sarah vs the world

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Back in Oz...Tassie Style!

Just a little bit of news from the Land Down Under....
After working on St Kilda Festival with Dave Wilkinson, I had a bit of time in Melbourne to catch up with people then it was off across the Bass Straight to Tassie.
Sophie Berry (who I travelled with throughout Tassie) came down to Melbourne on the weekend before we left. We managed to fit in a bit of Spiegeltent time, catching up with Melanie East and I even saw Mary Poppins. At 9pm on Monday the 21st, we set sale for Devonport on the Spirit of Tasmania
We had quite a bit of warning from our Tassie friends about the Spirit of Tasmania. And to be honest, my little brother and I took it once before and I swore on my life I would never do it again, but with a room to ourselves on the overnight trip, we figured it couldn't be that bad. We boarded a bit late and had to follow the oldies on (who boarded Pacemakers first!). After helping them sort out how to use their electronic room keys, we made a quick b-line to the 'fine dining' onboard. It was actually a lovely 3 course meal. But Soph and I nearly fell asleep in our desserts. After popping some motion sickness tablets, it was straight back to our little cabin without a porthole for bed. Lucky for us the staff at dinner said that staying without a porthole is better as you are in a more central part of the ship. Around 1130pm, we both woke up as we obviously had passed through the heads of Melbourne bay. It was totally manageable and not long after we were sleeping again. 6am wake up call, off to our hire car and onto the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for Breakfast. We should have bought more of the chocolate covered raspberries there in hindsight. Oh well.
The Boat Ride Begins....

Pano of boarding the Spirit

Me in our little cabin just before bed
On the deck in the morning coming into Devonport
Sunrise over Devonport

We came into Launceston on Tuesday morning to stay with Sophie's family friends the Finches for 2 nights. Kerry Finch and his lovely wife Carol have known Soph her entire life. It was the best makeshift B&B I have ever stayed in. Fresh eggs from the chickens in the backyard, champagne and cheese in the afternoon and lovely company. Kerry is a state member of parliament in Tasmania and basically knew everyone in town. We did a huge drive all over Launceston on Tuesday and concluded our mammoth day with a lovely Italian meal in town with 2 of the Finch sons.
Soph and Kerry on the Tamar River
Tamar River Pano

We had to get up the next day and get ready for the Launceston Cup! How lucky we were to be in town for it. Kerry organised us some wristbands for a corporate hospitality tent so we had a fantastic day. I won a bit of money, we drank a bit of champagne, ate several lovely chicken wraps, scoped out the Fashions on the Field and people watched all day. We returned home at the end of the day to find that Carol had cooked us a lovely meal! Launceston was a fantastic time and our hosts were amazing.
The Launceston Track Grandstand
On the Lawns

First thing Thursday morning we headed to Hobart. We drove straight down the centre to save time, stopping in Ross (the town with the bridge) to have some lunch.
The Famous Ross Bridge
Ross Bridge Pano Style

We arrived in Hobart and checked into our lovely apartment. I highly recommend it if you are heading there anytime soon. We met up with Eric, Alycia and their families for lovely fish dinner at Mures downstairs that night. Friday we spent most of the afternoon shopping and helped Eric and Alycia set up the venue that night.
Soph loves a bit of street art (in Hobart Mall)

Saturday, Team Logistics (consisting of myself, Soph and Malcolm) had several tasks including transporting the cake to the venue, finalising the place-settings, and just double checking everything in the venue for the reception. Unfortunately it rained a bit in the morning which worried us all (but not Alycia). The wedding itself was outside in a park and all had blown over by the time we needed to be there. It was an absolute lovely time and I am sure the photos will speak for themselves. It was an amazing day. Super Congrats Eric and Alycia!
The Cake arrives at the venue safely (Nan was glad!)
Soph and I at the Ceremony (obviously purple is a popular colour)
The Mackoni and Malcolm at the Ceremony

Alycia and her Dad
The Bridesmaids -- Bess, Lydia and Kelly

Eric and the Groomsmen -- Jamie, Ron and Steven
Mr and Mrs Eric and Alycia Bangma!
Our table at the reception, but the pano is a bit funky

