Friday, 12 September 2014

Highlights from Down Under...

In the first of a multi-part blog series to mark our departure from Australia, I've decided to look back at some of the highlights of our time here 'Down Under'.

This is going to be a bit like one of those TV shows that just takes existing footage and re-plays it with new commentary over the top... yup, nothing 'new' here folks but hopefully some fun trips down memory lane...

Most ill-fated trip: Uluru

This blog entry makes me laugh. We had quite possibly every problem that could have occurred on this trip - illness, lost luggage, cancelled flights, diverted flights, delayed flights.. sensing a theme? We had a great time though! I must have written the blog entry in a fit of rage and it still makes me laugh until this day.. it's worth a read, not just for the gorgeous photos of the most impressive and imposing rock I've ever seen...

Read it now: The Uluru Saga

Besties-for life: Richard & Tamara

Our fab Canadian friends Richard and Tamara moved to Melbourne in the same month as us. We spent an awesome 18 months having tonnes of fun and good times until they sadly 'dumped' us during a trip to Adelaide and moved back to Canada! Our parallel lives have been the source of much entertainment.. we got engaged just months apart, married in the same year, and both 'Ramara' and 'TomKat' welcomed a first born with the initials SM in 2013. What's next guys?! We miss you SO much... I'm glad I documented some of these fun times that we had together:... (none of which are linked but they are there somewhere!)

If you're feeling at bit miffed at not getting a mention.. sit tight.. there are a number of individuals who have made a huge impact on our lives, and I will be expanding upon you guys in a future post...

Visitors from Afar: Rosie wins the prize

We've been blessed with so many visitors from afar, to share in our fun times and great view. The Woods have visited not just once, but twice and Tom's parents, Sue & Peter, have been three times! We've welcomed EmmaKatie & Chris & SimonTush & Andy (honeymooning no less!), Telfy & Ant, Rich (fleeting return, but long enough to meet the real Peter Alexander!).. and possibly more people who we might have forgotten?

I asked Tom to name his most memorable visitor moment.. and Rosie Wood you have won the accolade! We award you the prize for your absolutely outstanding bravery amongst 'eagles' (known to me and you and cockatoos).. here is the video evidence:

Most-unwelcome visitors: Eight-legged friends

(there is no picture to accompany this 'highlight', because the images are already etched on my brain forever)

I'm not much of a spider-lover. I have insisted that we live on the seventh floor to minimise the risk of disruption to my daily life (this has succeeded with one week to go), but could not control the 'company' that we would find when travelling around Australia.

There are three horrific arachnid moments that stand out in my mind. All were met with the type of 'solution' that would probably win £250 on You've Been Framed...

- Just weeks into our move, we were holidaying at a B&B in the middle of a dense forest (why did I not see this coming) with Tom's parents and a GIANT HUNTSMAN. After the B&B owner attempted to catch it with his hands and dropped it several times in and around our luggage, Tom and his Dad spent a good half hour performing a thorough check of both our rooms! More here...

- I arrived at a rental cottage in Daylesford for a girly weekend with some work friends, to discover half our group in a flap at yet another giant huntsman on the wall! After decided we couldn't hoover the beast up, two brave souls gassed him with spider-spray. Ugh... if you want photos see: Daylesford Spider

- Finally, I picked up a rather nasty species-unknown-but-huge spider on my wing mirror one day at work. After noticing it on the freeway I was pretty proud of myself for not crashing in horror. I refused to park in our garage for fear of polluting it with arachnids and so made tom come out into the road with a long handled broom to brush the offender away! I can't bring myself to link to the photo, it's too yucky.. but it's on the blog somewhere!

Favourite holiday state: Queensland

We have enjoyed travelling all over Australia, but our favourite state has to be Queensland. It most closely represents stereotypical Australia to us, with gorgeous beaches, tropical weather, koala cuddles and tropical reefs. We've been to the amazing Whitsunday Islands twice, visited the tropical North, toured the best of Brisbane and surrounds with Merryl, and spent a day unsuccessfully looking for whales with the Sea World crew. We've also worn the obligatory stinger-suits on more than one occassion, in an attempt to convince ourselves that snorkelling is a fun activity (it's not).

Best sporting moment: Tom's career change

Melbourne is a great place to be for sports. During our stay here we've been to four Australian Opens, four Formula One Grand Prixs (pural spelling?!), three AFL Grand Finals, two Ashes tests, multiple horse races, a million AFL games.. and just one soccer game (A-league is not that great!).

Perhaps the best sporting moment has to be Tom's career change to the world of sports marketing - a bold move that has proved life-changing for Tom and our family. Such has been his passion and dedication to the Western Bulldogs over the past three years, that his departure warranted 'Lister Week'.. a full week of celebrations, gifts and heartfelt words of appreciation. He received not one but two rather hilarious video presentations, a ginormous signed print (complete with engraved plaque), and some gifts-of-words that brought us to tears. Ever modest, he wouldn't admit to any of this, but I write safe in the knowledge that he won't read this to get embarrassed!

Milestones for our family

We got engaged in Margaret River in May 2010, had an Aussie wedding party by the beach in Port Melbourne in February 2012, and welcomed our best-Australian souvenir Sienna in October 2013. I have lots more to say on these topics but this is a strictly non-emotional post so will save those words for next time!

Okay.. that was epic and took AGES! I thought this was a quick summary re-hash post? I hope you've enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Nowust go and pack.... 

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