Showing posts from October, 2016

Our Piece of the "Australian Dream"

Today we bought a little rectangle of swamp land.  It doesn't look like much now, but hopefully by this time next year it will be our beautiful new home.

A couple weeks after we got our citizenship we decided it was time to start looking at buying a house.  We talked about putting together a two year plan to buy something, and then that following Tuesday I started looking at stuff to get an idea of price.  And then all of a sudden we were looking at open houses that following Saturday and realizing that it made much more sense to buy land and build a new house in our current area than it did to buy an existing property closer to my work.  The stuff near work was small, run down, and expensive, where a new build would cost less and would be exactly what we want.  We were already used to commuting to the suburbs and like the area, so we weren't going to have to make a huge lifestyle change.

As much as it makes me nervous to think we could be buying at the top of a property market …

My Journey to Kona

Last weekend I went to Kona for the Ironman.  Well, sort of.  And my Ironman Husband is really jealous that I made it there before him.  

I wanted to do something to commemorate our citizenship at the end of May so figured making a quilt for Aussie Hero Quilts would be a great way to do that.  When I saw the request for an Ironman (Triathlon) quilt, I knew I had to do that one.

We looked through swim bike run images and finally found one that would lend well to cutting and tracing.  Phil sized it up and printed it out and I ran with that as the pattern.  I wanted to make it simple, because a triathlon is complicated enough on its own.  I stuck with a plain black background and appliqu├ęd the swim, bike, and run graphics staggered in a diagonal across the length.  Then I added the Ironman wording along the side.  I finished it off with some simple straight line quilting and backed it with a nice soft grey shot cotton.  I packaged it up and sent it off, hoping it would make it safely to th…

New Zealand Trip - Waitomo

It was a pretty drive from Lake Taupo to our final stop, Waitomo.  Lots of green hills, green mountains, green everywhere.  
It was raining in Waitomo, but the forecast had been for rain on this day when I started planning the trip so it was no surprise.  That's why I saved Waitomo for that day, who cares if it's raining when you're in a cave.  Phil and I had been here before to see the caves and the glow worms that live in them.  That time we went black water rafting, where we donned wet suits and floating through the caves on inner tubes.  This time we took a slightly tamer approach and sat in a boat as we floated through the caves.  

We walked through the caves first and got to see some interesting formations.  Then we silently boarded the boat and looked up in amazement.  The glow worms were light blue, and it looked like the night sky inside.  It's such a unique experience that can't really be described.  What I really enjoyed about this boat trip though was wat…

New Zealand Trip - Lake Taupo

On the way from Rotorua to Lake Taupo we decided to check out one more geothermal park, Orakei Korako.  It was off the road a bit and we had to take a really short boat ride across a river to get there.  But wow, it was cool.  Well, hot (geothermal speaking), but cool.  The landscape was like nothing we had ever seen, and we've seen a lot of neat volcanic landscapes!

Down in Taupo we stopped at the Prawn Farm for lunch.  It reminded me of the marron we had for lunch on our adventure around Kangaroo Island.

We had to show my parents Huka Falls.  They don't get to see a lot of water in San Diego, and were very impressed with both the colour and volume of water rushing down the falls.

 Then, Phil got to do something he's been wanting to do for awhile - bungy jump!  Taupo is one of the great bungy jump spots in New Zealand and he was excited (and a little nervous) to try it.  The top half of his body plunged into the cold water, and up and down he went.  A boat went out in the wa…

New Zealand Trip - Rotorua

There is a lot to see and do in Rotorua, so we spent a few days there to make sure we had plenty of time.  My favourite spot when we were there previously was the Champagne Pool at Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, so that was the first place we saw this time.  We showed up right when the geyser erupts (it's forced at a scheduled time every morning) so that we could have the place to ourselves while everyone was watching that up the road.  We took a slow walk through the park, stopping at each of the amazing pits of steam, water, and mud to enjoy their uniquenesses.  It was a cold morning, so there was quite a thick layer of steam coming off of the hot water.  The sun came out as we walked along and it was so nice to warm up a bit on the way back.
 After thoroughly exploring that area, we rode the gondola up and went luging back down.  It was a lot of fun for us, and gave my parents a chance to relax and enjoy the view while we wore ourselves out.
 The following day we drove to the North…