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Monday, January 24, 2011

Mikey 30th Birthday and More!

Mikey Turns 30, Narrabeen Sunsets, French Crepes, and Ku-ring- ai Chase National Park

Happy Birthday Mikey!

Happy Birthday Mikey!! 30th birthday. A huge milestone and what a great place to spend it! Thank you for all of you who put your vote in on what we should do for the big day. His birthday was a Monday night so we all had to work the next day so we couldn't go to big. The pub was 1st place but a nice dinner was second and that is what we ended up doing. We walked down to Lake Side Thai right on Narrabeen Lake and had nice dinner with the two of us and our roommate Nathan. If you know MIkey you know he loves his THAI!!! All the other things that were on the poll are all things we really want to do and will do so don't worry! It will all be done. If you know Mikey you also know he hates to make a big deal about birthday's and anniversaries so I think he was happy that it was a Monday and we only have a few friends because it ended up being low key which was just the way he would have wanted it. It was quality time. The following Friday we did go out with our two friends across the street that definitely wanted to celebrate the big day but had to work. We had a good time.

Narrabeen Rainbow and Sunsets
Narrabeen has really offered up some beautiful sunsets I would like to share with you. Along with the colors there always seems to be this rainbow that happens often and in the same place. It is so pretty and comforting since it is been there lot and always in the same place. I call it the Narrabeen Rainbow. Not to much to say about these lovely moments just enjoy the pictures:)

French Crepes and Foie Gras

Nathan's French Crepes have been one of our favorite past times since we have been over here. And every time he makes them we have a French lesson and usually some chamapgne!! I think we are improving(on the French). Nathan makes the mix and then he pan sears it and puts grated cheese, ham, and the yolk of an egg in what he calls the "salt ones." And of course we have to have what he calls the "sweet one" foliowing the salt one. This consists of adding vanilla sugar to the batter and then pan searing it and adding nutella. SOOOOOOOOOOO good!!!!! We have had them twice now and on a Sunday. I told him that we should start have crepe Sunday. He said that is fine if I want to make them!!! He has that wonderful French very frank since of humor. We also had the chance to try his Grandmothers Foie Gras that she sent him over for Christmas. She makes it herself and cans it and what a treat that he shared it with us! Speaking of Nathan we have sad news:( He will be heading home to France in 2 1/2 weeks. He has been here 4 months now in Australia working very hard but is ready to see his family. We completely understand and will miss him terribly. We have really grown to be friends and we all appreciate each others company. We wish him the best always and look forward to his coming to America and visiting us in Florida and us making our way to France someday soon.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Mikey and I finally made it to Sydney's National Park. Ku-ring- gai Chase National Park, which is located 10 minutes north west of us. We took a picnic that we ate at Duck Pond and then drove up for a 20 minute hike to a beautiful lookout over Akuna Bay, the national Park, and in the distance Palm Beach Lighthouse. We were the only ones out on this rock ledge and it was very peaceful and exactly what we needed. Some peace and quiet and time together to reflect on this New Year and all we have done and want to do. We have both been picking up at our works for January which is very exciting. Sydney Dance Company also reopened after the holiday break and I went on Saturday and took Intermediate Ballet from 10-11:30 and Intermediate Contemporary from 11:30-1. It was awesome and felt amazing. Except that I have been sore since Saturday(today is Tuesday) The waves have picked up so Mikey has been surfing every day at lunch and every night after work. We also had the World Juniors Surf Contest right down on our beach at North Narrabeen and we got to see some of that which was cool. The Australian open tennis has been on tv every night so that has been exciting to follow since we can't watch the playoffs:(

Miss and Love everyone as always.

Mikey and Kristen

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

The Fun Begins

Happy New Year! We actually had our New Year first over here in Australia since we are a day ahead. It was kind of weird talking to family and it already being 2011 over here and 2010 back at home. It also hit me that we spent half of 2010 and we will also spend the first half of 2011 in Australia. That is a long time but good thing because believe it or not there is still SOOOO much to do and see and now that we are working time is really flying.

