Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Autumn Fishing

I'd rather be..wait - I am boating!
Last weekend while the girls were doing the Coogee to Bondi walk, the boys were out enjoying the day in a more manly way, trying to catch dinner.
The weather was a balmy 19 C (66F) and heading up in middle harbour the wind was calm so the water was perfect for bombing around in the ducky.
While enjoying a beer and hanging a fishing rod out, the sun put on a show as it dipped below the horizon.

Couldn't ask for a nicer autumn afternoon on the water (except maybe catching a massive kingie). 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lucky Visitor #7: Lauren

Our next visitor to paradise was Chris's work colleague, and our amazing former dodgeball team member, Lauren.  Although it took an additional friend moving down under to get her on the plane, we were excited to have her with us for a few days at the beginning of her trip.

First sunset on the rocks, Manly in the background
Chris took a few days off so he picked her up from the airport and spent the next 18 hours or so keeping her moving so that she didn't fall asleep.  They made it all the way to Palm Beach and back, plus walked to Shelly and explored some of Manly.  By the time I met up with them in the evening at Murray's she was looking a bit dazed but was a trooper and managed a few beers before crashing for the evening.

On the Freshwater Cliffs, sunset Lazy-boy style

 After some well deserved sleep, the next morning we rented a boat to show her the harbor in style.  The weather was perfect for a day in the boat, definitely a million times better than a day at work!

Living the good life

On Saturday the weather continued to cooperate so I drove the girls back to Coogie and joined them on the Coogie to Bondi walk
Lauren and Katie at the start of the walk
Look at how green that water is
This is a coastal walk that winds along the different beaches on the Eastern Suburbs and is a great way to see the area.

What a place to be buried!
Bronte beach, smaller than I expected
Lauren with the graveyard in the background

This was my first trip to the "dark side" (big rivalry between the Eastern Suburbs and Northern Beaches) and while the walk was great, I'm definitely happy to be a Northern Beaches girl.

On Sunday we took Lauren to her first rugby game, which was also our first time supporting the local Manly Sea Eagles.  While we'd watched them win from the pub many times in the past, including the 2011 grand final, watching them win in person was quite exciting. 
The crowd was full of supporters and the stadium was pretty small with grassy hills on two sides for the supporters to sit on which made it feel like we were very close to the action.  It's always the best to be on the winning side and everyone toasted to victory!

Monday Chris continued with some time off and he and Lauren took a bus trip up to the Hunter Valley for some time in the sunshine and some wine tasting.  Now she's off to continue the fun with Katie to see some more of the country.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Surfer's Moon

Last Sunday we were fortunate enough to have clear skies for the supermoon.  While the scientists prefer the term "perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system", I think that we'll stick to supermoon as the much cooler way to refer to it. 

Super Moon!

Before the moon came up, Chris and I took some beers down to rocks in Queenscliff to watch the surfers putting on a show for us.  For several days we'd been having massive waves with the right wind conditions and all of the good surfers in town were definitely taking advantage.  
check out the hoard of people, how are there that may good surfers around??

pretty big waves today

Pondering the best spot to jump

picture doesn't show quite how fast he's zooming along

Queenscliff Bombie, only breaks when the waves are huge

bird has the best vantage point

body boarder pretending he's good enough to be a surfer
Freshwater beach from the cliffs
 After the sun started down we headed over to the other side of the headlands to watch the moon rise over the ocean.
super moon, in pink

super moon in full color

What a great way to wrap up a weekend.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Anzac Day 2012

ANZAC Day is a national day of rememberance in Australia and New Zealand, originally to honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli during World War I.  This is also now intended to be a day of rememberance, similar to our veterans day, and most importantly is a day off of work and school.

While the day starts with somber dawn services at the RSLs (similar to our veterans clubs, but more of a community center) and surf clubs, like most Australian holidays this soon becomes a race to see how drunk you can get. 

At our local RSL, the Habord Diggers, where we are members of the mounties, they host the largest game of Two-up in the Southern Hemisphere.  The Aussies tell us that this is what the soldiers played in the trenches because it's essentially just betting on flipping a coin, however the wikipedia entry seems to disagree a bit.  Regardless, this is the one day a year where it's legal to play two-up, so everyone takes full advantage.
The crowd at Diggerts
After an afternoon bbq at our place with some practice rounds of two-up we moved the party over to the diggers.  This was around 4 pm, and at this point people had been drinking steadily since noon, if not earlier so the crowd was amazingly enthusiastic about the heads or tails outcome. 

The spinner in action
In this game, anyone in the crowd who wants to bet on heads holds up some denomination of money and shouts out "20 heads" or "10 on heads" until some random stranger in the crowd decides to take tails.  The person betting heads holds the money, and then the "spinner" flips the coins.  If the spinner gets three heads in a row they get some additional prize, so generally everytime that it landed heads everyone cheered, and tails was worth a boo. 

Amazingly, after hours and hours of drinking, this massive crowd was completely friendly, even with large amounts of money changing hands and no fights broke out.  After the sun went down we kicked our way through the piles of empty beer cans and champagne bottles and toasted one more in honor of those who have served.