Monday, July 31, 2006

I'd say that went well.

Go Way. Sleeping.
Originally uploaded by pastry_child.

Email from my Mother:


*Heavy sigh*

I shoulda known.


Daniel says he isn't surprised.


Does your hair grow fast?

Now how you gonna color it?



Body Paint???


Friday, July 14, 2006

Open Forum

Girls with buzz cuts.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Only Slightly Behind Schedule

See pictures from the Australia trip here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For JV

Love you!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Adventure By Way of Email

Sent : Friday, June 16, 2006 1:13 AM
Subject : Not sure what day it is...

So, apparently I'm 17 hours ahead of you! Annoying to realize that my direct deposit wouldn't go through until nearly Saturday, when usually it's available Friday morning! Ah well...I guess I can wait for gift shopping. ;>

Who knew that there would be such a language barrier here! I'm still having issues with ordering coffee...Apparently coffee with cream is termed "white"...Which contrasts with black, so I guess it makes sense...At starbucks I get my usual americano with room, but they don't offer half and half here, so it's milk only...Lame. I find it strangely refreshing to only have seen 2 Starbucks location since arriving in Sydney. And trust me, I've been around the city a bit by now!

Today Nick and I went to and area called The Rocks, which is what I would think of as "old Sydney"...Very cool architecture and neat back alleys, courtyards, etc. Went by the Opera House as well, where we met a very nice gentleman who told us all that we needed to do while in the city...As well as a little history lesson. ;>

Alright...Time running out!
Love you, Kimmi

Sent : Friday, June 16, 2006 7:07 PM
Subject : Hullo!

Hello again!

So, internet access is on a new phase...Still learning a lot here! The business center at the hotel has access, but you have to prepay for a card, and the minutes are used up in 5 minute increments, so you end up losing time if you don't use all of it in one sitting! The first time we logged on, there were 15 or so minutes left, but when we logged back on yesterday, there were only 6 minutes available! Very strange...So we're using internet cafe's instead...sortof. The internet cafe's here consist of 7-11's with computers set up...Though for all I know at this point, it may be free! The guy seemed confused when I asked to use the internet...Apparently you just sit down and use the computer around here!

I've been told that I don't have much of an American accent...I wonder if the common thought is that most Americans speak with a southern accent...Though Nick didn't get the same comment. Of course, in the states I do get people who can't figure out where I'm from because of my "strange" speech patterns! ;> Ah well, I enjoy being unique!

Don't think I mentioned in previous email, Nick and I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens the first day we were here...Gorgeous...And the strangest things..."Flying foxes"...Basically HUGE bats, that hang from the trees around the park...They look like huge "pods" from far away...But then a bird will fly up and disturb them, and a huge cloud of bats will start flying to other trees...Creepy, but interesting.

We also went to this great little toy shop while in The Rocks yesterday...They mainly focus on puppets...The entire store was underground, and all brick walls...Very old world style...And puppets hanging all over the place! It was crazy, but by far one the coolest shops I've seen...I was fighting the urge to take pictures...It made me feel like a kid! There were some really neat, very LARGE, life-sized puppets that were quite old and from all over the world.

Today we're checking out the warf, and planning for the Chinese Gardens as well as Hyde Park... Later during our trip, we want to take a ferry out to Manly, which is a resort-ish area with lots of sand beaches and good restaurants - reviews to come!

At some point we may visit a place called the Minus5 Bar...A martini bar completely made of ice! Seriously..The bar, benches, even the martini glasses are made of ice! There's a $30AU cover, which includes one free drink, as well as heavy coats, hats and gloves for your stay...And apparently you're only allowed to stay for 30 minutes at a time! Crazy! I'm sure that's something that Michelle will want to do as well, so we'll probably wait until next week when she's arrived.

I'm taking lots of good pictures!
Love you! Kimmi

Sent : Saturday, June 17, 2006 10:39 PM
Subject : I just want an effing cup of coffee!

Hello again!

I think I finally have this coffee thing figured out. A "flat white" is probably the closest thing I'm going to get to drip with cream, outside of the hotel. We ordered breakfast to our room yesterday, and there was a pot of drip coffee with a pitcher of milk...The milk was steamed, which I found a little strange at first, but it was actually kindof nice. Today we went to a pancake house for breakfast...Quite good. I ordered coffee with milk...A "flat white", which is basically the equivalent of a small latte. When we arrived at our table, the hostess asked us if we would like coffee, a latte, cappucino, etc. I asked for an Americano, and she informed me that such a thing wasn't possible, as everything is percolated. I then asked for a flat white, and later realized, that if they can make lattes and cappucinos, why couldn't they make an Americano??? I'm actually wondering if she thought I was asking for American style coffee, which would be a normal drip (I'm guessing, as usual...).

