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A Day at the Races

A couple of weeks ago my friend Emily Anne asked if Travis and I wanted to attend the Food and Wine event at the Doomben Race Course with her and her husband. Clearly we have a very busy social calendar and had to re-work some things in order to fit it in 😉 Just kidding, I jumped at the chance to go and especially to do something different than we would do on a typical Saturday in Houston.

After some last minute shopping and manicures the day before, we were ready for our first race day experience in Brisbane -actually Travis and my first horse race anywhere. Since I didn’t have any background knowledge on horse races, besides what I managed to scrounge up on google and pinterest, I really had no idea what to expect.

I was nervous about but dressing appropriately but when I got there I realized we fit in just fine. Most of the men were in slacks, ties etc. although I did see a couple rebels sporting some denim (not enough for Travis to get mad at me for making him dress up though) and the ladies were in a whole range of dresses and fun head wear.

Anyone recognize our outfits? 😉

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My partner in crime and I

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Since I had never been to a horse race I really didn’t have much to compare it to. This particular event had different food and alcohol tents set up along the track so you could walk around and try different things. One thing that Emily Anne and Josh did point out was that nobody really seemed to concerned with the actual horse races. You could barely hear the announcer when the races began and everybody just carried on socializing. It did make it easier for us to get a good view as the horses wizzed by.

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I was surprised at how quick each race was. It was perfect for someone with a limited attention span (not that I know anyone like that…).

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They had other entertainment going on as well- including a grape stomping competition. The winner won a vacation package. It mostly just reminded me of I Love Lucy.

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One of the tents we hung out in

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As we headed out to find a cab my dogs were barking. It’s been a good while since I have worn heels for an extended period of time. Clearly I am not the only one with this problem because look what we spotted by the exit.

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Well played, Doomben, well played. Unfortunately my feet were not hurting $20 worth.

Overall we had a great time at the races, it was a fun way to spend a beautiful (almost) Spring Saturday. Thanks to Emily Anne for supplying the higher quality pictures in this post, you can read her post on the day here.

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A Week in Review

I had a really great week here in Brisbane. We’re starting to get into a routine which makes it feel a lot more like home. I officially mailed in my paperwork (and possibly the rights to my first born child) to the Queensland Board of Teachers a week and a half ago so now it’s just a waiting game. Emily Anne has been in this process for almost three months so I’m not expecting to hear back too soon.

In the meantime I am just trying to embrace and ENJOY this season of my life. I’m very lucky to have a hardworking husband whose hard work brought us across the world on a new adventure. So while I do not have a job or children I’m just going to explore my new surroundings, try new things and make new friendships. I’m using this blog to document all of those things. I took quite a few pictures this week so I thought I would do a little recap of the week.

Monday was the first day of Spring in Australia and also Labor Day in the US. Travis had to work of course but Emily Anne, Ameilia (my friends I met through Lorna Jane) and I decided to take a day trip to the Surfer’s Paradise beach. It was still a little chilly for laying out but we will for sure be making some more day trips once the weather warms up.

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IMG_0359What’s a girls trip without Froyo? Clearly I went the healthy route.

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My loot from Wednesday morning at the Farmer’s Market.

IMG_0368This is what happens when I don’t have a classroom to label things in. I label the house.

IMG_0414Pretty flowers at lunch Friday. If you live in Brisbane- check out Raw PawPaw Cafe in New Farm!

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Date Night at Newstead Brewery by our house. Who doesn’t want to eat Macaroni, Brussel Sprouts and Pizza all together?

IMG_0383Saturday exploring the West End and watching a sailboat race at the park.

IMG_0416 IMG_0417On a side note, as lovely as these iphone shots are I’m in the market for a big girl camera. Any suggestions or advice?! I know nothing- I just want something that is easy to use, takes good quality pictures but that I can also improve upon my photography (lack their of) skills with.

“Real Life”

My two week vacation to the States is over and I am back home in Brisbane (it still sounds weird to say that).

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Not a bad place to call home…

When I was in Texas everyone had questions about what my daily life was like here, whether I got bored, what I did all day, how I got places etc. At the time I really didn’t have answers to their questions. We moved here six weeks ago, Travis started working, my brother came to visit and we moved into our apartment, less than a week after that I left to go back to the States.

Now that I am back I finally feel like I can start “real life” and start getting into the routine of things. So now let me answer those questions…

What do I do all day? During the week I have been going to work out classes at Lorna Jane in the mornings. Lorna Jane is a popular Australian fitness clothing store (think Lululemon), the location closest to my house also has a fitness room attached where they offer classes 5-6 times a day for just $2 a class! The classes are very well run and challenging, plus everyone is really friendly. My afternoons are filled with exciting housewife activities like grocery shopping and doing laundry sometimes I go meet Trav for lunch.

Am I going to work? Yes, this leisurely lifestyle can’t last forever… I am currently applying to substitute teach in the public schools as well as some day care and private pre-schools in the area. Getting my teaching certificate registered by the state here is quite a lengthy process which includes getting a background check from the FBI.  So I am going to enjoy my “summer” for a little while longer while I get all of that in line.

How do we get places? We currently do not have a car and are still debating whether or not we will get one. So, we rely on the wonderful public transportation system.  I am not being sarcastic either-it really is great. Luckily, our apartment is right next to a bus stop which has buses going to and from the Central Business District (otherwise known as the CBD- what they call downtown here) every 5-10 minutes. There is also a river ferry stop right at our door step as well.

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Our view from the ferrry Sunday

We bought bikes last week as well. I am still not super confident on the road- apparently cyclists aren’t well loved here, so I’m not sure how much I will be venturing out on my bike without Travis to lead the way. Travis said he will ride his bike to work and I am curious to see if he will…

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Taking a test drive by the river…

Lastly, the most common question I received- What do you miss the most? Besides the obvious answer of our amazing friends and family, I miss unsweet tea. I may or may not have a serious addiction to unsweet ICED tea. In Houston I would start my work day with a large $1 McDonalds cup and often have to creep out during lunch to get more. Since that is not a common beverage choice here in Oz, I had to improvise and go old school and make my own.

Ah... Now it feels like home.

Ah… Now it feels like home.

A close second would have to be Chipotle (no surprise to anyone that knows me well) but they have several similar chains here such as Salsa’s, Guzman y Gomez and The Burrito Bar that help to fill the burrito bowl sized hole in my heart. No luck finding queso yet though… Overall it’s not hard to find anything here that you can find in the US.

Well I hope that answers all of the questions I wasn’t able to answer a couple weeks ago! Next time I will be sharing some exciting upcoming travel plans…