Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Waves and Wine

Last Friday Jonathan had to travel north of Sydney for a job. We decided to make a weekend of it and stay on the coast. There is a beach about 2 hours north of Sydney on Anna Bay that is just amazing. It is called "the largest moving coastal sand mass in the southern hemisphere." And let me tell you... it's amazing. I thought the Sleeping Bear dunes were something... they are tiny compared to this beach. It just goes on forever. Pretty amazing.
The tide was coming in this morning as we walked on the beach. Makes you feel pretty small in the grand scheme of things.
After we spent the morning on the coast, we drove west to the Hunter Valley. Known for it's vineyards, the Hunter Valley is a beautiful inland valley home to many dairies, wineries, cheese factories and b&b's. Similar to Napa, it's a beautiful place, full of rolling hills and gorgeous scenery.
The Hunter put on a brilliant display of it's autumn colours and charmed us with it's sunshine and fresh air. We had a chance to do lots of taste testing and driving and photo taking. We decided we definitely have to go back and take some of the local cooking classes offered. How fun to learn to make fresh pasta in this very Italy-like place.

Just as the day was ending and we were headed home, we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a herd of kangaroos hanging out in a roadside vineyard. I couldn't get close enough for a good photo... but I promise you it was pretty cool. They just stood there and stared at me before casually hopping further down the rows. Camera shy, I suppose.

Winter in Summer

Well, it's full on winter here now. Cold and rainy and dark. Seems bizarre to think that it is June. June has always been a month of sunshine and gardens and going to the beach. A month of bbqs and ice cream and bare feet. Not so in Australia. Here in Sydney, it's a month of warm jackets, socks and rain. LOTS of rain. It's supposed to rain for the next 3 months... and that is apparently good news here. Weird.
Other than the weather, life goes on as usual here for us. Jonathan is still travelling quite a bit. Which is becoming a little more frustrating, as the weather gets bad. He spends a lot of time waiting for delayed flights. On the bright side, we are racking up the domestic airmiles, so we'll soon get a nice weekend away out of it. Maybe we'll head down to Adelaide and swim with sharks?!
My job situation is still not great. Not much to do, which is hindered by the downturn in the market recently. Starting to feel the shockwaves from the troubled US market and the results of 13 interest rate hikes here just in the past 24 months. Not to mention the fact that petrol is now almost $7 per gallon here and food prices are nearing record highs, as they are worldwide. So... obviously real estate is an interesting business to be in these days. However, I had a great offer this week from a smaller local company who has less overhead and is looking for an all round manager for their 5 person office. I will most likely be making the move, even though I will be sad to leave the fun office I am in now. I have made some good friends there, and change is always hard. But, I feel that they will have to downsize eventually anyway, so it's probably best to move on now.
Other than that, things are good here in Oz. We are really enjoying living a simpler life. I don't know if I ever want to go back to having 2 cars and a lengthy commute. And I am really not sure we will ever want to go back to rural/suburban life again. We might be true "city slickers" after this! (sorry, Mom!) We have decided to stay in the apartment we are in now. It's been good for the most part, and unless something major changes, we'll most likely be here for awhile.

Sure would be nice to hear from friends and family back home. Seems a little like we dropped off the face of the earth lately. Word to the wise folks - skype. It's free, easy, and well, free. So sign up and give us a call. Or email. Email is always good too.

And one last thing... (warning. the following may be offensive to some viewers.) I just have to add a big whoop! and a Go Obama! Just because I can. LOL