Spoke with Jeni yesterday...She and Brian arrived in Sydney yesterday morning, and we'll get together tomorrow for a late breakfast...I'm actually quite interested to run some questions by Brian when I see him! ;>

Nick and I have learned the benefits of charging hotel services to your room...We had a buffet breakfast, in house, the first morning we were here. We've also charged internet cards and room service to the room directly. Yesterday when we arrived back to the room in the afternoon, there was a selection of sparkling and still waters, as well as a fresh fruit bowl, on the desk...Wondering if that has anything to do with the amount we have shelled out in the hotel...Nick has helped set up computer systems for restaurants before, and he said that there are "hospitality" programs available, which would send a notification to the front desk depending on your spending levels, so they can then in turn "reward" you. Interesting...I guess we'll end up paying for all of our services in the end anyway, so why not take advantage of charging to the room???

Today we went to a place called Luna Park, which is an amusement park which has been in existence since the '30's...Not too crowded, and very cool artwork! Loving the shopping! I'm not much for shopping usually, but between the exchange rates and the seemingly permanent sales, I'm doing quite well...Kim - You're going to absolutely wet yourself when you see some of these shoes I've purchased!!!!

Love you all! Kimmi

Sent : Sunday, June 18, 2006 8:47 PM
Subject : we got out!

Nick and I are at Brian's dad's place right now...Free internet - woot! We took the train to an area called Concord West, where the house is. It's so nice to be in a residential area, outside of the city. Brian's sister, Jennifer (ha!) gave me a very informative lecture on coffee...Quite helpful!

With the walk across the bridge, I got a good amount of sun yesterday...Some color on my face and more freckles on my arms! ;> We're learning exactly what is meant by "diamond light" and the reason for the high incidents of skin cancer here...The sun is very bright...All year round! Last night the clouds rolled in, and today it's been sprinkling a bit...The first clouds we've seen since leaving Seattle! We noticed right away that a good majority of the cafes and restaurants don't have much for indoor seating...But they have outdoor heat lamps...Makes sense...Who would want to sit outside in this weather - even if it's cold!

Tomorrow we're meeting back up with everyone on our side of town to take a seafood lunch cruise...And Wednesday is the wedding...Thursday Nick and Michelle are talking about going skydiving...Nick wanted to do that, but I'm afraid of heights, so I suggested that he take Michelle, since she's a bit crazy...And I'm planning to go to the hotel spa! It's a 5 star hotel by AU standards, so seems like the thing to do! ;> The shuttle for skydiving picks them up at 7am, and they should be back by 1pm, so that still gives plenty of time for the group to do some downtown excursions...

Michelle just arrived this morning, and will be leaving for Melbourne with Brian's sister on Friday morning, so unfortunately she won't have much time for siteseeing in Sydney....So, now that Nick and I know what's up with the city, we can play tourguide!

Love you! Kimmi

Sent : Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:15 PM
Subject : Winter Solstice....Summer Solstice!

Today is the big day for Brian and Jeni! We just finished the ceremony and now the alcohol is free-flowing. ;> Jeni asked me to sign the marriage certificate, which was quite the honor...Michelle and I were the bridesmaids...My first wedding! I was able to play "bride's assistant" while Jeni was preparing...I couldn't believe how many face brushes I was holding at one time! ;> Really, it was a lovely ceremony...It was held in Brian's dad's backyard, on a brick patio with a fountain nearby...A bird even graced us with song during the vows...

Yesterday Brian's dad took everyone on the seafood lunch cruise, which sailed the perimeter of the entire harbor. Later in the evening when Nick and I went out to dinner, I still felt like I was on a boat!

Alright...I should go take more photos of the reception!
Love you, Kimmi

Sent : Thursday, June 22, 2006 5:13 PM

My massage yesterday was fantastic! Even the receptionist commented at how relaxed I looked. Nick said when I arrived back at the room I looked like I was doped up and ready to fall over! ;>

Nick was going to go skydiving yesterday while I was at my appointment, but the session was cancelled due to the weather...It finally started raining the day before, and hadn't let up until last night. They rescheduled his trip for today, and it's nice and sunny again, so I'm sure I'll be hearing all about his jump in a few hours.

Last night we all (me, Nick, Jeni, Brian, Brian's dad and his girlfriend, and Michelle) went to a place called Minus5. It's an ice bar! The entire bar is made of ice, from the seats to the glasses that you drink out of! It was about -11C when we were there...Though the temperature does fluctuate slightly, from what I gather. It was quite the experience...And of course, no one had a camera! Ah well...

Michelle and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe yesterday...I'd never been to one, but Michelle collects the souvenir glasses wherever she goes...I felt like such a tourist in there! ;>

Love you all! Kimmi

Sent : Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:32 AM
Subject : Back Home

Wanted to let you know we made it home safely. We left Sydney at 9pm on Sunday evening, and arrived in Seattle at 945pm on Sunday! Time changes are so funny...

So, the day before we left, we went to a wildlife park where I was able to pet a koala and a wallaby! So cool! One of the staff members told me that the wallabies are hand raised by the staff. When they're born, someone takes them home for 8 months to raise them, so they're very friendly. I also saw a 4 meter crocodile! Crazy. There are wild parakeets in Australia, of which I saw many...Friendly little guys...They came right up to my camera!

The last day we were there, we took a ferry to Manly, a fairly close destination which has sandy beaches...It was a gorgeous day for it...I even shot some nice pictures of surfers.

Good to be home!