The Floods (and a Cyclone?!)

Whoa. Yeah, I know.  I just made a mighty announcement that I’ve booked my flight to move HOME and I’m just now blogging for the first time since being back.  SO SORRY!  Not that a single one of you care since I talk to most of you daily anyway :))

Well… we’ve actually been busy to say the least.  As everyone knows, wedding planning is in full swing.  Which means so is planning for the Bachelorette (and the corresponding Bachelor) Party and pretending like I have showers to dress for (i.e. looking at Lilly Pulitzer dresses online WAY too often for anyone’s good.)  Besides that, we are spending most of the time daydreaming about our future life back in St. Louis and looking at houses for sale in our favorite neighborhoods!  It is SO FUN!

On to what we’ve been up to Down Under!

A few weeks after we got back, we experience our 2nd cyclone!  Our first was in Fiji.  And we really just thought it was a thunderstorm.  It blew in and out over night. No biggie.  This time around was slightly different.  We experienced a cyclone from 31 floors up!  Our apartment building was creaking, and swaying and whistling.  Really!  The wind was whistling. I don’t know what it was blowing through – our doors were closed but it was whistling!  I felt like the building could fall over at any minute!

After a weekend of cyclone powered winds and rain, it finally ended!  And in true Aussie style, the skies cleared completely!

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And the river flooded.

You can see how brown the water was!  They shut down the CityCat – the public transportation systems that run on the river.  There was so much debris running down the river the boats couldn’t travel safely.

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This was down at the Eagle Street Pier.  I’ve shown you pictures of this area before.  It’s our favorite place to get drinks or eat out.  The water flooded a few of the restaurants and closed the pier for a few days.  It was really pretty sad to see!  There were areas outside of the city that really flooded and because of the major flood in the city in 2011 (in case you’re interested: http://www.abc.net.au/news/specials/qld-floods/) a few years ago everyone was on high alert!  Luckily it was not nearly as devastating but it was scary none-the-less!

I promise…I’ll keep updating on what we’ve been doing.  I promise 🙂

A Run With a View!

I know I already posted this to Facebook, but I can’t get enough!  THIS is what I get to see when I run! 

Just a few blocks from our apartment are the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and just on the opposite end of the gardens is the pedestrian bridge – The Goodwill Bridge.  (I didn’t take the rest of these pics but I want you to see what I’m talking about!)

The bridge is very wide so there is plenty of room for the many runners, bikers, roller bladders, etc.  I really like the bridge and the pedestrian friendliness of the city!

I took a left off of the bridge to run along the Kangaroo Point Cliffs (to the right is South Bank – one of our favorite areas and where we found the great waffles and ice cream, Amber!)  The cliffs have a large outdoor adventure group that offer kayak rentals for the river and rock climbing so while running, not only do you get the enjoyment of the city skyline but you also get to watch rock climbers!

This is just a beautiful night view.  And will give you an idea of what we can see across the river from our balcony while drinking a glass of wine…no biggie 🙂

The next “stop” along my running journey is the Storey Bridge.  Just like the Sydney Harbor Bridge, you can climb the Storey Bridge to get a better view of the city!  I chose to stick to the sidewalk.  🙂

Then, the home stretch – Eagle Street Pier.  It’s not exactly a pier, just a boardwalk but it has immediately made it to the top of my list for dinner and drinks on a Friday night!  This picture is one I actually did take on one of our first days in the city!  On Sundays there is a market on the pier…we have accidently made it a habit to go to breakfast and walk the markets on Sunday morning.  It’s a good habit if you ask me.  🙂

Finally, at the end of what felt like much further than 4.5 miles you’re back to the Botanical Gardens and walking a few short blocks back home.

(This is the front of our building!)

Again, more on “home” to come…

It’s the small things…

It took apartment living for me and Ben to realize that we hardly knew how to cook for ourselves without a BBQ grill!

After much research we found the perfect grill – a Mini Weber Q!

It had to be ordered so after arrival, we immediately went out and bought a propane tank…which turned out to be empty.  A few attempts on Google, one email to our relocation agent and a lift to a gas station outside of the city and we had a full propane tank and grilled salmon.

Phew!

Home Sweet Home…almost :)

Our air shipment finally arrived!  After a month of living in the same handful of  clothing, we finally have the rest of our belongings!   We received the boxes on Thursday and noticed on Thursday night that all but one of the boxes arrived…the box with my skirts and shirts!  Oh nooooo they didn’t!

