three days later my skin and hair are instant perfection… well, maybe not yet.)

    ** Check out cool ethanol fireplaces at Amazon.

    Posted in Exploring.

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