Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Koalas, Kangaroos, Krazy

Today I pet some koalas. And I fed some kangaroos. I have now become a koala and kangaroo whisperer as all of us bonded very well today.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Yesterday we went to Hunter's Valley, the oldest vineyard valley in Australia. We went to 4 different wineries for wine tastings and it was great! They were all smaller boutique wineries, so we got to meet and talk with the owners and tried about 7 wines at each stop! Quite generous if I may say so. And our driver was amazing. He was super informative and went out of his way to make sure our day was great. I saw my first kangaroo! Well, the first one was roadkill.. sad. The second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth ones were hanging out in the fields by one of the vineyards which was nicer to see than the roadkill.

Today we headed up to the Blue Mountains. On the way we stopped to make friends with the koalas and kangaroos and saw some amazing birds as well. Then we learned how to throw boomerangs. Apparently I throw like a girl. Good thing, since I am a girl after all.

The Blue Mountains are absolutely beautiful. Stunning valley as well. And the rock formations are breathtaking. stopped at a few different viewpoints, and then went to see the Three Sisters and took a cable car into the valley and then came up the steepest railway in the world. Pretty weird, especially since we were in the front. :)

Went to the Olympic Park/Village as well, and in light of having the Olympics in Vancouver recently, it was quite interesting to see the differences. Some amazing structures though!

Then took a ferry back to Sydney Harbour at sunset. A little windblown, but beautiful!

And on the way back to our hotel, we passed our friend Russell Crowe's house/apartment. We passed it yesterday and the lights were on and tonight again. Pretty sure I saw his sillouette at the window, waving at me as we passed by. We'll go there for lunch tomorrow-should be good to see Russ again.

Tomorrow we are headed to New Zealand! Where I will be driving on the left side of the road (eep!) and where the roads will take us who knows where. I can't wait. It will be random and fun. Perhaps we'll even sleep in the car a night or two.

That's all for now. G'day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sydney, Sleepy, Sunset


Walked around Sydney for a lot of hours today. The views are stunning! So beautiful with all the surrounding water and I LOVE the opera house! Can't wait to take sunset photos!

I saw a zebra crossing today. Made for some great photos. And Ashley decided that "arove" is a new verb to talk about someone arriving somewhere.. in fact she's used it twice already.

Flight was great! For a 16 hour flight that is...

Now it's 4pm and I"m going to go take a nap.. well I wasn't going to, because Ashley said she'd wait until at least 7pm to go to bed, but presently she's curled up in bed, so I must conform.

I bought Tim Tams today and they have SO MANY different flavours! Crazy! And for those of you who don't know what those are.. shucks.

More updates to come! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AUSTRALIA, Adventures, Adios!

And so the grand adventure begins. The day has finally arrived. Right now I am boarding a plane that will hold me captive for 15 hours before releasing me to the wonderful land of Australia!

I stole some pictures of things I will perhaps see.. maybe some things I myself could take pictures of... We will be spending about 3 weeks in Australia, 1 week is New Zealand and 1 week in Bali. Should be fantastic. SO much to see and do!

I'm a bit nervous because 5 and a half weeks is a long time to be gone, but I'm excited, because when I look at what I saw and did during a 5 day roadtrip, the possibilities are endless for 5 and a half weeks!

Also, Australia is one of the continents I have not yet been to. After this, all that remains is Asia!

I will miss my place as well, but I'm leaving it clean and in good hands, so as long as the basement doesn't flood, I'm good to go!

I will probably have internet access here and there so I will be making posts from out there.. so stay tuned and join me on my adventures!!

Farewell friends!

Vij's, Vancouver, Vibrant

What would be a great way to spend one's last night in Canada?

Hanging out with friends in Vancouver...

Enjoying beautiful art masterpieces, such as the baby Mona Lisa...

Taking fun photos while hanging out at the Cactus Club...

Waiting 2 hours at a restaurant to eat some of the most fantastic food you've ever had...

The waiting accompanied by free appies and some of the best service you've ever had...

Good drinks, great food, wonderful company...

And great ambience as well!

We went to Vij's in Vancouver and it indeed was not only the best Indian we've ever had, but one of the best meals we've all ever had. And being there was like being invited into someone's home for dinner. All the dishes were fantastic and prices reasonable for what we all got. I would definitely go back!

