Tag Archives: vacation

Canberra – what a weekend!

All I can say about being in Canberra over the Anzac weekend was that I’m so glad we didn’t go before Anzac Day. Despite the city being apparently booked out, (for what reason we don’t know) there were decidedly few people about, making our first real couple holiday since kids a most relaxing time. Yes, you read that right. First time since we had kids. 17 years.

I have now been to all but one of our country’s capital cities (7/8) and aside from loving where I live, Canberra is definitely my favourite.
Hobart is a mish mash of old and new, and down right ugly, with no real purpose, or structure and while Adelaide is similar with its mix of buildings, the execution has been much better.
Darwin made no real impact on me.
Brisbane is a mess, and just plain horrible (putting it nicely).
Sydney is beautiful and reasonably well set out, (we found it easy enough to get about) and Melbourne is very concentrated and busy but I like it. Not sure why, I just do.
Perth over on the west coast I have yet to see.  Hubby has been and is excited to show me. From his pictures, I think I will like it.

Canberra is a very neat city. I found the buildings all had very clean lines and fitted well. Even the new curved glass and abstract buildings fit in with the others in a way that doesn’t seem to work in other places. The traffic flows well with an easy road system and getting about, even in peak traffic was no issue. We used the navigator to get somewhere but not on the return. That’s how easy it was.

As a tourist you could not get bored here. Regardless of what your family make up is there is fun for everyone.  My city map I picked up from the information building had a list of attractions on the back – Free admission, (33) and Charged Admission, (18). Part of the free attractions were all the galleries, gardens and memorials you can poke a stick at, the Mint, numerous Lookouts, a glassworks, and several churches.

The first afternoon, we checked out CMAG, (Canberra Museum and Art Gallery) and then wandered around the city  before having dinner at the hotel. Well, hubby had dinner, times two.  I had one of my ‘things’ where I was too excited, dehydrated and couldn’t function. Doesn’t happen often. Even the most basic item on the menu was too much.  It looked fantastic, but all I could manage was a small glass of juice.   Granted, after a brilliant sleep I was starving when it came to breakfast.  Then, the only headache I got was from the choices. Where to start??

On the Saturday, we took advantage of only 4 of the free attractions, remember, we only had a day and a half in town, two of which were walking distance, the other two we had to drive to and only one paid attraction.  But we filled in the day and by dark were exhausted and ready to have a bite to eat and chill in our room before an early night ready to fly home.

Saturday we visited the War memorial – incredible, even for those not into war or history, and took heaps of pictures.  We spent 2+ hours there, although you could easily fill in a whole day.  A light lunch was had on The Deck, a restaurant overlooking Lake Burley Griffin before chilling on the banks waiting for the Captain Cook Memorial Jet to start.  An easy walk around the edge of the lake brought us to the bike hire where we commandeered a pedal car for an hour and took the 6k round trip to the National Carillion.
We drove to the Telstra Tower where a  late afternoon coffee was muchly appreciated and the views amazing, even with the afternoon sun casting shadows over town.  Seeing this, we tootled back into town and made our way to Parliament House.  I can’t stand politics – who can? – but visiting this magnificent place was always going to be on the list.  It is a masterpiece of architecture and a pretty cool place to see up close.  Of course we got our picture taken, as is the way, and then took off and walked the 2k around the place.  By the time we finished it was dark and definitely time to leave.

I will be posting photos over on the Box blog and as I sort through them a
few selected posts & photos here which will help explain everything I have just written.
My piece-de-resistance was going to be this picture, but as I rarely do a post without one, I’ll show it now.  Hubby and I outside parliament in Canberra (as taken by some girl whose photo we took, again, as you do).
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Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi

While I hate the saying, (reminds me of drunken yobbos at backyard parties, as heard from across the fence, not from actual participation) I am Australian, and it is Australia Day, so it’s my call for the day. Saying that, if I were anywhere else in the world at a sporting event I would be chanting as loudly as the rest.  Here at home, not so likely.

There are many that have called it Invasion Day, but today is all about celebrating what it is to be Australian, and our wonderful multi cultural people’s.  As well as any excuse to have another day off and spend the long weekend fishin’ and drinkin’ and proving just how yobbo many of us are.

