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Showing posts from November, 2011

Give Thanks for Costco

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As last week drew on, I would see everyone's facebook posts about Thanksgiving and think that they were all confused. Isn't it May? Thanksgiving is in November. It's definitely Spring, and Thanksgiving is definitely NOT in Spring. I would say it's in Fall, but around here if I use that F-word they give me funny looks - apparently it's called Autumn. Thursday morning I woke up and went to work as if it were a regular Thursday - because it was. We had tacos for dinner (minus the refried beans - they can't seem to get those right in Australia). Friday morning I noticed that Phil was watching football and I thought it was really odd - why was he watching football on a Friday morning? Then I realized it was Thanksgiving in the US, and with Thanksgiving comes football. Yesterday we had dinner with the Ex-Pat American Meetup group - on the menu was turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and pumpkin pie for dessert. It was nice to hang out with …

Herb Appeal

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(and around here, that H is not silent!) I seem to have an issue with plants. I thought it would be nice to grow some herbs, tomatoes, etc, so I bought a little garden and carefully planted some seeds in neat little rows. I wasn't sure what would grow, so I planted about 6 full packages of seeds in two of the four spots. Then, the night we left for Fiji I asked Phil to plant the remaining seeds in the last two vacant spots so that they would have sprouted by the time we got back. Well, they did. And that was how we discovered that Phil had misunderstood me and planted seeds in all of the spots, including the ones I had already planted seeds in. Granted, he was probably right to do what he did, surely only crazy people plant everything so close together like I did. So now we have heaps of lettuce sprouts mixed in with the occasionalzucchini plant. We also have mystery herbs (because I completely forgot what seeds I planted of course) mixed in with carrots. We had a good lau…

Four queue

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In general, Aussies are incredibly nice people. I think they call it the Aussie Spirit - they go out of their way to help out and it has been a refreshing change of pace from the people of Southern California. Lately I've discovered that Aussies have one major, very annoying flaw. They are queue-cutters. Several times in the last few weeks I have been patiently waiting in line for something when the cashier says "next" and someone who was standing behind me decides they are next. I wouldn't be so surprised if it were an impatient teenager, but it's usually the unassuming-looking middle aged woman. Perhaps they are not used to large amounts of people standing in line. Maybe they really are oblivious. Whatever the reason, it's definitely a habit I could do without. Fortunately I'm not afraid to be the rude American who reminds them just exactly who was next in the queue.

Bula from Nukubati Island, Fiji

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We reluctantly stepped onto the small boat, sat down, and looked back at the island. Beautiful Fijian farewell songs were being sung in the background as the boat started up. It slowly pulled away, bringing us farther from paradise. We both had tears in our eyes as the staff waved goodbye and the island got smaller and smaller.

You know it was a good vacation when you are already planning your return the day you get back. We landed in Nadi early last Saturday morning and went into town to explore. That was when it first dawned on me that Fiji was a third world country. Before that when I thought Fiji I thought beautiful tropical islands, but never did I make the connection that the people were so poor. By the time we finished exploring the town we were very much ready to get out to the island and relax.


We flew over to Labasa on the world's smallest commercial plane and landed in the world's smallest commercial airport (I hope). As we stepped from the plane we loo…

Guest Book - Mom and Dad

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Dear Suzannah and Phil - You found a lovely house in which to live out your Australian adventure. And, you are indeed having an adventure in Oz. Thanks for letting us share in some of it. The trip along the Great Ocean Road was amazing - lots of beautiful scenery and interesting people to see - I couldn't believe the people in shorts and flip flips in that weather. It's been fun to see you both and I hope we get to come again. We loved the Australian animals in the wild and were glad to not be doing the driving on the "wrong" side of the road. By the way, who is that cat who looks like George? It;s time to pack and get on to visit our friends here now. Have a wonderful time in Fiji. Love, Mom & Dad (Mary and David Weflen) p.s. I'll start collecting fabric for you again!

Great Ocean Road

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My mom and dad are visiting for a few weeks and we decided to take them on a drive along the Great Ocean Road. We started by taking the ferry across the bay to Geelong. It was a rainy Saturday morning and we pretty much had the ferry to ourselves. Unfortunately the rain stayed with us most of way, but we braved the weather and were rewarded with some beautiful views. We explored the pretty beaches in the morning and stopped in Lorne for lunch. After lunch Phil took his bike and road (in the rain) for several hours. We picked him up past Apollo Bay after we explored the Otways. Then it was on to Port Campbell for the first night. By then the wind had really picked up, so we only braved the Twelve Apostles for a few minutes before heading to the shelter of our warm room. The next morning we went to see the apostles again, hoping it would be warmer and less windy. No dice. It was still pretty though. We continued along the road to see some arches and beautiful coves and then he…

A Day at the Races

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As I was leaving the office last night I was asked if I could go to the races with some customers today. Apparently two tickets had become available last minute and someone needed to fill them. Sure, why not. I was told it was very 'smart' dress and that I would need to wear a fascinator. "A what?" I replied. A fascinator. Apparently a fascinator is the funny little sideways hat thing that people wear to fancy English weddings (and the horse races). They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and feather configurations. They are truly fascinating accessories. This is the first time we've been around Melbourne to experience the Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops a nation. We even had Tuesday off work for the races. We rode the train in to the Flemington Race Track, pushing our way onto the already packed car and bouncing against everyone else packed like a can of sardines. When the train doors opened waves of men in suits and women in dress…