Sunday, 16 September 2012

Post-US Trip Recap and "Winter" in Sydney

Delayed yet again- I feel like all my posts should start this way :/

Here is the quick recap of life in Sydney in the weeks after our first trip back to the states…

First we had some visitors from the states stay with us for a few weeks in July.  It is really nice to have good friends visiting Australia… it gives us a chance to experience things again with them and appreciate how amazing it is here.  As with anything, you start to forget how great things are when it is just your day to day life.  We did lots of fun outings to the zoo, wine country, all around Sydney and drove around to spot some kangaroos in the wild.  Good times indeed.

A bit blurry, but you can kind of make out the kangaroo there.  
Sorry about the poor picture quality (iphone from a distance), we have our new camera that I have been 
playing around with.  This will remedy the issue of bad pictures!

Lovely picture of the girls during our wine tasting adventure.

Next up, we spent a weekend in the Blue Mountains for Christmas in July- Woo!  It actually was quite chilly out at night and in the mornings… actual freezing temperatures cold!  I don’t think we have experienced those temps for a while, except for a short time while in Tasmania.  It really did make it feel a bit like Christmas.  We had a proper Christmas dinner, a tree and a fire going at night!  Those who know me well, know that I am obsessed with baking Christmas cookies.  Since I didn’t do too much baking last Christmas here (80 degree heat with no AC does not mix well with baking!) I went a bit crazy for this weekend.  Sorry no recipes to go with these yet, things were a bit too hectic at the time to take pictures of the process.

Some pictures with the new camera.  This was at Wentworth Falls.

 Not sure where we were exactly here... But a pretty picture anyways.

The hubby and I in front of the Three Sisters.

Gingerbread biscotti.  These were ridiculously good.  I will be making them again and will definitely post the recipe.

The required Christmas Sugar Cookies.

Just some of the other cookies I made... I'm telling you I went baking crazy!  Yes, those on the right are peanut butter kisses that a lot of people back home make for the holidays.  Long story with these ones, but pretty much no one besides Americans like Hershey's Chocolate.  
So even though I have a stash here, I filled it with homemade chocolate-peanut butter ganache instead, as to keep all our friends from the UK happy :)

The other reason things have been slow with blogging was our move (I know, excuses and more excuses!).  We have relocated to our new home for the next year.  This move was big and super time consuming.  We are in a house right by one of the nice beaches in the Sydney area.  It makes me feel like a real adult living in a house versus an apartment!  So, the move was crazy in part because it is an old home that was in somewhat of disrepair from the prior owners.  I repainted pretty much the whole interior (except for our “junk room”- yeah we are obnoxious and have that much space now).  This process took over 3 weeks pretty much full time for me.  Completely worth it though.  It really made the place look much better.  Then we had to fill up the space with more furniture than we had… this of course meant quality time (eeks) at Ikea and searching gumtree for finds.  This is still a work in progress.

This doesn't really show the space well, but this was about half way
 through painting the living room area.

I will say that I have been feeling over the past 6 months or so that life here is really good. However, since moving, life here is amazing!!!  I don’t know if it is just being right at the beach and walking there, having a space that feels more like “home”, or just liking the area… but the hubby and I can not stop talking about how great life is.  Clearly this is a good thing ☺

Weekend bushwalk from the new place.

View when finishing our morning run on the new route along the beach. 
 Pretty great way to start the day!

Next up for big accomplishments was City2Surf.  This was the longest run for the hubby to date.  The run goes from the CBD out to Bondi… 14km with a good uphill portion in there.  I pushed him for training for this one… he was a really good sport, but I don’t think he was very happy with me (especially dragging him out on cold mornings while in the Blue Mountains!).  The race day itself was a lot of fun… it is the biggest run in Australia in terms of numbers of people running (they claim it is the world’s largest run) so there is a really good atmosphere throughout the run.  I was super proud of the hubby for training for this one, since distance runs are not his favorite… this was one of the big checks off the Australia “To Do” list for us.   Probably going to stick with the shorter fun runs now though… next up, repeat of the Santa Fun Run in November!

View from running with the crowds down towards Kings Cross.

Pre-run picture...

Post-run.  Still standing :)

Okay, those were the highlights of those few months.  Here are a couple other pictures we took with the new camera over the past few months...

I was trying to be all artistic with flower photos.

On a walk along Lavender Bay


This one is my favorite.  The end of a day at the Taronga Zoo and this poor guy had clearly had enough... The hubby has called it "Come on Mate" :)

Next up, a recap of trip #2 to the states…

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