Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Family Pics

While in Hawaii, we decided to start a tradition of taking family portraits. So sad Amanda wasn't there, but I think this upcoming year we'll all finally be together! I honestly was not thrilled about everyone wearing white/denim because I think it's kind of cliche, but in the end I think everyone looks great. So I guess I should shut up :)

Here's a sampling of my personal favorites...
*Sorry for the water marks, we didn't get digital files which is totally obnoxious.


Hard life, going to Hawaii for New Year's Every year but someone's gotta do it.

We had a blast. Did a little diving (just might have flown all the way to the Big Island to go manta ray diving and the dumb rays might have decided not to show up. ARGH), a little eating, some family picture (next post), and a LOT of laying by the pool.NYE was spent at Lahaina Grill. I had a great time, but am definitely an old lady because I was falling asleep in my plate by the end of the night.Patrick, on the other hand, was full of energy--right up until the last minute.He's just too funny sometimes.


How could I not post this one?? Patrick wins for World's Best Uncle.

Holiday Party take 3

This year's Holiday party was the best ever. You know why? Because Patrick finally got to come!! Our parties are employee-only so poor Mr. Larsen's been left out the past two years. Not anymore though!
This was also the day I finally got news of my long-awaited promotion. So I had an especially good time.The three newest managers. Well, hello there :)
We stayed just long enough for my feet to totally swell up. Also, for my sequined leggings to completely come un-sequined. Oops.

That's not a costume...

Doesn't Patrick the thug look good? I hope you get an especially good look at his neck tattoo. I'll have you know that two Chinese speakers were able to decipher that was "death" on his neck from across the room. Thankyouverymuch.

Most people didn't think I was dressed up. Not sure how I should take that.Happy belated Halloween!

Australia: Part 2

So if you think about it, our trip was kind of bizarre. Cairns and Sydney are totally not close to each other. It's kind of like going on a trip to the US and wanting to fit in California and Chicago in a week. But then again, the tickets were such a steal--and there was no way I wasn't hitting both cities, so that's the way it goes.

We didn't plan too many things to do while in Sydney--we wanted to just take time to wander the city and take it all in. Looking back, it might have been good to plan a little bit better because I think my dad got a little frustrated with my "free spirited" excursions. I think I learn a little more about how to plan a successful trip each time we go somewhere.

On our first day there, Daddy and I took a bus tour around the city to get an idea of what was what. We had a great time, especially when we got off by these gorgeous cliffs. The water was spectacular. Pictures do not do it justice. (At least crappy point and shoot pics don't).

We also stopped by the famed Sydney Fish Market. Holy cow, that place is incredible!! (Don't worry, we took Patrick back a second time).

Look at the size of that Pelican! I've never seen a bird that big in my life.

Also, Patrick better be glad he locked this gal down, because I found the love of my life while we were there. An Asian Australian selling lobsters. Swoon.
We had quite the fish feast. Including, but not limited to, jelly fish salad,
Ultimate fish platter,
and some fancy crab that everyone was so excited was at the market. I don't remember the name, but I do remember that it wasn't worth the effort. But crab often isn't (for me).
We also saw shark fins for sale, which I've never seen before. So sad.

The main attraction during our stay was the infamous bridge climb.
with these awesome jumpsuits.
Unfortunately, you can't bring your own camera up (if you were to drop even a bobby pin, it could prove catastrophic to the cars below) and the pics they sell you at the end were HORRIBLE (I was so ugly it was ridiculous) but to give you an idea, if you look really closely you can see some people at the top of the bridge in this pic.
We went at sunset, and I've got to say it was pretty incredible. Really a cool experience and I am so glad we were able to do it!

Another highlight of the trip was a backstage tour of the Sydney Opera House. Where I got to sit at a VERY famous piano.
But alas, once again, camera shots were restricted and the few I was allowed were only so-so. Good thing I took pictures in my mind! (weird.)

We also took the ferry to Manly beach, which was a fun way to spend a few hours.
Except there were tons of jelly fish on the shore! (And it was super windy so I didn't really get to tan. Boo.)

I think Patrick's favorite part of the trip (and the sole reason I have any chance of convincing him to move to Sydney) was going to Max Brennar's Chocolate Cafe. We went several times while in NYC and he is OBSESSED. So excited that there was one in Sydney. This time the obsession was the belgian waffle.

My dad and I prefer to eat more locally. For example, kangaroo.
All in all. A spectacular trip. Thank you Daddy!!! I love you!

Australia: Part 1

I've been dreading a post for a while now because I feel like I can't NOT post about our trip to Australia, but it's just overwhelming me. Anyways, maybe if I get this out of the way, I'll be back to my more regular (yet still sporadic) posting schedule?

Last October, Patrick and I joined my Dad on a fabulous trip to Australia. I've gotten close (New Zealand and Fiji) but never made it down under. I've been dreaming of going forever and was thrilled to finally get my chance!

I thought it was an incredible trip. I hope the boys agree. I still talk about moving there weekly--and if it were up to me, we'd have moved months ago. Patrick refuses though. Something about being too far away from our families. Obv he loves you all more than me because I can't stop thinking about it.

We started off our trip in Port Douglas (near Cairns) as we knew we HAD to dive at the Great Barrier Reef! Port Douglas was a darling little vacation town and way cuter than Cairns. So glad we decided to stay there instead!

While there, our main focus was diving the Great Barrier Reef (which was pretty incredible, although it was a bit rocky so the visibility wasn't as spectacular as we had hoped. And Daddy got a wee bit sea sick on the second day. Fiji still wins for best in my book)We also fit in a "nature tour" (which honestly was pretty disappointing. It had rained that day so most of the animals were in hiding, and the Platypus we were promised never showed. It was also really really long and by the time we got home we were all pretty exhausted and over it. Oh well! You win some, you lose some. Right?).
On our last day in Port Douglas, Patrick was boss. He wanted to go to a crocodile farm, which sounded a bit lame at first but we followed his lead. Turned out to be the highlight of the trip!! Go Patrick!

We got up close and personal with baby crocs. Literally.
*He was totally squirmy which was kind of terrifying.We even got to eat one! (Delish.)
We also got to pet a Wallaby!! He was soo cute! I want one.
Koalas only look cute. They're mostly lazy and have scary claws. I still want to hold one though.

Other highlights included learning to drive on the opposite side of the road

And eating (of course!). Gotta say, Port Douglas has got the right idea when it comes to breakfast. Ice Cream on Pancakes??! Patrick was in heaven! (Ok, so was I)
Also, Mocka's "World Famous" meat pies were pretty great too. We ate there at least twice.

And we couldn't leave without trying a true "Aussie" burger, complete with picked beetroot. Have to say, I think I prefer mine the American way.
I would happily go back to Port Douglas for another vacay any day. However, Sydney is where I left my heart. Sigh. What an INCREDIBLE city! Don't worry, I'll break up the posts a little so they aren't too daunting. Stay tuned for Sydney!