Sunday we headed out to MONA -- The Museum of Old and New Art with the Mackonis Duo. It was absolutely fantastic. It is basically a purpose built gallery for the private collection of a professional gambler. He has even had some things commissioned and will have a touring exhibition hall soon as well. It was spectacular. We did not get to spend enough time there, but I am really glad I got to see some of it at least. And the info on the wall about any of the works. Everything is through your GPS guided ipod and it can even email you detailed description of your tour based on what you clicked on (although I haven't received mine yet...hmmmm).
The Ipod
Martin Place Film Installation Pano
Crazy Plant Art
An Amazing Water Drop Fountain Installation that spells stuff

After the museum we headed to Alycia's parents' place for a BBQ. Soph discovered what Eton Mess is, Andrew Mackonis got into the Sausage Rolls and suddenly it was time for our plane back to Sydney.
Am in Sydney housesitting the Bangmas while they are away in Thailand on their honeymoon. Just finished a bit of work on the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta. Looking forward to a few sleep ins and just catching up with everyone in Sydney over the next couple of weeks.
Hope everyone is well.
More to come I am sure.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Time off in the USA....

So I wanted to get this updated to include a bit of Christmas etc. I was in Minnesota for nearly 7 weeks. It was cold and snowy, but I survived.
Christmas was quite the blast. Brock and my dad flew out from Seattle on Christmas Eve. We did a few small bites and cocktails just the four of us that night. Then on Christmas morning Jonny and Chris came down for brunch and presents. It was really great fun. A Grubb family Christmas for the last time in Minnesota was a momentous occasion indeed. Unfortunately, Rachel and Josh couldn't make it. But lots of fun was had including Beatles Rock Band, The New Yorker Cartoon Board Game, Dance Dance Revolution, the colander game, Jeopardy and a big catch up with friends on Boxing Day at the House of Grubb. Not a lot to say rather than to let the photos explain themselves.

Peggy Grubb's fancy Christmas Tree (notice the black and white theme of the wrapping)

Christmas Brunch

Who is excited about Beatles Rockband -- Jonny Grubb

Brock in his Brock University Undeclared Hoodie (from Brock U in Canada)

Me with my new retro bathers

The Grubb Men Rock out Beatles Style

Me on the Beatles Rockband

I know I have gone on a bit about the snow, but just to tell you how much snow there really was....I had to go out and clear off the hot tub one day from all of the snow. And the most unbelievable thing about this photo is that this is in the early days of being there. There is more than that back there now. Amazing stuff. Reminds me that I don't actually miss it interfering in my life.
Literally up to my knees in snow. How weird.

New Years Eve was a bit of an uneventful occasion, but fun nonetheless. I headed up to Minneapolis to crash at Jonny's house for a couple of nights. We got up quite late on New Years Eve day and spent most of the day getting better at Beatles Rockband. I now am particularly good at the guitar solo on Something. Eventually we realised we needed to head to get some food. But being a Friday, we definitely missed breakfast and nearly missed lunch. The roads were actually not that great either so our original plans of hitting a bar somewhere changed after a trip to Target to stock up on Scott Pilgrim Vs The World on BluRay and the supermarket for cheese, crackers, desserts, prawns and pizza rolls. So New Years was spent at Jonny's house and I rang in the New Year watching the most hilarious mash up to date with the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys together at last. It was golden. I had to embed it. Hope some of you can laugh as well. Apparently they are touring together in 2011. Amazing. My favourite moment is Joey singing Please Don't Go Girl. It's just not the same.

