We had quite a busy start to the year! A lot of our spare time was taken up by preparing to move and moving but we still squeezed in plenty of fun stuff as well.

As is becoming tradition, we started 2020 by going to the beach on January 1 for a swim in the ocean. It wasn’t as hot as last year but plenty warm enough to jump off the pier and paddle around for a bit. It was nice to lie under our sunshade and read too.

We went to the local T20 derby. It was freezing. And kind of boring. I do not want to see good bowlers! I want to see bad bowling!!

I can’t walk to work any more so I bought an electric bike from Aldi. :D It is so fun, I really love it. It takes away all the parts I hated about biking and leaves all the fun parts. I can get to work in 20 minutes without getting sweaty! It can go 50km on one charge, and helps me go 25 km/hr (after that you’re on your own).

Noah’s parents went on holiday for their anniversary so he stayed with us for a night. Him and Scott played a lot of Fortnight, and I took him to my gym. One of the coaches showed him how to squat and deadlift and stuff. Jono was in town as well so we met up with him and some friends in the city for more T20 cricket. Which was also quite boring. That’s three times I’ve been recently and none of them have been particularly interesting. I’m really starting to think even big bash is not really that exciting.

We had the craziest hail storm I’ve ever seen. The pictures don’t do it justice because those chunks on the pavement are ones that have already smashed/melted. The hail was the size of pool balls!! I was so worried that the windows of the car would break since it was just parked on the street. Scott ran out to throw some blankets/towels over the car which helped a lot but we still ended up with three monster dents on the hood and one above the door. UGH. There was SO much damage to all the cars in our suburb.

Plus I think it cracked some of the roof tiles (we told the landlords/have moved out now so… not my problem..). We found out about that because Melbourne had BROWN RAIN for a couple days after for some reason (YAY CLIMATE CHANGE). This brown rain really highlighted the leak by staining the walls and carpet as it flowed into the house.

The hail was super localised so our new house appears to be completely fine btw.

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I started to feel very sick that weekend but still went to work on Monday because Scott’s January #SMAJ activity was corporate tickets to the Australian Open on Monday night and I felt like I couldn’t call in sick and then go to the tennis. So I suffered through a day of work, then went to the tennis, which was probably a terrible idea. To make it worse it was POURING RAIN and I got 100% soaked from waist down (I did have my good coat on) on the way there.

The tennis was very cool though. Thanks Telstra! We got to have a great meal and then watched Ash Barty’s match and Novak Djokovic’s match. We had to leave before Novak was finished winning though because I was a disgusting snotty mess and I was running out of tissues and felt terrible for everyone around me. I ended up staying home from work and sleeping for two days straight after that.

Settlement day was uneventful. Almost too uneventful. We really had no idea if anything was happening. But eventually in the afternoon we got an email that said everything had gone through and I could go to the real estate office to pick up the keys to the new house. Hooray! Our mortgage showed up in our online banking as well which is very confronting every time I open the app.

We didn’t move in straight away though because we were going camping that weekend with some friends. I really don’t recommend doing that unless you love checklists a lot. It all turned out pretty well though with minimal mistakes. I’ll leave our camping trip to another post.

When we got back from camping I did a quick pop-in at my weightlifting club’s annual bbq while Scott unpacked the car at the new house. Then we packed all the last minute stuff at the old house and disassembled the beds and moved everything to the garage.

Moving day went well! My obsessive preparations were worth it. I used the same el cheapo Gumtree movers we used the last couple times and they managed to fit in 98% of our stuff in one truck load while Scott and I chilled in the garage. It only took 2.5 hours and came out way cheaper than I budgeted. Unpacking took much much much longer.

THREE OTHER RANDO JANUARY THINGS:

1. They renovated the gym a bit and now the ladies have a much bigger change room with a sweet giant mirror!

2. We played a few more games of Castles of Burgundy. It’s pretty fun although we still don’t really know what we’re doing. I would like to try playing with 3 or 4 players. *COUGH ROSEMARIE GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE COUGH*

3. These bean and cheese enchiladas were quite tasty.

“It’s Getting Hot In Here” (tequila, jalapeno syrup, mango & lemon). Pretty spicy!

Taco Tuesday $5 tacos.

I had a fish taco (with papaya slaw and jalapeno salsa) and a shrimp taco (with pickled onion, pico, sour cream and guac). Scott had a beef taco (with lettuce, cheese, pickled onion and bbq sauce) and a pork taco (with pickled vegetables, mayo, pineapple and pico).

The fish was the best part, it was so crispy and delicious. They were ok value for $5 each on Taco Tuesday but on the regular menu they were ~$15 each!!! That would be outrageously because I could very easily eat 3 for a full meal. We wondered if they make them bigger on regular days?

