Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Our first Thanksgiving as a family of 3 was a success!  We nervously watched the weather all week and what started out as rain changed to scattered showers which all scattered in the morning thankfully and we had sunny, although somewhat cool weather for our celebration.  This was great news because it was going to be a tight squeeze trying to fit everyone inside.
With Felix in the mix this year we had a bit more of a challenge on our hands for cooking, but Chris took Friday off and Debs (+baby on board) and Delia came by to help which left me to baby wrangling and meant we were able to get most everything ready on Friday.
Saturday afternoon started off with some drinks and appetizers while we all enjoyed the sunshine out on the balcony.  It was so nice to have enough space out there to have everyone at one long table and not feeling squished, huge improvement from the previous apartment!
As always, the manicotti was the star of the show.  I hear rumors that Chris's family doesn't make this anymore for their Thanksgiving feast - I don't think that Chris will ever let that happen while we're hosting (and our friends might stop showing up).

Felix made an appearance at dinner after a bit of a nap and agreed that the manicotti looked awesome.
Eva tried some as well, everything tastes better when you're standing on a chair, right?

After the first course the traditional thanksgiving food was brought out and we all tucked in again.  I think that everyone has finally learned to save a bit of room after the first course to make sure that you don't miss anything.

The evening was capped off with a beautiful sunset as everyone found a bit more space for one more bite of dessert, or perhaps a drink of Chris's home brew IPA on tap.  All in all it was a great day and we have a lot to be thankful for.  Can't wait for next year when Felix will get to eat Thanksgiving food!

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's a Boy!!!

On Sunday, September 15 at 1:26PM Amy and I were fortunate enough to welcome our son, Felix James into the world!  Felix measured  53cm and 3.23kg (21in and 7.12lb).

Minutes old, welcome to the world 
All wrapped up by the midwives

Amy can eat sushi again, Yeah!!!!!

Mom and bubs after their first night together

Ready for the ride home, wearing the same sweater Chris was brought home in and a hat from Aunt Glor

Mom taking care of me

Guard octopus

Can't wait to meet you guys!

Both Mom and baby are home safe and sound now. He had been well behaved so far, sleeping lots, eating well, and rarely crying.  Let's hope he keeps it up!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Visitor: Cousin Charlie

Welcome to Australia
We recently had the good fortune of having Cousin Charlie come for a short visit while on his way through to a research project down in Tasmania.  I picked him and his kayak up from the airport and we wasted no time.

By the way, you know you are in for an adventure when someone brings their own KAYAK with them.

Can this count as my carry on?
We came home and went straight our for a spear up at Long Reef.  Conditions were good with about 15 meters of visibility and after some fumbling with the gear we managed to spear a nice Morowong for the lunch table.  It was tasty.

After lunch it was straight down to Freshwater Beach for a surf lesson.  We did some practice pop-ups on the sand and then jumped into the water which was a beautiful spring temperature.

Charlie proved a natural and managed to get up and ride several waves.  We took turns with the board and bodysurfing.  What a way to spend a day.

Ready to rock it 
Pro style
We finished off Charlie's first day in Australia with a beachside sunset followed by bonfire on the balcony and some BBQ lamb.  Jet lag cowered in fear in the shadows.

First day sunset panoramic
We woke up on Saturday to what seemed like a summer day with a light breeze blowing through.  We loaded up the boat in the car and drove down to Little Manly Beach to launch.  We also managed to see a poor guy trying to turn his trailer around and hitting everything in sight.  Charlie was greatly amused at the trailer fail.

Middle Harbour seclusion

We did a cruise up Middle Harbour to some secluded spots and pulled up on an unnamed deserted beach for lunch, watching the lizards scamper and the birds flit around.

We managed to catch lots of small fish, all of which were tossed back to grow into a suitable eating size.

That evening we took a stroll around Manly and ended up on a beachfront balcony enjoying a couple of Ciders and watching the waves and Saturday evening crowd pass by.

Charlie was due to fly out on Sunday but we were determined to squeeze in a little more.  We woke up and had a quick breakfast and then straight back to the beach for some more surfing.  This time, with Charlie knowing the ropes we brought down 2 boards and rode the waves together.  Amy accompanied us down and managed some photos.

Checking out the waves
It was great to see Charlie and we look forward to adventuring with him again down in Tasmania or back here is Sydney.  Safe travels, cousin!

Here we go
Negotiations have broken down
Team wave!!!! 
Emerging victorious
Good times
Freshie beach, calling to Charlie

Saturday, August 24, 2013

John's B Day weekend in Seal Rocks

Just us and the waves out here

I recently spent a weekend up the coast a couple hours in Seal Rocks to celebrate a friend's birthday.  It was a lovely weekend with warm weather, beautiful scenery, and decent waves.

It being mid winter we opted to stay in a holiday home rather than camp out.  It had a wood stove AND a trampoline, both of which which we used liberally.

Hanging out by the fire


A mixture of beer, wine, and bourbon which was cited as "not as bad as you think"
Also due to it being the off season the area was mostly deserted.  This lead to vacant beaches and lots of solitude.

We spotted dolphins and whales both days while down at the beaches.  One of the times the dolphins put on a surfing display in the exact location where we had bee ourselves surfing only minutes earlier.  They were certainly the superior wave riders.

Fisher,man's beach all by its lonesome

John got a sweet longboard for his b-day and put it to heavy use.  We went out surfing both days at at times were the only people visible both in the water and out.

Treachery Beach, sans people

Ian contemplating the madness of it all

The boys after a surf

I am having a terrible time here

Saturday evening rapidly devolved (or evolved perhaps?) into debauchery when someone - not me this time, i swear - had the idea to play beer pong.  Lacking ping pong balls we made due with some trivial pursuit dice scavenged from a games cabinet.

I am happy to say that I teamed up with my American brethren, Trent to dominate all comers.

It went in.  You know this.

The ecstasy of victory....
....And the agony of defeat
 Andy was also very excited to test out his relatively new 4WD, getting bogged to the point that he needed to be pulled out only once.  Luckily a kind strange in an equally huge vehicle came along right as the mosquitos started coming out and sun was setting.  Simon was smart enough to take some photos of the event before hitchhiking back to the house to form a rescue team.

Yeah.....looks pretty stuck

Never too early to start the discussion of "who should we eat first"

It was a great weekend and summer teased us by letting out some warm weather and water.  Can't wait for the real deal in a couple months.