Our trip to Vancouver was hectic AF. We had checklists, Google documents, Facebook events, a detailed calendar, and group chats just to fit everything we wanted to do (and eat! #nomealleftbehind) on the trip. It worked though, the trip was very successful.

Second meal of the trip: poutine. (First meal was perogies at Rosemarie’s house.) #nomealleftbehind

We tried to see as many as people as we could right away (and beat jetlag) by booking a big table at Steamworks for the first night. Scott’s whole old work team showed up, plus the whole Ryan Ryan and Brian group, and good old Liz and Rob, and Rose and Lauren of course. It was fun.

The next day we headed to Salt Spring Island, and Seattle as well, which I’ll save for separate blog posts.

Scott’s friend Hannah from London just happened to be visiting Vancouver for one overlapping day. We met them for porchetta at Meat & Bread (#nomealleftbehind) and Scott walked all around the seawall with them while I took off to visit my old work and pick up some Darn Tough socks for all my poor Australian friends who I’ve convinced they are the best socks ever and can’t get them here. Sorry, sort of.

The next day dad arrived. We picked him up and made him tag along to the hockey store where Scott got a whole kit. So much cheaper than Australia.

It was a beautiful day so we drove up to the top of Mount Seymour to do a short hike (Dog Mountain). It was harder than I expected because it was so rooty, but we made it. The view from the end was very nice. It was a little hazy but you could still see the whole city.

The next day dad went for a big bike ride, Scott went to visit his old work, and I had training. I managed to keep up with all my weightlifting training while I was gone which was so good because I have a competition coming up next week. Rose actually lives within walking distance of the old gym I used to go to when we lived there and Al was very nice to make space for me. It was so confusing training in pounds again.

That evening we went to the SFU observatory where lots of space nerds showed us stuff with their telescopes. We could see Saturn’s rings!! It was pretty cool. Rose gave us a tour of her old uni and then we had some late night ice cream, yum yum.

Saturday was an insanely busy day. We squeezed in three different events with three different groups.

1. Dimsum with Rosemarie’s friends. Scott is so creative with his panoramas. Can you guess how he took this one?

2. We got the old game gang back together and had a games day like the old days! We played Mysterium, a space dice game, Sushi Go/Sushi No (where you try to get as few points as possible), ate nachos and Smartfood popcorn (#nomealleftbehind), and caught up on all the gossip. Was great.

3. Dinner and games with Lesley and Jean Pierre (not pictured). She made really delicious tacos, and we played Settlers (of course!!). We also played Monopoly Go. I miss having a friend like Lesley around.

Finally the last day of Scott’s trip we trekked out to UBC for one of our favourite Vancouver events, the apple festival. Rose, Lauren and dad had never been! (It was Scott and my fifth time, haha). We tasted all the apples, ate apple pie, drank apple cider, and learned all about plant medicines. I forget what my favourite apple was, but of course it was something kinda mushy. The sales area was completely wiped out so we couldn’t buy anything.

Then we dropped Scott off at the airport. We all wish he could have stayed longer.

And now I will attempt to catch up on the last THREE months in one giant post because I am sick of being behind.

  • Natasha’s old bosses took us all out for a sunset punt picnic before she left the country. It was very serene and lovely, and Scott even got to try punting (until he was heading directly towards the one thing in the lake that you’re not supposed to touch exactly like Tina learning to drive… my all-time favourite Bob’s Burgers scene btw).

  • Jess popped in for a quick visit! I hadn’t seen her since our old brunch club in Vancouver before her and Zsofi moved back to Ontario. We did a little wandering through the Queen Vic Markets and alleyways, and shared a pitcher of margarita on a floating barge bar on the Yarra.

  • I was sailing again on a fairly regular basis until work got in the way. I was getting more and more jobs to do which was fun. But now it’s impossible for me to get to the sailing club in time. :(

  • We found out our apartment is for sale. :( The real estate agents tried to schedule viewings at all times of the day and night, and got mad at us for not meeting them half way with preparing the apartment for sale but I was not having it. I’m not meeting them anywhere tbh. I managed to get them to give us a free week of rent, but now that it’s been three months of limbo and viewings I think I should have negotiated differently. Bah. Anyway no one has been coming to even look at the apartment lately so at the moment we’re just waiting to see what will happen, and keeping an eye on other rentals, but not looking seriously yet.
  • I started full time work. Same job, same hospital. I’m covering a mat leave. It’s been quite an adjustment working every day, especially because I hadn’t really done it since like… 2011… and that was just data entry. LOL. Between work and commuting and weightlifting I pretty much have zero time at home. But the money is fantastic!!!
  • To make life even more tiring… I have been getting called into work ridiculously often. So I am actually working way more than full time. Since Christmas my coworkers have been called in around 2-5 times. I have been called in… EIGHTEEN TIMES. 18!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t even understand how it is statistically possible. Again, the money is fantastic, however I would also like to actually have a weekend!! I’m just waiting for the opposite side of this balance where I don’t get called in at all for like three months.

