Friday, December 3, 2010

November Highlights

Tuesday, November 2: I kick-started November with attending my first Australian event:  Melbourne Cup luncheon (in Canberra).  The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s version of the Kentucky Derby.  My new Aussie friend, Kerrie-Ann, invited me to attend.  I brought along my friend, Jodi.   Although this event is held in Melbourne, much of Canberra celebrates with early lunch and cocktail hour.  Like the Kentucky Derby, large, pretty hats or fasteners required.  Jodi and I clipped a couple of the gorgeous roses from the hotel courtyard for our hair.  The lunch was at a delicious Turkish restaurant in Barton called Ottoman.  It was great fun! 

Jodi and me, Melbourne Cup Luncheon, Ottoman Restaurant

Friday, November 5 was our first movie night at the Embassy.  Showing for the kids was Ramona and Beezus and for the older crowd, Salt.  Each month, a movie night is organized for families.  Movie rating: 4 stars.  Salt was better than expected.  It was very fast moving and action packed.  Angelina Jolie was far too thin, like a child. 

Sunday, November 7: Chloe attended her first Australian birthday party.  Little Siena from school turned 7 with a party in the local park.  Different from many of the American parties, this was low key with party snacks, bottled water, games, play time on the play scape and scootering/bike riding.  I learned that Canberra doesn’t have readily available the same assortment of birthday cakes from either the grocery stores or bakeries so the Mom’s bake and decorate the cakes.  Yikes!  I’ve got to start practicing.  I do love the idea of a low pressure party though. 
Monday, November 8:  Anabella’s class is learning about celebrations this term.  Parents were asked to come in to share a special celebration or holiday with the students.  Today was my day, and my topic, chosen by Anabella, was Independence Day.  Prior to the day, I was able to borrow props from the Embassy to bring a festive feel to my talk.  I was able to find some nice red, white and blue clothing in my closet and wore the borrowed American flag baseball cap too.  Anabella was so excited to have me there that she had a difficult time behaving herself. 
Thursday, November 11: Embassy Veteran’s Day Celebration.  What a surprise!  This turned out to be a lot of fun.  The Air Force Pacific-Hawaiian Band played, and they were excellent.  The girls and I had so much dancing.
Conga line

Girlfriends - Jodi, Lisa, Maya and me

Friday, November 12: Chick Nite at Maya’s!  This was a lot of fun…lots of wine and chocolate, and, a chance to meet new friends.

Thursday, November 25, Thanksgiving Day:  Well, this was not your typical Thanksgiving.  The girls went to school, but Uri had the day off for the holiday.  Instead of spending the day with him, I (accidently) scheduled a hair appointment in the middle of the day.  While waiting for my appointment I indulged (or so I thought) in a macchiato…come to find out, here in Australia, it’s the smallest cuppa you can have. 
That evening, we had a delicious traditional Australian dinner at Sage Restaurant in Braddon.  We celebrated with our DEA family…there were 10 of us at dinner.  My red snapper fillet was delicious.  Uri and the girls enjoyed their steak.  The shared entrees (which are appetizers) were served family style as were the desserts.  Jodi surprised me with a small treat in celebration of my birthday (the following day).  It was really sweet.  That evening, Barb told us that on Saturdays the Arts Centre turns into a market with different exhibitors from Aboriginal art, jewellery, food, clothing and other goods.  We came back that Saturday to check it out.  A very successful shopping trip it was.  I found some nice Christmas gifts to send back home.

Uri, Chloe and Dave

Michael, Anabella and Jeff

Barb, me and Jodi

Surprise!  Happy Birthday to me.
 Friday, November 26, my 41st birthday: The girls went to school, Uri went to work and I went for a run.  After, I met Uri for lunch then went shopping.  I found a great sunhat and a pair of black leather thongs (flip-flops).  The girls and I went to the pool in the late afternoon.  We had dinner in the apartment since we had plans to meet our friends the next evening.  All in all it was a very nice birthday.

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