sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On the road again...

So the next part of my adventure begins. I have taken a job with the Winter Olympics in Vancouver working as Assistant Logistics Manager at the stadium where the Opening and Closing Ceremony will be. Should be fantastic. I plan on seeing a lot of Brock in the next few months. I have just returned from Edinburgh for the International Arts Festival there. For my mom's 60th birthday all of us kids chipped in and bought her a ticket to come as well, so she got to see the show and travel around with me! I don't start in Vancouver till just after labor day. This week I am just taking it easy at Mom and Dad's. Then, on Sunday night, I am taking the train over to Seattle, hanging out there with Brock and Kelly, then will move to Vancouver sometime on the long weekend. Should be great.
But in the mean time, I should really get up to speed on everything that I haven't talked about in the past 6 months.
March brought the parents, Jonny and his girlfriend Chris to Melbourne. We did a myriad of things including lawn bowls, the spa, a winery tour and even the first footy game of the season. Fun was had a by all and knowing that we would all be together again for Rachel's wedding was something great to look forward to.
April was relatively uneventful. I went to Steve and Rachelle's (friends from Frenchwoods!) wedding in May in Adelaide. This was lovely. Amazingly I managed to go home in the back of a divy van (or paddy wagon) but I swear it's not what you are thinking.
Photos from the wedding...



June saw me back in the theatre nearly every night with Claire Bourke and Mel Stanton for the Malthouse production, OPTIMISM. Mel and I had a great time in our ASM overalls moving curtains and firing guns. The show played in Edinburgh for the festival and Stew was ASM instead of Melanie.
July had to be wrapped up pretty quickly because I was heading home to the wedding then not coming back for a long time. So it was pack up and then have a party. Of course this is the year that I will turn 30, but since I was going to miss it in Australia, I wanted to celebrate there. It also turned into a goodbye party which was lots of fun. It was at the European Bier Cafe upstairs and we ate, drank and danced for hours.
Then on the 18th July I headed home. Spent the last week before the wedding just helping get ready and catching up with friends. Took a couple trips out to the airport to pick up family and on Sat 25th July my older sister got married. We started the day getting ready with all of the bridesmaids. Then we hopped on a party bus, picked up all of the boys then went out for some photos in the local gardens. After the photos, we headed to First Avenue - the venue that all of us kids saw our first concerts growing up. Probably equivalent to The Espy or The Corner Hotel in Melbourne. The wedding was beautiful, the dancing was awesome and seeing all of the family again was absolutely spectacular. Everyone was there!
Jonny and I on the bus o fun...

The entire wedding party in front of the famous Spoon Bridge and Cherry in Minneapolis

Rachel and Dad walk down the aisle at First Ave

All 4 of us in our black and white/little bit of colour glory

Mom and Dad tear up the dancefloor to Meatloaf

Then a few days later I headed off to Edinburgh for the International Festival. We had the first day off, so a few of us headed to the infamous Edinburgh Tattoo at the Castle. It was quite impressive. The production values could have been better, but the performance was spectacular. Then we were off to work. The show was sold out and was extremely well received. We had time to spend a couple of days wandering the city, seeing shows and shopping.

Lucy, Stew, Russ and I explore Edinburgh Castle without going in!

The Tattoo

Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre - Malthouse's Scottish Home

Stewie in his kilt - not quite the Campbell tartan, but as close as we got at the second hand shop!

So Mom arrived on opening night of the show and once all was finished, we got on the train and headed to highlands. The first day we were there we walked around Inverness, saw their castle and just sussed out the best places for eating dinner.
Inverness Castle - used as the Court House

After picking up our Jag(!), the next morning saw us driving to Loch Ness in search of the famous monster. After going on a boat ride in the Loch, we saw no monster, but did see Urquhart Castle and some pretty scary waters actually.
The Jag

Urquhart Castle - Loch Ness

The following day was a big drive to Banff on the north coast and where Mom felt was where some of our ancestors came from. After a bit of library research and some photos of microfilm, we headed back towards a castle closer to Inverness called Cawdor Castle.
The plaque which marks where Banff Castle used to be

Microfilm Photo of Mom's Family Records

Mom out the front of Duff House, Banff

Cawdor Castle, Inverness

The fourth day was to the Isle of Skye. It was a big day of driving, but worth it. We figured we saw at least 10 rainbows and 25 waterfalls and more green than Australians could possibly imagine. We had lunch at a Michelan rated restaurant called Kinloch Lodge. It was amazing and beautiful. We stopped at Armadale Castle and walked around Portree. In Portree, we stopped and bought some local baked goods for dinner and started the long drive back.
Eilean Donan Castle - along the drive to Skye

Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye

Mom outside of Kinloch Lodge

Me with our baked goods in Portree

Our last full day in Inverness saw us head up to some northern Isles. We started just outside of Inverness at Culloden. This was where a battle between the Jacobites and the English supporters took place in 1745. The Jacobites lost leading to the Scots being under English rule. The visitors' centre was fantastic. Not longer after the battle, the Scots were banned from wearing kilts and tartans, so it is nice to see that returned to Scotland. Apparently there are a few who still believe that the Scots should retain their own monarchy, but finding the rightful descendants could be difficult. Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to France after the Battle of Culloden, and tracing the family gets debatable.
Battlefield Photos


After a history lesson, we headed further north to Dunrobin. It is the Castle of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland. This was the most impressive castle by far. 189 rooms and we got to see probably only 10% of them, but still well worth the visit. The gardens were absolutely spectacular. I was glad to have seen this one, and we really saved the best castle for last.
Dunrobin's Gardens


The Castle itself

Mom and I use the self timer

Then we got back in the car and drove to Glenmorangie Distillery - Dad's favourite scotch. We didn't quite have time for the tour as we had to get back to our dinner reservations, but we did get to take some photos and buy some necessary gifts!
Glenmorangie Distillery



The following morning we got back on the train to Edinburgh. We spent one quick night there, but I ran into Judith Morgan and Ryan Colbran which was a lovely surprise. Then it was up early the next morning for the flight back to Minnesota. I head out west on Sunday night and am really looking forward to working again. 37 hours on the train will be some nice 'me' time. But most of all, I can't wait to unpack my suitcase! Having my clothes in drawers will be a nice change.

So that about wraps it up for now. It has been a bit of a whirlwind year so far, but, of course, that's the way I like it best. Can't believe I won't be back to Australia for ages, but not to worry Aussies. I will be there eventually!
Missing you all already.
Looking forward to seeing a few of you North Americans a bit more perhaps.
More soon.
Love,
Sarah xoxo

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