Friday 30 November 2012

My guilty secret....

I have a I don't discuss with anyone...well not unless I believe you might be like minded...and share a similar guilty secret of your own...

I like the Twilight books....and as a consequence I rather like the Twilight movies as well.

Today I dragged Hubby to the movies and saw the final instalment....Breaking Dawn Part's not going to win any Oscar's....but then it doesn't pretend it's pure unadulterated entertainment.

I know I'm not a teenage girl....and therefore do not fall within the demographic.....but that doesn't stop me....I have eagerly anticipated the release of each new movie....and I have reread the books many times.

I am definitely on Team Edward....and I may or may not have had a small crush on Robert Pattinson....

It's sad and it's pathetic....and I don't admit it to just anyone....but there you have it!

It appeals to the long buried romantic inside me.....the one that rarely sees the light of long has she been suffocated beneath the weight of the cynical, world weary, unsentimental me.  But today, she had a couple of hours out.......tomorrow she will be back in her box....

Thursday 29 November 2012

Guinness World Records and imminent insanity.....

I know I have been a bit fixated by my laundry for the past couple of days....probably because it has been taking up 110% of my waking hours....and that's before I even begin to fold and iron!!

It occurred to me that if there is a Guinness World Record for Most Laundry washed in Shortest Period of Time....I surely must have broken it...smashed it I should think!!  So I did a little investigation....and could find no record of such a record.

This could be my chance to claim my 15 minutes of fame....or then again not....but you must admit that this pile of washed laundry is of impressively epic proportions.....

I refuse to even consider the ironing to come......I will run screaming into immediate insanity if I give that any thought at all.......

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Reality bites.....

I think the non stop activity of the last month has finally caught up with me.

I have been feeling sooo lethargic...maybe it's some weird form of jet lag....or perhaps it's just my body's way of saying put your feet up for a few days.

So that is pretty much what I have been doing....between the endless loads of washing.  Day 2 of laundry duty is over and I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel....only the hand washing left to do...hooray!!

So in between trips to the washing line I stayed on the couch and caught up with some of the tv shows my Foxtel IQ kindly recorded for me while I was away.

The kids had their first day back at school....and seemed pretty happy to go.

Hubby doesn't head back to work until next week...but he was up early and playing golf in Sydney by 6.15am.

Just quietly, Hubby fancies himself as a pretty OK golfer.  He has been known to do ok on the course...and is pretty competitive on the corporate golf days he loves to attend.

Today he was playing with his father and an old neighbour.  Not only was this a neighbour from the old days.....he was literally old......80 years of age....and he taught Hubby a thing or two.  Hubby claims the older golfers don't hit it very far...but they keep it straight up the middle.  So I guess the old Hare and Tortoise fable rings true.....because Hubby was flogged by a man twice his age!!!

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Home Sweet Home.....

After a long night flying....from LA to Sydney....we finally made it back.

With the benefit of all my tongue is firmly in my cheek.....I can now say that the late night flight is much better than the morning flight.  We all managed to get a bit of sleep this time around....not deep sleep.....but sleep nonetheless.

Hubby's Dad, Mr J picked us up at the airport, a short stop at their house and then we were off on the 90 minute drive to my Sister's place at Kurrajong to pick up Buster.

We were very keen to see him...would he remember us....would he punish he is prone to do when we leave him...would he care in the slightest?

Turns out he he wouldn't, he was too excited to see us....yes he cared...he almost turned himself inside out in delight.

Then we drove the 2 hours back up the freeway home.  It felt like a very long way.....even though we had already travelled over 12000kms...those last 100 were the hardest.

We were back home by about 4.30pm and though bed beckoned...we all tried very hard to stay awake for as long as possible.  We knew it would be better in the long run.  7.00pm was the goal...we fell a little short...6.30 was bedtime....and we all slept for the next 12 hours, including the dog.

This morning reality hit.....we were home......the holiday was over.....and this was waiting for me......

