Big Question Marks

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The monthly update

Oops-- we didn't mean to abandon the blog again! It's just we've been trying to take a decent photo to post with our updates and... well... this was the best we could do. As you all know, we're quite photogenic (!).

So what's new? Lots. And since another evening has been half-consumed by TV cop dramas again, we'll have to update you all in point form (damn you, television!).

** The big road trip: We've been scheming and mulling over our maps and calendars and we've cooked up a loose plan for our jaunt around Oz. We've spread the driving over 9 weeks or so and plan to leave Melbourne somewhere around November 23; we'll make it back here to part with Daisy (boo hoo!) at the beginning of February and to fly out to Vietnam on February 19th. And it looks like it'll be Christmas in Alice Springs and New Year's in Darwin. We plan to kit Daisy up with our twinkle lights to try and feel a little festive in the 40-degree Outback heat!

** Work: The countdown's on! It turned out our employment agency remembered we could only work 6 months for the same company (yarrr) on our visas, so Adrian finished up at ANZ at the end of September and Dayle will finish on the last day of October. Luckily, Adrian had no problems scoring himself a new job, which conveniently kicked off exactly the day after he finished at the bank. He's now working in the payroll department of Myer, a huge and historic department store chain in Oz, kind of like The Bay is to Canadians (minus the fur trading legacy). He greatly misses goofing off with his pals at the bank (who would have thought bank work could be fun?), but as we're learning more all the time, a job's a job, though we'll both really miss the friends we've made at work. Adrian will work at Myer until close to our departure day (22 days left!) and Dayle will finish at ANZ next Friday (7 days!) and be in charge of packing and sorting the many loose ends which need to be wrapped up before we head off. And then-we hope!- it'll be no more work for the next 6-8 months or so...

** The apartment: The balcony garden was finished a few weeks ago-- it's awesome-- and a few plants, like these cute daisies, have already been devoured by bugs. Nonetheless, we've been enjoying many a Corona on the balcony on summery days (we've learned a Melbourne spring day can be anything from 11 to 27 degrees...sometimes on the same day). We're dreading the packing of our stuff, which has surely expanded quite a bit over the past 11 months in the city! And no sign of the Huntsman family... at least for now. Phew!

And the little victories:
- Finally reaching someone at the Vietnamese embassy to get a price for our visas, which we're required to pre-arrange (what a headache!)
- Buying tickets to Melbourne Cup-- the horse-racing/drinking/fashion extravaganza which shuts the city/country down the first Tuesday of November. Now we have 2 weeks to find ourselves something to wear!
- Seeing a big Aussie band on their home turf... proving there are definitely way more Living End fans in Melbourne than anywhere else.
- Visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens finally- a really awesome park with plenty of plants and funny ducks.
- Locating, after 8 months, our favourite wine in a store. We first had One Goat Shiraz at an Italian restaurant in February, and loved it. We've been asking around for it at bottle shops ever since and no one's heard of it (didn't help that we only vaguely remembered the name!). Recently we had another dinner at the same restaurant and copied down the label details this time (and yes, it was just as fantastic as that first bottle we had). We learned the vineyard's actually just 2 1/2 hours from the city but luckily they could name a few obscure bottle shops around in which to purchase their wines, and last weekend we bought every bottle we could find at Duncan's on La Trobe Street... which was two bottles. Hooray, we win!

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