I’ve been debating what to do with this blog. My webhost has gotten too expensive. Their service has been fine, but I don’t need unlimited bandwidth and storage when I get like… 5 views a day and I’ve only just cracked 1 GB in files. LOL.

I was kinda leaning towards just abandoning everything because I barely ever blog any more. But then I realized that someone else could take over the domain and turn it into something horrible. Also I do look things up on my blog on a regular basis… it’s nice having a fairly good record of my life even if just for personal use.

Anyway so I’ve decided to try to move to a different registrar and webhost. A cheaper one. Something much more basic. This might affect loading times and whatnot but… oh well, hopefully it’s not too noticeable.

Fingers crossed there’s not too much downtime in the process as well.

Merry Christmas Erryone.

We had a pretty great year.

We had a lot of visitors (Cassia + Cedric, Natasha, MEP + Paul, Jess, DTD, Jill + Joe) which was super fun. I hope that continues in 2019.

We travelled a lot (South Korea, Vancouver, various places around Victoria, Sydney, Brisbane + Noosa). Yeah, I feel very lucky. That will definitely continue in 2019. We already have a few road trips planned.

I went from working permanent part time to temporary full time to permanent full time. FINALLY. I have a really great job now that I hope to stay at for a long time. I am also very happy that I don’t have to do as much on call any more.

I still love weightlifting. I’m really not that good at it, and it hurts some times, but it’s also so fun. I had some major breakthroughs this year and continue to slowly improve. I love competing!

Scott turned 40 this year. We had a big party at our new house. I think we had about 40 guests, including 14 children, holy moly. Scott finally got the Nintendo Switch he has been so patiently waiting for.

Imma copy some of the questions that Rosemarie put in her Christmas Newsletter.

What moment in the last year would you like to rewind back to and play again to reappreciate the experience? 

The Melbourne Demons whole finals run was SO. MUCH. FUN. Also seeing Ben Folds perform at the Sydney Opera House. And watching my friends compete in the Olympics.

What moment in the last year would you like to rewind back to and edit or erase?

Smashing the side of the car into a pole in a parking garage. Also not getting more pins while we were at the Olympics (that could have funded our whole trip!!).

Did you break any personal bests/records?  In what? 

Weightlifting seems the obvious answer. Snatch: 35 kg –> 41 kg, Clean & Jerk: 46 kg –> 49 kg. That might not seem like a lot to most people, but it is to me.

What’s the best recipe you cooked all year?

Dolsot bibimbap in our stone bowl we brought back from Korea, and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

Favourite new thing I tried:

Rice cakes

Describe the hardest cook of your life 2018:

I’m not sure! Maybe making creme anglaise for ice cream the first time? But now it’s old hat. I didn’t cook as much this year in general though, and especially not complicated things. No time!!

Most embarrassing moment of 2018:

Failing at the ab wheel in front of a whole bunch of people. I legit screamed too because it felt like my abs were ripping into shreds.

As you carve out your life, what are the themes that are consistent from year to year? 

Struggling with finding the balance between going out and doing lots of things and also making time to do nothing, loving going to new places, eating cheese. Did I answer that correctly?

All in all, #blessed. I hope your year was also full of family, friends, travel and good food. What else do you need in life, tbh.

… for ice cream.

Yes I made everyone drive to Seattle and back for ice cream.

Salt & Straw changed my life 4 years ago. I’ve been dreaming of that Almond Brittle and Salted Chocolate Ganache since then.

11:00AM. Cone #1. Almond Brittle and Salted Chocolate Ganache in a waffle cone.

We immediately followed that with lunch at Glo’s. Scott and I shared the huevos rancheros. Delicious as always.

Scott drove us around to three different cider bars. Seattle has a lot of cider places!! Rose had found way more but a lot of them weren’t open on a weekday. Anyway we still went to two bars that exclusively serve ciders, and a cidery/brewery that had shuffleboard, darts, pool and more to entertain us. We spent a while there.

Evidence of us doing one non-food related thing in Seattle: going to see the Fremont troll.

We had dinner at Paseo. I think it’s changed. It used to be in my Top 3 Sandwiches Of All Time, but this time it was just ok.

And finally. 7:00PM. Cone #2.

I had the same flavour AGAIN. My first cone in the morning didn’t have a lot of ganache so I was left unsatisfied. I am happy to report the second one had plenty of ganache AND brittle. Happy Katrina.

We spent the Thanksgiving long weekend on Salt Spring Island.

Duffins Doughnuts while we wait for the ferry. I liked the Bavarian the most.

We tried to play a board game on the ferry but it was actually kinda rough and Rose and I were getting seasick. Instead we went outside and looked for whales.

We met up with Leslie and Kyla at the market, had falafel, and then headed off to Salt Spring Wild Cider.

The cidery was amazing! The best cidery I have ever been to. Firstly because you could get a TEN CIDER TASTING FLIGHT (for two people). And secondly because EVERY CIDER WAS DELICIOUS. They were all dry and crisp and just based on different types of apples (I hate those gross flavoured ciders that are just made with added flavourings.) I would have bought 8 out of 10 of them easily. (Didn’t like the hops one or the pear one.) We did buy a few bottles. Of course my favourite one was the most expensive one, haha– barrel aged muscat. We had a lovely time on the lawn sipping cider and watching a beekeeper work on some hives.