 

Don’t worry – it took just one phone call to find the missing box and it was delivered the next day.  Now we have all of our clothing, towels, an extra blanket, my work computer and countless pictures my Tillybear!  Don’t worry – the Hefty’s and Erdel’s are making numerous appearances around our shoebox of a home.  Not to mention the many pictures of Mace and Owen to fill the place up!

 

 

Footy!

Well – Ben and I ventured out on a Friday night with people other than just ourselves!   Some of Ben’s co-workers asked if we wanted to join them on a Friday night trip to a *footy* match!  Since we’re locals we call it footy…you can continue to call it rugby.

I asked Ben to blog about it (after all he does play the sports reporter role in our relationship) but he wasn’t thrilled about the idea.  Since he wasn’t interested – you’ll get my version of sports commentary 🙂

I introduce you to FOOTY!

we’re here!

As promised, I’ve started a blog…it’s been almost two weeks and there is already so much to share (if I haven’t already done so with you!)  I am definitely what you’d (I’d) call a “fun pusher”…or something like that.  I am guilty of sending as many texts, posting as many pictures and check-ins as I feel appropriate to make sure others are significantly jealous. 😉  Have I succeeded?

Ben and I have had a 2 week whirlwind!  Every time I sit back and think about what we are doing and where we are I literally can’t believe it!  It seems like months ago that we left for our 20-some hour trip Down Under!  For all of you coming to visit, ahem ;), I want you to know that it is not nearly as bad as it seems it would be.  I was enamored by the plane alone – it was huge!

Me and Ben at the airport before leaving…only a few tears

Our plane!  It was a double decker!  (and no, there isn’t a great bar to socialize at or a movie theater up there…it’s just for those important enough to fly First Class…i.e. not me.)

First, let me start by saying this city is *GORGEOUS*. (and I will be using the word ‘gorgeous’ much more often.  The Aussies really know how to make someone feel good or describe a tasty dish…they are all GORGEOUS!)  Every chance we get we are walking around and exploring the city.  The Brisbane River runs right through the middle of it, which makes for beautiful scenery and quite the view out of many of the boardwalk restaurants and coffee shops.

I like to compare the city to Chicago…just on a much smaller scale.  There isn’t the extent of buildings and the downtown precinct isn’t nearly as expansive but the “feel” is very similar.  There really isn’t much of a need to take public transportation unless you’re just sick of walking which we haven’t hit yet.  Although, we did take our first City Cat ride. This is the public water transportation, the stops zig zag across the river.  We did it just for fun…and ended up in no man’s land only to walk another hour back home.  But it was fun!

Almost a week after arriving, a relocation associate that Peabody set Ben up with, picked us up *just on the footpath* outside of our temporary apartment.  We visited 22 potential homes for the next year.  We liked about 4 of them and we loved one!  Pictures of our future apartment are to come but let us just say we are thrilled to be on the 31st floor of a perfectly located building with a *marvelous* (yep…that’s another common word!) balcony overlooking the river (the corner of the river counts, right?) and Ben’s office is just a few blocks away! YAY!

I must say, though, getting used to city living is going to be an adjustment – let alone getting used to a new city on the other side of the world!

1.  Grocery shopping now requires a *trolley*

2. Buying deli meat was the most stressful thing I’ve had to do yet!  I mean…who knows how to convert lbs to kilos?!?

3. Speaking of meat…

4. The self checkouts have an Aussie accent.  It’s English but it’s oddly hard to understand…I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

5. No one jaywalks. Everyone stands patiently waiting for the walk sign to chirp and let them know it’s time to go…even if a car hasn’t driven by in 3 minutes.

6.  There are NO dogs.  This means that every time we see a dog – whether it be a mastiff or a miniature poodle – I mention Tilly (who I literally can’t wait to Skype with!)

7.  My desk is my computer in my family room…

It’s pretty weird getting used to TV too…It seems that shows start whenever they want.  We are really into Australia’s Master Chef.  The shows are on every night of the week, which is awesome – no need to wait til next week for the next episode but the time it comes on each night varies…Monday it could be on a 7:30 then Tuesday it’s on at 7:14 (literally, I don’t think they start on the hour or half hour all the time!) and Wednesday it might be on at 8:07…and The Price is Right is prime time!  Who doesn’t love that?!

We did stumble upon this on Monday morning at about 7:00am 🙂

What a pleasant surprise!