Australia 2014, Days Five-Seven: #Weekending, Canberra-Style

As the weekend got underway, it was time for us to move on from Melbourne to Canberrra, where Alison and I were visiting Mark and Sara, DC friends who are working for the US government in Australia’s capital city. Our flight was around lunchtime, so we had a leisurely morning at the hotel before heading to the airport, which was a nice change of pace after a couple of early wake-ups.

The flight to Canberra was uneventful, though notable for a few reasons:

  • Alison and I got on the plane without ever once showing ID.
  • I could have gotten through security screening with my half-full bottle of water, had I not preemptively tossed it, US-style.
  • Sandwiches were provided (at no charge) along with beverages once we were in the air.
  • We got off the plane using the stairs and walked to the terminal.
  • Mark met us at the gate.

It was like we went back in time to 90s-style travel!

Canberra was experiencing a rare (but needed) rainy day when we arrived, so we ended up getting a bit of a driving tour through town before stopping in at the Southern Cross Yacht Club, where we had a beer and watched it rain sideways across Canberra’s lake.20140217-230319.jpg Continue reading

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10 on Tuesday: Favorite Moments from 2013

You know how some years are absolutely fantastic, others are flat-out wretched, and in between are the years that are just… “meh”? 2013 was like that for me, for the most part. Neither good nor bad, but also not especially memorable.

I was glad, then, to see that Carole’s prompt for this week was to share 10 favorite moments from the past year, which I did by going through my (highly disorganized) 2013 picture files. It turns out I had more fun than I’d remembered. Last year was, actually, pretty good once I gave it a bit of thought — I could easily have pulled out twice as many moments!

In no particular order, except number one, here are 10 of my favorite moments from 2013:

1. I found out I was going to be an aunt again. (Yay!) And then the rest of the family found out this way:

Big brother.
Big brother.

2. My friends and I spent a week in a beach house that looked like this:

Beach house.
Beach house.

And had sunrises so nice even I got up to see them:

Sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay.
Sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay.

3. I took the best silly selfie with my nephew G:

"Let's make crazy eyes!"
“Let’s make crazy eyes!”

4. And captured Carly and Harper mid-catfight… As Carly jumped out of a Popeyes bag for a sneak attack.

Catfight!
Catfight!

(This still cracks me up every time I look at it, so while it may not have been the biggest moment of 2013, it is one of the funniest.)

5. In the same week, I had two amazing work events, one where I got to shake the First Lady’s hand and another where meet Gloria Estefan:

First Lady Michelle Obama -- and the back of Caps owner Ted Leonsis' head.
First Lady Michelle Obama — and the back of Caps owner Ted Leonsis’ head.
Gloria Estefan -- and me!
Gloria Estefan — and me!

6. As part of a tweet-up run by my friend Liz, I got to help restore a grave at Congressional Cemetery:

Grave digging.
Grave digging.

7. The siblings were with their in-law families this year, so Mom and I had a low-key spa Christmas at the Hotel Hershey:

Christmas in Hersey.
Christmas in Hersey.

8. In August, Eileen, Shannon, and I had a great trip to the races at Saratoga — and Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q on the way home. (Even though Oneonta is, in fact, 60 miles in the wrong direction for Shannon.)

Aaaaand... they're off!
Aaaaand… they’re off!

9. Joanne and I (and Joanne’s kids) got to introduce Shannon’s daughter Maggie to DC, though the government shutdown made things a little harder than they needed to be:

Shutdown sad faces.
Shutdown sad faces.

(The shutdown did, however, provide an ongoing theme for our photos — sad children at closed places.)

10. John and Nicole joined sprite, Rudi, and I on our annual apple-picking odyssey:

After all the picking, sprite took a moment to relax.
After all the picking, sprite took a moment to relax.

And now it’s your turn! Share your favorite moments of 2013 in the comments.