A Few Days in Sydney

So, well, Sydney is awesome. Unless you ask John about traffic. Then Sydney is awful and terrible and the worst ever. So, yes, Sydney’s traffic is intense. But if you ask me, other than traffic, I was pleasantly surprised by the place. We lucked out with our AirBnB – it had a fantastic location right in the heart of Newtown. When I went to the pie shop – it had a PIE shop – and requested a vegan pie, the employee asked, “Which one?” Because…

1 year ago

A Few Days in Melbourne

The day finally arrived! I have been helping plan three family trips since October, and the first family member arrived in Australia last week. My Mom and Aunt Chris were slated for two weeks in April. My dad and sister will spend two weeks with us at the end of May. And John’s family – a total of seven…

1 year ago

A Few Days on the Great Ocean Road

One of the things we knew we had to do when family arrived was go road tripping down Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, touted as one of the coolest road trips in the world. Even though a direct trip would have taken less than ten hours, we saved two nights for the Great Ocean Road because of the sheer number of sites worth seeing along the way. The main attraction is the Twelve Apostles – of which there are not twelve, nor do geologists think there ever were…

1 year ago

A Day at the Shire

Somewhat unexpectedly, I accompanied Mom to New Zealand this week. John stayed behind in Australia. (He was meant to have a fantastic trip from Melbourne to Sydney along the coastal road, popping in for a hike at the Blue Mountains and having a grand ol’ time, but sadly the van’s coolant hose had other ideas for his solo days.) Mom and I, on the other hand, had a fantastic time in Auckland. First on Mom’s list of things to do in New Zealand was…

1 year ago

Christmas on Stradbroke Island

We never really felt too Christmas-y with the whole hot, sunny, beach-y weather during December. They have Santas on snowboards alongside fake snow in shop windows. There’s none of the dark, cold nights with lights and carols and, well, cheer. There’s condos on the beach and surfing lessons alongside family…

2 years ago

A Weekend In Toowoomba

Last weekend we drove two hours inland to visit the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers with my great aunt and uncle. It is a fairly small town, quite charming. It’s the “big town” for a lot of the nearby agricultural areas. There are lovely…

2 years ago

An Evening at the Gabba

Yesterday we made our first foray into the mysterious world of live Australian sport. Graham invited us to an AFL game with him and the girls, so we went along. The Australian Football League is their equivalent of the NFL back home. The main differences seem to be the lack of pads and…

2 years ago

Meeting Relatives + Seeking Jobs

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous. It’s right around 70 or 75 and sunny and perfect every single day. (It gets down to 50 or so at night, but they don’t do heaters or insulation.) Yesterday, we had a family barbecue to meet twenty or so of John’s cousins. This was John’s grandfather’s brother, and three of his five children (and their children). I successfully managed to remember about four whole names! 

2 years ago

Throwing Parties + Packing Boxes

We’re at the ten day mark for our departure, and the days just keep on coming. This past Saturday afternoon was our going away party, with friends and family and fun times. We enjoyed some excellent food, lots and lots of fun conversations, and a handful of final hugs goodbye. John’s family and mine were able to drive in from out of town, and many, many good friends from our years in Athens joined us for drop in bits of time. We studied maps with five-year-olds, karaoked with high school friends, and brunched…

2 years ago

Orientation: Niagara-on-the-Lake

I feel like we saw a whole lot of Niagara-on-the-Lake during our week-long family vacation; it’s not an especially large town. We flew into Buffalo (because it’s cheaper), rented a van, and drove across the border to Ontario. We stopped for lunch in Saint Catherine’s, which is also where the Costco was for supplying our rental…

2 years ago