Thursday, 26 July 2007

The North Lands!

We've been back almost a week from our trip up north to S.E. Queensland so I thought I should get around to this. Ryan (as will come as a surprise to none who know him well) is having an afternoon nanna nap so I have free access to the computer and a little bit of enthusiasm to get it done! It's been a long first-four-days-of-second-semester though so I am not promising to be coherent.

We set off obscenely early on the 11th of July, arriving in Brisbane at around 10am. Of course, after staying up far too late the night before and packing once again at about midnight, all we wanted to do was nap! We checked into our hotel and proceeded to do just that, getting up around 3pm, watching some cable (we miss cable :) ) and then went out to explore a little before meeting some friends for dinner. It was great to meet these girls that I had met online, planning our wedding more than three years ago. Ryan was happy to know that they weren't very committed axe murderers, posing as newly-marrieds. We ended up walking across to the South Bank with my friend, Anita and her husband, Arthur, then walking down the river and through the QUT city campus before heading back for a good night's rest. The next day, we wandered around Brisbane, taking in the sights. We went down to the mall and did some window shopping before visiting the Art Gallery and the Museum. Later, we met up with Anita and Arthur again who cooked us a lovely dinner at their house and then took us to see the new Harry Potter film.

On the Friday, we checked out of the hotel and trundled down to pick up our rental car. We drove down to Surfer's Paradise for breakfast and a glorious walk in the sunshine, down the beach and through the shopping area. We then drove down to Burleigh Heads, stopping at a Wildlife Park where we especially admired the biggest crocodile I've ever seen!

We then went for a walk through a mangrove area and a bamboo plantation - beautiful. The bamboo is bright yellow for some reason in this area of Queensland which makes for lovely photos.
Later, that day, we drove up to Oxenford where we stayed for the night, before driving to Mt. Tambourine and Lamington National Park.

The area is amazingly beautiful. It's thick forests have lovely walks and the mountain views are stunning. There are lots of little gourmet cafes to stop in at too!

We did a great walk in the afternoon to a natural rock formation called Natural Arch. You can actually walk into the cave, behind the arch and stand almost underneath the waterfall. There were some crazies swimming in the pool but the temperature's supposedly pretty arctic so we gave that a miss!

After that, we drove up to Toowomba, a surprisingly busy country town where we stayed the night and saw what a kickin' place it is to spend a Saturday night. However, being old, we were tucked up in bed by 10pm with our books! :)

The next day, Sunday, was our big driving day - about 5 hours. We drove most of the day away, with some unsuccessful attempts to reach a few National Parks along the way. Who would have thought that major roads to National Parks that were marked on all the tourist maps would have been unpaved, dirt roads?! Not this little rental-car-driving black duck! All in all, it was a little frustrating, but arriving back on the coast in Hervey Bay was wonderful. We got there in the late afternoon and had a lovely walk around the marina area.

We considered going on a cruise to Fraser Island but decided to save that for a trip when someone who is excited by dolphins is with us (hint hint, Robin!). Instead, we drove to Noosa Heads which was absolutely gorgeous. It's a cute little resort town with a stunning beach

and a little national park with a short, but lovely rainforest walk. The walk overlooks the coastline and it was all just gorgeous!

We then drove further down the coast and back up into the mountains to an area called the Hinterlands. We stayed at a gorgeous B&B for two nights, spending the day wandering in the local towns of Maleny and Montville, eating yummy food and doing the occasional walk up hills to admire the view. All too soon, it was time to head south again, back to Brisbane, stopping on the way to admire the Glass House Mountains. No climbing this time - we just admired from a distance!
(Yes, we also drove past the Irwin family's Australia Zoo, but no, we couldn't bring ourselves to pay the exorbitant entry fee!)

Arriving back in Brisbane, we hastily checked back in to the hotel and then set off for a final dinner with our now good friends, Anita and Arthur :) also meeting up with Tanya who I taught with in London and her new husband, Steven. After a yummy Greek meal, we ended up chatting away at a pub on the South Bank, before heading off.

