Travel Snap Tuesday

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm talking about Seattle today. Seattle was a blip on my US trip, I was there for only a matter of hours really, probably less than 24. Enough to see the famous space needle (from a distance!) and spend some hours at Stevens hospital (a story for another day!)

But, there was something I experienced in Seattle that made it a massive stand out on my trip to the Pacific North-West. Two words: Beth's Cafe. This place was everything I ever guessed Seattle to be: Super, Uber, Cooool. You walk in and you really just think.. hmm.. greasy spoon diner. But take it in. The walls are covered in artwork that patrons have drawn. There are stick figures, detailed portraits, words of thought. It'd take you hours to peruse them all. It's like wallpaper.

What else is Beths known for? HUGE portions. Beth's was even on Man Vs Food for it's 12 egg omelette.

Yes, you read that right, TWELVE EGG OMELETTE. Can you even imagine?! Even the 6 egg is massive, and comes served atop a mountain of Beths hash browns. The coffee refills are frequent, and the staff are friendly. It makes for the coolest atmosphere. You've not experienced hip, until you've experienced Beths.

Join in on Travel Snap Tuesday at Little Miss Moi's blog.

What's news?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I thought I might do a weekly blog entry about something that has held my attention in the media for the week. It might be good news, it might be sad news, it might be silly news.

This week, I was all set to write about the kickarse Aussie dollar, and how good it is for me going to the US in 3 weeks, but it was superseded when, on Friday, arrests were finally made over the death of 6 year old Kiesha Abrahams. A day later, it was obvious, that those accused of her murder, were her mother and stepfather. Few of us would have been surprised by this. I think most of us suspected them from the outset when she was reported missing, 9 months ago.

In reading the linked article about her short life, and how she was treated, it reminded me of some of the work I have done in the past. I've not mentioned it much, if at all, but before having my own children, I was employed as a Child Support Worker at a high security domestic violence refuge. My role was pretty multi-faceted. I worked on safety with the children, I gave them recreation and fun again, I advocated for them in schools, court, and with police.

It wasn't an easy job, and it was rarely rewarding. I recall working really hard with one family, feeling I had made a significant difference in the childrens lives. I had them in school, I had behavioural issues correcting, they were in counselling and I had accompanied them to the police to make some pretty hard to hear statements about their life with the perpetrator. It was really a gutting feeling the morning I came to work to find they had done a runner over night. Their mother had taken them back to the perpetrator. It was a hard lesson for me to learn about hope and reality.

Another family I worked with, told of abuse at the hands of their father. Cigarettes held to their faces, burning them, sexual assaults, being locked outside the house in freezing temperatures for hours on end. How's a kid supposed to recover from this stuff? I often wonder where these children are now. This was ten years ago now, they'd be adults. I wonder if they made it?

Reading about Kiesha Abrahams made me think of them again. She was another who was not so lucky. And she had no one to protect her. As awful as this sounds, part of me is grateful for her. It took death, but she escaped the abuse. She's free now. No one can hurt her anymore.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Enjoy your chocolate coma!

Travel Snap Tuesday

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This week I am going to talk flights! We may not be the furthest country from America, but it's one hell of a flight. It is the 24th longest non-stop flight in the world, according to Wiki. Add to that, I have to fly from Melbourne to Sydney first, and it is one hell of a long day. It's a 14 hour non-stop haul from Sydney to the US. At times, it feels like the little map on the telly of the plane crossing the ocean is going backwards. It's a long time cramped in a wee airline seat.

This is the line for a pat down. JOY. Shoes off, metals out, laptop out, pat down. Security hard core. I suck at keeping myself amused on long flights, as it turns out. I watched some of the movie, tried to sleep, tried to read... It sucks.

What are your tips for long haul flights? What are your must have travel take alongs?

Travel Snap Tuesday comes to you from Little Miss Moi. Go join in!

Are you my friend?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

If so, then there is something I want to say to you. THANK YOU.

Almost every single day, one of my friends will say or do something that makes me aware of how lucky I am to have so many awesome people in my life. Some I have never met, only known as an online presence. Doesn't diminish how important they are in my day to day life.

Seriously, the people I talk with all the time on twitter, the friends I see regularly, the ones I have only seen once or twice, the ones I email all the time, or only on odd chance, the ones I facebook message, the ones that comment on a status... I have such beautiful, smart, amazing friends. I learn from them regularly, and I find comfort from them often. I really am lucky.

It'd take me ages to message each of you individually, and I'd be terrified of missing someone along the way, but please know, I appreciate you. I am grateful for you. I love you.

"Thank you for being a friend..."

