Monday, October 31, 2011

The Big Road Trip Of 2011 - Part Three

Saturday was the big Wedding day and it started out with a massive thunderstorm at about 4:30am which woke me up and kept me awake with my mind racing about all of the things I had to achieve on this day and how this weather would impact on those things, the rain was torrential and I had pretty much written off any chance of exercise, but low and behold by about 6:30am it had eased up, so my friend and I went out for a bit of a walk/run, she is only just learning to run which I am very proud of because I know how hard it was when I first started, so we did some interval running and then I got to work up a bit of a sweat by running home. Felt good that I could burn a few calories before the wedding seen as though I knew there would be a few extra indulgences and a few champagnes being consumed. Got on the scales this morning as well and I had hit the 27kg lost mark, so I was super happy with that! Managed to fit in another catch up with a friend at Chermside before getting my hair and make-up done for the wedding, was a little stressed as the time was ticking on but only really had to put my dress on once we got home and then jump in the car. Was so great to spend time with all our old friends together and frocked up and it felt so good to be looking more the way that I want to be looking and to have not seen a lot of my friends in the time that I have been losing weight and then get to present myself looking all shiny and new made it all worthwhile and certainly gave me the motivation to keep going and get to my goals. Even the extra energy that I had to be out on the dance floor most of the night and not be puffed out and have to go and sit down felt amazing. All in all it was a great night and Brisbane really turned on the weather we had almost all the seasons in on day – thunderstorms, lightning, rain, hail and then beautiful sunshine.  I am so happy for my friends to have tied the knot and start their married life together, god knows it can be a hard journey but totally worthwhile and to have someone by your side throughout your life who will love and support you is the best thing ever.

Sunday was another day of catch ups and good byes, and even managed to fit in some trash on the tele as my friend had taped the latest Kardashian Wedding for me to watch, - I know it’s crap, but don’t hold it against me, it is one of the few vices that a stay at home, running her own business, mother of 4 has in this world.

Monday, the kids got to have a last playdate with some of my closest girlfriends kiddies and then it was pack up the car and hit the road – onwards for an overnight stay in Toowoomba with some more close friends and then it was all guns blazing to Dubbo the next day. After stopping in and exchanging the DVD players as one had stopped working- I am sure this could have had nothing to my sweet children (!), and enough time for Oscar to vomit in the car (yuk!) it was on to the Western Plains Taronga Zoo in Dubbo.

This is a fantastic zoo and it is a safari park, so you can drive your own car around and hop out as you go, or hire bikes/buggies. We drove as not too keen on the buggy option with so many kids to make sure they are hanging on and sitting still. It means you can spend a long time at certain enclosures and just pass by others. The weather was really warm and about 4.5kms into the 6km path the kids were getting a bit restless, but we had seen Giraffes, Tigers, Elephants, Camels, Hippos, Ponies, Monkeys, Lions, Zebra, Meerkats, Goats, Koalas, Kangaroos, Turtles, Ducks, Cheetahs or were they Leopards, I can’t quite remember! And a multitude of other animals, all in all it was a great Zoo and the kids really enjoyed it. After the Zoo we pushed on and made it to Albury, which was much further than we had thought, but it meant that we would not have so far to go the next day to get to Melbourne. Got up in the morning and went for a run around the local cricket oval which felt good, did 5kms and then headed back as the sun was getting quite warm by then. Jumped back in the car and headed for Melbourne, did a bit of shopping and then everyone dropped me in the city where I got to stay for a night by myself before my Pro Blogger Training Day the next day. Went out on Friday night to a networking night, and met a few people prior to the big day, felt very out of my comfort zone, but was good to challenge myself in this way. The training day was fantastic, the content was so beneficial and I learnt so much about effective blogging and how to take things to the next level, I am so glad I did it.
The thing that I found not so great was trying to make connections with other bloggers, I have read a lot of blog posts since the day about how great it was to meet so many other bloggers, but in my opinion, I found it quite difficult as a very small-time blogger to be noticed by a lot of the bigger bloggers that were there, I also found it to be quite clique, which I found odd because everyone of these people started off small yet, they seemed like they didn’t remember what it was like to be the new person trying to fit in. I think in future I will try and have someone there who I do have some sort of relationship with, as there is always safety in numbers and that way you always have someone to talk to. I am still debating as to whether I will write a post dedicated to the day as even though the sessions were very valuable I was not left with a feeling of overall satisfaction from the day. I will ponder…
Saturday morning we were up and packed, goodbyes were made to my sister and then we headed down the Mornington peninsula to Sorrento where we caught the ferry across to Queenscliff and then headed down the Great Ocean Road. The weather was not very nice at all, so the beaches were not in all there glory but still we got to see a lot of surfers doing their thing. I never realised how windy and twisty the road would be, and it gave me a real headache and was too much for poor Stellsy who had to be sick.  After this, it was good that the 12 Apostles were not too far away as it meant that we got to get out of the car and take a walk and get some fresh air. The Apostles were amazing, and the view was spectacular, so glad that we had pulled out the jackets and warm clothes in the morning, as it was freezing and very windy. Can now say that we have done the Great Ocean Road, so can tick that one of the list. Stopped in Warrnambool for dinner, this was a lovely little town, and would love to go back there one day – great restaurants too for such a small place. There we headed on to our overnight accommodation in Mt Gambier.