Our final day was spent wandering again in Brisbane. We took the City Cat to New Farm, wandered around the shops there, found the Powerhouse and its collection of amusing signs and then pottered around at South Bank again. Soon it was time to head off home again to our very cute furbaby, who was exhausted after staying with my parents and their far-too-energetic border collie! And I'm going to add one more picture, just 'cause Jessie's so cute when she's plum-tuckered. :)

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

For anyone who reads this occasionally....

I've got a new project. :) Cause I don't procrastinate enough.

See: for details.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Mount Gambier

I know it's not very exotic for South Aussies but we just are back from a GREAT weekend in Mount Gambier. It's the second biggest town in our state (Adelaide is the largest) with a population of about 24,000. It's part of the Limestone Coast and so there are lots of geological features to keep Ryan happy. I was just glad to get away from my marking :)

First off, we went to visit the Umpherstone Sinkhole. From the tourism website:

"Once a cave formed through dissolution of the limestone, this sinkhole was created when the top of the chamber fell to the floor of the cave, creating the perfect environment for its "sunken garden"."

This is us, funnily enough in front of the sinkhole. It was really bright out and I didn't check whether this photo worked. As you can see, it didn't. However, it's the only photo from the weekend with us in it, so I figured I'd post it anyhow.

The sinkhole is remarkably cool, even from the point of view of the geological ignorant (ie. me). There is a full time gardener who volunteers to keep it all pretty, and it certainly was!

Can you tell I liked the sinkhole garden? :) I think I was just impressed that it was so green. It rains a lot in Mt. Gambier. After viewing the Umpherstone sinkhole, we went into Mt. Gambier proper to see that it had closed for the entire long weekend - yay provincial towns! So we went and looked at another sinkhole and then wandered around the Blue Lake for a bit.

Once again, from the Mt. Gambier tourism website:

"The Blue Lake was formed when the volcano erupted through the limestone allowing the underground water to fill the crater, creating the lake that we see today. Each year in November the lake starts its colour change from winter sombre blue to brilliant turquoise blue, before returning to its winter hue in March."

So yeah, it was a bit grey. Ryan wanted me to take this photo so you can all see the different layers in the rock. :) You can see the blue colours around the bank though.

After walking around the Lake for a bit, we went on a bush walk. It was great though a little more strenuous than the "Easy, gradual slope" that the sign advertised. We spent a lot of time admiring the view as there was an old man in one of those electric buggies in front of us and we were sure he was going to get bogged and need our assistance at some stages!

As you can see, the recent rainfall made the whole area pretty vibrant! We ended our full day in Mt. Gambier with dinner and a movie, then wandered back to the sinkhole which is floodlit at night. So here's the last photo of it, I swear :)

So that's the "travel journal" updated - we had a really lovely time. Totally recommend the area for a quick getaway!

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Adelaide to Melbourne - April 2007

Well, we went on a short trip the other week, just to visit friends in Melbourne. We normally fly over but since it was school holidays and we had time, we decided to save money and drive over instead. This was a pretty shocking trip. Officially, Australia is the driest continent (having the least precipitation - at least Antarctica has snow!), and has one of the most variable rainfall climates in the world. Our current drought is the worst on record and recently, the government has announced that water restrictions on farmers will be further increased so that they will be unable to irrigate from the river at all. This is especially a problem in South Australia and Victoria, the two states we drove through, as they have had only the smallest percentage of rainfall expected over the last two years.

Anyhow, I took these photos on the drive - I just couldn't believe how dry it is out there. Remember, these were taken at the very end of April, when we usually have had heavy autumn rains!

This one has a little greenery in it - thank goodness for the hard-living gum trees. This really shows how important it is for Australia to encourage the re-growth of our natural flora - cause when things get bad, they can survive on very little water.