.....approximately 3648 loads of washing!!!

Welcome home to me.......

Sunday 25 November 2012

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night......

The bags are packed.....despite our constant fears we fit everything in!

Now we are just waiting for our shuttle bus to arrive and take us to the airport.

We are filled with mixed feelings.....on one hand sorry that this highly anticipated trip is over.....we have really had a fantastic time....but on the other hand we are happy to be on our way back home....I can't wait to wake up in my own bed!

So in a final farewell I'll put up a few random photos I have found on my you do.....

And in the words of Dr Suess...."Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Saturday 24 November 2012

Hooray for Hollywood.....

Today was our last full day in America.

We spent it on a guided bus tour of LA.

We used the same tour company as we did for the trip to Universal Studios....though this time our guide was informative, knowledgable and best of all understandable. He used to be in movies and his name was Robin Williams.....Robin D. Williams.....not to be confused with that other guy.

We saw Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, the Farmers Market, Venice Beach and much, much more.

These places are so iconic.....that you somehow expect them to be larger than life......I was surprised by how normal they all were.

Hollywood Boulevard was was crowded, filled with dodgy looking characters and cheap souvenir shops....not what I expected at all. But Venice Beach really took the was a sleazy, grimy shanty town....I couldn't wait to get back on the bus and out of there.

We have seen the best of this country.....and perhaps the worst.....but it's been amazing.....we've had the time of our lives.

Tomorrow afternoon it's back to LAX and then the long, long flight to Oz....we're sorry that our holiday is over....but we're looking forward to getting home sweet home!

Friday 23 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.......

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.

It is a day where families are supposed to gather together at home, share a meal and give thanks....traditionally for a good harvest or for religious purposes.

This year everyone in the United States of America decided to do something different. This year all 150 million of them decided to go to Disneyland instead!

We thought our final day at Disneyland would be nice and quiet.....we were wrong.....very, very wrong......

Thursday 22 November 2012

Suitcases, sickness and more shopping........

I have now been living out of a suitcase for 20 days!

The novelty has well and truly worn off.....I think it wore off by about day 4!

It must be at least a week since I wore my last item of clean clothing.....and even if they were clean they spend their time in such close confines with the unclean.....that they really can't be considered fresh. I never thought the day would come when I would miss my laundry!

We have all had a fantastic time on this trip....but I think we are beginning to hit the wall. Tempers are getting shorter, we are all tired...the type of tired that 8 hours sleep just doesn't get rid of....and we have all had a "moment" or two when we are just over it.

Along with the tiredness comes the feeling of being run down.....and it was only a matter of time until one of us came down with something. Master 12 has proven to be the lucky winner....he's been feeling a bit poorly all day....refused any dinner......and had a lovely big puke when we returned to our room! We all hope.....none more so than him.....that he is feeling better by the morning.....when we begin our final day in Disneyland.

Hubby, Master 15 and I are all in grave danger of returning home with a terrible addiction. We have well and truly become's all so temptingly cheap over here! When you see something that would be 3 or 4 times the price at's very hard to resist. Master 12 is not similarly afflicted. He doesn't like shopping at home....and he doesn't like it here!

So we gave the wallet another work out today......we all solemnly swear to quit cold turkey as soon as we get home....

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Dire deeds at Disneyland.....

Second day at Disneyland......but a day of firsts!

For the first time in my living memory I did what I have always claimed I would never do. I committed the most heinous crime against fashion.....I reached the lowest of low......I wore the jean and sneaker combo......see below.....I advise that you avert your eyes from the hideous sight.....however my feet were overjoyed to be nestled in their cosy, supportive cocoons!

And then my second first.....let me set the scene.....

I have mentioned previously my distinct lack of fondness for the thrill ride. However I often find myself giving into the pressure exerted by my sons (and Hubby) and riding things I would never choose myself. For example, first thing this morning I found myself on the "California Screamin".....a roller coaster that goes very fast and loops the loop.....and all that jazz! I rode it.....I survived.....but I didn't and never will love it!

