Road Trip

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I ran out of candles. That is as good an excuse as any for an IKEA roadtrip! Plus of course the crossing songs off our list thing, which I mentioned here last week. River commented that it might be better just to download the songs we want in .flac format. My problem is, I do not always know what songs I want until I hear them. I am bad like that and The Other Half is even worse, so this kind of project is a great way for us to recognise what songs are missing from our playlist.

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We stopped at Heatherbrae’s Pies twice on this trip. They are kinda hidden away at the Exeter/Bundanoon exit of the Hume Highway behind Mcdonalds. We first met Heatherbrae’s at their Newcastle location and we are so happy to have them locally.

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The reason we stopped twice is because I got a Chai latte on our first stop and it was *incredible*. That may have been the best cup of coffee I ever had in my life, and I have had a lot of coffee. It is definitely in the top 10. So on the way home I said lets stop again and have dinner. I got the bacon, tomato and cheese quiche. I like how they hide the tomato at the bottom.

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It is super dry everywhere we go at the moment. We have had very little rain this year. We have been advised that this is going to be a very dangerous bushfire season, and as I type this they are putting out a large fire within Booderee National Park, close to one of our favourite bushwalks. More on that in my Wednesday post this week.

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On the way to Canberra there is a large former lake. Actually I don’t know, do you call something a lake if it has no water in it presently? I have not seen much water here for some years now. I remember one time seeing this as a lake, but every other trip it has been grazing land for sheep. And now someone has stuck a bunch of wind farms way out there. One day we will drive to see them, but I have no idea where they actually are or how to get there. :) This is a terrible photo by the way, taken while driving, and the horizon is skewiff. :)

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On arrival at IKEA there were swedish meatballs for lunch. The other half chose to have the meatballs as well, and at some point I said, you know this gravy would be awesome in our cottage pie, and I can buy it in a packet mix from the food section here.

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Which of course I did. ALLEMANSRÄTTEN is everyone’s right to field, forest, and a fine meal with savory sauce, apparently. According to the packet, anyway.

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These Sinnlig candles are very good value at $1.69. I got one of each flavour. Normally I buy the candles at Aldi for $2.99 but these burn almost as long for a smaller price.

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I also bought many Sinnlig $2.79 for 30 tealights, which will be dotted in with my cheaper Glimma $4.99 for 100 tealights.

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The other half picked this little mini-cactus because it spoke to him. And shall we now tell the fascinating story of my dream mini-farm? It will have mini chickens, mini turkeys, mini ponies, mini pigs, mini cows, mini every possible animal. Plus now I will add a mini cactus farm and a mini garden. One day!

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And finally, I got some Frajen bath sheets as a gift for my Mother. These are huge yet quite thin so they dry very fast. I have been using mine all winter and they are great value at $10.99. We dropped in at Costco, grabbing some cheese and a few other treats. It was a very quick stop and soon we were on our way back home. There were kangaroos in the fields everywhere, making me realise that this would become something to watch out for once the sun went down.

We made it to Heatherbrae just after sunset, and picked up a piece of vanilla slice and a custard tart for my parents, the other half got a cream filled donut, I got a cherry and apple pie which I ate the following day for dessert. Soon after leaving Heatherbrae, we met our first wildlife friend.

Happy moments and a fun road trip for us! :) Even with all the wildlife encounters.

Costco, IKEA, shopping

IKEA Haul 2016 – Part 2

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Our kitchen does not have a lot of storage. Fed up with trying to find homes for things, I decided we needed to get some kind of shelving to store all the casserole dishes and oven trays. We ended up with the $199 REGISSÖR. It is very tall and it has solved our storage issue nicely.

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We picked up the $69 RÅSKOG which I have wanted for a while. It is actually perfectly sized to hold our large containers with cling wrap, aluminium foil, and baking paper. I’m using the second shelf to store antibacterial wipes. I was using the third level for plastic supermarket bags but the kitties put a stop to that concept by stealing them at sleeptime, making too much noise.

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We also grabbed the $99 DETOLF for my lounge room area. This gives me yet another place I can safely use candles far from prying kitties.

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Here it is with some of my collectibles inside. Part 1 of this post can be found here.

IKEA

IKEA Haul 2016 – Part 1

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When we dropped the parents off for their flight to Vancouver back in July, we made a visit to IKEA Tempe. The restaurant there is perfectly situated for plane geeks like us if the wind is right – planes fly right past the large picture windows on their way to land on the big runway.

