Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Booktastic: The Queen of Subtleties

As I mentioned I've been on a Tudor kick, so my next book was:

The Queen of Subtleties by Suzannah Dunn

This is another Anne Boleyn novel, but this one is completely fiction. Unfortunately I read it right after the The Lady in the Tower and that book was so good and so accurate that I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. I did however enjoy reading from the point of view of Anne herself, interesting new take on an old story.

Not highly recommended from my point of view, but it was a quick and easy read.

The Red Center

We're halfway through our 7 months here in Oz and Spring is finally upon us! We have soooo much planned for the upcoming months it's going to be a bit exhausting for sure, but hopefully exciting as well.

A few things we plan on doing in the upcoming weeks:

Spring Carnival Horse Races - We're actually doing this THIS weekend, I'm quite excited...any opportunity to wear a fascinator and I'm in! I've never been to a horse race before so I have no idea what to expect, but I can definitely get on board with a sport where everyone dresses in their Sunday finest and drinks champagne =)

Jenolan Caves - We may try to do this this weekend as well. It's a holiday weekend here in Oz, which means Dom has Monday off and the caves are quite close, just a few hours drive from Sydney. I think these caves look amazing and I can't wait to go!

Bondi to Tamarama Coastal Walk - I've been looking forward to the Spring/Summer to do this specifically, we've spent very little time on the beach since we've been here and I can't wait for the warm weather. There is also something called Sculpture by the Sea which happens at the end of October along this walk and is supposed to be quite spectacular.

Opera at the Sydney Opera House - We've bought tickets to Pirates of Penzance, which I must admit was the only opera I recognized being performed at the opera house in the next few months...and I've only heard of it from Pretty Woman, what can I say I'm not very into operas, but come on, we have to see an opera at the opera house, right? October 28 is the big day for that, along with a fancy dinner at the Opera House restaurant which is supposed to be one of the best in Sydney.


Journey to the RED CENTER of OZ...I don't know why that needed to be capitalized, just go with it. Before we came to Oz, actually coincidentally just before, like maybe a month before we found out we were coming here, we watched a show on the Travel Channel about Ayres Rock (which is now called Uluru, it's Aboriginal name), or not about Ayres Rock specifically, but it was Top 10 something or other. We both decided that it seemed like the most ridiculous place to go and that we had no desire to go there at all. It's ridiculously complicated to get there and basically it's close to nothing. Even here in Sydney it would require either a plane ride and a car trip or a very long train journey and a car trip. Unfortunately after reading Down Under by Bill Bryson we've now decided we have to go see Uluru. He's so spot on with everything that we've experienced in Australia and he found Uluru we're going. I don't know when we're going, but it should be soon, because in the terrible red nothingness of the middle of Oz it gets very very hot in the summer...which leaves us with 2 maybe 3 months to get our asses over there before temps hit somewhere in the 130-140 degrees mark. Yikes!

And of course there's also surfing at Manly Beach, which Dom has been looking forward to since he came here in April on his first scouting trip.

Are we missing anything?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Wednesday Video

I had to repost this, I love a good dance video.

Booktastic: The Lady in the Tower

While I was in New York I had a friend ask me if I'd read any books lately and I realized I've read about 10 books since the last book I posted, here goes, booktastic is back in action.

I totally got on a Tudor England kick again, Anne Boleyn specifically and I read 2 or 3 books pertaining to Henry VIII's ill fated 2nd wife.

This is a non-fiction historical account of the last few weeks of Anne Boleyn's life. The book begins with the day before Anne's arrest and takes a look at all the historical documentation regarding Anne's arrest, the time she was held in the tower, and her execution. Alison Weir definitely believes Anne is innocent of the crimes she was accused of and has obviously put a lot of effort into clearing Anne's name, even if it is nearly 500 years later.

Anne Boleyn is my favorite of Henry's 6 wives. She was by all accounts headstrong, feisty, quick witted, unafraid to speak her mind. I, much like the author of this book, also believe Anne was innocent and while foolish for many reasons, she did not deserve her fate. Though perhaps it's her fate that may make her so interesting and who knows if she would be so infamous had she lived to a ripe old age. Would Elizabeth I still have been Queen had Anne lived? Would she have remained the Virgin Queen if she hadn't lived through her father killing her mother?

I highly recommend this book if you share my interest in Tudor England or if you enjoy nonfiction historical novels. Alison Weir is considered an expert on Henry VIII and his 6 wives, this book is very well researched and very well written and I plan on reading more from her in the future.

Quick note about books in Oz, did you know new books are RIDICULOUSLY expensive here? Like $40 for a new book, BUT there are some pretty amazing secondhand book shops which I just discovered and have now begun spending too much time in. I only say too much time in because each time I go I come back with 3 or 4 new books and well, I don't know how I'm going to get all of these books home!

If you're ever in Sydney and you need a book but don't want to spend $40, I highly recommend Elizabeth's Bookshop and Gleebooks.

Happy Reading!

