Sunday, 29 April 2007

Excuse me, which way is your euphemism?

Ok, seriously. Why else would we have crossed the ocean, flown all the way to the exact opposite side of the world, sat in cramped airplanes for 24 hours of travel time, etc., if not to see a toilet flush the wrong way?

All the toilets here are fantastic and neat - very modern design, very efficient-looking, and for the most part (I'd say 95%), spotlessly clean. There are even two "flow" options: a half flush for how to be delicate here... and a full flush for ... uh... the other one.

All this is well and good, environmentally responsible, etc. However, with all of their benefits, there is one very important thing missing? A circular draining, which would clearly show me that I'm on the other side of the world (and not in some oddly-constructed Truman Show reality, in which people talk kinda funny and eat kangaroos), is simply not there. It's more of a whooshing-straight-out kind of flush.

Let me just say that I am grieviously disappointed, and will be filing a formal complaint with the Embassy on my return.

And another thing - no rest rooms, no bathrooms, no washrooms, no ladies' rooms, just a toilet. How indelicate.

In a similar vein, we watched an interesting bit of Aussie culture last night: a documentary called "Kenny". A mockumentary, actually, but well worth viewing... or just looking up in imdb.

We've been visiting with Shane and Kylie and their cute-but-three-year-old twins here in Melbourne - lots of good clean family fun! The kids really ARE adorable, and like their cuddles. Who couldn't love that?

Sunday, 22 April 2007

A Parched G'Day!

Ok, this blog is going to be quite a bit behind... quick update: married now (will do the story/photo thing later, as with all of our Oz shots - "we" forgot the usb cable, so the pics will remain on the camera till we get home). Had a bit of a "whoa" moment just a few minutes ago when we checked into our hotel in Adelaide, and I said the woman behind the counter that I was waiting for my ... husband. That's a big word.

A few observations from our trip so far:

First, and most important phrase to learn when you're in Australia: Table Water. This phrase is useful for when you are thirsty and do not want to pay $3.50 (note that a cappuccino is only $3.00) for a glass of sparkling or still water. I don't know if it's because of the drought or because people just don't drink water, but it's at a premium here. "Table water" gets you tap water, very drinkable, sometimes in a recycled wine bottle, which I think is a very nice touch.

Second important phrase is "tipping out" - something very important to do when on two full days of wine touring and tasting in the Barossa Valley (in an absolutely GORGEOUS refurbished 1935 Auburn)(thanks, Rob and Lynda!). By "tipping out" your glass after you have a mouthful or two, you save yourself from being totally snackered by noon, a trick that I didn't fully appreciate till the second day, shinshe by the time I figured it out on the firsht day, it wash too late, and I shtill had another five vinyardsh to vishit. Also, by the time you get to dinner (lovely, at a place called Vintners), and your husband (there's that word again) orders a bottle of wine, you don't feel like dying before the first sip, and much worse after half the bottle.

Day Two of the wine tours started out badly. By badly, I mean that when Chris said, "all set for another day of wine tasting?", I whimpered and pulled the blankets over my head. But, I mustered up all my gumption, tipped out a lot, and was only a bit more charming than usual by the end of the day. Incredible scenery (will be revisited with photos, I promise), beautiful weather, incredible sights, and yes -- four skippies! Last night, the only big problem was the really purple lips and teeth. Rumour has it that professional blenders that taste 30-40 blends a day have to get new teeth, as the wine actually eats away at the enamel. I believe it. I think they're back to normal now, but that's only because I haven't had any wine yet today.

Oh, and for those that want to be even more jealous, it's beautiful here - we ran both Saturday and Sunday mornings, along roads lined with vinyards, in shorts and tank tops. Aaaaah....

Go ahead - try to convince me to come home...

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Chantilly Place, Tremblant

What do you get when you have:

10 girls (aka the PW's)
2 days of gorgeous weather
1 luxurious cottage
6 hours in the hot tub
3 birthday girls
??? bottles of wine
1 karaoke machine
3 Trevor's Girlz
48 hours of laughing
1 15-minute hike
2 drinking games
1 trip to the village
10 lbs. of candy
3 full moons
1 meal schedule
and not enough toilet paper?

The best girls' getaway weekend ever!
Can't wait for next year! (And the video footage, too...)