Jan's adventures in Oz

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Catch Up

See photos here

Okay, guys, I know it has been a LOOONNNGGG time since I updated the blog.  At least I did a pretty good job with my first year in Australia with 25 posts!  The thing is, I have been going to a lot of the same places I have already blogged about.  And I spend 6 weeks in the U.S. in June and July and really didn’t take many pictures.  

On the photos, there is one new Australian place that seemed like paradise.  Lorne, Victoria is about 2 hours north of Melbourne.  I had to go there to do a presentation at a Principal’s conference.  I stayed at a beautiful hotel and had a room looking out on the beach and the awesome cypress (?) trees in the pictures.

Also had a great time in California the end of June.  The weather (until San Fran) was gorgeous and the places I stayed outstanding.  In San Jose (twice) I took groups of customers to Cisco.  In San Diego, got to catch up with BFF’s at ISTE. And in San Fran, got to spend 2 fun days with Will, my youngest.

Thanks for being patient, dear readers!


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Pics here

At my Mom’s request I have taken my camera out for a walk around my neighborhood here in Pyrmont, New South Wales.  I have tried to capture more of the “non-tourist” parts of the area.  It is officially fall here in Sydney, the temperature is in the 50’s and 60’s (f) and there are some dead leaves on the sidewalks.  The people are bundling up in coats and scarves though it still feels pretty warm to me!

Alex Visits AUS

My hubby, Alex, came over for a 3 week visit at the end of February.  I kept him busy sight-seeing in Sydney and a quick trip to the Gold Coast.  Here are some highlights of the things we did…

  • Went to the Australian Museum of Art to view the Picasso exhibit…interesting to see the progression of his work through his life and through all his wives/girlfriends
  • Went out on the Harbour for a lunch cruise.  A beautiful day.  We sat at a table on the deck fro most of the time.  Got a little sunburn.  Also jumped off the boat and took a ferry out to Manly.
  • Spent 3 nights at a lovely “resort” hotel on the beach at Gold Coast.  Big apartment, no AC but cool breezes.  Really nice pool.
  • Attended an opera at the Sydney Opera House.  Saw the Marriage of Figaro.  Quite funny.  We had good seats and really enjoyed the show and the atmosphere.

To view the (many) photos of his trip, go Here.

It is Easter Sunday here in Sydney.  I am packing up to head to Darwin, Northern Territory in the morning for work.  I am planning on going over to St. Andrew’s Cathedral tonight to experience Handel’s Messiah.  Happy Easter, everybody!

A New Year in Sydney…and Singapore

So sorry to all my “followers” for dropping the blog ball for over a month!  I have been pretty busy since returning to work.  It was interesting that most of my Australian colleagues trickled back to work over the month of January…some did not return until Feb. 1!  It’s kind of an Aussie thing to take off a lot in January, as it is their summer holiday time with kids out of school.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate.  Most of January was cool and rainy.  We are still waiting for hot, sunny days!

Some of the holidays, outside of Christmas, that are celebrated include Boxers Day, Chinese New Year (2 weeks worth) and Australia Day.  I have taken some pictures of some of the events on these days.  See pics here

Jan at the Pagoda

Last week I had to go to Singapore for business.  We flew about 40 top customers there and put them up at the Singapore Four Seasons.  What an awesome hotel!  I was waited on hand and foot.  Every time I came back to my room someone had been in there cleaning and filling up the ice bucket!  Singapore was a delight.  Very multi-cultural, very clean, more western than eastern.  The buildings were amazing…almost as good as Dubai. I didn’t get much time to go sight seeing, so definitely hope to go back!

Taking it easy this weekend.  Travelling wears you out…the plane flight itself was 8 hours!  That’s one thing about living in Oz…nothing is close!

Trans-continental Holiday

Link to pictures

It has been a holiday season to remember!  On December 16th I headed back to Tennessee.  The jet lag was pretty bad for about 5 days.  Why is it that its worse traveling East than West??  Something to do with losing days?

I spent my time at home cooking, decorating, and visiting with friends and family.  Although my Christmas cookies were a disaster due to lowfat butter, the Christmas dinner was outstanding!  The star of the dinner was a turkey that my son Adam had brined in cider and smoked.  All three sons were home for the holidays and my parents joined us for 3 nights.

I travelled back to Sydney on the 28th.  It was really hard to leave home.  I went with my friend Andi West’s crowd out on a boat in Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve.  What a great party!  Achored close to the Harbour Bridge and saw not one but two super duper fireworks shows.  Definitely the best I’ve ever seen (including Washington D.C. on July 4) and I will always remember it.

I returned to the office this week only to find everybody else is still on holiday!  It turns out the Aussies work right up to Christmas day and then take off a good part of January.  I am enjoying the quiet in the office and the lack of crowds on trains and in the shops, etc.

Another interesting thing….Boxer’s Day was the first Monday after Christmas.  It is a holiday based on the English tradition of the gentry giving boxed gifts to their servants on this day.  Before I found this out, though, I was totally off track because on this day I saw an older gentleman walking the streets in his boxers!!

Happy New Year to all my readers!  

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blog Catch-up

Pictures Posted for this Blogpost here  



I have been moving very fast the last couple of weeks and haven’t had time to upload my pics or write for my blog.  Soooo….I will try to give you all a snapshot of the highlights.  On Thanksgiving I went to a dinner hosted by the American Australian Association.  About 150 people, most of whom seemed to be Australian.. I did meet a lovely couple.  The husband from Sydney and wife from Alabama. She was a wonderful whiff of the down home south that I miss!  The aus version of turkey and dressing was not so hot but at least they got the pumpkin pie right!

Last weekend I took the ferry to Watson’s Bay.     About a 30 minute ferry ride southeast of Sydney.  I had a lovely walk along a path to the lighthouse, passing a nudist beach along the way (not so lovely).  The lighthouse and views from the top were awesome.  While I was up there a cruise ship came through the strait an d headed out to sea.  Pics to be posted soon!

I’ve spent the last 6 days back in Adelaide. Lots of meetings with a pleasant weekend in the middle.  On Saturday I took the ferry down to the beach.  Got some sun and enjoyed some Coffin Bay oysters.  Sunday I was driven all over the Barossa Valley area by my friend, Paul Rixon and his wife, Anne.  We stopped at a couple of fabulous wineries, visited a few shops and had a fabulous lunch.  Beautiful weather and good company!

One good thing is a recent article published online by Educational Leadership magazine: here
I have been saddened of late by the passing of our dog, Molly.  It was particularly hard for me not to be able to say good bye to her.

I will be going home to Nashville for Christmas on the 16th and am looking forward to spending a couple weeks with the family.

Look for Jans Adventures in Oz to resume in the New Year!

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