Monday, January 14, 2013

A Look Back at 2012

In January Mike and I visited Tasmania for the first time. We were there for only six days and even though half of those days were cool and rainy, we knew we'd have to return for the climbing, food, and scenery. Here Mike enjoys an outdoor fire heated soak on a cool day at Bruny Island.

In late February / early March we went to Malaysia and surfed a small left point break at Cherating Beach. We don't have any photos of the surf, but we'll be returning in a few weeks so we'll share photos soon. Here is Batu Caves, a Hindu religious site we visited our last day. The golden statue is of the deity Murugan, son of Shiva.

In May Mike surprised me with an early birthday present - a new camera, wide angle lens, and tripod. The following month we spent three weeks surfing in Java. It was the perfect place to practice using my new birthday gifts. 

In August we spent a week exploring Sydney and the Northern Beaches. I took my first photography / photoshop course in Manly Beach with the talented landscape photographer, Lee Duguid. Meanwhile Mike surfed and then went rock climbing in the Blue Mountains. 

September was the highlight of 2012 - three weeks at home in the U.S. with family. I stayed in Texas and scanned old family photos with my Dad while Mike visited his family in Washington State. Then his mom joined us on South Padre Island and my cousin Michael showed us the joys of birdwatching and nature photography. 

In October we paid off our house and in November Mike cut off his long hair!

In December we met our friends Hugh and Chloe in Tasmania. Mike and Hugh climbed while Chloe and I hiked around and took photos.

Mike and I finished off a perfect year with a romantic Christmas at Stirling Range National Park.

Looking back at 2012, it's going to be a hard year to top. I also filled up my passport (life-time accomplishment) and we received letters from the Australian Government granting our citizenship.

Looking ahead:

In 2013 we'll take our oath, pledging our loyalty to Australia. We have a handful of surf trips planned, including a trip back home, and we're committed to buying a 4x4 vehicle which will allow us to explore our local beaches and climbing areas with greater freedom. 

I plan on getting back to this blog more often. I forgot about it for the greater part of the last two years, but then I came back a couple weeks ago and browsing through old posts has inspired me to start posting again. After all, although we're no longer packing up our lives to move half way across the world, we are still on a journey.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Invasion of the Mothers-In-Law II

These photos are long over due! It was January 2011 when Mike's mum and my mum came to Australia to stay with us and see how we live. First they visited the mine, mid-summer, and toured around underground. They loved everything about being underground... the rediculous orange overalls, the dirt, the miners and their loud machines, (they even operated a few machines themselves). Afterwards, Mike showed them his geology modeling software. Their eyes glazed over and I could swear they almost fell asleep while standing up. (To be fair, maybe I was projecting my own feelings towards modeling software onto them.) To perk them up, we put a gold bar in their hands. Always does the trick. After leaving the mine, the mums stayed with us in our home. In between hiking, beach swimming, site seeing, and touring, we put them to work cooking and tending the vegetable garden. I still don't understand why they were ready to leave after just a few weeks?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Test Post via IPad

Here are a handful of photos from our trip to Sri Lanka last month. Arugam Bay was even better than what I dreamed. Gentle warm ocean, long waves, delicious food, fascinating culture... It was everything we look for when we travel.