Hehehe. Melbourne played Collingwood in the first round of the finals at the MCG on a Thursday night. I had to quickly squeeze in a training session at home in the garage after work and then rush into the city to meet Scott. It started POURING pretty much exactly when I had to walk run from the train station to the MCG. I showed up to the MCC (thanks Connor!!) looking like a drowned rat. And tried to take a selfie on the escalator. Melbourne lost. And I forgot my backpack under the seat so Scott (thanks Scott!!) had to run back up to grab it and then we ended up on the train with all the super happy Collingwood people (the worst) instead of with the sad Melbourne people.

Then we had the Ian Laurie Cup on the weekend. I did OK, I guess. I snatched 45 kg and 48 kg, and missed 50 kg. I clean and jerked 55 kg, and 58 kg AGAIN, and the missed the jerk on 60 kg AGAIN. That’s the 4th time I’ve missed 60 in competition!! So annoying. However it was a fun day over all.

I went to another Birdlife photography outing at Banyule Flats. It was a small group this time, which was kind of nice. It was a beautiful day and we saw a decent amount of cool birds. We spent a while tracking a Shining-bronze Cuckoo and a Golden Whistler by their calls and eventually found them, which was neat. I saw them well with my binoculars but didn’t get any good photos.

We saw two Powerful Owls as well. Epic. They are huge.

Tawny Frogmouth pretending to be a stick.

Met up with Donna and fam to go for a walk, and give them the GIANT box of Pokemon cards that Doreen prepared. Always a pleasure to spend time with them.

Scott and I entered our first pickleball tournament. We were in the Mixed Doubles 2.5 or Under category, aka beginners. There were five teams in our category. We won our first two games in the round robin, then lost our next two games. This put us in third position going into the finals but we lost again, so ended up 4th overall. Whatevs, it was fun!! My goals for the tournament were: to not lose every single game (check!), and to get some points from my shots (check!). I can’t wait until we can do another tournament!

Sonika had a bunch of people over on FBTAGF public holiday (Friday Before The AFL Grand Final) for some games and food. It was a nice chill afternoon. I played half a game of Potion Explosion, which was quick to learn and has a fun ball dispenser mechanism.

Check out this super strong momma possum carrying THREE babies on her back!! We could hear something rustling around in the backyard but couldn’t figure out what it was.. turns out one of the babies had fallen off and she was trying to do a dramatic rescue mission. Kinda neat, although possums can be quite the pest.

Best messages to receive from Doreen: “I have fish for you”. We were extra spoiled this time, King George Whiting, already filleted for me! She gave us 7 fillets!! What a treat.

I finished the kids jumper from Vicky. I keep forgetting to bring it when we see the nephews! It was originally supposed to have a roll neck but I didn’t like the look of it so I just did a 1×1 rib instead.

Before
After

This was such a fun project. I saw a video on Knitdiet’s instagram and bought the pattern and yarn immediately. Basically I knitted an enormous bag, then put it in the washing machine for an hour and it came out as a sturdy, normal size bag! So fun!! I’ve been using it to carry my knitting stuff around.

Unpictured stuff:

  • A lot more finals footy, but at home. We weren’t able to get tickets to the next Melbourne finals game (which they lost). And Scott’s team only played in Brisbane (which they won). Scott’s team made it to the Grand Final but it was too hard/expensive to get tickets so we watched it in Boronia with the fam. Brisbane lost.
  • Fathers Day/Myles’ Birthday brunch in Boronia. Scott made cinnamon buns.
  • Scott got laid off. Was a shame because it seemed like it was a good job, until the end.

I was finally able to make it out to one of the Birdlife photography group outings! They get together once a month and it always seemed to be on a day that I couldn’t go. But this time I could. We went to Lysterfield Lake. I was a bit scared to go, but there were plenty of friendly people, and at least there is an activity… so you don’t have to talk the whole time. It wasn’t the best conditions for birds or photography so I didn’t get any great pictures but it’s still nice to get out and get some birdwatching practice.

Scott got me tickets to Cirque du Soleil Crystal for Christmas last year and it was finally time to go! We liked it, it was neat to see the new stuff they could do with the added ice element… like big long swooping things while hanging from ropes and stuff. And Scott liked the hockey boys doing jumps and flips. I thought the actual circus stuff wasn’t near as precise as a normal Cirque show though. The story was pretty weird too.