What a wonderful night- we figured we should have dining adventures every week!

And now to finish cleaning my house... scrub scrub scrub...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rollkuchen, Relax, Rolling

What are good summer evenings made of?

Being with great friends and family...

Being creative when you don't have the exact tools you need...

Working hard for a great end product...

Relaxing on chairs on the lawn under the beautiful blue sky...

Enjoying fresh flowers...

Eating good food...

Laughing around a table together...

Listening to each other's stories...

Capturing smiles and giggles...

And eating a lot of rollkuchen of course...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Inspiring, Instruments, Incredible

Here's a video clip (I hope it actually works) of the opening group for Michael Buble. And remember, they are making all the instrument noises!

Baaaa, Buble, Butts

Do you ever have weekends that you wish you could just bottle up and keep for a while?

This last weekend was one of those. It probably tops the charts with top weekends because there was so much crammed into it and it was a lot of fun!

First off, here are a couple shots I quickly took with my new lens! I LOVE it! It's huge though! It's 150-500 mm and has an incredible zoom!

The weekend started on Thursday night when some friends and I went to see Cirque de Soleil, Kooza, which is in Vancouver right now. INCREDIBLE! The control over their bodies and things they can do with their bodies are absolutely mind-blowing! And the way the whole show is put together is always great! My favorite was when I got peed on by the dog. I was in the 2nd row, and the dog leaned over and peed and got me soaked (it was water obviously... I hope)

Then we went out to a tapas restaurant to continue the celebration of Adri's birthday. Food wasn't incredible, but the company was fantastic and we had a great time.

After dinner we went to 'Death by Chocolate' for dessert! All in all a fantastic evening!

Friday afternoon i picked Lindie up from the airport, we went for lunch, and then drove to the ferry terminal to pick up our friend Cynthia who is from Winnipeg.

That night, we went to a sheep roast that Dave and Adri helped host. They roasted the sheep South African style and it was FANTASTIC! So tasty!!

It was a great night too. There was a live band, great food, good company and some great sokkie (South African dancing). I am learning that I suck at being led on the dance floor. I want to take over. So a couple of my friends are determined to help me out with that, which i'm grateful for! It really is quite enjoyable! :)

Here's poor little sheep-y. Before he got eaten by us...

We were pretty excited about the sheep. It was a beautiful night as well, so it was good to be able to be outside!

Saturday, Lindie and I went for lunch and then swimming and helped the South African clan set up for camping in the backyard before heading into Vancouver.

What time is it? Fry time!! Lindie and I go to Red Robin's every time she visits. Mainly so we can eat the fries! So good!

And a swim is not complete without some underwater pictures of course! :)

Even if the underwater pictures are complimentary to how you look.. haha

That night, Lindie and I went to the Michael Buble concert, which was AMAZING!

A group called Naturally 7 opened for them and they were awesome. They all become the instruments they play. It was pretty awesome, especially the drummer, bass player and electric guitar. You definitely thought there were instruments being played. Pretty awesome!

And Michael Buble was awesome of course. His stage presence is fantastic, his songs wonderful and I also enjoyed his dialogue throughout-quite the comedian.

His band was full, and I especially loved the brass section! And the stage was angled, so he could slide down it every once in a while. He even did a few songs near the back on a separate stage so we were super close!

The lighting and video effects were pretty cool as well!

Then on Sunday, my mom, Lindie and I headed over to the island. First stop was Chemainus, where we enjoyed walking around, going for lunch and then we went to see Guys & Dolls at the Chemainus Theatre. It was fantastic! It is probably one of my favorite musicals, so it was great to see again! It's coming to Seattle this next season so I'm excited to go then too!

There were some fun things to take pictures of in Chemainus as we walked around.

After the musical, we drove to Victoria where we were going to spend the night. Our hotel valet suggested this fantastic Italian restaurant which definitely was incredible! Such good food! And live music too!

The group was a Yiddish group and it was fun to be accompanied by them!

I have some great sunset/dusk pictures I took, but they're taking forever to load.. so they will have to wait until some other time.

And so ends an absolutely wonderful weekend! And now the final countdown is here. 2 more sleeps until Australia!! Ahhh!! I can't believe it. Maybe I should pack.. or think about packing. Happy Tuesday!