Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Here's what I won't miss

Well, it looks like winter is here to stay. Good thing I am leaving in 12 days for the sunny shores of Australia! Here's what we are leaving behind...

Thank goodness for wonderful neighbors who shovel your driveway while you are holed up in your pj's - praying that the whole showstorm is just a dream you are going to wake up from.
Jonathan will be home in TWO days!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Today was my last day at work. (Moment of silence for perhaps the worst job ever.)

Tomorrow I will be moving the remainder of our belongings into storage. It will be a race against time, as Ontario is supposed to get hit with a doozy of a storm tomorrow evening. Freezing rain followed by 12 hours of heavy snow. Oh, the joys of winter.

It is, however, 80F in Sydney today (Saturday) and sunny.

Just thought I'd mention that. I'll need to keep it in mind when I am shoveling for the next 3 days straight.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Xmas Down Under

Well, it's the end of week 6 and I think things have come a long way. We have a place to live, and internet (finally) so things are just beginning to take on the realm of normality. That means it's time to go. Headed back to the snow. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a nice change of scenery.

I've included a pic I took at Sydney's Town Hall in the CBD. It's all decked out for Xmas. It is a bit disconcerting to be wandering through the grocery store/mall/wherever and be hearing Bing Crosby crooning "White Christmas". I read in the paper today that there's a local carolling group having an outing at a local park. Seems a bit odd. But all in family fun and holiday spirit, I guess.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting Closer Now

Well, it's finally December. Jonathan has been in Sydney for over 6 weeks now, and he'll be back soon. It's full on winter here now, and every day I am more and more anxious to head south and start our adventure. I am almost packed now. Christmas shopping is done and the crate was shipped last week. It's somewhere out on the Pacific Ocean now. Let's hope it makes it.

Jonathan has internet at home now, so he should be posting more and checking email on a regular basis.

Not much else to report lately. Still packing the remainder of our stuff, and finishing up at work. Jonathan will be back on the 19th! Can hardly wait!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

First Snow

It snowed pretty hard here in Toronto last night. It's mostly gone this morning, just piles of dirty slush everywhere now. But I stood in the doorway last night and watched it fall, thinking that I may not be seeing much of this stuff for awhile. Don't get me wrong, I am glad... but the first snow is always pretty, and I was happy to see it last night. Not so happy to scrape it off the car this morning.

Only a few weeks now. Jonathan comes home on the 19th, (and not that I am counting, but..) only 22 days to go! I am really looking forward to seeing him again. It has been too long. Lucky him, he gets to come home after everything has been packed and moved.

I just wanted to note - in response to the numerous requests for photos, I promise to post some as soon as we get there. Jon so kindly left the camera with me, so he is without it at the moment. But I promise to post pictures soon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am headed back to Michigan this weekend for a few days on the old homestead. I realize it may be the last hometown Thanksgiving for awhile, maybe years. It's kind of sad. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, but I am sorry to be going home without Jonathan. (Don't feel too bad for him... he'll be spending the weekend here: http://www.shoalbayresort.com/ )

I plan on eating lots, and hanging out with the Fam. I am also going to try and snag some Black Friday deals for the crate... which is STILL not packed. But I am getting there. The house is slowly emptying and the boxes are piling up. The lists keep growing, as quickly as I cross items off. Sigh.

Only a few more weeks of work for me here, and I will officially be unemployed again. It might be nice to have a few weeks off... but I am sure I'll be ready to get back at it after the new year.

I just wanted to wish all of you, (friends, family and crazy internet stalkers) a very Happy Thanksgiving this weekend. May your time together be peaceful and may you have many things to be thankful for. Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Miracle of Air Travel

I had the opportunity to fly to British Columbia last week to visit my sister Virginia, her husband Steven, and their 4 lovely kiddies. As I sat on the plane to Vancouver, I couldn't help but marvel at how a giant tin can filled with people can actually fly. It was a pretty miserable flight, and I had to keep reminding myself that this was only a trial run for the 24 hour flight next month to Sydney, which will no doubt make me want to gouge my eyes out. Funny to think I used to love flying. Heh.

It was great to visit the Haab Herd, and so much fun to finally see where they live. Quite a shock to see so much snow already, and I was so glad to return to sunny autumn in Toronto. It's even been a bit breezy here, so I just may get out of raking those leaves yet!

I am back to packing in full force. Or should I say - planning to pack. I will get around to it eventually. I am just not feeling motivated to make decisions about what to bring and what to leave behind. Maybe this weekend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Urban Living

In my last blog, I left you all with the Aussie burger bit. Since then, I've also come to learn that even McD's has copped to the sterotype. Who would have guessed... Anyway, I think it's a funny read:


That brings me to the next bit. What the topic is really about. I am now an urban-suburbanite. That is to say I live in a urban-suburb of a major metropolis. It's a bit of an oxymoron really. But I'll save that for the next post. What I'm really after here is that I'm in the heart of a "village". An as such, there are countless shops, pubs, bistros, cafes, noodle houses, Mc'D's, and so many more varieties, that I find myself struggling to figure what to cook. Add to that, that the fridge, just got delivered today, so I've had a bit of an excuse so far. But now, I've committed to making the trek to the local grocer (I'm still feeling out Coles v. Woolworths), and it's hard to stay on track as I exit the building to a veritable bouquet of fragrant aromas. Garlic. Mmmm. Yep, the kind that emanates from any number of Italian joints. Just like those on the Lower-East side. Curries. Delicate blends of many spices creating a taste sensation... I could go on.