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When the planes aren’t landing, you can enjoy the hilarity of people trying to load things into their cars, in the carpark. It rarely goes well. Somehow people think their cars are a LOT bigger than they actually are. :)

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This IKEA now has a cafe where you can get proper coffee, sandwiches, muffins, cakes and slices. I’m not sure if this is present at all IKEAs yet.

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Of course the Swedish meatballs are always awesome. So what did we buy?

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Candles are always going to end up in the trolley.

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We needed some more KALAS cups. They hold 250ml, are microwave and dishwasher safe, and are plastic, thus Safe For Snoskred Use. We also got some more of the plastic bag sealers. These things are super handy!

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Here you see some ziploc bags, tealight candles, a cake tin, and some LED light globes.

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Chopping boards and glass containers that we use for lunches for The Other Half. He handles them for the most part, as I tend to break glass.

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And finally, some very large mugs. My favourite IKEA mug (scroll down to the bottom of that post) is getting on in years and it gets used every single day. So we bought these ones, which are just as large, to give that poor mug a break from the constant daily use.

Coming up next Monday – we bought two cabinets and a trolley thing. :)

IKEA

IKEA Haul

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When it was time to take the Aunt and Uncle back to the airport after their visit in August – another Aunt and Uncle were also going somewhere that day – they were flying to China. Arrangements were made for a trip using both cars because the Chinese trippers had 4 very large suitcases full of vitamins and baby formula.

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Added in was a meeting with my sister and her partner for lunch at the St George Rowers Club. Because we’d just spent a week with everyone toodling and gallivanting, and we wanted to make sure my sister & co had plenty of family time, we dropped them off at the Rowers and headed to the very close by Ikea at Tempe for a Swedish meatball lunch, and to pick up some items we needed.

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Over our many visits to IKEA, I have discovered the short cuts between various areas. I spotted a staff member going through a very large plastic door to one of the other sections – there was no sign saying staff only so I figured there was no reason I couldn’t use that door myself. Then I found other doors, and on one visit we were really hungry and discovered if you take a left at the top of the escalators, you could go right to the cafe.

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Maybe the shortcuts are a new addition to the maps, or maybe back when we started going there I was so deer in the headlights I did not even read the maps. I’m not sure. I was surprised to see them on the maps as I always felt like it was a bit of a secret squirrel thing. ;)

What we most needed were tealight candles and large square oven trays. They had some new flavours to try – the coconut one is very awesome.

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These DRÖMMAR oven trays are huge and fit nicely in our new oven.

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I also got some more of these cups which I’ve had several sets of – these ones are a different colour. Christmas colours, you could say. Two of these cups = one bottle of Soda Stream.

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They had my favourite rubbish bin in pink this time which I could not resist.

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We thought these mugs were a decent size for the second coffee cup of the day, and we’ve been enjoying them afternoons when The Other Half arrives home. I like mine with a side of the ginger Ikea biscuits we bought.

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I got some straws for spring and summer milkshakes and smoothies – I picked up a second egg slicer as I was using our present one daily and thought a second would be handy – we thought we would try this glass storage container and if we like it next time we are there we will pick up some more.

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I spotted these gorgeous metal candle holders near the bathrooms next to the restaurant. I did not pick any up, thinking they would be found in the market hall. Of course, they were nowhere to be seen there, and I had to trek all the way back upstairs. I’ve got a silver pineapple and now these, there is a bit of a silver theme running on my candle shelf. I love that they reflect different shapes onto the wall.

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I took a couple of candles from each packet to put in my small container and stored the rest away together in the candle container. They will keep me going for quite some time, even though I am burning candles daily here.

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We also loved these bathmats. We put them on the floor for the kitties to sniff and roadtest. We have one bathmat with an inside of memory foam and neither of them will walk on it, because it feels weird to their feet. They like these new ones, though. They got right onto scenting them up.

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Happy moments were had by all. :)

Happy Snoskred, IKEA, shopping

Long day..

What the?

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No, I’m sorry, we need the fuel guzzling turbo section. WHERE IS THE SPECIAL CARPARKS FOR THAT? ;)

We visited both Ikea and Costco. Found perfect sized wire baskets at Ikea for the deep freeze (so you don’t have to be an archaeologist to find stuff) as well as a bunch of great candles on sale..

