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Tag Archives: traveling

  1. Music City

    We made it to Nashville after a week-long roadtrip via Des Moines, Iowa City, and Indianapolis. It has been weird making it a leisurely drive. Normally, I would have been on a mission to get from one home to the other and would only stop for gas. Now we have the liberty to pull over and see anything that piques our interest. It’s good.

    I’ve got so many photos to upload, but I don’t think that will happen until we get back to AU. Eeep. I should have brought my own laptop along.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Camera Bag Tips, Anyone?

    I’m already thinking about packing for America and trying to decide how many of our gadgets need to come with us. I’m obviously bringing my camera, but the thing I don’t love about it is that the bag is big and bulky. It seems ridiculous to pack the whole bag inside my carry-on… but I’m going to need more than a camera bag to carry on with me.

    I need a camera bag that can double as a purse. No. What I really want is a purse that can double as a camera bag. Can anybody help me out?

    Must hold camera body, medium size lens (preferably attached), small external flash, cords for charging & connecting, extra disks and lens cleaner, etc. Must also fit make-up bag, wallet, travel papers, and other purse-like items.

    I’ve been looking at Crumpler, because I’ve wanted one for a while, but the only one that seems like it’s along the line is the Brazillion Dollar Home. But is that too honking big to lug around? I don’t know.

    Other cute bags…
    Acme Bowler Bag… adorable, but no spare room.

    Jill-E… well I don’t super love this one. It’s a bit “nashville soccer mom” to me, but I like the polka-dot inside. But again… where do I put the rest of my stuff?

    ♥ Or maybe I should just make my own, like this person.

    Posted in Exploring, Inspired.

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  5. February Photos

    I got partway through one of the days that we were in Albany last year with my aunt & uncle and parents.

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  6. Refreshed

    If anyone missed my tweets, since I didn’t really update here, we went on a bit of a retreat last weekend. We spent three nights up at this really great spot a couple hours from here. No internet. No television. Just us in a little chalet with the rain and an air conditioner. Oh, and they had a cute little pond with a rowboat.

    row boat on the lake

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  7. Out and About

    The in-laws have a Dutch backpacker staying with them at the moment. She’s cutting her trip short and is going back to Europe soon. So we told her we’d take her out to somewhere that she still wanted to visit on the weekend. Looks like we’re off to Byron Bay. My first time! Should be lovely if the thunderstorms stay away.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  8. Australian Icon

    Our flight path to Perth went right past Uluru. It was pretty amazing to see, even from that distance. I am hoping that we get there someday.

    Uluru

    ** Check out Seeking the Centre: The Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film at Amazon.

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  9. West Coast and Back

    With sunrises like this, can you see why I didn’t want to leave?

    Harbour Sunrise

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  10. Back from the Bunyas

    We’ve been busy.
    We’re tired.
    But we are having a great time.

    Australian flower

    Wallaby

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  11. Roadtrip!

    In an effort to raise my comfort level behind the wheel, we decided to take a little roadtrip today to a few more miles (kilometers) under my belt. We headed West and ended up in Laidley. I’m too tired to write about our adventures at the moment, but after today, I have a renewed love for Australian scenery.

    Cunningham's Lookout

    Posted in Creative, Exploring, Photographing.

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  12. The Mountains Win Again

    Good Friday and “Easter Monday” are both public holidays here. So we took off for a little place I found on the internet with Dan & Lisa. The destination was a surprise for them, so I wanted to be creative with how to guide them up there. Because it looked like the place had an Eastern feel to it, I put each stage of the directions on a little slip of paper with a quote about relaxation on the back. And then I put each paper into a fortune cookie that I made myself. I made fortune cookies, people. It was pretty darn easy too; I highly recommend giving that recipe a try. They were tasty as well.

    The house we stayed in was just perfect. Lots of verandah space to look out over the view. We played cards and watched movies and cooked tons of food. I even took a swim in the saltwater pool yesterday… unheard of!

    On Saturday, we went up to Montville for lunch. We also had to look in all the cute shops, and we couldn’t go away without buying some fudge.

    Then we made a quick stopover at the Little Morgue Winery. It may not have met expectations from a decor standpoint, but the owner is such a delightful character. It was worth a visit just to meet him. We took home bottles of Eternal Flame, Rest in Peace, Supreme After Life, & Redomortis.

    Since we were in the area, I finally got to experience the legendary Big Pineapple. It seems everyone in Brisbane visited the Big Pineapple at some point in their youth. Sadly, it seems to be better left in hazy memory and faded photo albums, as today it is just a stinky (seriously smelled like urine), fiberglass pineapple with dusty displays of how the pineapple plantation works.

