Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

So it’s been a while between posts, but I have a good reason! The last couple of posts were written while trying to hide the fact that I was pregnant from people who I wanted to tell in person. Since then we’ve made the move to Munich, set up our first home, had a son (born April 2011) and done our best to balance our new found settled status with our love of travel. In his first 14 months Jake has been on quite a few trips, though most of them have been relatively short jaunts to nearby places in Europe. We went to Lake Constance when he was 10 weeks old, the Czech Republic soon after, Salzburg for a couple of days, Nurnberg for the Christmas market, a couple of trips to the Austrian Alps and a quite few trips to the mountains south of Munich. And then there have been the more serious trips, like 3 weeks in Australia and 2 weeks in Morocco, where we currently are. We also recently spent 2 weeks in northern Italy, mostly in the Dolomites doing some amazing hikes.

I think a lot of the parents we know think we’re crazy for doing some of the trips we do with him, and sometimes they’re probably right. The logistics of travelling with a child, especially without a car, can be a little overwhelming at times. The nappies, the food, the clothes, the pram/baby carrier/travel bed… It all adds up to a heck of a lot more gear than we’re used to taking. But we’re getting the hang of it, and it’s so nice to see him explore new places and have new experiences. We’re also lucky that he travels relatively well and is quite relaxed (for a baby). I’d like to think that he travels well because that’s how we raised him but realistically I think we’re probably just lucky.

There’s not enough space for a description of every trip we’ve been on (and I can’t remember the details to be honest) so we’ll leave it as a bit of a wash over post and maybe I’ll get motivated and write a post every now and again when we go somewhere interesting. It won’t be anything much compared to our travels pre-baby but hopefully we’ll still get to see some cool places with him in tow.



   Posted by: Rhona Tags: , ,

A few days ago Brett and I got married in Sydney on the most amazing day I’ve ever experienced. The weather was perfect, the company fun and (I think) a good time was had by all. Quite a few of Brett’s family made it out from the states to join us and it was nice to introduce them to my side of the new extended family. The day after the wedding we had a relaxed BBQ at my parent’s place and the Monday following was a frantic rush of organisation before we flew out on Tuesday morning for Japan. We’re now in Tokyo and will spend the next month travelling around the country before Brett heads back to work. It’s the first hop in our round the world trip, the itinerary of which is constantly evolving as we think of more places we want to go (and I decide that Central Asia in winter is going to be too cold for my Australian blood).

We spent today, our first full day in Tokyo, going to various embassies. Brett had the easiest task – getting a Chinese visa. I, on the other hand, had a very frustrating day at the German and Australian embassies trying to change my name on passports. As it turns out the German embassy in Tokyo got quite confused by a German/Australian who’d married an American with a German name in Australia and now wanted her passport renewed in Japan. The Australian embassy was a little less confused by my situation, if only because all my documents are Australian.

Here are a few photos of the big day, we had the ceremony in the Botanic Gardens then walked to Café Sydney in Circular Quay, taking photos as we went. There was also a stop for gelato before we rejoined our guests for plenty of champagne and some delicious food. Most photos were taken by Lisa Hogben (who did a fantastic job as the official photographer) except the red doll one taken by my mum and the opera house one taken by Dave Sundstrom.


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   Posted by: Rhona Tags: , ,

i’ve been back in Sydney for more than 2 weeks now and am starting to settle in a bit more. having more time than my usual short holidays here means i actually get to spend some quality time hanging out with people which is nice. it’s also given me time to work on organising my photos, tagging them and hopefully at some stage soon getting some of the better ones up online here.

last week i made a spur of the moment decision to visit my grandma down in Melbourne – “grandma, i’m arriving tomorrow night”. my feeling like a tourist in my own country syndrome got even worse as i bumbled my way around what was, even when i did live in Australia, a strange city. not strange as in weird (let’s not even start that whole Sydney/Melbourne rivalry thanks folks!) but just that i had no idea where to go or how to get there and after well signposted Japan it was a real struggle even to buy train tickets! the other week someone stopped me in Sydney’s CBD and asked how to get to a place. i had to apologize and tell them that i had no idea. if they’d asked me in Tokyo i might have been able to help but here in Sydney, where i grew up, i’m hopeless.

on the bus from the airport to Melbourne’s main train station the driver gave us a running commentary about the places we were passing. it was fascinating, not because i found what he was saying overly interesting but for the fact that it gave me a really interesting insight into what he thought people were interested in. As we left the airport he pointed out a range of mountains which had first been surveyed by Matthew Flinders. more important however was the fact that an Australian hit drama had been filmed at the base. “on your left is the Woolworths depot where all supplies for all Victorian stores are delivered from…if you follow that road to the left you get to the track where Holden test their cars”.

once on the train to my grandma’s place i rediscovered that sometimes it’s nice not to be able to understand everything that people say. a group of recently graduated from high school girls derided the shallow and meaningless conversations that high school girls have on public transport and then spent the rest of the train ride discussing eyebrow waxing, that slut Amy, cosmo magazine and other things that i would call shallow and meaningless. i guess people a few years older than mesay the same things about my conversations?

i could say that my stay at the nursing home was fun filled and action packed but that would be a slight mistruth. though i did see the Siemen’s choir, a trio of call centre girls who got time off work to sing to oldies. we also had a very exciting coffee break where i got to see that it’s not just young school girls and their recently graduated alumni who bicker amongst themselves. the single male in the nursing home made a guest appearance, was the centre of attention briefly then zipped away on his walking frame which was emblazoned with “my other car is a mercedes”. what a stud. (i’m not making that up).

and now it’s back in Sydney where i continue to plot and plan our big adventure. the blog posts will become more interesting in a few months :o)