  • Perogies are not a thing in this country. I attempted to make a sort of quick perogie meal using gnocchi, bacon, caramelised onions, cheese, and sour cream. It was.. ok. A bit dry. I think it needs some kind of sauce… maybe with the caramelised onions. Any ideas?
  • A guy from my weightlifting gym competed in the Commonwealth Games. That was cool. We had a BBQ to send him off. I watched quite a lot of the games this year. There are some weird sports in it… like lawn bowling, netball and pistol shooting!
  • Cristoforo came to Melbourne and we ate a ridiculous Nutella feast. Pictures later.
  • Thanks to Scott’s work perks I got to try a fancy Endota spa package. It included a massage, facial and pedicure. Was very nice, although it was an extremely weird sensation to get your toes painted while your eyes are covered. I didn’t know if she was just about to start painting so I had to use all my willpower to not move my feet. I think if I got to do it again I wouldn’t choose one with a pedicure.

  • Friends who not only pick you up to drive you to the city, but also provide ciders and snacks for the ride get a FIVE STAR review!
  • We went to see Urzila Carlson at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She was funny! That was my first time going to a MCF show, despite it being a HUGE thing here every year. Maybe next year we’ll go to more.
  • Still been doing Monday night trivia, although a bit less often lately. And monthly stitch n bitch, and Phoenix ladies night dinners. Yay frands.
  • Scott’s been keeping up with planning something for us to do each month. In March we went out for fancy ultra hipster hot chocolate, April we saw Isle of Dogs and ate dumplings, and in May we went to a really nice Spanish tapas restaurant in the city called Bomba.

  • Scott’s work did a private trivia night thing. I came too and joined the IT team. We thought we weren’t doing that well because of how loud the other tables were cheering when they read out the answers but then we won!!!

  • I lifted in the Victoria Weightlifting Open. I made 4 out of 6 of my lifts, and got a 1 kg PB on each lift. I guess that’s ok but I was hoping for more considering all of the good training I had been doing. It was my first real competition and I had a really fun time. I found it much less stressful than skeleton comps… I guess because there is less fear of death?? My coach was able to give me his full attention and he told me exactly when and what to lift to warm up, made all the decisions, and counted others attempts so all I had to do was go out when he told me to and lift the bar.

  • I’m smiling because I felt my arm bend a little bit when receiving the bar and knew that it was going to be a no-lift. I got in trouble from my coach afterwards for making a face… have to work on my poker face. Two red lights. Anyway this was disappointing because I was able to stand up and everything and if not for the tiny bit of arm bend it would have been a great PB.

  • Third attempt clean and jerk. I made the clean, but didn’t quite get under the jerk. Three red lights.

  • I’m so happy I joined Phoenix Weightlifting Club. I’ve made a lot of new friends and it’s been so fun challenging myself with the Olympic lifts. I don’t think I can ever go back to regular gym-ing. I stuck around to be a weights loader for the session after me. Holy moly that was more work than actually lifting in my session!! Didn’t help that it was a big boy session and they were using all the plates.
  • I finally redeemed my free float voucher that we got as a thank you for putting up with the noise while they built the place directly below our apartment. It was for one hour in one of those sensory deprivation tanks. I scheduled it for right after my weightlifting comp because I knew my legs would be sore and the magnesium salt is supposed to help with recovery. I guess it worked pretty well for that, but I didn’t really like it in general. I was slightly too hot, and my neck started to hurt from my fat head hanging down? I’ve never been great at meditating or relaxing or anything so I was just awake the whole time too and just aware of how hot I was. I tried sitting up for a bit to cool down and rest my neck a bit which was better but then the super salty water dripped down into my eyes and stung a lot, lol. I was pretty happy when it was over, tbh. The next day my neck was sooo sore. In the future I would much rather just get a massage I think.

  • Scott and I competed in a Ticket To Ride tournament. It was run by the same people that did the Carcassonne tournament we did last year.┬áThere were four rounds (USA, Europe, India, Asia). I won the first game, then finished 3rd in the next two games. I knew that I needed to win the last game to make the finals. I took tickets on my last turn for the win and actually had two of them. We did the final count and I ended up tied for the win. The tie-breaker is number of tickets completed, which we were also tied on. The second tie-breaker was number of mountain routes finished, which I lost. Bummer. Then the host read out the names of the top 4 people who would be in the finals and I was tied for fourth!!!!! The tie-breaker was number of points earned over the day which I lost. :((((( Such a bummer. I can’t believe I missed the finals by so little. Scott on the other hand did not do so well and finished second last. :( It was fun though. We do love board games.
  • Scott has a cracked rib. Someone head butted him at basketball (accidentally) and now he has to take it easy for a couple weeks. Poor dude.
  • He also just got Employee of the Month though! Go Scott!!

OK! Whew! I think that’s about it. All caught up!!!

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING CUTER THAN A WOMBAT ON A LEASH???

Why is that wallaby glaring at me??

Various Irwin’s and a croc.

We stopped at the Australia Zoo on the way from Brisbane to Noosa so MEP and Paul could see lots of Aussie animals. I liked the koalas a lot.