I also got to spend a bit of time just hanging out with Mom. Brock and Dad went back to Seattle and Jonny went back to work. Some of the activities I did to keep busy included:
  • Wii Fit, Dance Dance Revolution and Zumba on the Wii -- seriously nearly everyday for hours at a time
  • Lots of reading
  • Watched lots of HGTV, TLC and Hulu. Oh how I will miss Hulu. And Saturday Night Live.
  • Water Aerobics with Mom
  • Monday Craft Nights with Mom and her scrapping friends
  • A few community theatre plays and a trip to Billy Elliot the Musical which was touring
  • A concert to see Nellie McKay with Jonny at a super hip jazz club
  • A bit of introduction to what could quite easily become my newest addiction Xbox 360 Kinect
  • Caught up with a few friends from high school
  • A few trips to the Mall of America
  • Lots of fantastic cooking with Mom and a few nice dinners out
I finally decided that the cold and snow was enough and it was time to head back to Australia to see old friends and catch some summer again. So I booked my flight for Sun 30 January and decided to spend a couple of nights in LA visiting Rachel before I flew off. Brock flew down from Seattle and we met at the airport on the Friday night. We were staying in Santa Monica. Friday night was relatively uneventful (including a very average dinner), but the big day in Hollywood was Saturday.
We took 2 buses right into the heart of it. We walked Hollywood Blvd a bit and decided to head to a record store Brock wanted to go to. On the way to the record store, we ran into the In-N-Out Burger (made famous for those outside of LA in The Big Lebowski). We were so excited. All they have on the menu is burgers and fries. Delicious.
After our awesome brunch of burgers and a quick trip to the record store, we headed back to Hollywood Blvd to meet up with Rachel. We then jumped on a van with the top cut off for our Tour of the Star Homes. It was hilarious. 2 hours later we were quite over the excess of it all and ended up in a little bar that served fantastic Mexican food which really reminded me of the Furniture Warehouse in Vancouver. Perfect place to spend our evening after seeing the $150 million Spelling Mansion. Ridiculous.
Brock and I on the bus....heading in to HOLLYWOOD

The Hollywood Sign -- noticed it right outside Amoeba Music

Amoeba Music At Night

In-N-Out Burger

Will I or will I not enjoy this burger?

Walk of Fame's Best Star

Australia's Own on the Walk of Fame

Marilyn on the Walk

Ken's Love Note to Barbie on a Billboard

A Cool Sculpture we saw along our Hollywood Blvd walk

The Kodak Theatre -- home of the Academy Awards Ceremony

The 3 Sibling Star Home Tour begins....

The Famous Hotel Chateau Marmont

The Viper Room (Formally owned by Johnny Depp where River Phoenix died)

The Iron Man House

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there; I'll tell you how I became a prince of a town called Bel Air

Michael Jackson's last home

Tom and Katie's ridiculous house

FOR SALE: The Spelling Manor (the home of now deceased TV Producer Aaron Spelling of 90210 and Charlie's Angels fame)

Beverly Hills, 90210

I would vote for him

After our Mexican fiesta meal at the pub, we parted ways with Rachel and cabbed it back to Santa Monica. We crashed pretty hard, but not util after watching Jesse Eisenberg on Saturday Night Live. It even included a special surprise visit from Mark Zuckerberg. Hilarious.
So on Sunday morning, we woke up and headed to breakfast at Huckleberry. I had the Huevos Rancheros. Highly recommend it if you are in Santa Monica. We then walked down the Pier, road the roller coaster, did some shopping and had a drink. Then we were off to the airport. It was a quick weekend, but it was great to see Rachel and hang out with Brock before I headed back to Australia. Will probably have to spend a bit more time in LA now that Rachel lives there. I hadn't flown in or out of LA for a long time, but now I have a reason to!
Brock on the Santa Monica Pier

Me on the Roller Coaster

Houses along the beach

How I would look if I lived in LA everyday

This completely sums it up

I boarded my plane to Sydney on Sunday night. I had enough points to upgrade to business class so I spent time in the lounge before the flight and slept quite a bit in my flat bed. I did manage to fit in the multi-award winning Bollywood movie 3 Idiots which we heard so much about while we were in Delhi. It was definitely worth seeing. I really enjoyed it. I want the soundtrack now! Who would have thought I would ever again enjoy something from India, but this was quite good. And some of it was even filmed in Delhi!
I landed in Sydney on Tuesday the 1st where it was really quite hot! Very big change to Minnesota I assure you. I worked with Gerry and Sophie on the Chinese New Year Parade that weekend. Made plans to catch up with a few people at The Australian, but of course, it turned out to be 43 degrees that day and all we wanted to do was sit in the air con. Thanks to those who braved it anyway!
This week I am in Melbourne to do St Kilda Festival with Dave Wilkinson. Am heading down to Tassie for Alycia and Eric's wedding the last week of February (which is the main reason for my down underly return), and then who knows. Don't really have anything lined up workwise for March and beyond, but hopefully something will come up.
I will try to catch up with everyone in Sydney and Melbourne at some point. It is nice to be back after so long away....but I honestly have no idea how long I am sticking around for this time. All depends on what work is around I guess.
Hope everyone is well. Relaxing with the fam was great, but for now it's back to summer and friends that I haven't seen in ages! If only I could continually chase summer.....
Look after yourselves.
Lots of love,
Sarah xo