Saturday, August 29, 2009

T & S

A random moment from the trip home. This is a pretty common progression with these two... were they made for eachother or what?! I miss you both so much.

Almost there

It's almost Spring in Australia. Every day the leaves grow a little bigger and a little greener. Every day the weather is a little warmer and the days are a little longer. I love Spring here. Flowers bloom, the sky is the bluest of blues, and the birds come back louder than ever. As this will be my second Spring here, I know what to look forward to. I know that the jacarandas will be blooming soon... gorgeous purple blossoms. I know that the Melbourne Cup is coming up, and that will mean a day off work and a lot of fun. And I know that soon - hopefully - the rains will come and wash all the winter grit off the streets.

It's already been a very dry winter here. I remember there being a few weeks where all we did was complain about the rain, but that seems like a long time ago now. They say that if we don't get some serious rain in the next 2 weeks, the farmers will lose their entire winter crop. Makes it a lot harder to enjoy the gorgeous days when you hear that.

Last weekend, as part of our goals to get more exercise, etc... we called up Tash and decided to do something we've been meaning to do for over a year and just kept putting off: the Bondi to Coogee walk. It's a 6km coastal walk. For those of you in the Imperial world, that would be about 4 miles. However, since we are gluttons for punishment (and since we left the car in Bondi) we walked it there... and back. Sigh. That would be 8 miles of hilly coastline. And did I mention it was about 80 degrees that day?

I had never done the walk before, and Tash has done it heaps, so I asked her what to expect... is it all hills? And she said "No, it's some hills, and some steps, and it's kind of winding, but it's mostly flat." Riiight. Mostly flat.

But what a view. We started in Bondi, home of one of the world's more famous beaches. I am not a huge Bondi fan. It's a little pretentious for me, and there isn't much shade for the fairer skinned people. The walk then winds around past Tamarama (which is just fun to say) and then Bronte. Beyond that you enter Waverley Cemetery.. which is the best part of the whole trip. Tash can see the cemetery from her kitchen window, and I said that if I lived that close, I would walk there every day, just to read the headstones. So. Cool. She thought that was creepy.

The Husband spent the walk taking pictures, of course. Here is a sample. This might be the weirdest collage I have posted to date, but you get the idea. the top left photo is Bondi at the start of the walk. And the bottom left is the view of the walk itself... you can just barely see the cemetery in the distance. Beyond that, the furthest rock cliff... that is where we stopped. I confess, I called it quits at Clovelly. We left Tash there (because she lives there, not because we ditched her) and we walked back. I told The Husband it was because we needed to get home to that leg of lamb we had in the slow cooker. But it was really because I was just tired. Click on the collage to see larger photos.

It was a great walk and a gorgeous day. Not sure I'd do it again soon, but next time, I will pack snacks. And I should note, the car photo... that is all The Husband's doing. He wants one of those cars in a bad bad way. Like that is going to happen. And also, I politely left out the photo of me, posing in the cemetery, with my smiling face where an angels head used to be, on a gravestone. Not so politically correct, Val.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The proper way to make S'mores...


Courtesy of Mr. DiMarco. Click to enlarge

Taste of Home

For weeks before we went home to Canada, I made lists. Lists of what to buy, what to do, and what to eat. Seriously. I would be sitting on the bus on the way to work and a random food would pop into my head... something you can't find here, of course. And I would think - ha! Add that to the List of Things to Eat when Home! And the list grew. And grew.

Well, obviously, we were only home for 10 days and not 10 weeks, so not everything got crossed off the list. We did get a chance to hit the AYCE sushi bar, and Wendy's, and Mandarin (of course). I also managed to eat 6 cheeseburgers in the time we were home... no small feat, I assure you. (I am not totally sure I can be proud of that either.)

But there were things we didn't get to eat. Cabbage rolls and pierogies, polish sausage, and Quiznos - to name a few. In the end, we just ran out of time. But the one thing I really, really wanted to make was german chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting. I have been jonesing for some of that ooey goodness for MONTHS now. And it just didn't happen. I kid you not, I may have shed a tear about that.

So, I decided this week that despite (yet another) upper respiratory infection, and a full load at work, and more that one load of overdue laundry, dangit - I am making that cake!! I googled the recipe, combed the shops for the ingredients, and made it tonight. I should have gone to the gym, but instead I baked. (Again... not something to be proud of, I am sure.)

And here is the aftermath. Now, please note that these photos were not taken with The Husband's schmick camera. They were taken with my old ratty one. So yes, they are out of focus. But you get the point. There was chocolate cake. There was lots of frosting. And there was a taste test - just to be sure the rest were ok to take to the office tomorrow. Ahhhhh. So. Good.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home again, home again

Yes, we are home and all is well. Just suffering from a nasty cold, and getting caught up on work and laundry and life. I will post photos and highlights soon, I promise!