We went to the famous bird and croc show in the big arena. It was cheesy but entertaining. Bindi Irwin is a surprisingly bad public speaker though? I would have thought she would be better considering she does it every day…

Anyway the zoo is massive!! They don’t have platypus though. Minus one star.

Great view from our apartment in Noosa too.

Of course I had to go for a swim. The ocean was soooo nice and warm. It was so crowded at the main beach though! Easter weekend was over but I guess a lot of people were sticking around for the week.

Scott and I went for a hike around Noosa National Park. We didn’t see any koalas or whales, but we did see dolphins!

We walked all the way from Noosa Main Beach to Sunshine Beach, had lunch at the RSL and then caught the bus back to town.

We all went on a super cheap sunset river cruise that was actually great. $10! The captain pointed out all sorts of things along the way and we ended up at the lake just in time to see a beautiful sunset over the water. He also got some kites to dive and snatch bits of meat in mid-air. It was relaxing and just great value compared to most touristy things in Australia.

We had a bit of extra time on the last day so we took the scenic route back to the Brisbane Airport via a couple lookouts and a cheesery. WILL U-TURN FOR CHEESE. We all had these extremely intense cheese tarts, which probably took two days to fully digest. So much cheese.

Noosa is nice but maybe a bit too fancy for me. I think there are other places along the Sunshine Coast that aren’t as busy or expensive that would be just as good.

After one last game of Ticket To Ride at the airport, Scott and I flew back to Melbourne, and MEP and Paul flew directly into a hurricane, but we would see them again in a couple weeks.

We had a really busy January. I thought life would slow down after Christmas but it did not. I feel like I’ve barely been home at all over the last month and I’ve been perpetually 15 minutes late for everything.

Last year I would go months without getting called into work, but I’ve now been called in 7 times in the last 6 weeks. Insane. But insanely good for our bank account!!

Anyway we’re on holiday now though so it’s ALLLLLL GOOOOOD.

Cassia and baby Cedric came to visit the other weekend. I was a bit unsure how the visit would go since it was the first time we’ve had a baby guest, but it ended up good! Cedric is 6 months old and requires a lot of bouncing. Between the bouncing we went out for brunch, played Ticket To Ride, went to the Camberwell Sunday Market, went to the city to shop at H&M and Uniqlo (they don’t have those in Adelaide), made pizza, drank milkshakes, and of course lots of catching up chats.

We played the present Rosemarie gave me for my birthday.. (mostly) Canadian themed Wits and Wagers cards! They were fun although we had some questions… for example, does the surface area of the worlds largest pizza account for the top and the bottom?

Weightlifting is going ok. I got told a new cue a couple weeks ago which has made some things click finally, although I’m still terrible and weak AF. Don’t know if I’ll be able to lift in Korea at all though so maybe I’ll forget everything. :/ If things go ok when I get back though I will do another competition in March, the Victorian Weightlifting Open. We’ll see.

Sailing has been fun. They’re slowly giving me more things to do as I get more comfortable on the boat again. Although last week I tried to help by loading the winch, but I did it wrong and caused an override and we came in (extreme) last place in the race. We almost had to cut the rope. It was real bad. They’re probably glad to have a couple weeks without me haha.

Scott and I have started a new thing where he is supposed to plan something for us to do once a month. Last month he organized a night out at the Big Bash League. I am slowly figuring out cricket. I actually don’t mind big bash because it plays at a pretty good pace and they try more exciting shots. However the game we went to turned out to be more of a Medium Bash and was kinda dull. Melbourne only hit one 6 (and no 9’s hahahahahah).

Da boys cashed in their Christmas present voucher from us, which was to take them to the Aquapark at Melbourne Cable Park. It was really fun! Although Scott and I struggled to keep up with them, haha. I also feel like I pulled Seth out of the water about 900 times. The next day my arms were so sore!! We got slurpees after and no one hurt themselves, so I would consider it a success all around.

Kate sent over a whole bunch of Canada Olympic gear for Scott and I, and all the kids. They are very ready to cheer for Canada starting next week!!

Scott and I leave tonight!! We’re stopping in Sydney to see Jess and Rae and Ben Folds, and then we fly to Seoul on Wednesday. Rosemarie will arrive on Thursday. :D :D Back in two weeks (unless we get nuked).

I’ve been asked to write out a list of what we are going to so you can look for us on TV. I apologize if there are any mistakes… time zones are hard. Look for the Aussie-Canadian duo! I’ll try to post on Facebook or something about what we are wearing on the day. I’d guess that it will be easiest to see us at skeleton, but who knows.

All for now. I’ll probably be posting the most on Instagram while we’re away. #instagramthatshit

GO CANADA GO! AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!

If you follow me on any social media you would have seen these already. But for archival purposes imma post them here too.

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/515404244/carcassonne-hate-cross-stitch-digital

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/541667741/ticket-to-ride-cross-stitch-digital-pdf

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/517295378/settlers-of-catan-board-game-tiles-cross

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/535781858/7-wonders-i-fing-love-science-cross