We have a freedom that knows no bounds (well maybe it does, but that sounded pretty cool) and the wide open spaces that showcase some of the best scenery in the world.
A lifestyle that is casual and friendly (mostly) and food that reflects it. Yeah sure we eat one of the animals on our Coat of Arms, but it shows how completely we love our country we are (hmm, not sure about that one).

We have a knack, or rather a skill, at being able to laugh at ourselves and take the mickey out of everyone else, the all the abbreviations to go with it.

We live on an island paradise, with wide dusty plains where all you can see is the horizon shimmering in the distance, rainforests to delight and beaches to rival the worlds best. Our sunrises and sunsets are among the best and scenery is a photographers paradise.
We also have more deadly animals than (just about) any other country and are a continent all of our own.
What better place is there to live??

So I shall finish my Vegemite toast and wish all my expat and current Aussie friends a very Happy Australia Day.

(For new readers, check out last years Aus Day post here)

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it’s always a good time for coffee…

tidying up a few things inn the kitchen this afternoon I found a couple of things I had forgotten all about… hidden away since we moved back home. Now to find somewhere to put them.

Have a great day 🙂
although for me it is now wine o’clock and time to think about dinner…
Jennifer

 

 

Yes, it’s another sunrise…

I know hubby gets sick of me posting pics of sunrises and the like.  If you guys have had enough just let me know.  I just love seeing the colours and it makes me smile every time. A bright new start to the day.  And yes, here are a few shots of this morning’s beautiful colours.



Family matters

(Awesome news alert!!, well for me anyway)

Thirty years is a long time. I was 5 or 6 and can barely remember what happened.  there are snippets, and of course the photos to jog the memory.  But that is it.

Hubby’s family is huge!  His father is one of 11 or 12 and with each of those having say 3 kids then say 2+ kids in the next generation makes for one very large family.  I have met most of them on our various travel throughout Queensland and the like, others I’m friends with on Facebook, and of course there are more I have not met. So in short , hubby has a squillion first cousins.

Me, however.  I come from two small families, each with only 3 kids where only two of those had kids (my parents included).  I have 6 first cousins.  I have never met 2 of them.
The other four – I finally met, for the first time in 30+ years this weekend just gone.  It would have been made better if my parents could have been there or any of my siblings, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.  It was made that little bit easier for my by having my aunt and uncle on hand as we shared the catering for lunch.  Made for quite a few less nerves running through me.

Meeting people for he first time is always a little nerve-wracking, will you like them, will we get on (at least enough to not be arguing all the time) will they want to catch up again? But meeting four of them + partners was akin to an invasion – actually that was how it was put in the emails that were flying about. Family invasion!

Having only half the ‘things’ to worry about made me all the more relaxed – if you could call it that – and squeezing them all into my house was something else again. And I needn’t have worried.
They are totally cool, really great people and it was one big happy family. Seriously, no egos in the room, everyone casual and laughing, really relaxed. I felt completely at home.

Now I’ve never been one to think I have missed out on things, or to have felt that not having them around that something was missing from my life, but I am so glad they are in it now.  My kids know most of their immediate cousins, and my cousins’ kids all know and get on with their cousins.  The way is should be.  In a perfect world maybe.  Your cousins can be the first friends you have, and are often long-lasting friendships.  A little bit of ‘same same, but different’.

From here, they only live an hour’s air flight away so the possibilities of getting to see them (now we’re in touch again) is much more likely.

Why have we not got in touch before. Who knows, It’s no ones fault and it has been pretty easy if any of us have wanted to make the move to contact.  I have thought about them over the years, but as things go, never did anything about it. I’m just happy to have them in my life and maybe for my kids to meet theirs someday.  At least the age groups are about the same. My two eldest have long been a bit ‘left out’ as they are often a lot older than the other kids.

I would love to post a pic of the five of us, but am still waiting for approval.  So I’ll say now, I look a little like the only male cousin, who is also the ‘baby’ of the family, am only slightly taller than the eldest (we share the same middle name and similar height deficiencies).

Here is the picture of my self and the four cousins (permission granted) + one with their partners.

Kim, troy, me, Jo and Nikki

 

clockwise from back left: Gary, Nikki, Troy, Kelly, Kim, Nino, Jo and Allen

We have all agreed it will not be long again, and I look forward to many more get togethers now the ‘reunion’ has happened.

Who else has met family members after a long time?
Did you remember them?
Did it work out well for you aswell?

Keep smiling 😀
Jennifer