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Then off to Costco, where we spent about 3 hours. And $849. On mostly fresh food as well as a lot of nuts in bulk – without added sugar which is relatively rare, for Costco at least.. We did pick up some frozen stuff as well. Unfortunately I did not get much meat. I think I’ll try to source that locally.

I have to find cauliflower and broccoli tomorrow as they did not have much in the way of that. If I go to Aldi super early I might manage to find some decently priced. With all the tourists down here at the moment it goes very quick.

Probably you will ask why go all that way to buy fruit and veg – the fruit and veg available here is not good and it is costly. The apples at Costco are twice the size of the ones sold here. In the trolley below the capsicums you see are 6x 3 different colors for $5.99 – you would pay $5.99 for one orange one here. You can get green ones cheap sometimes. The massive thing of 1kg baby spinach for $9.99 – you’d probably get 200g for that here unless you lucked out and found it at Aldi.

Here are some trolley shots. Yes, we had two trolleys in the end. How it all fit into the one originally I have no idea.

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I’d like to have taken some more here it is at home shots, but I came home with a shocking headache so I’ve had to invoke the Forte. Panadeine Forte, that is. I did manage one.

Going to catch some serious zz’s before the big cooking day tomorrow.

Costco, IKEA, prep for going paleo, shopping

Nobody Likes Spiders In Their Shoes.

I live in Australia. We have some of the biggest, ugliest, most venomous and scariest spiders in the world. Do not fear, I am not putting photographs of them here. :) But I did want to mention that I have found a great solution to something many Australians have experienced and tend to fear quite a bit.. spiders climbing into your shoes.

This has happened to me a few times. There seemed to be no solution to it. There never seemed to be any easy way of putting shoes somewhere that spiders can’t get into them. I tend to bang my shoes on the ground so that if there’s any spiders inside they would fall out.

Long time readers of the blog know that I am a major fan of IKEA. The last time I was there I saw these shoe cabinets that you attach to the wall and I thought that was an excellent idea. I couldn’t find a price on them and I thought they would be hugely expensive but today I was at their website and I thought to look for them. I nearly fell over when I saw how cheap they were, only $79! I also found that they have this gorgeous shoe cabinet which will fit in my hallway perfectly. I just have to double check to make sure my shoes will fit. I have huge feet for a woman. :)

Why am I suddenly worried about this? Eeek it is too scary to link to it, but last week a woman here had a Funnelweb spider in her *towel* which bit her. Funnelwebs are big, black, ugly, and VERY poisonous. Don’t do an image search, your skin will crawl for hours. I had been told they were only to be found within a 20km radius of Sydney, but the local hospital here treats several cases of funnel web bite each year. Wonderful! We have them here too. So now I think I need to get me a shoe cabinet.

And believe me, I am carefully checking my towel like my life depends on it every morning. I’ve held myself back from going into a major vacuuming and cleaning everything to make sure there’s no evil creatures fit, but only barely. The urge is growing. If I vanish for a couple of days you’ll know the urge took over.

fears, IKEA, spider

Meeting A Fellow Blogger, Ikea, Cameras, Insurance.

Yesterday we took a little trip to Sydney. Our camera lens was finally ready to pick up. Canon had called us earlier in the week and let us know.

I’ve been on the internet since 1992. Some of the best people I have ever met I originally got to know via the internet. I used to be a part of an IRC chat group in Adelaide and they had meets all the time. I met The Other Half that way. We have ICQ text logs of our early chats that go on for pages and pages.

One of the other people I met, Simon, became our house sitter. He is the most beautiful person, inside and out. He went on to meet himself a girl who is also just as beautiful inside and out. Then they would both house sit for us. When we left Adelaide, we left them a lot of our furniture – and our fish tank!

Internet VS “Real Life” –

Always whenever we moved, our internet friends were the ones who showed up to help while the “real life” friends had excellent excuses. I soon learned I would rather have an internet friend than a “real” one – especially when we went through the difficult times with the other half’s ex wife. My internet friends stuck by me, the real life friends were nowhere to be seen. Not a one of them, and I’m not joking about that.

Plane Crazy –

We also met a lot of plane spotter friends online, some of whom became very dear friends indeed. One of them was a mentor to many of the younger plane spotters and encouraged them to go after their dreams, whether it was being a pilot, whether it was photography, or working as a plane engineer. Many of his mentees now work for Qantas, Virgin Blue and other international airlines. On top of all that, he was just the best bloke, funny and great to be around. People gravitated towards him. He was a magnet.

