October 31, 2009

Lovely Paris

With two days off & only a 3 hr drive to navigate, we headed to Paris without delay!

Nate had never before visited the city of loooove, so there were a few essential stops to make first...

And I had last visited Paris as a loner 21 year old backpacker with no one to walk such a beautiful city with or share the many delightful treats.

Hot Chocolate for 2 at Cafe de Flore, in St Germain
(thanks for the tip Helen!)

It's amazing what two-way conversations & a slight improvement in personal attire can do for a gal! Paris was like a new city in the company of my beloved.

At the Louvre

In glorious blue-skied autumn weather we walked ourselves weary, from Left to Right Bank, Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, with a quick little detour to say hi to Mona. (I don't have a picture of that - half of Europe & a good proportion of Asia was also clambering for a look. I thought a panic attack would be oh-so-un-Parisian, so we retreated to higher ground.)



As the lights of Paris came-on, we finally gave our feet a rest & soaked-up the last hours of our Parisian escape. We agreed that maybe next time we should pack a guidebook. Beauty is so much more meaningful with a guidebook. Or is that my conscientious 21 year old self talking??!

We shall have to return & find out...

October 25, 2009

Split-Personality

Since Belgium has two distinct personalities - Flemish & French - it seems only fitting that we experienced two sides to one weekend.

Side A: Enjoying the beautiful, cultural, sugary goodness that is Belgium. In particular we've been in Tervuren & Brussels with good friends the Edward's family. They are a mixture of Sydney & Adelaide in one happy house. We've soaked-up the long talks over coffee & home-cooked meals. And just a few mis-directed photo set-ups at the Chateau de la Hulpe.

Chateau de la Hulpe

We've walked the gardens of the Summer Palace just over the road from where the Edwards live. Too many BBC drama's have left me wanting to "take a turn" around the gardens every day!

There's been Belgium beer & frites at the Grand Plas in downtown Brussels, along with seeing the tourist sites on the myriad of cobble-stoned streets.

Then Sunday's outing took us to Lurven, which has the worlds second largest library, along with one of the worlds oldest universities. As expected, we walked the cobbled streets & looked at pretty buildings there too!

Oh, and the daily intake of Belgium chocolate is well on track. No slip-ups there!

Here is a look-see at a few more pictures if you're so inclined:



Side B: We played 3 gigs over 3 days. Nate has a head cold that we're hoping doesn't completely wipe-out his voice. And I am paying the price of many weeks in different beds & one too many tube steps with a suitcase - I have hurt my lower back & am quite the old-lady invalid! If I didn't look so funny, it would be worrisome!

October 23, 2009

Channel + Tunnel = The Chunnel

On Thursday we waved goodbye to Britain.

We made 2 tube jumps, lugged our stuff up several flights of stairs & met-up with Chris, our Australian-Belgium host.

He proceeded to whiz us out of England toward the English Channel, surrounded by British groceries of every variety.

In 30mins we no longer knew the language (French). And in several more hours our linguistic issues were compounded, 2-times over. Or 3, or 4 - when you consider the mix bag that is Belgium.

From what I can gather, the Flemish "share" Belgium with the French. A ring road around Brussels separates the two - and whizzing around in between are Swedes, Brits, Dutch & two more clueless Australians!

And so our Mainland fly-by begins.

October 16, 2009

Lets Go North!

It's that time of year again! Time to drive to Sheffield.

Time to see how tall the junior Rees' have grown.

Hear how much pom has snuck-in to their speech.

And find out it they are as cheeky as last year....

I hope so!

October 13, 2009

London Town

This time there has been no Buckingham Palace. No Westminster Abbey. Not even Big Ben.

In the spare time we grab between work - & the public transport rides that require a pre-game warm-up - we've enjoyed seeing a different side of London. Markets, cafes, cobbled streets & vintage stores. The uber urban side. The too-cool-for-school side. The too-cool-for-us side!

Soph & Pete, our lovely hosts, got us out & about amongst the action on Saturday morning, starting at Albion for a real British brunch - the deviled kidneys or kedgeree were tempting, but no, just plain old scrambled eggs for us this time.

Then it was off for a wander & the beginning of all things London...



Two highlights - Nate played a gig at Filthy McNasty's - Trinity Islington's "local", frequented by Peter Doherty & Amy Winehouse. As you can imagine, we fit the bill perfectly.

And on a far more cultured note - we visited the Victoria & Albert Museum. So beautiful.

Oh, 3rd highlight - people watching! My absolute favorite pastime & I have ENDLESS hours of entertainment here. As I'm a little scardy-cat when focusing on strangers I have no pictorial evidence. Must get brave sometime soon.

Tomorrow it's off to Surrey, then Sheffield! London was appropriately grey & overcast for our farewell :)
x

October 10, 2009

Rewind

While there has been plenty happening between this post & the last, I've somewhat let things lapse online. Poor form really.

My excuse: between Adelaide & London - our previous & current locales - we stopped in Sydney, LA, Nashville & Chicago. If I figure out the right time zone I'm pretty proud of myself!

So where to start? How to catch you up? A few pictures of our Sydney time perhaps. All contained in a handy slideshow for our mutual convenience...



The happenings in text form: we saw our Godson & his beloved parents in their new church home; Nate played Blackstump; I did an annual pop-by "Bec & Bridge"; babies where held, friends hugged & a day with Sydney family enjoyed! All fueled by multiple daily intakes of good coffee.

Now we sit on a couch in London, and it's time to make the couch into a bed - otherwise myself & this blog will be toast in no time!

x