And just to include some pics of us, here's one of me, having a stretch-break on the 8 hour drive:

And here's one of Ryan, relaxing at an outdoor cafe in Williamstown to end on a high note:

We're going to Brisbane in July - will post again then!

Friday, 27 April 2007

Ryan's 30th birthday party

Okay, so this isn't really a travel post but I'm going to post it here just so I can share some of the photos of this great night. Thanks very much to Cheryl from Xavier for her shots - they're the good ones :)

If your pic appears here and you don't want it to, please let me know. Comments about how gorgeous we all are are appreciated too :)

Sunday, 28 January 2007

A few pictures...

...and then that's it for a bit.

We're all settled in back at home. All the laundry is finally done and all the gift distributed!! I've even lit my first candle :)

I've had a fun time getting used to driving on this side of the road though. Weird. I think I've hit the windscreen wipers hundreds of times - more than I did in the US!!

This first pic was taken in Kyoto. These guys are hawking for rickshaw passengers. I just love the trees and the light in this shot!

This is a gorgeous tree that I photographed in Kyoto. I think I'm going to have this shot framed. There was only the last of the autumn colours around when we were there. It must be AMAZING in fall.

Ryan is a big fan of the site and this was such a stunning example.

This is one of the Buddhist temples we visited. I had to lie down on cold marble steps to manage this shot. Andrea, Miyao and Ryan were standing below in the cold cold evening and thought I was quite mad!!

A shot of the Great Lawn in Central Park. I had a very well-timed flock of birds fly straight through the shot :)

Ryan's friend, Ken, took us to the riverwalk in Brooklyn and this is a shot of Manhattan from there. I just love the light in this photo. I don't think it takes any skill to take good shots in this light :)

This one is of Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. The coolest thing about it is that it was absolutely pitch dark when I took this and I couldn't see any of the detail! I just gave night vision a go and I love the result!

This is one of my shots of West Point, Virginia, where Ryan's sister lives.

And that's it for a bit. I've left out pictures of people as I don't know if they want them posted on the net. We had such a blast - can't wait to do it again.

Back to work tomorrow - looking forward to it in one way, but gee, holidays are nice!!

Love to all who read this,


Monday, 22 January 2007

VA, NYC and home again

Well, this will be my last post I should imagine for a bit, though I might play with some photos and post them later in the week... I'm sitting home in Adelaide, eating watermelon in my PJs (yay Gin for bringing me watermelon - you're right, it is the best thing ever!) and thought I'd post the last final days before I hang out the first load of laundry and then crash out. Ryan is already asleep on the couch - he made it through half a suitcase before fatigue grabbed him!!

Well, when I last wrote, I was about to head off for yet more shopping... :) I had a fun time driving around checking out shoe stores in Hampton and Newport News before crossing the bridge to Norfolk. Can you believe I STILL didn't find the dream boots that I have been searching for?? Ah well, had a fun time trying. The way home from the Norfolk mall was not so fun - I did a huge tour of some of the less salubrious areas of Hampton Roads in the dark and I seem to have lost the "accelerate and pray" method of driving that is needed for the interstates of Virginia during rush hour. Eventually, I made it back to Randy and Lucy's to meet up with Ryan and quickly change for dinner.

Don't we make a nice looking group? From left to right, Ryan and I (duh), Jack and Robin (Ryan's sister and BIL) and Bryan and Nancy (Nancy is Lucy's daughter). We went to a new area of Newport News which has been developed since we were last in Virginia, called Port Warwick. It's a lovely little place - will be interesting to see how it develops character in the next few years. The meal was amazing - especially the chocolate mousse gateaux dessert.