Anyways back to our new year celebration Down Under. There were several options to see fireworks display. Just north of us was having a midnight display over PIttwater Inter coastal waterway , Collaroy Plateau just south of us was having a 9 pm family friendly beach display, Manly had a 9 pm display on the Harbour, and the famous Sydney Harbour Fireworks were happening at 9pm in smaller scale followed by the midnight Big display . I knew upon moving to Sydney that I wanted to see the famous Sydney Harbour New Years Fireworks display. Apparently best in the world and I believe it! Having done research on the internet and through asking around it was going to be a MISSION but one that was worth it. Once again the crew was back together to spend another defining moment in Australia; Nathan(french roommate, Steve(American friend traveling around from Jacksonville), Mikey(hopefully you know him by now:), and I(Krissy) and we were determined to make it happen.

December 31, 2010. The day was a beautiful summer day and we took to the beach where the guys did some surfing and I read. We then had the opportunity to go to our neighbor across the streets beach party which was right out front of our house. It started about 4pm right on the beach with chairs, a barbie, music, food, drinks. We stayed for about an hour enjoying the afternoon weather and though we were enjoying the company and relaxing atmosphere we knew we had to get back, eat dinner, and pack for the night in order to catch our bus to Manly. Dinner was a quick burger and chips while we packed provisions for the night. We each had a bag filled with ice, snacks, drinks, cameras, sparklers, noise makers, and champagne for midnight. We headed out the door quickly to catch the 8pm bus. Each of the "vantage points" to see the display had a capacity number and people had gone as far as to camp overnight along the harbour or arrive at 4am in order to get a spot. We decided to we would go to Manly since we knew how to get there and attempt to get up to North head the headland with the view of the city. North Head had with a capacity of 2000 with a BYO snacks and drinks policy.

Manly Fireworks Display @ 9pm

Look Closely and Sydney 9pm display is in background

Us in Manly with Lucky Spot

Nathan and Steve in the Spirit!

Our View of Manly Harbour

The bus took about 45 minutes dropping us right in front of Manly Wharf where the Manly 9pm fireworks were about to go off. We decided to see these first so if nothing else works out we saw some display. Luckily we got a spot right in front of the harbour with the perfect view. Mind you we were in the plants but it was comfortable! People had clearly been here all day and we found a spot 15 minutes before. We couldn't believe it. We joined in the festivities right away with our noise makers, drinks, and cameras and promptly at 9pm the display began. How beautiful and symbolic of our journey over here and to be able to end this year and begin the new with such an amazing adventure. And to top off the Manly display, in the background we could see the Sydney Harbour 9pm small fireworks. Life couldn't get any better!

Sydney Harbour Fireworks Display from North Head

View of Sydney Harbour from North Head

The pre game Sparklers

Midnight in Sydney celebrated with Champagne

The Sydney Harbour Fireworks at 12:01

When these ended we started to make the climb up to North Head for the big event. 1.5 million were said to have lined the harbour to see this world renowned display and 5 million dollars had been spent on the Fireworks. The climb was a CLIMB. Steep and about 3 miles. It was a nice workout and we were greatly rewarded when we got to the gate to hear we could get in that they still had spots! Yeah, our hard work had payed off. We thought we are here when we realized we had to walk another 1 1/2 mile to get to the point. It was a beautiful walk even at dark. It was peaceful and we were near the stars and a nice breeze was cooling us off from the hike. We made it to the point to see that we had a spectacular view of Sydney Harbour, Sydney City, and more. We could only see the top of the bridge but it didn't matter. We got here at 10:20pm so we found a nice spot and had our snacks and drinks while we waited. There were other people around and everyone was in the spirit. Midnight soon came, the New Year was here, and Sydney delivered quite the Firework display. We popped the champagne as others around us did the same and we sat back in awe for the next 30 minutes and watched as the harbor was lit up. There were 6 barges firing off synched fireworks while the bridge was in the middle doing its own thing. All kinds of colors, shapes, heights, and textures. Near the end all stopped but the bridge and that went on for a minute. Then all 7 areas started back up to finish with a Bang! We did it. We brought in the New Year with the Sydney harbour fireworks. We then had to retrace our steps all the way back to the bus. It was another 3 to 4 miles back down taking us about an hour. It sure made it an adventure. We eventually got a bus and made it back home safely completely exhausted. Love to all and Best Wishes for 2011.

Love Kristen and MIkey