Thursday, 28 August 2008

San Fransisco and New Jersey

Some highlights from my visit to San Francisco included catching up with some great friends, doing some great work with Judi, and getting a bit of time to see the Californian coast.

The Californian coast north of the Golden Gate reminds me a lot of the Great Ocean Road in southern Victoria. I really enjoyed driving along Highway 1, and Muirs wood, Muirs Beach and Stinson beach were all wonderful places to stop.

It is surprising how cold the water is off the coast. I was later told that a current runs down from the Arctic, and you can really feel this when you take the plunge! It was also not a good idea to take a dip at Stinson Beach the day I was there - A VERY large shark was seen beyond the breakers trying to take a pelican off the surface. Apparently Great Whites are common along this stretch (glad I found out AFTER I had been in for a swim...).

San Francisco is famous for its fog - the moist air and the cold current create the most fantastic bank of fog which is blown in on the sea breeze. It looks like someone is squeezing a tube of toothpaste under the golden gate bridge. Very quickly, visibility drops (along with the temperature!).

We had arranged a dinner get together amongst a group of friends (we had met on a course earlier in the year - Authentic Leadership 2). We met at Christine's house, and had a really casual meal and lots of great chat. In the end it was Christine, Dean, Mickey, Robin and I, with apologies from Carol and Judi. It was a great evening, and one of those nights that just could have rolled on for hours longer.

I flew out of SF for New Jersey, where I was enrolled in a 'facilitator's course'. After landing at JFK, I was 2 hours in a taxi (Newark would have been a much better option!), to get to Morristown, NJ. The course was fun, but by now I was looking eagerly to get back home to the family in Berlin. After a good flight with BA (from JFK again....) I have a 3 week stretch in Berlin...Before going back to the US again!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

On our way back to Berlin

After the longest flight ever, we managed to get back to Berlin. I am not commenting on the delays...but instead of 33 hours to get back it was 59 hours and 30minutes. We were exhausted.
In the Hong Kong airport we managed to get this photo of the boys with Yao Ming
He is the tallest basketball player in the Chinese team, at 7'5" (226cm) tall. He plays in the NBA for the Houston Rockets we didn't really see him, and it is only a cardboard cut out....but it's a good picture! :)

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Park Time

Even though it was Winter in Melbourne, it isn't that cold.

It didn't rain much, so we would just put on a warm jacket and head to the park!

Cameron got this great rocket for his birthday, and they had plenty of fun shooting the rockets up high into the sky!

Wombat Bend Park, just around the corner from Mum and Dad's house, opened in March. It is a great park, and the kids spent hours there!

Hello Possums

Sorry that the photos are tricky to see. But every evening outside Nana and Pa's house, 2 possums climb in the trees in their front garden. The boys enjoyed getting the torches out to find them

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Cameron's 8th birthday

Cameron's birthday falls in the summer holidays when we live in Berlin. He loves it, because he ends up having 3-4 different parties. We normally have one with his school friends in Berlin (see Kung Fu Panda post in July), one Nana and Pa, and one with Granma and Grampa. So, there is lots of cake to be eaten!

This year was no exception, and we were at Bright in the morning for his birthday. A delicious chocolate cake for morning tea.

Then in Melbourne for dinner. Party food and an ice cream cake for dinner. Finding those Freddo frogs in the cake was fun!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Our boys are growing up!

A boy and his dog

Cameron loves dogs..and would love a dog of his own. When he is with Nana and Pa he chases their dog, Rosie, around everywhere.
When we are at Bright with Granma and Grampa, where ever he goes Benson is not far behind.

I am 99.9% certain once this expat trip is done and we are back in Oz, the first thing we will be doing is buying a dog...the question will be what type, and who gets to name it. We have already come up with a couple of names combining both boys names.
"Camander" "Alron"'s a work in progress!

Thursday, 14 August 2008


Lots of great bush walking tracks around Bright.

So with wet weather gear on we would set out for long +5 kilometer walks.

and sometimes, it is really hard to get a good photo...thank goodness for digital cameras (I would hate to think how much money we would waste on "silly" photos)

sometimes I can take 10 photos before I get a good one of them both together in the same shot.


The best thing about going to Bright in the middle of Winter is that you can be sure there will not be a total fire ban day. So, the kids harrass Grampa for a fire "down the back".

In other years we have toasted marshmellows around the fire. Phil came up with a different idea instead...damper.

So, after looking for a quick recipe in Granma's recipe books (it's been years since we have cooked damper), we made a quick batch and the kids set to work.

The reason marshmellows are great to cook around a fire, is because it is quick. Baking damper on a fire requires more patience,

There are often far more fun things to be doing around the fire than rotating a stick with dough on the end of it.

But once the damper was cooked through, it was delicious with butter and jam.