Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pancakes and Patchouli

What a great weekend! Saturday we finally got a day without rain, and so we decided to go exploring in an area of Sydney we hadn't been to yet. Glebe is an older part of town with a bit of a seedy past. Today it's a funky, eclectic neighborhood filled with shops, restaurants, and backpacker hostels. It is also home to the Glebe Market, where you will find all things hippie and funky. It was quite a fun market to browse in, even if the smell of incense was a bit strong. By the time we left, I was almost convinced that dreadlocks were the way to go. LOL

After a ramble up Glebe Point Road and a short tram ride, we arrived at the Sydney fish market ( only to find it closing for the day. We were a bit disappointed and decided we needed to make a trip back soon to stock up on some fresh fish and seafood. Nothing compares to the fresh stuff just pulled out of the ocean. We are getting quite spoiled here with all the yummy fresh fish available.

From there, we ended up walking to Darling Harbour. We sat and ate an ice cream while watching the finals of the dragon boat racing contest. There is always something going on in Darling Harbor and it's fun to just hang out there and people watch.

Today (Sunday) we set out early and started our day at Pancakes on the Rocks (, which is now my new favourite thing in Sydney. Check out the menu. To.die.for. Yum. You have no idea how good those pancakes are until you take that first bite... and then you are hooked. The best part - they are open 24 HOURS. I see a lot of pancakes in our future.

Of course, after that, we had to walk off breakfast, so we wandered through The Rocks Market for a few hours. This is by far my favourite market here. It's a great mix of arts & crafts, fun and funky, and amazingly unique. It's chock full of tourists, as the cruise ships dock just blocks away, but it's fun to hear all the languages and accents. Before I visit the States and Canada again, I will have to make a huge shopping trip to the Rocks and stock up on all the cool stuff I want to buy as gifts.

It started raining again this afternoon, so we headed home. I just have to mention however, that Jon made The Best Dinner Ever this evening. Marinated lamb tenderloin with a salad of mixed greens, snow peas and avocado. And he even got dessert at the Patisserie next door. MORE than made up for a crappy Valentines Day. I am a lucky woman.

Back to work tomorrow. Sigh.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Well, it's Valentines Day. Jon is out of town on business and his trip was unexpectedly extended another day, so I am alone tonight. I made a nice dinner, bought some ice cream, and was settling in to watch LOST when I hear a noise and see something move out of the corner of my eye.

Did you know that the cockroaches in Australia can grow to be about 6 inches long and they FLY? They are the nastiest things IN THE WORLD and I just killed one by bashing a kleenex box against it. It was the grossest thing I have encountered in a long while.

Please note - the existence of such a creature in my home is not an indicator of my cleanliness level. These beasts are everywhere here and since our windows do not have screens, they tend to turn up often. Just a fact of life in Oz.

As I was here alone, I allowed myself a small screech followed by some not-so-nice words. After I killed it, flushed it, and scrubbed the residue off the wall - I felt a sudden pang of sadness.

I had forgotten to take a picture of the corpse. Dangit.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Miscellaneous News

Jon had to travel to Canberra last Thursday and I rode along. Canberra is the nation's capitol and is a 3 hour drive from Sydney. It is not a pretty city and is quite depressing (so glad we don't live there!), but I did get to do some fun exploring. I toured Parliament and the National Rose Garden, and spent hours in the National Gallery and the National Museum of Australia. The gallery was fantastic! They had quite a nice collection of Picasso, Monet and some fabulous Asian art that was over 1000 years old. Really cool. The Museum was fun and has a nice interactive exhibit on the history of the country. Fun and educational. Even better, all of them were free!

I think I walked about 15 miles though, and I was beat after. On the drive there and back we saw kangaroos and an emu! That was pretty fun. We were laughing at ourselves... we felt like such tourists. People out in the country see roos in the fields and think nothing of it. Jon and I were practically hanging out of the car windows like dogs with tongues flapping. It was pretty cool though. Can't wait to get into the red centre and see roos galloping around in herds. They are pretty wild looking.

It has finally stopped raining. So nice to finally see the sunshine. Folks here are predicting the wettest summer on record, with above average rainfall lasting well into the winter (which is in June, here.) Perfect. Something to look forward to.

I started my new job today. Too soon to tell much, but I think it is going to be just fine. Two minute walk to work, busy enough job to make the days go by quickly, and a great group of work mates. Not too shabby.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sunshine, at long last

It finally stopped raining today. It's gorgeous and sunny and a perfect 24C / 76F with blue skies. I should be at the beach or at least outdoors in the sun, but instead I am glued to the computer, waiting to see the results of the Super Tuesday primary voting. I think I need to get a life.

Tomorrow I might be heading to Canberra with Jonathan for a few days. He is supposd to travel down for work, and I am hoping to tag along. I will have the camera ready in case we see any kangaroos or wombats. I am worried that I may never see any. After all, 3 years in Canada and I am yet to have a decent moose sighting. Sigh. Let's hope for better results down here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho....

It's off to work I go! This woman is EMPLOYED! Just had to share, I accepted a great offer today at a lovely Real Estate office not even a block from home. I will be starting Monday as their new Marketing Manager. Many thanks to my amazing references, and thanks to the rest of you for listening to me whinge for 5 weeks about not having a job. I have 5 days to enjoy life before I am back in the trenches. No more job interviews! Woohoo!

Now I am off to buy a celebratory sofa!

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain

Last Friday, our crate finally arrived. After about 60 days at sea and many thousands of miles, our stuff was finally here! We rented a ute (utility vehicle, aka SUV) and drove all over kingdom-come in order to process the paperwork involved. We had to pay the cargo handler, who shipped it from Melbourne. And then we had to go to the airport and pay our friendly local customs and quarantine officers a visit. Thankfully, they were in a Friday mood, and we made it through without any "random" inspections.

Finally, we had to wait in line at the shipping wharf and have it loaded onto our ute by forklift. We established that the crate weighed 381 kg, or 838 lbs. It was a havy sucker. But - after all the traveling it has done, I am pleased to report that everything arrived safe and sound and completely unscathed. We were pretty happy to drive it home and get it unloaded. Our empty crate now resides in Jon's company's warehouse, in case of future need. Anyone want a large wooden crate??

So, we now are settling in with boxes of stuff that we really have no room for. Sigh. It sure is nice, however, to have sheets and towels and pots and pans and books and clothes hanging racks. It's starting to feel like home. Still have to get a lounge (sofa) and a tv, but we'll get around to that soon. Once we have everything settled, I'll post photos of the apartment.

On another note, it has been raining here for over a week straight. Sheets, buckets, monsoons of rain. IT WILL NOT STOP raining! Kind of a bummer, as it is the middle of summer and it should not be raining like this (according to the locals), but on the bright side - we don't have to shovel it! That, we are thankful for. From what we have seen online lately, our friends and families have had one of the snowiest winters on record. (I promise, I am not laughing at you. I swear. Ok... maybe a little.)

The job search continues. It's taking a while for two reasons. One, I am picky and would really like to have a job I ENJOY for a change. Two, things are just different down here. People just take their time... with everything. It's very laid back. Very. But I know the right offer will come along any day now, and before you know it, I'll be complaining about how much I need a vacation.