On Thursday, Robin brought her kids over as did Nancy and we had a crazy, noisy, kid-filled day! Nancy, Robin and I did sneak off to this great store for an hour or so, leaving four kids under 7 behind :) and did some last minute shopping. I found some fabulous candles again, but I knew Ryan would go mad if I bought any more wax so I was good and only bought two tops, a stubby holder and some earrings... The highlight of the day for Ryan was taking his nephew, Jared, to show him the family military collection. Many members of Ryan's family have served in various roles and since it was Jared's birthday on Saturday, he was allowed to choose something to inherit. He ended up choosing a huge, decommissioned WWII shell (and Robin told us the next day that he was so excited by it that he slept with it in his bed that night - waking up all smelly and musty!!) It was really sad to say goodbye to Robin and the kids and I cried yet again and Ryan didn't... Honestly!! I had to convince Ryan to accompany me on a late night trip to Walgreens to make me feel better...

The next day, we got up and did the final bits of packing before Randy and Lucy drove us over to the airport in Newport News. We stopped for lunch and were nice and early to check in...then we found out that our flight had been delayed by high winds in New York. Grrr! What made this really disappointing is that we had booked tickets to see Company on Broadway and because of the delay, we had to ring up and cancel. Very disappointing as I have only managed to see one show this trip :( Still, our flight finally left just after 6pm and we made it to our hotel by 9ish. We decided to head out to dinner to a Mexican place that Ken took us to, when we were in New York at New Year's. GREAT Margaritas!! We even got to sign the wall as we left -

As we left the restaurant, it was pretty darn cold but that lovely husband of mine still indulged me in a girlie dream - to ride around Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage at night.

It was so gorgeous. All the tourists from New Year's had gone home, I think, because as we went through the park, we couldn't hear any other carriages. It hasn't snowed much this year but the snowfall this week was just heavy enough to stick so the park was blanketed in the lightest touch of white. We passed the ice rink (which was deserted), the carousel, the Chess House and the Great Lawn - all silent and wintery....gorgeous!

Coming home, I took this great shot of the library which I'm going to post just because....

The flights back to Australia were pretty uneventful. Ryan slept more than usual which was good cause he wasn't as crabby as usual :) I apparently slept through some pretty bumpy turbulence which I'm pretty pleased about. We had icecream in Tokyo. Sydney airport was very dull. And my mum picked us up in Adelaide with as much excitement as she usually does... my brothers will know what I mean. She didn't try to leap the barrier this time though. :P

And now we're back to the mundane - laundry, tidying, thinking about school starting next week. Sigh. We had a fabulous trip though and I'm loving unpacking and seeing all the stuff that I bought in my month of shopping frenzy! We ended up buying one BIG new suitcase and a smaller gym bag specifically for all the candles that I purchased but managed to fit everything in and make it back in one piece!

So bye for now, will post pics in the week as I get a bit more organised - I have over 270 shots to look through!

Tuesday, 16 January 2007


Had a great day on Sunday in Richmond. It's been unseasonably warm so we could sit outside and have a long, leisurely lunch with our friends. We then went for a stroll and had a look in some of the shops in Carytown. I managed to come away with yet another candle to add to the seven pounds of scented wax that I've already bought.

After saying farewell to Bob and Kirsten and also checking out a few more shoe stores in the Short Pump shopping area, we drove back to Newport News to meet up with Alex and Courtney for Mexican food at our favourite restaurant in Virginia, Tequila Rose. Thankfully, the food is still fabulous and the margaritas are still yummy...and huge! This is the small size!

It was a great night and so lovely to meet Alex's new girlfriend. Well, new to us - they've been living together for almost two years!! The night stayed warm so we got to eat outside on the deck - a bit of a novelty in January in Virginia!!

On Monday, Ryan was off with the "boys", doing who knows what and I toodled around on my own in the rental car. Popped past the Prime Outlets again, stopped in at the Christmas store and then drove down to Newport News Park where I did the 2.6 mile trail. So so so pretty - dammit though, I forgot the camera battery so will have to do without pics. It was again lovely weather - 75 degrees, whatever that is in Celsius - so it was lovely to walk around and once again, there was no one there. I really don't understand why no one walks these trails. I walked them every weekend when I lived here but I only passed about six people and it was a public holiday here. I love this trail - it winds around a lake and you can spot deer and squirrels as you go. I also love how the path itself is soft with dry pine needles and fall leaves.

