Photo Dump: Christmas, Weekend Travels and the rest of life the last few weeks.

Apologies for the lack of posting in the last month. But this post is full of pictures that will show what we have been up to!

 Christmas at our place, we decorated a bit and here is our tree with gifts from family in the USA.

 Ryan woke up before 6 am on Christmas Eve to wait in line for Seafood with Trish. In Australia Christmas lunch/dinner is all about the seafood. We had Salmon and some delicious oysters.

The tree at Trish’s place (where we spent Christmas).

A beach walk on Christmas morning including some Christmas cheer!

Pia, her cousin Mara and a family friend Grace went to church with Pia’s Nana. She has been going this church for 45 years.

 This is a beach that we (Pia and Allie) used to play at when we were kids and it is literally down the hill from Nana’s Church. We obviously loved going here because of the name.

After Christmas lunch it was time for a bit of relaxation on the beach. It was a passport shredder of a day.

We spent a few more days post-Christmas with Trish at her place and then headed back to Brisbane. We enjoyed a picnic at the cliffs on Kangaroo Point. The views are spectacular.

In Australia there are BBQs in every park that are free to use, it is such a great way to get people to be outside and enjoy some greenery.

We also managed to squeeze in a few swims at our favorite local pool.

Ryan looking his finest.

We also took a few walks once the weather had cooled down. This is from Kangaroo Point looking over to New Farm where we live.

I (Pia) also enjoyed another BBQ with my cousin at the top of the cliffs one night.

We also mailed in a application for Ryan to gain residency in Australia, look at all that paper!!

Up next: Our trip to Sydney.

PS We have had a bit of rain due to Cyclone Oswald but all are okay! We are enjoying drying as we speak.

Another Late Weekend Edition: Thanksgiving

A few weeks ago Allie, Ryan and I hosted an American-ish Thanksgiving dinner at our place. It was great fun to make all the traditional foods with the added challenge of finding all the right ingredients!

We set-up the tables outside as we were having a little over 20 people over and crossed our fingers for good weather.

Eat Turkey nothing more needed, just do it!

Our Non-American friends enjoyed trying all the traditional dishes and our American friends loved eating Thanksgiving despite the 80 degree weather. Additionally there were lots of nice cold salads and dishes to accommodate the weather.

The spread, we had it all! (even some BBQ)

We had a great day with excellent food, weather as well as new friends.

Lots to be thankful for!

A soggy one but that’s alright.

We had a pretty wet weekend in Brisbane but we didn’t let the weather get in our way.

We had a picnic under cover in New Farm Park on Saturday night with new friends. It was lovely.

Pia also went up the coast for some family time.

This photo was taken from the roof of Trish’s building. Maybe there will be a break in the weather soon?

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Happy Halloween?

Last weekend we celebrated Halloween with a party at Allie’s place. There were lots of vampires, dead people, blood, etc. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting some new friends!

We went as a Magpie and a Cyclist…..

For those non-Brisbane-ites consider yourselves lucky you do not know about the war that is being waged on the bikepaths of Brisbane. Magpies are a common breed of bird in Brisbane with their mating and breeding season between September and the beginning of December. For some reason Magpies are fine with pedestrians but not with those on bikes. People are swooped or “magpied” as the phrase has come to be. As you ride your bikes through their area they will fly towards you screeching and try to hit you in someway be it your face, head or shoulder. They want you gone!

There has been many methods touted as the best way to deter magpies from swooping such as attaching zip ties to your helmet, screaming, gluing eyes to your helmet, the list continues on! There are even entire websites devoted to the tracking of magpie nests:

Magpie Maps

And videos of magpie swoopings:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES_n4DgJDHs]

Both Ryan and I have been swooped with little damage but our dear Allie wasn’t soo lucky….OUCH!

It would be an understatement to say we are looking forward to Magpie breeding season to be over with!

Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween!

Celebrations and another few weekends

We have been enjoying spring in Brisbane. The trees have been blooming, the days a smidge longer and warmer!

My birthday was on the 10th and to celebrate we went for a day trip the Burleigh Heads about an hour south of Brisbane.

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It was an unbelievably perfect day with highs near 80 and a cool breeze coming off the ocean.

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Also in celebration of my birthday Ryan organized a round of barefoot lawn bowls with family and friends. Lawn bowls is similar to bacci except the balls are not weighted equally and it is played on a very well maintained grass square (think putting greenish). We played at the Merthyr Bowls Club which has an excellent riverside location. We weren’t experts but it was a great time and we cannot wait to bring all of our visiting family and friends back!

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We also ventured to our local farmers market at the Brisbane Powerhouse which is just down the road from our place. The markers are very popular due to their fresh produce, delicious treats, flower bouquets and anything else you can ever want.

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Handsome market shopper.

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Successful market purchases!

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Needless to say we will be back to the Saturday markets!