We had galettes beforehand at Roule Galette. Scott had beef bourguignon, and I had a potato-y one and a mulled wine. Lovely.

My friend Bis’s birthday dinner wish was for us to go out and everyone had to pick a dish to share. It was great. This was half the food.. I should have waited until everything arrived to take a picture but at that point I was too busy stuffing my face. I picked a soft tofu dish.

Melbourne was playing Hawthorn so we sent a message to Shaun to see if he wanted to go to the game together (he goes for Hawthorn). He said sure, meet us at this park at this time. We arrive at the park and there are like 20 children there and many adults. Turns out it was Shaun’s son Finn’s birthday party and everyone was going to the game together!! Cupcakes were a nice surprise!

So we ended up watching the game with Donna’s family too. A fun day. And Melbourne won.

I saw this meal on an Instagram reel. It was delicious!

Bendigo Woollen Mills sock yarn socks are done! I’m quite pleased with them. Socks are a great travel project because they’re so compact.

I learned how to do two-colour knitting by making a vaguely Melbourne-themed hat. I tried making a pom pom for it but I tied it wrong and it exploded everywhere. I didn’t really like how it looked anyway. I would like to get a navy faux fur pom pom but haven’t found where to buy that yet.

My next project was to finish up a kids jumper that Vicky started about ten years ago for Beau. He’s about six feet tall now but luckily there are two other small kids that it can fit now. It was a fun challenge for me to figure out where she was up to in the pattern and finish it up.

Unpictured stuff:

  • I went to a nuc med day conference down on the peninsula with a couple coworkers. We saw a guy with a motorized golf bag!!
  • Used the movie tickets I won from getting a written compliment at work to see the Barbie movie. I liked the movie but I was annoyed that most of the punchlines had been spoiled already on the internet/TV/radio/literally everywhere.
  • My weightlifting friend came back from Canberra/USA and it has been so nice having her at training again. We even got the old Phoenix ladies out for dinner one night too, which was lovely.
  • We’ve been playing pickleball pretty much every Sunday. Scott and I did a lot of practice together to prepare for an upcoming tournament.
  • I actually got called in to work on the weekend. Quite rare. It was a tricky case too. Thankfully my boss is very nice and volunteered to come in with me and press the buttons on the computer for me so I didn’t have to get gowned and ungowned a bazillion times.
  • Apparently we went out for dinner for a #SMAJ event but we didn’t take any pictures and I can’t remember what it was.
  • Japanese brunch. Trivia. Knitting club. Weightlifting training.

The next few days were fun and chill. We headed back to Squamish and hung out with Rosemarie and her friends. Interfered with Lauren’s routine. Played a lot of board games and pickleball. Liz and Tom came to visit. Met up with Brian and his gf. Scott organised a trip up the Chief gondola. Helped prepare Rosemarie’s house for even more visitors.

Then dad and Diane arrived! Diane had never been to BC so we immediately took her up to the tippy top of Whistler. They were saying the lifts might close because of lightning threat but we got lucky and had no issues. It was a fun, tiring, day. We even saw a brown black bear.

Then we spent a few days on the Sunshine Coast. Getting everyone to the ferry was stressful and getting everyone off the ferry was stressful. But it worked out. The airbnb was nice and we had great weather, saw lots of pretty BC views, saw some seals/sea lions and woodpeckers. Had some family meals. Always nice to see Lesley too.

Finally it was time for Scott and I to go home. :(

When we first booked this Canada trip we thought we’d only be able to see Rosemarie on the weekends so Scott and I booked a three day kayaking trip way up at the Northern end of Vancouver Island with North Island Kayak.

The weather and water conditions were perfect. No rain at all. Mostly sunny with one moody misty morning. At some points the water was like glass! I kept yelling out “How is this the ocean???!!”

We saw tons of humpback whales in the distance from the campground but didn’t end up seeing any orcas. The orcas were behind schedule… yay climate change.

The other people in the group were friendly.. we had a Brit couple, a Swiss girl, an older Canadian man, and our guide was a young Canadian dude. We didn’t have to do any of the cooking or cleaning, and our tents were already set up for us with humongous elevated sleeping mats. It was all very luxurious.

I lost my mind a little bit when I found out they made dairy-free Nanaimo bars for me.