    We did get parfaits at the restaurant. (Even they didn’t stand up to Hans’s memory.) But I had a pineapple parfait, as I felt any other fruit just wouldn’t be appropriate. The pineapple was really nice, but I could have given or taken the rest.

    And now we’re home. The cat seems relieved. The chicken has doubled in size. The laundry is overflowing. And Erin is STILL with child. (Though one could argue that they’ll be “with child” for another 18ish years, but I meant that in the “overly pregnant” sort of way.) Now I’ve got some LOTRO to do.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  13. Updates: In List Form

    • We had a lovely time in Sydney… for the most part. The hotel and service (or lack thereof rather) were pretty sucky and will be the subject of a strongly worded letter to the Powers That Be. But beyond that, it was a great time. I’m in love with a little French patisserie and would go back just for it.
    • I didn’t know that Bono knows Tash, but it has to be true. At least I’m pretty sure that “Sweetest Thing” song refers to her and her abundance of sweetness.
    • I now have Red Hots and Excedrin and a whole bag of other treatsies. (see above)
    • We were on a plane with some of the crew and potentially some band members on The Killers tour. I would have no idea what the band members look like though.
    • And speaking of killers, as of Monday, I no longer believe that we could survive The Amazing Race without killing each other. (OMG, how awesome are Kynt & Vyxsin??)
    • Tommy hasn’t posted a word count in a while. GO TOMMY, GO!
    • I have a Neutral American Accent. “You’re not Northern, Southern, or Western, you’re just plain -American-. Your national identity is more important than your local identity, because you don’t really have a local identity. You might be from the region in that map, which is defined by this kind of accent, but you could easily not be. Or maybe you just moved around a lot growing up.” I find that my Southern accent comes out more now than when I lived there though.
    • More when I’ve had additional coffee.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  14. Packing Panic

    We leave the house in 8.5 hours. I’m not packed yet. Typical.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  15. Less Than a Week

    Other than that, I’m just looking forward to our trip to Sydney next weekend. Our week is a bit busy with a wrap party on Thursday for a show our company was working on, and a few other evening commitments. Hopefully Saturday won’t creep up on me before I get some laundry done!

    I’m trying to put together a list of agenda options, but it sounds like we might be catching the ferry to Taronga Zoo. (I just want to see these little guys. Oh. Em. Gee. Too CUTE!) I’m sure there will be an obligatory stop somewhere near the opera house, but I don’t know if I feel the need to do a tour. The Museum of Contemporary Art is near our hotel too, so maybe that would be a good afternoon stop. I think we’ll also have to take the cousins to Wildlife World to get the true Aussie animal experience.

    Any other recommendations from anyone?

    ** Going to Sydney? Check out Lonely Planet: Sydney Encounter at Amazon.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  16. Cousins are Coming

    Relations will be on Australian soil Thursday night, spending one night before leaving on their cruise. In the meantime, I am booking flights to Sydney so we can spend a couple days with them after they dock and before they go back to Texas. Wanting to be at the same hotel, it looks like we might be staying here. Love it!

    Posted in Exploring.

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  17. Veni Vidi Vino

    Of course, last weekend was our Berry to Bottle Wine Appreciation day at Kooroomba Vineyard down south in the shire of Boonah. (A shire! I know!) It was such a lovely day. We had a tour of the vineyard. Had a gorgeous lunch. We were seated by the afternoon speaker, winemaker Dylan Rhymer, who indulged us by answering all our wine questions in between bites. Then after a walk around the lavender field, we came back to learn about wine tasting. I think we’re officially wine snobs now.

    It was fun. And we had a good time trying to really describe the smells of the wines. I know I used “freshly mowed lawn” and “dry-erase marker” at least once. Okay, so we might not have it down to a science yet.

    I’ll upload some photos soon.

    ** Check out this Wine Enthusiast Complete Wine Tasting and Aroma Kit at Amazon. It has scent bottles just like Luc in French Kiss!

    Posted in Cooking, Exploring.

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  18. Family Down Under

    The biggest pick-me-up came last weekend in the form of an email from my mom telling me that my cousins from Texas are coming down for a cruise around New Zealand at the end of this month. And they purposefully were planning a couple days at the end of their trip in Sydney with the hopes of seeing us. Problem being that Sydney and Brisbane are like my hometown and Nashville — we’re talking a 15-hour drive here. But Hans has said that we can fly down to spend a weekend with them. (And I am SO excited.)