Monday night, we spent hanging out with Ryan's sister, her husband and our neice and nephew for the last time at their place. Cate and Jared have grown so much since we saw them in 2004 and we're sad that it will be a long while til we see them again! Who knows what sort of personality traits they will develop by then! We're now at Ryan's dad's house in Suffolk for the rest of the trip. We're trying to make the most of the last few days though and avoid thinking about how much we'll soon be missing everyone here. (I'm trying to drink my body weight in Diet Dr Pepper too.) We drove over here yesterday morning and then went for lunch with Ryan's grandparents to celebrate his grandfather's 85th birthday. We came back to their house after lunch and looked at some family pictures - quite fun to see photos from the 1930s when Paw Paw was in 2nd grade in the middle of the Depression!

Last night, we also caught up with the last of the Denbigh crowd, having dinner in Chesapeake with Sue and Bill. We had forgotten the joys of the interstate in peak hour though - nightmare! Sue cooked up a massive meal - roasted game hens, sweet potato and cranberry bake, green bean casserole, herbed pototoes and berries and angel food cake for dessert. It was wonderful to see their home and meet their furbabies.

Today, we're having a day in at Randy and Lucy's. Lucy has organised some barbeque (which is slow cooked pork, shredded when it's tender and then mixed with BBQ sauce and vinegar...sounds a bit odd but it's DIVINE!) for dinner. I am thinking I may pop out to the mall in Norfolk this afternoon, though it's turned really cold out there (36 degrees Fahrenheit) so we'll see if that happens. Robin and Jack are coming past tonight and we are going out for dinner with Nancy and Bryan, Lucy's daughter and her husband. We always have a fun time when we go out as a six, so we're looking forward to that too! Tomorrow, Robin is bringing her kids over for our last full day and then we're flying up to New York on Friday! I can't believe it's all almost over but we're enjoying the last few days with family as much as we can.

Monday, 15 January 2007

West Point, Virginia

We've had a wonderful weekend so far in Virginia...

When I last wrote, it was Thursday morning and we were about to head into West Point to look around. West Point is a lovely area of Virginia and somewhere that we would love to live if we do come back to the States someday. It has a really sweet small town feel and everyone is so friendly. We went in to meet Ryan's sister and then we went to the downtown area, perusing the antique store, the art gallery/coffee shop (Mmmm, lemon chess cheesecake!) and also the jewellery store. I took some photos around town as well...

We picked up Robin's kids and had a great seafood dinner in West Point at a place called Nick's. Very very yummy but we were totally decimated again by the amount of deep frying involved! We obviously need to build up "fry stamina" again!

On Friday, we met up with Ryan's dad in Williamsburg and he, Ryan and our nephew, Jared went to the Ripley's Believe it or Not musuem. They had a blast and Robin and I grabbed the opportunity to shop at one of the Christmas stores that Williamsburg hosts! An hour later, I have lots of new CUUUUUTTTTEEE things. Ryan was especially sad to miss that store.

After a quick lunch, Ryan and I went down to Denbigh High School, where we used to teach. It was so fun wandering the halls, freaking people out. Lots of people had no idea at all that we were in town, so there was lots of blank looks before recognition dawned! We arrived just as school was letting out and had a good giggle at some of the "gangsta" looks that the kids were sporting. I can't believe I taught kids with their belts around their knees without cracking up!! We then headed over to Uno's where we used to spend Friday afternoons at Happy Hour when we worked here. We caught up with a whole new bunch of Denbigh people which was wonderful. It was quite funny that a lot of them hadn't seen each other for almost as long as we'd been away too!