He also had cancer but he never complained about it, in fact a lot of people had no idea. When he died, we drove all the way from Adelaide to Sydney in order to be at the funeral. We felt like we had to be there and I am so glad we made that effort. I still miss him very much. His absence is noticeable in the community. He kept the egos out of it and since he left us to go to the great airplane spotting mound in the sky complete with beer and comfortable recliners the egos have got a bit out of control, sadly.

Scambaiter = Paranoid –

Then in 2004 I became a scambaiter and I suddenly became a bit.. paranoid. Well not exactly paranoid, more like determined to be anonymous. I was happy to be friends with the internet people we knew but I became a lot less open to meeting new people, especially people who knew about the baiting. I did meet with some scambaiters here in Australia, one of whom I adore (yeah that’s you Dbest03, and when are you coming to visit us on the South Coast?) and have met again since. Since moving to New South Wales we had not met anyone from the internet at all.

But Not Anymore –

All that changed yesterday. Meg from Dipping Into The Blogpond had invited us to drop in when we went to pick up the camera so right after Canon called I sent her an email and arranged to visit on Friday. We had a lovely time and Meg and her Other Half are wonderful people. I am hopeful the visit will be returned soon – and perhaps some of the Canberra bloggers might venture over to join us as well. Facibus, that means you!

Mild Confusion Reigned At Canon –

There was one unhappy moment in the day – when we got to Canon, there was some confusion over who was supposed to pay for the lens repair. Canon had not sent an invoice to the insurance company – which the insurance company had requested in their fax when they approved the repairs to go ahead. I don’t know how they expected to get paid if they didn’t send the invoice! We had to find a couple of grand on the spot in order to take our lens home with us – I’ll take the receipt into the insurance agency on Monday to get reimbursed. Yes, you heard it right – the repair was just under $2,000 – which is why we have specified insurance for that lens, for accidental damage as well as theft. I can tell you an iron grip will be kept on that camera lens from now on. We don’t want to go through that again!

People, insure your stuff –

It’s worth it. Our policy covers us to go anywhere in Australia with that lens and be covered for any event that might happen with it. It costs us the grand total of .60 cents a day to have four items specified – two laptops, the camera and lens. On top of that our policy itself covers us for unspecified personal effects up to $2,000.

A Pit Stop @ Temporal Vortex –

That unhappy moment was soon forgotten when The Other Half announced he was taking me to Ikea. YAY! All I wanted was a timer which would sit on my desk and chime when 55 minutes was up – then I can reset it for my 10 minute break. I almost got sucked into the temporal vortex when a chandelier called my name and told me to buy it. I was drawn to it and found myself standing there, holding the price tag ($29AUD, how reasonable) looking up at its brilliance, going all deer in the headlights. The Other Half did not notice I was missing because he was looking at computer chairs. When he spotted me he knew what was going on and he rescued me quickly, gently leading me away from the brilliance I wanted to buy. Unfortunately they did not have any left to sell. :(

But he did find me a springform cake tin, and a set of in trays which I wanted. It was a cheap Ikea trip at just under $50 and it was superfast, too. We were there for less than an hour.

Music Played –

Before we left we quickly created two cds – one each. It was a lot of music we hadn’t heard in a while and we totally rocked it out in the car, singing along. Neither of us can hear each other singing in the car – now that is a sign of a good car stereo! At least I always thought it was because I used to have a friend who was totally tone deaf who liked to sing.. ;)

Happiness Reigns –

Since moving in here – both the house and the new blog – days have been joyous. I have a lot of organization going on and it feels wonderful. I’ve been cooking some great meals. We had a week of cheesecake last week. I also have some fantastic incense and new oils for my oil burner which are keeping the house smelling amazing. The chores have been cut down because I am keeping on top of them. The kitties are happy, I’m happy, the other half is happy. I know that me merely mentioning this may cause some to dislike me or be mad at me purely based on my being happy, but I figured I should share it. Those who are my real friends will be happy for me. ;)

Blog Friends, IKEA, Sydney

Not every post here..

has to be some kind of profound statement. ;) Today I would like to mention that Meg wrote a great Beginners Guide to StumbleUpon which is worth a read, and ya’all should seriously think about getting on the StumbleUpon train. It’s a lot of fun.

And, I have a couple of photos for you.