Had a bit of a drive around in the morning including heading up to the Lake area, and checking out the amazing Blue Lake, what amazing colour it has. Then we were off via Coonawarra, where we had a snake slither across our path while we were driving, first (alive) one I have ever seen just out in the open. We had hoped to stop in at Jamiesons Run Winery, but the cellar door is now closed and we had missed the place that they now sell from, so never mind. It was our 7th wedding anniversary today and we have shared many a bottle of Jamiesons Run on our previous anniversaries hence why we wanted to stop there. But we kept pressing on and had to stop in the middle of the road for our first encounter with a Kangaroo and wouldn’t you know it, it was at Stirling about 15minutes from Adelaide CBD, so after 7000kms of open roads, this is where we meet our first Kangaroo – crazy! Pulled into the driveway at about 5pm and so happy to be home! What a great trip and a fantastic adventure, and with 4 kids in the car it really wasn’t that bad! Can you believe it. I would certainly do it again and would definitely recommend it to others.     

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Big Road Trip Of 2011 – Part Two

 Week 2 of the trip was spent in and around Brisbane and the greater South East Queensland area. PK had the bucks party on the Saturday night and then on the Sunday we caught up with friends and family and generally enjoyed the lovely weather. Monday saw us visiting more friends and the kids got to have lots of interactions with all their old Brisbane friends, we did a lot of driving around but got to catch up with some great old friends that was nice to know that we can just slot back into our old lives whenever we are back. 

On Tuesday we headed up to My Mum and Dad’s place which I was really looking forward to as it meant that we could just chill out and laze around and not have to fit in anything  that we couldn’t be bothered doing, it also meant that Mum and Dad would take a bit of the responsibility for the kids and Paul and I could take a breather – got to love Grandparents! We were able to exercise everyday and I managed to knock 1 min 34 sec of my time of running around the 2.5km hilly circuit that is my parent’s street over the time that we were there. The kids loved being on the land too, they got to do loads of things that they haven’t done before, like feeding the chooks and collecting the eggs, going out on the tractor with Grandad and watering the gardens, it was a really fun time. 

While we were there we took a drive up to Hervey Bay and visited the most awesome FREE educational water park called Wet Side. If ever you are in Hervey Bay I highly recommend it and while you are there you should say hello to my cousin Elliot who works there.I will do another post just about this place so you can see how much fun it is! On Friday morning we headed back to Brisbane and I got to go out to the movies with a couple of my girlfriends while the boys looked after the kids. We saw “What’s your Number?” which was really funny, and Anna Faris who is the lead is my new “I want a body like hers” inspiration!  (Still a way off, but nice to have an aim, and dreams are free!) So that ended week two of the big adventure, lots of catch ups with old friends and family, re-kindling old friendships and our kids creating new ones, and really just made us realise how much we want to be home. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Just another reason I hate living away from home

Tonight Paul has a big fancy work Cocktail party, but the options for babysitters has dried up - and believe me it was not that long to start with. So, it looks like I will be staying home :( I am really annoyed by this as I would actually like to go, and I know I can go if I want to pay an agency for a sitter, but I just don't want to spend $150 on a sitter, when I really need to be spending that money on other things. This has made my whole day feel very unproductive and I am in a funk that is for sure. Have not been for a run and have no motivation to do so, which of course will make me feel worse, so really need to get my head straight and turn this day around. Can't wait till we are back in Brisbane and we have friends and family to call on, so something like tonight doesn't have to be missed :(

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Anniversary Baby!