Then I saw the Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel.....there was a line of smiling tots waiting to board....and a steady stream of smiling tots disembarking. This looks about my speed I decided.....and dragged the boys towards it.

The first inkling of disaster I had was when the line split 2 towards the fixed carriages and one towards the swinging. Of course Hubby, Master 15 and Master 12 headed straight for the swinging.....I felt a sense of impending doom! I was right.....though death would have been much less embarrassing. These crazy things swing right out so that suddenly what seemed like a nice secure cage actually reveals itself as a death trap...the side gates becoming the floor....a floor I can see straight through to the ground far, far below....with no safety harness or seat belt or anything. This might be a good time to reveal that I suffer from vertigo.....when I feel like an adrenaline rush....I climb a ladder!

I clamped my hands to the edge of my seat in a white knuckled heart rose into my mouth....along with my heart raced.....I broke out in a cold sweat....I squeezed my eyes shut.....and prayed for it to end!

I made it through one rotation....when Hubby made the call....due to the panic on my face.....and signalled for a halt to the ride! They brought down our carriage and let us out. I then made the walk of shame....past all the smiling toddlers in their carriages...who were no doubt wondering why that strange pale lady had made their fun ride stop.....and safety!

For the first time ever....I have been the reason a ride had to stop mid way through......I failed in my attempt to ride the death defying.....Mickey Mouse Ferris embarrassing......

Tuesday 20 November 2012

The excellent adventures of us in LA.......

Sunday found us shopping at an LA Factory Outlet centre. Shopping has proven to be a very popular pastime on this holiday.....though we have been hindered somewhat by the lack of available space in our luggage. Yesterday we solved this pesky problem by buying an extra bag.....which of course would be a waste unless we filled it up before returning home at the end of the week.

So we all put our best foot forward in an effort to fill it......and we aren't a family to do things by halves. We will do a trial pack shortly.....and if we find available space.....I'm sure we will endeavour to rectify it before the week is I've heard there is another lot of outlet shops 10 minutes down the road.

Today (Monday) we set off for Universal Studios. Hubby arranged transport to and from through VIP Tours....a tour company recommended by our hotel.

To say our driver was a character would be an understatement. He was new to his position of tour guide...and was taking it very seriously. In an effort to keep us informed.....we were advised of pretty well everything....from his wife's cooking, proposed road works, his fear of all thrill rides, the number of cars on LA roads and many, many more such interesting a very strong (at times indecipherable) accent......the entire trip, without pausing for breath....all through the bus loudspeaker system. If he thought his audience wasn't paying enough attention he would yell "GOOD MORNING" repeatedly until we all which point his narrative would continue. We were very pleased to arrive and escape the bus!!!

Universal studios was all these American theme parks seem to be. Plenty of shows, attractions and rides. I must admit....I am not a ride person. I don't quite "get" the purpose of paying good money to be scared.....I especially don't "get" the purpose of paying good money to be scared and wet!!! When it comes to rides that threaten to leave me cold and soggy for the remainder of my day I put my foot down. I will NOT ride!!

So we arrive and the first stop is the Jurassic Park ride. I watch suspiciously as people alight from the carriages either wet or with an extreme perspiration problem. "It's fine" the family assure don't get wet.....they promise! So, after withstanding the pressure for a while I cave in and go on the wretched ride. You know how this ends.....I copped what amounted to a huge bucketful of water all over me.....which then pooled in my seat to saturate my bottom half as well....and I spent the rest of my day cold and soggy!!!

To top off this excellent adventure....when we returned to the bus pick up area we were greeted by the same driver....who happily escorted us home....talking incessantly, yelling out GOOD MORNING (despite it now being after 6pm) whenever we tried to get a little shut eye....all the way back to Anaheim in peak hour for over 2 hours.....mercy!!!!

