Sydney Trip: Days 1-3

Bryan had the great opportunity to work for his company at their Sydney location in July.  He set up my visit ‘Down Under’ to coincide with the last few days of his workweek; then we had a few extra days to sightsee together.

Here are the photos from those first few days of my visit.  Since sweet Bryan was busy working, I’d take off in any given direction and walk, gawk, and purely enjoy being lost in a completely different country.

Be sure to view them with the PicLens – it will let you see my descriptions of each, to give you some perspective and (a little) information about what you’re viewing.



Here’s a map of the area to give you some perspective on where I wandered those first few days. You can zoom in to see just how close everything was in relation to the apartment, and where  I was each day.

View Sydney NSW in a larger map

All in all, I highly recommend visiting Sydney and the surrounding areas.  We found the people to be friendly, thoughtful and very laid back.  In fact, I really do think Aussies lead the most relaxed lives.  Take, for instance, the typical workday in downtown Sydney:

  • Show up to work around 9:30
  • Have morning tea halfway through the morning hours
  • Go to lunch
  • Mustn’t forget afternoon tea around 3pm. Cappuccino if it was a busy afternoon.
  • Catch the 4:30 train to make it home for dinner in your village.

Holy moly I’d love a job like that!



Tomorrow I’ll update with photos from Bondi Beach.  While I did go there by myself one day while Bryan was working, he came with me to explore the sandstone cliffs that weekend.  Trust me, those photos are AWESOME.  Really worth the trip back to to check them out!


Our Travels to Sydney!

In the past month I’ve realized a few things:

a) Jet lag is a VERY REAL syndrome.

b) Kangaroos are just as cute in person as on TV.

c) This Texan cannot believe there are nations on this planet  without real trucks.

d) Even a week long ‘once in a lifetime’ trip is completely worth the work. Especially the spur of the moment ones!


That being said, Bryan and I have been back from our Sydney trip for nearly a month now.  The city is great!  Its impressively clean, pedestrian-friendly, and the people are nice, perhaps even nicer than Texans (if that’s even possible!).  We enjoyed our time sight-seeing, visiting with locals, and exploring the area.  Over the next few days I will post about our adventures, complete with photos of our journey.




P.S. I have a newfound respect for my photography friends – 750 photos from week take a REALLY long time to edit.  Woah!



I just realized, while sitting on the couch watching the evening weather report that there will be FOOTBALL IN AMERICA on Sunday night!!!


…oh, and yeah, we’re back safely from Australia. I’ll post beautiful photos soon. :)

Leaving, on a jet plane… tomorrow…

… and I’m already ready to go!

(okay, that didn’t rhyme, at all.  But I am!)

I connect through San Francisco tomorrow on my way to Sydney. This will be my first overseas flight, and its both nerve-wracking and extremely exciting to go visit Bryan and Australia! What’s more, Bryan has set up an itinerary for my week abroad, complete with restaurant picks from his coworkers, koalas, and bona-fide Aussie surfers.

Can’t wait to get this trip started tomorrow! And wish me luck – I’ve never been on a 14hr flight before.  Eek!



Minor Morning Heart Attack

Hope your Monday morning is starting off on a good note!

Mine shocked me awake, with much ado about nothing.

I’d found a great mobile app to track flights and set it up last night on my phone to watch Bryan’s flight progress to Sydney. In my morning restlessness, I rolled over to check it at 5am, and the app claimed his flight had been rerouted back to LAX!




Immediately I flipped on the news, and thankfully, started checking other (more reputable) sites for flight reports. The news said nothing about his flight, and when I jumped on United Airlines’ website it showed his flight and all the tracking data over the Pacific Ocean. :)


Here’s is his flight currently.


Now, to go find a cup of coffee and start my day early – happy (hopefully uneventful) Monday!


My Dad’s Family Retirement Party

I’ve got to catch up on important blog posts!!!


Early this June, I had the pleasure of flying into my hometown to a) see my best friend Sam (affectionately, SAMBO) and his wife Belle after their sweet twins were born, and b) to bring my soon-to-be-retired Dad back to the right side of the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS.  All 1400 miles, of course, in the span of 48 hours.  Because that’s how my family rolls… HIGHBALL!

My dad’s retiring this summer from being with the railroad for 35+ years.  He’s been a switchman, a conductor, a fireman, and is retiring as one of the few locomotive engineers with a squeaky clean record in the Southwestern USA.  Really!  While he’s hit his share of vehicles, and most recently was in a derailment caused by another train hitting his, he has one of the best engineering histories at his hub.  This is no easy achievement in a profession where thousands of tons are riding on nearly zero friction, pulled by huge engines and can’t stop on a dime. His employment with the railroad included 35 years of shift work, LONG hours, and MANY times where he wasn’t around for important life events.

Thankfully, that’s all behind him, and we packed up his last few belongings in El Paso early this summer and drove him across the state to his new place in Kyle, Texas!

On our way through the Big Bend area, we stopped in to see my aunts and uncles on his side of the family.  They threw my dad a special ‘Welcome to Retirement!’ party, complete with a choo-choo cake and the official ‘retired’ flip-flops.  As you can see, my dad was elated to be introduced into retirement with such a sweet party thrown by his loved ones!

You’ll have to excuse the poor quality of these photographs – I didn’t bring my behemoth camera with me on this out and back weekend trek across the state – I was equipped only with an IPhone, and was having a terrible time keeping the camera lens clean.

There’s a funny calm that comes with knowing things are out of your hands. A hopeless calm.


Wiggles misses Fred already. :(

Another Working Night

Ah, but the priorities are not forgotten. :)