Photo credit:

I love food

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Too much, really. But I do. I love the process of cooking, too. I recently asked a vegan friend for some of her recipes. I don't know that I am capable of being vegan (cheese, chocolate...) but I really want to at least try and cut meat from my diet as much as possible. Anyway, this week I tried 2 of her recipes. I have to say, they surprised the hell out of me. Tasty is an understatement. They were divine. I love chickpeas at the best of times, so I loved the recipe that featured those. Then she introduced me to quinoa.

I cooked it up, looked at it and thought. Hmm. Really? Doesn't LOOK like it's going to be thrilling. It was amazing. The recipe was a stuffing mix for roasted capsicums, but I could have eaten just it by the bowlful. Why did I now know this before??? The same friend sent me a 3rd recipe this week. With her current strike rate, there is no way I'll be passing it up! Who needs meat?!

Fave Flicks Friday

Friday, April 15, 2011

I have watched zero movies this week. Unless you count endless Wiggles & Pixar DVD's. Which I don't. Ohhh school holidays. The last DVD I watched, was The Social Network.

And I loved it, Zuckerberg is an ass you can't help but admire. Quite a conundrum. And Reznor's score was absolutely deserving of it's Oscar win. Loved it. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Another film from my "All Time Favourites" list this week, and it goes to good Will Hunting.

Can you believe this movie is now 14 years old!? Wow I feel old now. I love Matt Damon, I love that he and Affleck wrote this themselves, I love the psychology in it, and love the storyline. "I gotta see about a girl..." <3

Fave Flicks Friday comes to you from Mez's blog over at Days Like These, go read and join in!

Those Special Moments

Thursday, April 14, 2011

RJ was a ratbag yesterday. Wouldn't eat her lunch or dinner, 'no' was the word of the day... So when she asked to sleep in my bed last night, I wasn't jumping at it. Then again, I am a sucker, and I agreed. Let me tell you, there is nothing sweeter than having her fall asleep, her hand gripping my little finger tightly. I lay there in the dark, remembering all those negative pregnancy tests, all the invasive procedures, the humiliation of it all, the lack of dignity, every needle, every dollar, every disappointment over 5 long years. At the time, it was hell. Now, in the face of this sweet babe, it diminishes and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat for moments such as these. To say she was worth every moment is an obvious understatement.

When people ask my greatest achievement, the clear answer is my kids. But in all honesty, it's hard not to choose something that you obtain after such a rough, long, hard slog. When you put yourself out there for that humiliation and pain over and over, and you keep fighting and believing that someday, eventually, it will pay off. It's blind faith. It's sheer stubbornness. Determination. Those 5 years were agony. The 3 before F hard as well. But I did it. I got these two amazing angels who love me unconditionally. Who call me Mama with love. Who make my heart burst. Not everyone has a journey to parenthood as difficult as I did, I used to envy them. I don't anymore. Now I know that my journey has given me the most enormous appreciation and value for these kids. Every moment is cherished. Thats a gift that you can't put a price on.

Travel Snap Tuesday

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Have you ever come across the perfect restaurant on your travels? I have. This was my dessert at the Antica Trattoria on Russian Hill in San Francisco. It was a cherry chocolate cake, cherry sauce... It was amazing. I had it with a wee glass of real deal moscato. Whilst I was eating it, the sun set over the San Francisco horizon in brilliant colors. I was eating by candlelight with a beautiful friend. It was one of those "need to freeze time right here, right now" moments that you drink in and absorb as much as you possibly can.

I went googling the place so that I could share it's exact address with you all, and I am devastated to read it has closed. What a shame :( The service was so wonderful, it's a definite loss. I'm glad I was able to go there when I did. The dinner of a thousand memories.

Travel Snap Tuesday comes to you from Little Miss Moi.

Fave Flicks Friday

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm such a movie buff, so I love Mez'x idea of a Fave Flicks Friday. Check it out over at her blog Days Like These... and join in the fun!

My all time favorite movie in the history of ever, is Stardust.

It's based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, and is a beautiful love story. I'm not normally a fantasy realm kinda gal, but the storyline of this had me captured, the descriptions of love and what it feels like to finally find the real deal had me goosebumpy. I just love it. Tristan is a dream, and Yvaine is a feisty, passionate star. Perfection!

My other rec for this week, is Black Swan.

I know it's relatively new, and probably not on DVD yet, but when you can watch it, do so. It seems to me, people came out of this movie either loving it or scratching their heads and saying WTF? I loved it. I love the imagery, I love the psychology, and the questions, and I love that some of Nina's psychotic visions are things that could easily have come straight from my nightmares and my brain. It was really cool to see what could be done with the stuff in my head. Beautifully artistic, this movie is definitely joining my top movies list.

Don't forget to add your linky to Mez's post when you're done!

Farewell Chapter

Last night, J and I decided what we wanted to do with our remaining frosty babe. When we had the IVF cycle for RJ, we had a lower grade embryo frozen at the same time. 3 years on this month from falling pregnant, we have made a decision on what to do with that embryo. Neither of us want more children, I know that I am done, but finalising that decision was surprisingly painful. I was not expecting that. This decision was what I knew it would be. So it surprised me that I felt sad. Closing a definite door on more children is a difficult decision for most women, I think. Infertile or otherwise.