With This Ring

This is a bit belated, but Happy 1 Year Anniversary Husband =)

One year ago, on September 6, 2009 Dom and I exchanged vows at a beautiful manor house in the English countryside just outside of Bath, England.

It's been a complicated year of moving across the world, traveling and learning the ropes of marriage, but we've managed to survive without killing each other and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Here's to us Dom and many more years of marriage, I hope they will bring us happiness, babies and a settled location that isn't a 14 hour plane ride to the nearest friend or relative =)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Air Blogging

I'm at 37,000 feet right now...and I'm on the's weird.

So, I realize I've been completely absent from my blog for the last few weeks, but to be honest we haven't stopped moving long enough for me to even think about posting.

But, here I am on my way to NYC and since I have nothing better to do I thought why not blog at 37,000 feet?

I'll give a quick recap of what we've been up to and maybe while I'm in NYC I'll be able to sit down and do a proper recap.

Two weeks ago we left Sydney for our long ass flight across the Pacific and made it successfully to Oregon with no drama. We even managed to get an upgrade, yes an upgrade, not upgrades. So, Dom took the business class seat for the first 6 hours and halfway through we swapped seats and I managed to squeeze in 4 hours of sleep and Sex and the City 2, definitely not the worst flight I've ever been on.

Once in Oregon we spent 2 nights in Portland, resting and celebrating our 1 year anniversary before we headed south to Springfield where we spent the rest of the week moving ourselves into our new house!

Oh the moving.

Five years ago I left Oregon for NYC and somehow managed to convince my parents to store all of my furniture for me...indefinitely. Granted my dad had just built a barn that rivals their house in terms of square footage so they weren't necessarily wanting for space, but in all honestly I didn't realize how much crap I had accumulated over the years and was still holding onto. After a few years in New York I did start to sell some of it, but only managed to get rid of the TV's and very little else. So...moving was fun. Sense the sarcasm.

Moving was WAY more time consuming than I had thought it would be and that I led my husband to believe...I thought for sure it would just take a trip or two in the pickups from my parents house out to our new house, a mere 12 miles away.

I'm pretty sure we took a load every day and we were there for 10 days, BUT we now have a completely furnished house.

Just a quick sidenote, even in business class the food on airplanes sucks! I find myself choking it down trying not to gag each and every time. They make it look quite fancy when you fly business, with proper silverware and real glassware, but it's all a disguise, the food is still crap.

And another sidenote while I'm at it, I am a Premier Executive with United! In a way this is awesome because it means I can get my own upgrades without Dom and that I can walk down the special aisle and skip the long queue at security, but on the other hand it means I have been traveling WAY too much. I have over 100,000 miles people, that's just wrong if you don't travel for business. It's also lame because the last bit of traveling Dom and I did for pleasure and to a destination of our choice was 1 year ago on our honeymoon. Since that time we have been to tons of places, but it's always for work, or weddings, or baptisms and honestly I can't wait until the day that we are settled somewhere (and at this point I don't care where) and get to CHOOSE our traveling destination.

Anyway, back to Oregon. Where was I? Oh right, I had an absurd amount of furniture stored at my parents house and it is all now safely in the Oregon house. Which means there is an empty house in Oregon that is fully furnished if anyone is looking for a place to stay in Oregon! Seriously friends, cousins, aunts and uncles, whoever reads this that I know in real life, if you're going to Oregon and need a place to stay, hit me up.

So, the house is pretty cool, it's an A frame, 3 bedroom, 2 bath and completely liveable, it needed absolutely nothing done to it. Quite a good deal if you ask me.

Here's a little teaser photo...I have more but they're on my other cameras and I promise to post them later.

So, after Oregon we headed to San Francisco where we managed to get tons done in the 3 days that we were there. We met with our property manager to discuss the tenants move out date in our San Francisco home, visited the house to get a better idea of where the Sydney iron lace will go once we get it back to the states, met with an architect to discuss the remodel that we are planning for the SF house, made arrangements to get the sailboat (Tutu) out of the water and even had a bit of times to catch up with some friends.

Busy busy.

Now I'm on a plane to NYC and Dom is headed to Berlin for a few days before he meets me back in NYC before we head back to Sydney 1 week from today.

I'm really enjoying Sydney, but being back amongst people we know for the last few weeks...I miss "home", and will be excited to come back in just 4 short months.

Friday, September 3, 2010

So Long for Now Sydney

In 2.5 hours we will board the dreaded 14 hour flight to San Francisco.


After that head cold hit me just before boarding the plane on our way out here and I thought my ear was going to explode on the descent I am looking forward to this flight even less than I was last time.

Luckily this flight going back is easier than the flight coming out here because it's not a red eye. So, you spend the 14 hours watching movies and reading books and magazines with intermittent naps arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to face the whole day over again as you land in California several hours before you left in Sydney.

Yeah right.

You arrive in California absolutely astounded that you have to face the whole day over again because ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS SLEEP and it's only's the longest day EVER.

See you all on the other side of the world!