Our Airbnb was v cute. It had a loft! The weather started to turn pretty crappy so we spent a lot of the weekend nice and cozy in our little cabin in the forest playing endless board games and eating snacks. It was wonderful.

We all piled in the van and headed to Kyla’s parents house for Thanksgiving (with a quick stop at the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company). Her house is pretty awesome. They have goats and chickens (and 500 roosters), and… a wood fired hot tub!! We filled it up and got the fire going… and 5 hours later we had a hot tub. :D

We passed the time with MORE GAMES of course! Mega 7 Wonders, and Dixit.

Look how much food Lauren ate!!!!!!! Hahaha. This was plate 1 of 2 (or was it 3???). :D It was a lovely Thanksgiving meal. Scott and I especially loved having turkey since it’s so hard to get here in Aus (well you can get it, but it’s pricey).

PS Lauren did accidentally run a half marathon in the morning so I guess that accounts for some of the food haha.

The last day we decided that even though it was still raining we needed to do at least one hike. We picked the one with fairy doors! It was a bit of a climb but the doors were cute. We didn’t go all the way to the top top because we wouldn’t have been able to see anything and we were all tired/lazy/damp. Still nice though, and the pictures look cool with all the mist, haha.

After the hike we had lunch in a treehouse and then headed back to the ferry. The boat ride back was a bit smoother so we were able to play games, and we saw dozens of porpoises!

I’ll leave you with another one of Scott’s sweet panoramas.

After dropping Scott off at the airport we headed to Alberta Maple Ridge to visit Julie and Steve. It had been a long time that dad and Julie had cousin-time. I think he enjoyed the catch up. Rose coordinated the rice dish and Steve made us really nice steaks.

I took dad to the Capilano Fish Hatchery while Rose and Lauren were working. I wanted to see fish flopping all over the place. Another glorious weather day (srsly we got sooooo lucky this whole trip). We took the bus there and started at the top end of the park near the reservoir. I liked the reflections on the calm water. Then we walked down to the dam. It is a big dam. Dad said “If I come back to Vancouver in the spring, I AM COMING BACK HERE”.

We continued walking downhill till we got to the hatchery. It is free. We saw lots of salmon. There is a fish ladder with windows on one side so you can theoretically see the fish jumping upstream but they didn’t jump very often. I saw one jump and it was unsuccessful in getting to the next level. But there was another little river area with dozens of salmon just randomly flopping around. Then we continued walking downhill (I am so happy the bus dropped us off at the top of the park and not the bottom omg) and had pizza in a cute little neighbourhood before catching the bus back to Van.

Dad suggested making sushi for dinner one night so we obliged. We had shirmf, roasted yam (Scott is the deep fry guy and he wasn’t there, sad face), and the other usual suspects: avocado, cucumber, cream cheese, and sesame seeds. It was fun and yum. Lauren made the best rolls…. possibly because they were 50% cream cheese. :D

I can’t really remember what I did the next day. I think I just rested because my cough was getting bad. Oh yeah we went bowling in the evening. Rose and I are bad at bowling.

Then dad was leaving too. I’m glad he came out to Vancouver. It was much easier for Scott and I, cheaper for Rose and Lauren, and I think dad had a nice time. We all had a nice time. We probably tired him out, but he has lots of time to recharge.

This was the weather for TWO WEEKS STRAIGHT. 18-20 degrees and sunny. So nice.

After dad left I did one last errands morning where I got new skates, some clothes, and another yam roll #nomealleftbehind. This one was a mango avocado yam roll.

Thursday I met up with Kevin, my old clinical placement supervisor, and Lesley for lunch at Red Wagon. I took no pictures unfortunately. We had a great long lunch with good chatting. And then I went with Lesley back to her house for a sleepover/one last hang. We played many games of Azul. I also got to go to a Dollarama and stock up on Smartfood and Cheetos to bring home. That was the very last things on my shopping list. Success.

The last day. I headed back to Rose’s nice and early the next morning so we could play several more games of Azul and have one last dose of sister-time (she took the day off). We went to Sushi Nanaimo for lunch #nomealleftbehind and I got one last training session in. I had seen all of the old gym gang except one guy, and Al arranged for him to come in as a surprise! Came back and played more Azul. Leslie and Kyla popped in for bonus-time before heading out to see Ellen!

When Lauren got home from work we went out for dinner at La Mezcaleria, one of my favourite restaurants anywhere. I had a margarita of course and we shared spicy tuna in a black ash and ink sauce, queso fundido with chorizo, and a bunch of tacos. It was delicious, as usual. We had a little time before I needed to be at the airport so we stopped at Duffins Doughnuts too. #yolo. (Maybe this is why I gained 2 kg on the trip…) (WORTH IT.)

Then they dropped me off at the airport and I headed home. Full in stomach and spirit. It was really a great trip. My family and friends are so great.  Thank you to Liz for lending us your car and apartment. And Lesley and Kirsten and Max for housing Scott and I and Rose and Lauren. And Kyla and her family for sharing Thanksgiving with us all. Lauren for putting up with all the crazy. And Rosemarie for preparing so well and organizing so much. And all our friends for being so thoughtful and great and fun!!!