I guess too, when you've lived in the infertility world for so many years, and fought a vicious battle to get the children you have, it seems terrifying to let a possibility go. I cannot bring myself to donate the embryo to another couple. It would be a full blooded sibling to my two, and I'd find that really difficult. In all honesty, I'd be surprised if it survives thaw anyway, let alone takes when transferred. I don't want to throw it away, though, either. J and I decided we would donate it to science. In this way, I feel I am still helping couples facing infertility. Still making a difference, albeit a tiny one.

No more babies. Deep down, I am okay with this, but it still caused some grief, I still cried last night. Today, I'll make the phone call and set it in motion. What a strange feeling it is. I'm so grateful to science for enabling me to have RJ, I hope this gives something back.

Travel Bugs Bite!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My yearning to see the world is growing stronger and stronger. What are your top 5 must see places? Mine are as follows:

1. Italy
My one true love. This one will take me a while, there is so much I want to see. Mostly, the Amalfi coast and Rome, but Venice, Florence, Tuscany, the Cinque Terre, the swiss border... Ahhh. So much beauty, history, and romance. I can die happy, once I have conquered my beloved Italy.

2. France
I think it is the class that draws me here. The culture. I need to see the Louvre, the Arc de Triumph, The Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees... I need to shop, and drink wine, and be sexy and charismatic!

3. Ireland
This one is all about roots. My family is ever so Irish, my great grandmother would send us over the road to the park to hunt for leprechauns as children. We are from Mullingar in County Westmeath, so I would love to check that out. And the accents... Oh my. Accent heaven.

4. Peru
How amazing is Machu Picchu? Seriously, this place gives me a feeling of awe and magic. The history is palpable, even in pictures - imagine what it would be like to see it in person? Powerful.

5. China
It might be the Great Wall, it might be the bustle and busy as well as the history and architecture. It's certainly on my must-see list of world stops.

Then there is Egypt, India, New Zealand... So many more. What about you?

Wordless Wednesday: Be Inspired

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Photo Credit:

A leaf falls...

I went out for dinner last weekend, for a best friends birthday. It was a really nice night, good company, good food, and lots of laughs. What struck me, though, was how odd it felt that there were 3 couples, and me. It felt very lonely, despite being surrounded by people. I tried to imagine when I ever take someone along to meet my friends, how it will feel, what it will be like. It's a hopeful feeling, but it gets scary sometimes, feeling this alone. I love this poem by Cummings, it's so beautiful, in so many ways. Pure, beautiful, art. It makes me feel a little less alone.





- E.E. Cummings.

Travel Snap Tuesday

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Here's something I notice about America - they LOVE their bacon. Seriously. Like, it's not just "oh, it's Sunday, let's do bacon and eggs for brekky" kind of love. It's more "zOMG is there anything we CAN'T put bacon in?!" love. For example, though I didn't come across any myself, I am told there is very definitely, a bacon flavoured vodka. Whilst you may initially screw your face up at the very idea, if you think about it, a bloody mary made with bacon vodka would be pretty tasty, amirite??

The other thing they've done, is put bacon in chocolate. Oh. Yes. They. Did.

I was tickled to get this as a gift, and brave enough to give it a try. It really just tasted slightly salty as well as chocolatey, and we all know salt and chocolate are a tried and true match, so it's not as big a leap as first thought. Ironically, American bacon itself, I did not try. I'm not sure why this is, but I'll be certain to rectify that with my visit next month.

The Travel Snap Tuesday concept comes to you from Little Miss Moi :)

Updated US trip Itinerary

Friday, April 1, 2011

14 Arrive. check in, relax. food shop?

15 Mann's Chinese Theatre, hands and sidewalk stars/hollywood sign on the way to Pasadena for gold class movie

16 WB Studio tour/Madame Tussauds /disney drive by? UCLA? evening - baseball Dodgers V Brewers

17 San Diego day trip, Get to meet Matthew from childsplayx2! Maybe Santa Monica pier or Venice Beach at sunset.

18 Brunch with Kathy before we head off to Vegas. LA-LV (via Red Rock canyon? bellagio fountains, strip (assume dinner with Kellee, Kristen, and Abbie) Hoping to fit in the CSI experience.

19 LV-LA-NY, travel day

20 WTC site and museum, Statue of Liberty... evening broadway - The Lion King/Times Square (toys r us!)

21 FAO Schwartz, Central Park, The Met museum ... evening comedy cellar

22 RockerfellerTotR/ MoMA / Greenwich/ SoHo - general shopping and exploring

23 Empire State Building. NY-LA-Home