La Cabra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’ve always loved Taco Bell. But I only need it once or twice a year, which is good because it’s always been hard to get (except for that brief great time where there was one on the way to trampoline lessons!). Until now… because they just opened two restaurants in Melbourne.

I made Scott wait with me for one hour for the grand opening of the one on Chapel Street. :D

I ordered a lot hahahha. A beef crunchwrap supreme, pork cheesy gordita crunch, and chicken stacked chips supreme. (They threw in a pair of free taco socks!)

Everything was good (in a low expectations T Bell kind of way). It’s not quite the same as the American version… it was more nicely put together and had better toppings. The tomatoes were actually red instead of white, the lettuce was crisp, and it even had guacamole. However, they don’t have free sauce packets so they lose some points there.

The service was excellent.

I’ll definitely go back if I’m in the area. The other one is right near where a lot of my weightlifting competitions are held so that might be my new post-comp treat.

Taco Bell Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

November #SMAJ was going out for dinner at Ped’s Kafe. I was supposed to do active recovery that day so we were going to walk there but then it started to rain. Boo. Dinner was good though.

Son in law eggs. Deep fried eggs with tamarind sauce and crispy fried shallots. They were a bit strange… I thought the egg would have some kind of coating, and then deep fried like a scotch egg, but it was literally a deep fried hard boiled egg. Quite difficult to eat.

Super delicious roti with peanut sauce. Crispy chewy buttery perfect roti. Pretty much everything you dream roti to be.

Coconut rice and beef massaman curry. The slow cooked beef was soooooo tender and so delicious. It also had roasted cashews, potatos and crispy shallots on top. The broth was super delicious. We mopped it up with roti and rice. YUM.

Everything was very extravagantly presented. I would really like to go back and try more because that curry was amazing and I feel like all the others would be quite good as well. And you can bring your own wine. Skip the eggs though.

Ped's Kafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Like last year, and the year before, Scott put together a DIY cider advent calendar for me. I think it was pretty hard to find new ones but he did very well, nearly all of them were ones I hadn’t tried before.

  • Little Woody Sparkling Oaked Cider – weird taste that’s hard to describe, not bad, dry, but not something I would probably buy 7/10
  • Mr. Little Genuine Apple Cider – refreshing, not too sweet, tasty 8/10
  • Simple Cider Cox’s Orange Pippin – sour, crabappley?, weird 5/10
  • Lychee Gold – literally juice as it’s low alcohol 5/10
  • Three Oaks Cider Adelaide Hills Crushed Apple – too sweet 6/10
  • Stowford Press Apple Cider – UK type cider, a little funky, fine 7/10
  • Oranjeboom – surprisingly nice, generic but tasty apple cider taste 8/10
  • Hills Cider Tropical Sour – definitely sour, mango-y, but too much pineapple for me 6/10
  • Mr Finch Premium Apple Cider – too sweet 6/10
  • Newton’s Crisp Apple Cider – too sweet 6/10
  • Mortimers Orchard English Apple Cider – traditional English type cider, ok 6/10
  • Scape Goat Crisp Apple Cider – too sweet 6/10
  • Old Rosie – still cider, one of the better flat ciders but still meh. comes in fun giant jug. good value? 5/10

(Clearly I don’t like ciders in clear glass bottles?!)

  • Big Shed Cherry Popper – actually not very cherry-y at all? not bad 7/10
  • Bilpin Archibald Cloudy Apple Cider – tart, dry, delicious! 10/10!!
  • Treehouse Cider – nice (I’d had this one before but they changed the label) 9/10
  • Two Birds Apple Cider – noice, lady brewery! 9/10
  • Forbidden Fruit Cider Apple Berry – legit like a juice box 7/10
  • Cidre de Fouesnant Pur Jus Manoir de Kinkiz – had a cork, strong tastes, oaky, smokey, funky 6/10 (I’d had this one before but forgot to rate it so I was happy to have a second go)
  • Henry Westons Oak Aged Vintage Cider – too funky 6/10
  • Flying Fox Original Cider – tasted better in the bottle than at the cidery, ok 7/10
  • The Apple Thief Pink Lady Cider – meh 7/10
  • Nightingale Bros Alpine Cider Pink Lady Dry – very dry!! 7/10

Overall not that many high ratings… perhaps there is a reason they’re not the easiest ciders to track down. However, I gave out my first ever 10/10 so that’s a win!!

This will most likely be the last DIY cider advent calendar as I think I’ve now tasted a good portion of all the ciders in Australia! Maybe next year I’ll get something easy and store-bought, haha.