My arms definitely got tired, but thankfully Scott is a machine and just kept paddling, while I took FREQUENT breaks. Basically we’d do about one to two hours of kayaking at a time, broken up by meals and snack breaks. And it was at a verrry relaxed pace. Over the three days we went the entire way around Hanson Island.

One of the most memorable parts for me was when we kayaked through this little crevice at low tide. The rock walls on both sides were covered with super droopy sea anemone and urchins that were now out of the water. The looked like snotty testicles. Never seen anything like that before!! We went through twice. That’s where we saw the giant morning sun star fish as well.

While we didn’t see any orcas or bears we did still see tons of wildlife. I loved when the eagles flew over us, and kayaking past the rock sausages (seals).

BC is great.

You’ve probably already seen most of these pictures on Instagram/FB but I still wanted to recap the trip again for posterity. It was super fun!!

July 12th was a mammoth day. I went to the gym, then knitting club (Scott came too! The old ladies thought that was a hoot), and then we headed to the airport the cheapskate way via walking+train+train+bus. There was a horrifingly outgoing singing tween at our gate who of course ended up directly behind us on the flight. THANK JEEBUS for headphones omg. I requested vegan food on the flight to avoid dairy and it was ok! Lots of snacks! I only ate one of my emergency pepperoni sticks. (However it sounds like Qantas does it better than Air Canada, from Rosemarie’s report.) I quite enjoyed getting my food first too. I watched three movies and slept a bit.

We arrived in Vancouver still on July 12th, picked up our rental car, which was thankfully not as tiny as I paid for. Stopped at Duffins Doughnuts as per tradition but accidentally got PLAIN DRY old fashioned doughnuts, rather than PLAIN GLAZED old fashioned doughnuts which made me very sad. Thankfully the sadness was short-lived because we had THE BEST YAM ROLL OF MY LIFE in North Van at a randomly picked sushi restaurant. It had two layers of yam!! Everything else was great too. We over-ordered because we forgot how cheap Vancouver sushi is. Then we finally arrived in Squamish and hugged Rosemarie and finally got to lay down horizontally and sleeeeeeeep.

We crammed a lot into the next day as well. No meal left behind, so breakfast sausage and bagels for breakfast, Kululu for lunch. Check check check. Rosemarie and I went to the gym. We hit a wiffle ball around. And tried to stand up paddle board but it was too windy. Scott made it exciting by dropping our waterproof camera into the lake and later finding it.

The next day was big as well. Sense a theme here? We all got up early to catch the ferry to Nanaimo and then drive the rest of the way to Victoria. It looks like a highway on the map but actually it has 900 stoplights and isn’t the most fun drive. We ran a few last minute errands and then finally made it to Leslie and Kyla’s out-of-towners BBQ at their house. It was the first time the Ace Gang had been together in like a decade. It was so fun to hang out with Cassia, Helenka, and Leslie. And tons of others I hadn’t seen in ages like Catty, Monica, David, and their families. We used to spend so much time together.. it still feels so comfortable to hang out even now. We had hotdogs and sorbet and then later a few of us went out for sour beer slushies in the city.

PS Happy 13th Anniversary to Scott and I.

July 15 – Wedding day! We went out for brunch with Cassia and Helenka, then Rosemarie and I got blow outs while the others went sightseeing. We got Korean-Chinese dumplings for a pre-wedding snack and then we headed out to the venue. The ceremony was in a very pretty garden. Again it was fun to hang out with old friends and get pictures of everyone dressed up all fancy. Dinner was delicious and the wedding cake was lactose-free!! Scott and I bailed a little bit early because we are old lol. But Scott got MVP status because he still went to pick up Rose and Lauren later. Best bro-in-law.

We still hadn’t managed to play any pickleball yet so we squeezed it in before post-wedding brunch. Canadians are so lucky that there are free courts everywhere!! Minus one star for these courts being a bit slanted, but plus one star for having a splash pad right next door to cool down! Brunch was massive and it was great to spend more time with Jinnie, who I’d not actually spent much time with in person ever, but still feels like a long-time friend. Rosemarie and Lauren had to head back to Squamish after lunch, and Cassia, Helenka, Scott and I spontaneously decided to check out Butchart Gardens. I thought it was nice but expensive!! On the way back we heard that Leslie and Kyla were having one last gathering by the water near their house so we dropped by to chill and eat more wedding cake. Then finally Scott and I got takeaway Red Fish Blue Fish which we ate in our hotel bed before passing out from exhaustion.