For now, it's off to the Woolworths. Maybe I can find a "heat & serve. Wait. No micro yet. Hmmmmm.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We have a home!

At long last, we finally have a place to live! I met with the agent today and signed all the necessaries... Now I just have to stop in tomorrow to pick up keys and access cards for the garage and front door.

Although it's only week 2, it's been quite an adventure. The house hunting has been somewhat frustrating. The process along with being totally foreign to me, is far different than anything I've experienced in any other part of the world. The one saving grace I find in all of it is that when Valerie arrives, she'll be able to subject countless numbers of other people to the same sufferage. Hmmm... Suffer...Rage... Yep, that's accurate. Anyway, all that assuming she choses to continue her real estate career here, and not do something else like "bookstore-flower shop-barista". Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I'm also a bit surprised at how much of life in Oz ends after 6 pm. I tried to do some shopping this evening and found everything to be closed. Seems shops only have "Trading Hours" from like 8:30 to 6:00 at best. The shopping centres seem to be open late (9PM) on Thursdays. So I suppose that tomorrow will be the day of sojourn to find the appropriate furnishings.

As for now, I'm hungry. I think I'm off to find myself a traditional Aussie-style burger. Yep, one of them char-grilled 100% Aussie beef things, garnished with beetroot. Yum.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sleeping on a Park Bench

Well... so far the search for a new home has not been sucessful. Jonathan is still in a company-provided studio apartment. He has been making efforts to find an apartment, but it's a whole new world down there. Apparently, real estate works a bit differently in the land of Oz. What seems like an average process - finding and renting an apartment - is actually akin to running a marathon. (I'll let Jonathan explain, if he ever gets internet access. LOL) I am confident we'll find something soon, and I'll be sure to post photos of the new place. Until then, Jonathan will go on feeling a bit homeless.

I am, ironically, almost in the same boat. Systematically sorting through everything we own and trying to get rid of as much as possible. It's starting to feel pretty empty in here. Doesn't help that I dropped the tv and killed it. One less thing to put in storage, I guess. Heh.

Now, our landlord here in Ontario is starting to make noises about finding a new tenant. I imagine it is only a matter of time until I am hosting waves of weirdos as they "view" our home. That should be lots of fun. Maybe I should clean a bit.

On an interesting note, it is in the 70's currently in Sydney. And here in Ontario, they are saying we may get the "s-word" on Wednesday. Ugh. Really should get around to raking those leaves.

Oh - and due to recent "daylight savings" issues, we are now 16 hours apart. When it's 8am here, it's midnight there. Crazy.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I am trying to enjoy the fall colours a little more than usual this year, considering I may not see them for a while.

I'll have to get used to seeing palm trees instead of maples.

Of course, less time spent raking means more time at the beach!

The Crate

There is a huge, wooden crate sitting in my garage. It's 3 feet high by 4 feet wide by 6 feet long. Picture a really deep coffin.

I am supposed to fill that crate with everything I wish to take to Australia. When we got the crate (which weighs as much as a mid-sized elephant,) I thought "great, it's huge! lotttts of room!" Hmm. I am not so sure. The list of Things To Pack keeps growing and that crate is not getting any bigger.

Once I manage to fill The Crate, it will be hauled away by forklift and flat bed truck. It will go 30 minutes from here to Oakville, where it will be weighed. (cringe) Then it will go on a train and travel all the way across the continent, to Vancouver. Then it will be loaded on a ship, and it will sail to Australia. Stopping first in Malbourne, it will be placed on a truck and shipped to a warehouse in Sydney, where we will empty it.

All of this is supposed to take 5-6 weeks. Heh. We shall see.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Going on a Roo Hunt...

When I was little, I remember singing the song "Going on a Bear Hunt." For those of you who don't remember the words to that song, here is a hint: You can't go over it, you can't go under it, you gotta go THROUGH it! That is how I feel about our latest endeavor. There is just no easy way to move to the other side of the world.

Yes, it's true. Jonathan and I are moving to Sydney, Australia. From our current home in Toronto, Ontario, that is approximately 9,674 miles, or 15,570 km. It's FAR. Most of they year, we will be 14 hours ahead. So, when Michiganders are going to work at 8am, we will be going to bed at 10pm. When Michiganders are leaving work at 5pm, we will be starting work at 7am The Next Day. Just to give you an idea.

This whole idea sort of came about in an unconventional way. Jonathan was looking for a new job. Not really looking, as much as window shopping. And we saw an opportunity in Australia. Lightbulb moment! We have always wanted to visit Australia! Why not? Sunshine, beaches, kangaroos, what's not to love?

Two months later, we find ourselves in the midst of a move around the world.

We sold most of our belongings, and Jonathan got on a plane. Twenty five hours later - he arrived in Sydney. It's a looooong flight. Jon's number one hint: fly Qantas. They have in-seat video on demand. ;)

I am still here in Toronto, slogging through the packing process. I'll be here until December 19th, when Jon returns and we'll have a whirlwind 10 days of Christmas with family and final preparations, before we both return around December 30th.

What a way to start a new year. We are pretty excited!