Yesterday, we had a fun day in the house with the kids and Robin. The kids got a rock painting kit for Christmas so we went out into the woods behing the house. Jared has a little motorised John Deere Gator and it was so cute to see him "Driving Miss Daisy" with Cate.

Robin and I got totally into the rock painting, even after the kids had lost interest :) It was great fun to sit on the screened in porch in the afternoon warmth anyhow. It's been such great weather that we're really able to enjoy the outdoors!

Later in the afternoon, Ryan, Robin and I went to a wine tasting in Williamsburg with even more Denbigh people which was fun. The Australian wine was labelled from Melbourne which was a bit odd but it was pretty gross so maybe it was grown down by the river.... We then went over to the Outback Steakhouse, where I had a very Australian meal of Hickory Smoked Ribs :)

I then convinced Ryan and our friends, Alex and Courtney that we should walk around Colonial Williamsburg in the dark, stop for a drink and takes photos. I don't think they really had any idea of how many photos that involved....

It is just sooo pretty in Colonial Williamsburg. I'm going to go back in the daylight to get some better pictures of some of the old buildings too. There wasn't much light around last night though I did take this gorgeous shot on the William and Mary college campus.

Today, we're heading up to Richmond to meet up with even MORE ex-Denbigh people. Can't wait. We're going to this cool, funky shopping district and then I have some directions from Robin to some GREAT shoe stores....

Saturday, 13 January 2007


We've only got one more week to go!!!

Friday, 12 January 2007

Back to Virginia

Well, when we last left our intrepid travellers....

We had a great day out in Baltimore and saw the aquarium and the waterfront area. It ws a beautiful crisp day - perfect for photos but the camera battery was dead! :( Ryan loved the aquarium especially and the shark exhibit was very cool. They had an Australian exhbition on which was funny - looking at blue tongues and galahs in Maryland! Apparently, they made a bit of a tactical error when it first opened. They have recently moved the kookaburras into a separate location as they had been eating the display lizards!!

That night, we had a fun final night in Baltimore. James, his brother, Ben, Courtney, Ryan and I went out to a very cool Japanese steakhouse where they do all the cooking right in front of you on the grill. Twas very entertaining! Then we went on to another bar in the Towson area and played some pool.

On Tuesday morning, we got up reasonably bright and early and rented a brand new PT Cruiser to drive down to Virginia. The drive itself was pretty uneventful, though it kept threatening to snow. In Williamsburg, we checked into our hotel and then wandered around the historical Colonial Williamsburg area with James and Courtney until it got too dark and cold to see much! We then walked up to one of Ryan's college eatery hangouts - the College Delly (sic) and Courtney and I tried our first Ruebens for this trip.... MMMMMMM!

We went back to "rest" in the hotel after eating these huge meals but then Courtney and I had the fab idea that since it was only 7pm, there were two perfectly good shopping hours available and the Prime Outlets mall was just down the road!! Ryan and James reluctantly joined us, though we split up when we got there. Ryan and James reckon they did the entire mall twice but Courtney and I maybe managed a quarter before we got "trapped by the savings" at my favourite store in the Outlets - Wilson's Leather. Bags and jackets basically but all heavily reduced!! I got a replacement work bag, leather gloves and a wallet for Ryan - Courtney got two bags, hat, gloves and an incredibly soft black leather jacket. When the boys finally found us in there, we convinced James into a leather jacket too. Courtney and I both commented that we had shopping frenzy adrenalin going by the time we left to head back to the hotel with our booty! I'm going to have to go back one more time as I STILL haven't done all the stores...

We then headed out to the Green Leafe pub, an old favourite of Ryan's and a newer favourite of mine. This was the pub that we went to after the July wedding and we had an equally fun night this time. James kept ordering Courtney cocktails that she wouldn't drink though....

Then yesterday, we did a wander around Colonial Williamsburg again in the daylight and then drove down to Newport News to pick up our car and wave Courtney and James off in theirs as they had to head back to Baltimore. Our car has cost us an ABSOLUTE fortune so we're determined to enjoy it for the next ten days!! I've only turned the windscreen wipers on five times instead of the indicators so far...