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This is the mirror I got from Ikea, which we finally got the courage to hang.. ;)

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I’m taking some time to work on art today, and I might have some pictures of that for you tomorrow. In the meantime, be good! ;)

blog housekeeping, IKEA

Sydney Trip Wrap Up – Ikea Goodness

I’ve been meaning to post these pics since Sunday, but other blogging got in the way. So finally here they are. ;)

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This next pic shows one of my most prized items from the trip – the Rabalder.

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See the little suction cups on the end of the dishwashers so you can stand them up on their end? I love these things, they’re brilliant.

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The batteries, we found out, are made by Varta, which explains why they are so good. So we bought a lot of them. Shoot me, it’s environmentally unfriendly, but rechargeables have never worked out too well for me, and my mouse is cordless and I use it. A lot! The little alarm clocks in the pic, cost $1AUS and mine sits here on my desk, I love it.

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The most expensive thing I bought was this mirror. It was $49. I love it!

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One great thing about Ikea is there’s always something for the other half to build. These are fantastic laundry solutions for us. I wheel them down to the laundry when it’s time to wash.

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These are the books I got from Borders.

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And finally, the view on waking up on Saturday Morning.

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I was so excited about the blue and yellow building, I didn’t even spot this part of the view until the other half pointed it out. ;) Yes, I am an Ikea addict.

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IKEA

This Boeing 747 may come to you as a surprise

Sydney

The Sydney Harbor Bridge – view from my hotel room.

Hi ya’all! Sitting in my rather luxurious hotel room just having eaten a lovely dinner. :) :)

I woke up this morning in a different hotel – we chose to stay at two different places – at Olympic Park to a beautiful view from the window of the big blue and yellow building we all love. While the other half showered I looked out the window dreaming of Ikea shopping. When he got out of the shower he pointed out that also in the view was the city of Sydney, and the Harbor Bridge. I hadn’t even spotted it.

Let me tell you about Ikea shopping on a Saturday. We’d only ever been during the week before. Apparently on a Saturday every man, woman and child in need of *something* turns up at Ikea. It was packed. And we discovered that people in the city in general (not counting any of you reading this who are in a city because obviously you’re much better behaved!) are rude, pushy, and even happy to walk smack bang into you if you don’t get out of their way. They’ll push their trolley into you, and it’s not because they didn’t see you. They did see you, they just don’t give a shit. They’re hoping to hit you and they hope it hurts because you shouldn’t be in their way, though they *might* say sorry if you catch them in the act. They drive just like that, too. It’s scary.

At one point I was looking for this little ufo shaped power board called something like a rabalder – it’s not on the website. I couldn’t see any but I really wanted it. I have a thing about plugs and Ikea were using these all through their lighting section, they are beautiful, I can’t really describe it. So I was walking around, calling its name, hoping I would find it somewhere. Then, like it was dropped out of the sky, I found one sitting in a basket. It was the only one available to buy. It must have been meant to be! And no, it didn’t seem weird to the city people that I was walking around calling an inanimate object.

I’d forgotten how crazy city people dress, too. There was a guy in Adelaide who used to get around town in just a black leotard. He was pretty tall and quite noticeable. It was raining a lot here today so I didn’t spot any leotards but I did see a few outfits worthy of an arrest by the Fashion Police.

So after Ikea and Lone Star, we drove down Parramatta Road into town. This is because we had heard rumours of many car yards on this road, and we want to get a look at the new model Corolla. However when we did find Toyota it wasn’t possible to park there, so we kept going. Into the city where we handed the car to Valet Parking and entered 5 star heaven. This place is so gorgeous it puts a smile on your face just to walk into it. I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels but this must be the most pretty. No wonder my sister won’t stay in anything less than 5 star.. :)

At one point during the drive here, a 747 just appeared above us. It was nice to see something bigger than a pelican in the sky. :) Maybe some plane spotting and Krispy Kremes on the way home tomorrow.

This afternoon we remembered it was ages since we’d been to a proper bookstore so we went in search of Borders, and I got me a few nice books. One by Gene Kranz from Nasa during the early years, I’m looking forward to reading that. I’ve seen him interviewed many times and he’s such a lovely guy.

Late checkout tomorrow so we’re going to lounge around before heading home. No aquarium, it was too rainy and a bit far to walk after we’d already walked around half the city – we thought we’d eat room service and chill out a bit.

There were Americans in the lift – the first time I’ve seen friendly people since we got here. :) Other than the Hotel Staff.. lol slightly but I am actually serious. Sad but true.

IKEA