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  19. Confessions
    ♥ I love Tuesday nights, because Time Team is on. I secretly thought I wanted to go into archaeology at one point in my life and even took a couple of medieval archaeology classes during my brief college career. Then I woke up and realized I would have to know dates and timelines and be able to distinguish different rocks and all that. Not to mention the dirt…. under the nails… oh eww. So yeah, it didn’t really take. But I love my Tuesday night ritual. I get home, get settled, make my dinner (since Hans is usually at rehearsal), and get to the couch by 6:00 to snuggle in for approximately 50 minutes of history. LOVE IT!

    Last week’s episode took place in Bridgnorth. Now I want to go there.

    ♥ Speaking of places I want to go, I have never really thought about going to Greece. At least, I should say, I have a few other places that rank higher on my list of places to get to before I die. That was until I found out about Ikies Traditional Houses. Now I’m obsessed with getting to these Greek Isles and maybe even moving there forever. Gorgeous!

    If When we go to the Netherlands in 2010 for SAIL (which I’ve mentioned a time or two or three), I’m thinking we may need to stop off in Oia!

    ♥ Oh, and back to speaking of archaeology, Summer 2008 cannot get here fast enough. Lego Indiana Jones: The Videogame. YES!

    I hate Lily Allen. There I said it. I always have. (Not just because I’m forced to listen to it at the office.) That whiney “Smile” song makes me want to die. And when I saw the little swear bear being interviewed on some video program, her attitude was just very unattractive. If this were Empire Records, I’d be exercising my veto right now.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  20. Here are a few quick photos I’ve uploaded from our trip to the Bunya Mountains last weekend.

    This is a photo of the house where we stayed. (Click pics for larger size.)


    Every morning we woke up to the view of clouds rolling through the valley. It was absolutely beautiful. Then as the sun came up, they would melt off until the next morning.


    In the words of the Carpenters, I’m on the top of the world looking down on creation. It’s actually just me on our “mountain”.


    The house was constantly surrounded by little (red-necked?) wallabies eating the grass. I took this photo one morning at the top of our driveway.


    I’m not exactly what you’d call a nature girl, but somehow we thought it would be a good idea to climb the vines of this tree. And it’s a wonder that wasn’t the one who ended up with a tick!


    This is us in the rainforest on our first anniversary. Yay!

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  21. Adventure Complete
    We’re back. No pictures to show as I’ve managed to leave my camera in a little German cuckoo-clock shop. Though the nice people there have stuck it in the mail for me.

    It was an unbelievable weekend from start to finish including a broken water heater which meant five days with no hot water, tick bites, bats in shoes, and encounters with dozens of wallabies, a seven-foot python, king parrots, a bush turkey, and a wild boar. Only in Australia, I tell you.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  22. Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye
    I can’t believe how fast these two months have gone. So much to do, so many people to see, so much time consumed by MarioKart. Now I’m madly trying to figure out how we’re going to get all of our stuff back in the four suitcases we have. I have accumulated four new (awesome) pairs of shoes, tons of summery blouses, several skirts, some books, some games, and a flute. That’s on top of all the crap I brought with me originally. (Did I really think I needed two pairs of flipflops? I didn’t even take them to Florida.)

    We’ll be heading out tomorrow at noon and should arrive in Brisbane at 11:35 AM on Saturday their time. Crazy.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  23. Everything Looks Different from Far Away
    Well I had a little bit of time to sort out my pictures thus far. Here are some from the actual trip.


    Sydney Harbour from above with the opera house. I was strangely unimpressed. I guess it must be bigger from the ground.


    Boston Rob & Amber in the San Francisco airport. Grainy due to having the flash off. I didn’t want to appear to be a total stalker… even though I was.


    San Francisco from above. Again, I was a bit apathetic about the Golden Gate bridge. It didn’t look as red or as big as I always imagined, so I guess that’s another one to see from the ground.


    My first glimpse of S*N*O*W!


    Sunset on the plane.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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  24. Lost in Translation
    In a little social experiment to do with Aussie slang, today I ordered “chook nuggies” at McDonalds and got exactly what I wanted… chicken mcnuggets. Further proof that you can shorten and add “ies” to absolutely any word in this country.

    Flight Fright
    There’s a phenomenon that I’ve noticed lately where you tell someone that you’re about to take a huge trip, and they in turn feel compelled to tell you their most horrific travelling story. Listen, I don’t want to hear about Uncle Henry’s 52-hour layover after emergency-landing in Taipai. I don’t need to know about your neighbor Bob’s turbulence-inducing pukefest. And I certainly don’t want to know about Aunt Judy’s body cavity search. Okay? I’ve got some horror stories of my own… I don’t need yours.

    I’ll probably be packing tomorrow. For now it’s Hans’s birthday celebration part four.

    Posted in Nothing in Particular.

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