We drove up to West Point, where Ryan's sister, Robin lives and caught up with her at the newspaper office where she is editor. It was great to see her and we hung out with her workmates for a while until it was time to head out and pick up the kids. They were so excited to see us - so sweet! We had a quiet night in last night, doing laundry mostly and chatting - and Robin made Ryan fried porkchops which had him in heaven!!

Today we've continued the slow start. We're off to meet up with Robin in downtown West Point. I've charged the camera battery and want to take a whole lot of pics - it's so gorgeous down there!! Not sure what we'll do tonight but tomorrow, Ryan, his dad and Jared are going to the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and later we're going to meet up with all the Denbigh people that we've missed so far in Newport News. Ryan and I are also hoping to swing past Denbight High School to say hello in the afternoon so we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007


Hello from Baltimore! We arrived here last night and it is great to see Courtney and James again. Not much to report yet, just wanted to let my mother and anyone else who might call the embassy know that we made it. :)

We had a great night out last night in Baltimore, going to a pool hall and playing darts as well. James' mother also spoiled us with a delicious spread when we arrived. We're heading out and about today - Ryan is keen to see the Baltimore Aquarium which is apparently one of the best in the country and Courtney and I are happy to do a little more shopping.

The plan is to head out tonight to Howl at the Moon ( which is a dueling piano venue. Should be a blast. Then we'll drive down to Williamsburg tomorrow to show Courtney and James the wonders of Ryan's hometown. So should be in touch in a few days, perhaps with a few fun stories to tell!

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Last post from Boston

Hello again! Another fun few days in Boston and now everyone is napping pre-dinner so I thought I'd update this log again.

So yesterday was a nice warm day again, though a bit rainy. We are really been blessed with some great weather while we're here. It's an absoute winter heatwave here with highs in the high teens, low 20s each day. Probably doesn't sound that incredible in Australia but since this should be one of the coldest spots in the US right now, we're feeling pretty lucky when we walk around without coats like we did today! My brother was walking around the park this morning in a tee shirt! The flora is all confused as well - there are cherry blossoms in the Public Gardens and the willows are all green again!

Yesterday, we had an educational day at the Boston Science Museum. Lots to see and lots of buttons to push. We went for a very late lunch to the bar that inspired the TV show, Cheers. I had Boston Cream Pie - oooh yum! We then went back to the apartment to catch up with my brother and then went out to a funky, very authentic restaurant in the North End - the area known as Little Italy. I had butternut pumpkin ravoli in an aspargus and lobster cream die for!! We then adjourned for liquor coffees and good conversation before wandering back home.

Today, we had another late, lazy start and managed to miss the breakfast, brunch and lunch rush. I think we actually started eating at about 2pm! We went to a lovely place near Ryan and Bec's place and had a nice walk there too, along a cool old style street with lots of interesting little shops. After "lunch", we walked over to the Prudential Tower and had a drink in their bar on the 52nd floor. The sun sets really early here at the moment so it was only around quarter past four but we got to watch the sun set and all the lights come on in the city.

We're off out for dinner in a while and then tomorrow, we're leaving on a jetplane for Baltimore to meet up with our friends from Adelaide, Courtney and James! We've had a blast in Boston - great city and wonderful company!

Saturday, 6 January 2007

My Goodness!

There are too many Dunkin' Donuts shops in this town for any rational society!! And there's lines in all of them. Madness!!

