September 27th, 2006

australia, ocean

flurry of posting!

When I said "zoom zoom zoom" before I wasn't kidding! Only now that I'm sitting in Heathrow waiting to check in for my flight to Munich do I have time to blog to catch up on the past couple weeks! Just to keep topics separate, I'm going to post separately, but this is the general one first...

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I am SO glad I had these weekends booked with friends, since without these visits to break up my constant stream of stress, I think I might have lost it completely by now... :) The weekdays in between were of course super-busy for work, then I'd either have choir rehearsal at night for the concert I would not be able to participate in (I hate feeling useless like that but oh well), or I was frantically laying brick on my patio with clamplights setup in the dark...but more on that project in a separate post! :)
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australia, ocean

Brick is DONE!!! :D

What a relief! The entire brick patio & walkway in the backyard are DONE! It took until about midnight on Sunday night but I did it! Cyd did try to come over & help me one evening, but since I only have the one mallet, I wasn't able to pound the bricks in quickly enough for her to keep lugging over more local supply, so I've just been doing it myself. Honestly, standing upright again to go haul more bricks over to the working area gave my back a good break from the rest. I was also paying close attention to my back so I wouldn't overdo it & be completely useless the next day, so that often meant I could only work 2 hours in a night. I was able to use Melanie as extra hands for finishing up the arbor bench & hanging the blind as the shed door. mrmouse also came over Sunday to help, but I gave him other projects of painting Halloween props as I continued with the brick work. Thanks to you all for the help!

window & gate before & after


patios & shed before & after


side entry gate before & after


I also finally figured out the other fruit tree! I had seen these apple-looking fruit develop on the tree in the corner, but the skin was fuzzy and I wasn't sure if they'd ever turn color from pale green or have a softer texture, but the oldest one fell off the tree on Sunday, so I cut see-through slices for mrmouse & me to try. We both thought it tasted like a nice tart granny smith apple! I had a couple larger slices later in the evening still with no ill effects, and I've been allergic to apples when I was younger. My dad suggested it might be a quince, but I had been told quince were more citrusy, but lo & behold I googled "quince apple" & found a photo of exactly my fruit! My grandmother loves quince jelly, so I picked the ones still on the tree that were slightly yellow & put them in my extra fridge so they wouldn't just fall off the tree & spoil while I'm gone on my trip. Hopefully they'll last until after Halloween when I'll have time to try making some jelly...there won't be much since not much fruit but it'll be fun to try! :)
australia, ocean

Oktoberfest here I come!

Now for the travel update! :) I never leave trips unplanned this long...we still aren't sure what we're doing in some places, and we only got the last two places to stay in Germany settled last Friday! I told you things had been busy, and it's even worse when you're planning the trip with someone in a drastically different time zone... ;)

I didn't get home from work Monday until about 8pm since I was getting everything organized for being gone from work, then still had to do laundry & pack! I had most things done by 4ish, so I went to sleep around 4:45 & set my alarm for 8am, since Jeff was supposed to pick me up at 11:30 and I needed daylight to do some last errands. I did get my back lawn mowed, some cleanup yardwork done, plants moved to sprinkler range, 5 quince picked off the tree (see the garden update post) & put in the extra fridge for safekeeping, dishwasher emptied, litter box cleaned, and bought a new watch battery since all my watches were either dead or unusable for time changes!

We still got to SFO with plenty of time, the DIY checkin was smooth & quick again, and I was congratulated by security for having my questionables in a clear ziptop bag. :) When I did my online checkin I saw the row in front of me was empty so I switched in hopes of having the whole row to myself. That only lasted about an hour since the flight was empty enough just about everyone was changing seats, but I still ended up with my window seat plus the next one, so that was more comfortable to get some real sleep, which I sorely needed! The plane was so warm when we boarded that I promptly couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, so it wasn't until after a nice nap that I got out my laptop & caught up on about a month of Halloween email replies to strangers. I now have an "overseas until Oct 15th" vacation auto-reply on that adds "If you have a Halloween question I'm sorry but I can't guarantee it'll get answered this season." I feel bad but at least they know this way. Since I was sleeping relatively well I didn't even try to get my laptop out again on that flight.

What I still haven't done yet is figured out what to see in Munich! The 24 hrs of wifi I already paid for in SFO doesn't carry over to the UK, so I had to pay extra here in Heathrow so I'm going cheap with 5 GBP for 60 minutes total spread out over 24 hrs, so not much surfing time vs. my time waiting. When I get to my hotel this evening I'll see what brochures & things they have. I was hoping to go with local suggestions, but when I asked Christian who lives there what he thinks everyone must see, he told me he'd take me to whatever I wanted to see...no help there! heh...

Here is the full itinerary, and there are some spots along the way I should have internet access, so I hope to update when I can!

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australia, ocean

made it to Munich

Lufthansa planes are quite nice even though cramped for short-haul flights. They even gave us a little cheese & bread sandwich for our snack. I successfully figured out the train ticket system (would only take MasterCard despite the sign) and found my hotel! Still no cash yet, and the hotel wifi is broken but they have this one ancient Windows box in the lounge. I am exhausted & plan just to take a good shower, check out the maps & brochures I grabbed from the front desk, and get some sleep! Tomorrow will be my first real view of Munich! :)