Sunday 18 November 2012

The happiest place on why's everyone so miserable??

Today was our first day at Disneyland....Hubby bought a pass that enables us to go for three days....but this was our "first" day.

So many many many crying many many many motorised much time spent waiting.......did I mention so many people....

Look....don't get me wrong.....this place is amazing.....the rides are fantastic.....and the sweet potato fries are to die for.....but there are so many people!!!!

I told you about the strollers....right....

I noticed another startling phenomenon...people around here like to dress in matching ensembles....I first realised this in Vegas....when I saw this couple

Today I found whole families participating....some even put their surnames on their backs.....very helpful if you get lost I guess....with amnesia....

Saturday 17 November 2012

Watch out LA....we're on our way....

Goodbye Las Vegas and Hello Los Angeles!

We flew from Vegas to LA this morning....a very short sooner were we up and we were coming back down.

A 45 minute trip in a shuttle bus and we were in Anaheim....we checked into our hotel and then were straight off to Disneyland to pick up our 3 day pass....ready for an early kickoff in the morning.

The hotel has a of course the kids had to really wasn't hot enough....but that's Master 12 for you....see pool, must swim!! Unbelievable that it's only a week ago that we were freezing our bits and pieces off in the snow in New York!

Then it was off to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Another case of huge meals and uncomfortable bloated bellies afterwards!

Check out Master 15's effort......

It started out with smiles.....

.....and ended in pain......

Friday 16 November 2012

Viva Las Vegas.....

It was our last day in Vegas today.

We spent most of it pondering the realisation that unless you want to drink and gamble all day every day...there really isn't much to do in this city.

You can only view so many casinos, and you can only do so much shopping....well only as much us baggage restrictions will allow....and that's about it!!

Still I thought it would be wrong to take a trip to Las Vegas and not gamble at least Hubby and I put $20 in one of those machines. When we got it up to $40 I made him take it back out again .....and that was my high rolling experience.

We got some half price tickets to Madame was a bit of fun.....we managed to amuse ourselves quite well.......but I certainly wouldn't have wanted to pay full price!

Then this evening we went and saw David Copperfield....he was amazing....but I must is it that he has been around for so many years...,and looks younger today than when he started???? It's one of the mysteries of life.....I'd like the secret to that magic trick!!!

So long Las's been fun.....

Thursday 15 November 2012

A grand adventure.....

We were picked up from our hotel at 6.15am by Brett from Grand Adventures.

He did indeed have a grand adventure planned for us.

First stop was the Hoover Dam....I've added a photo....but I'm not sure it does the sheer scale of this place justice.

We travelled along Route 66, and stopped at a town called Slegiman....a bloke called John Lasseter stopped there a few years back and was inspired to write a movie about the place....Cars....

Then it was on to the Grand Canyon....WOW....I know I keep using this word in recent posts....but it really sums this place up. It is very beautiful and awe inspiringly vast! If you are ever anywhere in the vicinity...this is an absolute "must see".......I could keep rambling on all day about it but all you really need is a picture or two.....

Wednesday 14 November 2012

I love shopping....and the nouveau cirque.....

I am totally losing track of what day of the week it is.....holidays will do that to you.....I guess it's a sign of how relaxed we all are!!

Luckily we have Hubby's colour coded itinerary spreadsheet to keep us on track or we might forget something really shopping....which was on today's agenda.

We caught the bus up to the northern end of the Las Vegas strip, where a shoppers heaven awaits....the Factory Outlet Centre.

Bliss....and because today had been colour coded for shopping.....and we all take Hubby's itinerary very seriously ....(read that line with a sarcastic tone)....I made sure I played my part and bought up big.....I mean it's the least I could do.....right?!?!

This evening we went and saw Cirque Du Soleil - was amazing....absolutely loved it! Now I want to see all the other shows they have in Vegas....might need another week here.....oh and an extra mortgage on the house!!