So, last time I wrote, we were heading off to a pro-basketball game. We watched Boston take on the Cleveland team While I know nothing about basketball, we had a great time cheering on the Celtics. It was a very close match with Boston often a few points ahead but Cleveland won in the end by 3 points. I knew none of the players, though I did recognise one name on the Cleveland team - LeBron James - and he really was an awesome player - a complete standout even though I didn't really know what I was looking for in terms of skills! We came home via a cool little pub named "The 21st Amendment" which we thought was quite fitting :)

Yesterday, we had another wandering-around day in Boston. We started off at the Boston Public Library and were lucky enough to find three free exhibitions going on. One was about the idea of public morality in 18th/19th century London and how this was reflected in print – so basically tons of old books – another was etchings of places in the US and Europe by Gardner, a Bostonian artist of the 1900-50s, and the third was the John Addams Library. Addams was the second president of the USA and a manic book collector. He had an amazing variety of books and they are all available to students today, though now mostly on-line. After the library, we had another meander through the shops and streets, followed by a nice dinner and a bottle of McLaren Vale red at Bec and Ryan’s.

And now it’s time to rug up and head off into the cold again! And for Ryan to find more donuts....

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Day 1 in Boston!

Well, after a lazy morning, we headed out and about around Boston. Ryan and Bec live in a gorgeous building on Commonwealth Avenue, right in the middle of the city, so it's wonderfully central for us!

We've basically had a day of wandering around the city today. It's been brisk out but not too cold and the sky has been clear so perfect walking weather. We started off walking through Boston Common and the public gardens and then went down to the river for a bit, then into the city and then down to Faneuil Hall and Quincey Market .


Didn't buy much but it's a good place to browse. I came VERY close to buying a couch throw with the Pledge of Allegiance on it...

We then walked down to the port and as it was 4.30 - ish, the sun was setting so it was time to head back here to meet my brother (Ha ha - Ryan has to work!!).

I like sunset shots anyhow. :)

By the time we walked back, the sun set entirely and now it's pitch dark again. I just went out to the street to take a photo of the Christmas lights - aren't they gorgeous??

Tonight, the wonderful Bec has organised tickets for us to go to the basketball. We're heading off soonish so time again to sign off! Go Celtics!!

Wednesday, 3 January 2007


Have arrived in Boston and am sitting in the lovely warm apartment of my brother, Ryan and his wife, Bec. We've also met Macy the hairless cat who is actually far cuter than we anticipated!Ryan has decided it's time to open the Christmas presents that we've brought over so I guess we're signing off. Awesome!

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

New York!

For a city hosting millions of tourists, it's quite a challenge to find a net cafe here....

New York has been fun as always. If you've ever seen a Christmas movie set here and thought it couldn't REALLY be that pretty (like London seems to be in Love Actually which *IS* a total crock!) - well, it really is here. Americans really know how to decorate and New York is absolutely gorgeous!! Everywhere you go, there are lighted wreaths, trees, reindeer, name it! We've been wandering the streets a fair bit at night, going here and there, and it is just far too pretty here. My favourite spots have to be Grand Central Station at night (generally gorgeous anyhow but even better with a big wreath the size of one whole storey), Macy's which has a light show, Rockefeller Plaza (which always looks pretty in films but is STUNNING in real life too, despite the thousands of people....well, I could go on!

We've been having some fun times, especially while catching up with one of Ryan's college friends, Ken, who lives in the city. We went out on a very messy night in Brooklyn, checking out some cool clubs, bars and restaurants. Ryan got to introduce Ken to Coopers too - the waiter seemed quite bemused. Apparently, the only people who order it are ex-pat Aussies...

And New Years - yes, we did make it to Times Square...almost. We made it to the huge crowd that bordered Central Park and watched the big screen, cause they weren't willing to line up at 2pm to get into Times Square itself!! Still, we did make it til midnight to see the ball drop and caught the fireworks over the park. Ryan and I have both had horrible colds so it was a bit of tokenism to stay out til 1am in the freezing cold but we've done it now and so that's another tick off my list!

Tonight we went to our only show - this city is packed and it seems almost everything is sold out! We saw "Altar Boyz" which was pretty good and even Ryan enjoyed it. Tomorrow we head up to Boston to visit my brother and SIL - yay!