As it is still before midnight here in South Australia, It is still our wedding anniversary, So... Happy 7th Wedding Anniversary Darling. 14 years together, 7 years married, 4 beautiful children and so so much love in my heart for you xxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Big Road Trip of 2011 - Part 1

We have been having a great time on our road trip and though I have wanted to have been blogging the whole way, internet access has been at a minimum and wifi has not been my friend. I wasted a good 45 mins at a Macca’s on the way up trying to get onto blogger and write a post and it just didn’t want to co-operate with me, once in Brisbane I thought it would be much easier but again there was so many people to visit and it just got pushed to the side again. So now I am sitting in the car having just past Moree NSW, on our way to Dubbo and I am writing up my posts in word and when I get some decent internet access I will post them all at once.

Some week one high-lights were (other than all the "BIG" things we past pictured above):  
Daylesford – Lots of lovely shops to look in and a Makers Market to browse, I bought some gorgeous prints by Jedda Robaard which will go in the girls bedrooms. I also bought some gorgeous carved soapstone hearts which are just beautiful.  Visited Lark which I had been looking forward to and there were lots of lovely things to look at. The weather was freezing however and as we had packed for a mainly tropical getaway, we were lacking in the warm clothes department and the single digit temperatures were a little too cold to bear.

Mornington – Spent a lovely few days with my sister on the peninsula, got to do some running and eat some healthy meals and she really does live in a beautiful part of the country. Had an afternoon shopping at Chadstone which was a shopper’s paradise, would have liked to have been childless and had a really good look around but maybe I will be able to do that next time.

Canberra – The cold weather came with us to Canberra as well and it was at this point that I was glad I had thrown in some jumpers and jackets as it was a little more icy than we expected. I am sure the locals thought I was nuts when I headed out for my run at 6:30am with a singlet top and bike pants on. I passed many a beanie and glove clad local and I am sure my skin was not just red from the exercise but also from the freezing temperatures! Found a really neat circular track that was 500m around and had measurements marked every 10 metres, was great for doing my 1 km time trial. Floriade was spectacular and the colours of the flowers were just amazing. The kids really enjoyed it too and also loved the reptile display and the circus tent. India was fascinated with the snake that was available for touching except she just wanted to keep grabbing the head – no fear! On our way out of Canberra we drove around the streets where all the consulates and foreign embassies are located and it was so interesting looking at all the different architecture of the different countries residences, would have loved to have seen inside some of them, the yank one took up a whole block and had so much security.

The rest of the first week was spent driving up the NSW coast and into QLD, we had a brief stop in Sydney for dinner and a quick catch up with the MIL and then overnighted in possibly the worst accommodation available in Gosford, this was not before Stella vomited in the car on a section of the road where we could just not pull over on and then after thinking we would have enough fuel to make it all the way to Gosford and there being a few diversions to inspect the vomit situation and hand out towels and wipes etc, and then having to double back to get on the right side of the highway after those incidences and ZERO highway service stations between Hornsby and Gosford meant that we rolled into Gosford with the fuel range advising  1 km left to drive before we ran out of fuel. Needless to say I was a little stressed as the driver on that leg, I really did not want to be running out of fuel on the pacific highway at 10 o’clock at night in the pitch black with 4 kids in the car and only the hundreds of road trains as travelling companions! Next day we made it to Coffs Harbour and again I got to have a good run in the morning before heading off on the final days driving. It was a little slow going as we were diverted just after Ballina due to an accident and after a quick stop at Pacific Fair for a little shopping, we made it to BRISBANE!!!