Saturday, November 28, 2009

A very Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving the best way: with too much food and loving family around the table.  It was a small one for us this year, just Dave & me, my Dad & stepmom and my Grandma.  Patt, my stepmom, did all of the cooking and preparation and everything was scrumptious...the turkey was so tasty it was hard to wait until evening so we could nosh on the leftovers!

The weather was much nicer than Wednesday when we had strong winds, below freezing temperatures and snow & rain. Thanksgiving was bright sunshiney, blue skies and no wind; still cold, but it's amazing how much better I cope with ridiculous temperatures if the sun is out!

As you can see, I'm not doing great on the whole posting thing...I keep having good ideas for a blog post but then don't find the time to get to it! Bear with me, hopefully I'll have something interesting soon...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Off to the USA - the journey begins

In the interest of honesty, we actually left Australia on the 10th, but with one thing and another I haven't gotten around to posting - so just pretend that these next few posts are happenin' in real time LOL

Dave and I packed up at the last minute as Dora really doesn't like it when she suspects we are going to leave her. She's got the poor, pathetic me thing down pretty well

This is the first trip Dave and I have taken together since Tilly joined our family and she erroneously believed there was a chance she was coming with us and so remained happy and goofy through the whole packing and loading the car process. Dora knew better but Til didn't pick up any clues from her

We had a stupid long layover in Perth thanks to Skywest canceling their early flight on the day our international leg was scheduled for. We had to get into Perth the day before and pretty much just waste 24 hours. We stayed at the Perth Ambassador Hotel on Adelaide Tce

It was just OK and we were able to get a "good" rate via my friend Amber.

Perth hotels are way overpriced and this one is no exception. Our "good" rate made it less galling, but there's no way this property is worth what they charge. Tiny room, eensy tv with marginal reception, uninviting bed that was good enough for one night but I wouldn't want to sleep on it more nights. They did have extra pillows in the room, so points for that, and their bath towels were big. We were meant to have internet access in the room but neither Dave or I could get it to work on either of our laptops and the front desk was completely disinterested and unhelpful in resolving the issue. Our flight wasn't until late afternoon and we asked if we could have a late check-out - they offered us 1130 instead of 1030. Whoopeee.

We spent our Perth day doing not much of anything really. We did a little shopping for a few bits we needed to make travel more comfortable, ate a surprisingly good lunch at the Carillon Food Court off Hay St, looked at the Christmas decorations that were already up, had a pint at the Moon & Sixpence and generally wandered around until it was time to head to the airport.

I know you're looking at the first and last picture and thinking "what?" - well the first one is the very cool bark of some tree that for some reason I believed I needed to take some photos of and the last one is of a sign in the food court. I'm pretty sure "Mexican" and "pasta" shouldn't be together, really. It just struck me...remember, we were kinda bored and struggling to find the humor in wasting one of our holiday days!

The Grosvenor Hotel was very close to our hotel so we had dinner and a pint there the day we landed. They are remodeling and it's really shaping up nicely - it's going to be a lovely place to grab a drink when it's done. Hopefully they will also revamp their waitstaff - dismal service. Although several servers kept walking around the tables, not once did any of them stop to ask clients if more drinks were wanted or remove empties from tables. You'd think that wait staff at a bar would be good about trying to move another pint before patrons left, but that didn't seem to be a priority.

We both had the Harvey Beef for dinner and both pieces were not good - tough, overcooked, tasteless. We did let our waiter know and when I went to the bar to get another pint, one of the owners comped the pint since the meal was so disappointing. He was very friendly and seemed to appreciate knowing that the meat was subpar. I don't know that I'd eat dinner there again, but I would stop in for a drink.

In fact, we did stop in for a quick pint before getting on the second plane of our to Auckland we go!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Didn't post yesterday as I spent most of the day trying to beat whatever nasty I've picked up. I felt ok-ish early in the morning so the Girls and I headed to the beach for a pre-sunrise walk and it felt really good.

The humpback whales were going crazy - jumping, slapping, cavorting just off the reef. It was low tide so the dogs and I were way way out and the whales were so close it was amazing! This is the most active (and LOUD) and the closest that we've had them on any of our walks. Very cool.

There were also kangaroos galore along the beach...until they saw Tilly rampaging along! One group (herd? flock? school?) of six held their ground until we were only about 50m away and then BANG all of them were off, up over the sand dunes and away into the bush. Tilly tried to follow, but she's a little uncoordinated and suffers from some navigational issues so by the time she got to the top of the dunes, the roos were long gone. I'm glad as I really don't need her chasing down big roos, frankly.

Dora kinda gave a half-hearted canter for about 8 steps and then trotted back to my side. She knows her limitations.

I was pretty weak & tired when we got back to the car but my spirits were high again and I was feeling like I could manage the day.

On the drive away from the beach we came across two bustards (Ardeotis australis) - bush turkeys - wandering around just off the side of the road. I only had the baby Canon with me but still snapped away while rolling slowly in the car (give me a break, I'm sick, remember!)
under the tree

After a shower I was feeling pretty good so I hit work stuff, delivered some prints, ran some errands, got some groceries, put on some laundry...and started to feel really run down by about 11am. I had a little rest, ate some scrumptious watermelon and generally took it pretty easy for the rest of the day.

I wasn't feeling great by bedtime, but I wasn't feeling as sucky either. Until about 3am when I woke up and was totally unable to go back to sleep. I hate it when that happens. So I worked for a couple of hours until the sun started to come up and then Dora, Tilly & I loaded up for another beach walk.
Camera? What camera? Over there? Where? What?

The whales weren't as boisterous today but there were still a few making a big production of breathing with loud snorts and big plumes of exhalations.

I'm in the shop tidying up some accounts and tons of email again. Town seems very quiet so hopefully more people will trickle in for the weekend.

Dave is still in Perth and has at least one more doctor's appointment today - just to get the results of another blood test, I think. He's been told he should be fine, but they want to check again in early December. He can travel which is a super good thing since we leave for our US holiday next week!

I've been trying to be good about blogging a selection of stuff - photo, non-photo, news, random blathering - over at my Exmouth photography blog, so make sure to check it out and leave a note!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's another tequila sunrise

Sans tequila. Though maybe it would have been better with some.

Woke up this morning feeling pretty OK so threw on some clothes, loaded La Doggalas into the Boobalaru and off we went to the beach for the first non-windy morning in ages. On the drive out I started to feel a little queasy, but I opened my window wider and the cool morning air sorted me right out.

Until about 15 minutes into our walk when I knew things were suddenly not as bright and happy as they were 14 minutes into our walk. Sick big time. Shockingly, the Girls are of little help as you're laying in the sand being all sorts of ill. They bound around, kick sand, try to give you kisses, attempt to push you over so they can sit on you and generally make the whole process even less fun that it normally is.

Needless to say we cut our walk short and headed back to the car - boy, 15 minutes is a whole longer on the return trip.

Here's a happy ending to today's post just to show that my day did have potential to be nice

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'm mellllltting

It's hot. Damn hot. The fans are on high, the air conditioner is on max and none of them are putting a dent in the heavy heat today.

Normally I wouldn't groan because I prefer the heat to the cold. But today is day three of me having some bug (thank the Baby Jesus it's not what Dave has!) and I feel terrible. The heat is not helping things.

I'm nearing the end of my fourth 1.5L bottle of water and that's not putting much of a dent in things either. I can feel myself dehydrating as I sit here typing.

Oh for my bed, some more drugs (what's with that six hour thing anyway I'd like to know) and serious air-conditioning.

But I won't complain - I could live where it sleets.