sarah vs the world

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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

One last bit of fun in the US before moving to Tassie!

So I haven't updated the blog for sometime now and a million things have happened in the meantime. I will do my best to use mostly photos.  
After some time on Ohio with all of the family on both sides, I headed to California.  My brother Brock and his fiance Amber recently moved to Oakland.  So I met Melanie and Karla there for a bit of a look around Oakland and San Francisco.  A tiny bit embarrassing (but also kind of impressively), I made a production schedule of our activities to make sure we hit everything that we wanted to see.  It was pretty epic, but we had an amazing time.  The girls did laugh at me a bit, but we stuck to the schedule pretty well and saw a lot in not a lot of time.  Here are some of the highlights. 
Fenton's Creamery - first stop in Oakland.  Even Brock hadn't been yet.
 
Melanie shows off our purchases
The first full day we had, we took the ferry from Oakland across to San Francisco.  It was an amazing way to see the bay.  We jumped on an open top bus tour all over San Fran to see the sights.  Photos of the first half of our day below:
Oaksterdam - legal marijuana use in CA
Oakland Tribune Building
On the ferry ride -- Alcatraz -- we didn't go in but it is pretty awesome from the water
Me on the bus ride
Botanic Gardens
Infamous Painted Ladies
Base of The Golden Gate Bridge - always has fog on it....always!
Bridge Stats
 
A better view...
 
Nice random architecture around the place
 
After our bus tour, we jumped on a trolley, of course, and just did a bit of shopping around.  We also walked down Lombard street -- the crazy windy road in San Fran.  Later that night, we met up with Brock and Amber in the city later on for San Fran Chinatown dinner.  Delicious Peking Duck totally perfect way to end the day.  
Trolley Ride is a must!

 The Famous Lombard Street
Chinatown
Uber yummy duck....but instead of pancakes, we had steamed buns.  Equally satisfying
 
After a few days in San Francisco, we jumped aboard the Amtrak down to Los Angeles.  It was an amazing ride.  We had a little sleeping car to ourselves, enjoyed the included meals and the wine tasting and befriended all the staff.  I think they thought the French Canadian, Mexican and American/Australian girls were the most hilarious bunch aboard.  At dinner, the girls decided that I needed to get set up with Sean, our favourite waiter.  I was embarrassed, and luckily he turned out to be married.  It was really an awesome way to see California coast.  12 hours that I will never forget.  Highly recommended.  
We felt bad that Darbs wasn't with us, so we drew a picture to remember him
Instructions on how to climb into the bed (giggle)
Scenery along the way....

The message the girls left for Sean....
Sean
After we arrived in LA, we got up early the next day and spent it at Disneyland and California Adventure.  Lucky for us, Melanie had connections, so we got in for free.  It was awesome fun.  I could go every year I think, but I still prefer Orlando over California personally.  But being there with the girls was a great way to finish up my time in the Northern Hemisphere.  Disney photos...
Melanie and I try our luck pulling the sword from the stone
Me in Cars land...
The girls in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle
So I flew back to Australia that night.  I spent a few days in Sydney and about a week in Melbourne just catching up with people and trying to get organised for the big move over to Tassie.  I didn't do as much reoganising as I would have liked, but I did take 3 suitcases on the plane.  I stayed in some temporary accommodation for a couple of weeks and worked out immediately that I needed to buy a car.  So for the first time ever in my life, I am now a car owner.  It isn't anything fancy, but I wanted something reliable that could get me around the entire island fairly well.  So here it is.  The Toyota Camry. Very exciting stuff.
After the temporary accommodation, I moved into my apartment in North Hobart.  I have it until February for now as the house hunt has been on pretty much since I arrived.  I live on the top floor of this amazing house.  It has some lovely views.  It is literally around the corner from the best bit of North Hobart, so I am enjoying it.
The Kitchen window view
I needed to get a few things since I haven't brought over all of my stuff from Melbourne yet.  Some people suggested hitting the tip shop (which is basically at the rubbish tip where people have sorted through things and are reselling them for charity).  I loved this find.  I bought a set of suitcases from the 50s and turned them into my bedside table.  Love it. 
 
I also have managed to get around a bit thanks to the new car.  Of course I have been to Salamanca Market, the Farmgate Market in Elizabeth St on a Sunday, the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park and even to Port Arthur already.  There is still plenty more to see.  Photos below....
This is the Town Hall where I work now
Salamanca Market
My purchases from the Farmgate Market
A Tasmanian Devil
Spring arriving in Tassie
Port Arthur
Inside the prison remains
A rainbow I saw on a drive along the south east coast....it was a full rainbow, just couldn't fit it all in!
So I am slowly getting used to the weather, although I am very much looking forward to summer!  I am settling into the job well with it getting busy quickly.  The house hunt is on in full force, but we will see what comes up. 
That is pretty much all for now.  Hope you are all well.  If you ever feel like a nice little holiday in Tassie, let me know.  It is an amazing place with way more to see!
Love you all,
Sxo

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