Wednesday, October 31, 2007


its a little late but they're here: pics from canada!

the view from our room at the golf resort china airlines put us up at on the way to canada:

i didn't take any pictures in portland other than the cat pics and video i uploaded before (the one day we wandered around town and it was sunny out i forgot the camera back at the house)

one of about 300 whale shots and videos we took (eventually i might get around to uploading some of the videos):

there's more whale shots on my facebook account.

the seals that hang out at fishermans wharf in victoria (soooooo cute!!):

chips on fishermans wharf (we used to go to barb's fish and chips when i was little and while we waited for our order we'd wander up the jetties and pick out our favourite boat and houseboat):

the view from mout doug (there's a faint red circle kind of near the left side of the land-- i think that's where my mom's house is):

brooke's staggette (one of the least embarrassing shots of the nite):

the newlyweds
brooke, alan, me and zac at the reception:

autumn on the west coast. the left pic is vancouver on our last day there-- looks alot like our first day there where i had to buy new shoes cuz my feet were soaked before we got out of the airport parking lot (i didn't know i had holes in the bottom of my shoes!). the right pic is beacon hill park in victoria (lots of yellow and orange maple trees)

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Monday, October 29, 2007

more wombat....cuz she's cute

zac took this photo of her the other day (tired from chewing up paper):

the baby tucked in her bed (note the paw under her head):

she's been doing amazingly well at sleeping on her own bed since she got back from the kennel. the first week she even tried to settle herself in her dog house when we put her out for her last pee of the nite before bed a few times (i think she thought she was spending the nite outside). when she had jumped up on our bed during the nite we just say "go to bed" and she goes back to her bed and curls up again-- no prying her out from under the doona and dragging her off the bed.
last nite i went to bed early and she went to her bed. we had all the windows and doors open cuz the house was still in the mid 20s even though it was finally starting to cool outside (didn't get below 23C the nite before). the wind had started to pick up and was making the doors bang. i was fast asleep and didn't notice until an extra strong gust slammed the front door and the dog jumped up on the bed with me (she's very scared of the wind). zac came in and tried to resettle her but she was a bit scared. he turned off the lights and came to bed. as soon as he was in bed she jumped up and was a bit nervous. zac resettled her and i figured if she came up again i'd just show her how to sleep on top of the doona at the foot of the bed like a normal dog cuz the wind was still scaring her (even though most of the windows were closed now and the doors were closed). a minute later she jumped up, went to the foot of the bed and curled up (i didn't even have to show her). we let her stay there. i woke up sometime during the nite when the wind had died down and she jumped off the bed and curled up on her own bed. such a good dog.

now she's curled up at my feet under the desk cuz the wind is blowing again and its scaring her (she was trying to crawl up on my lap from under the desk and when that didn't work for her-- her giant head doesn't fit well in small spaces-- she went around the side of my chair and jumped on my lap). when we put her outside when its windy (which she really fights against-- even when the peanut butter kong is involved) she just sleeps on the cement down the side of the house where the wind isn't making as many scary noises. poor girl. this is her first spring in melbourne (probably the windiest time of the year).

home foods

i had the afternoon off so a canadian friend and i decided to head out to usa foods to pick up some stuff we missed from home. its all a bit pricey (i guess cuz of import taxes, shipping and stuff) but it's worth it to treat yourself once in a while. i had to get black beans-- i still find it weird that canned black beans aren't available here but almost every other bean is (well several other beans are at least). both of us saw the triscuits and had to put them in the cart (she got 2 boxes). i love making quick lunch pizzas with bisquick baking mix. the gigantic bottle of hot sauce is one i've been looking for everywhere-- i've tried some others but only ones made in mexico have the right taste. the liquid smoke i thought might be good to try, the pumpkin pie mix is gonna go into a pumpkin ale recipe i found and the hot tamales are for zac (who loves anything cinnamon flavoured-- hot tamales being one of his favourites). we also got a free usa foods green bag with our purchases (that was nice of them).
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

canada pics still coming

i've finally begun going thru hundreds of photos and video clips from our trip so i can put some on here........ they will be up soon but now i'm gonna go make use of the flexicar we have for the next 90 min.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

definately in melbourne

only in melbourne could you have a spring day that hits 33C, still be 27 at midnite and then the next day it quickly and steadily drops down to the mid teens and is very gray and drizzly. the next few days are supposed to be pretty mild but then heading back into the 30s-- we're only in mid-spring! what's summer gonna be like if spring is hitting the 30s?!
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

pet deprivation

while we were overseas we had to get our pet fix. fortunately for us everyone seemed to have a friendly pet for us. while we were in portland we got to play with timber-- brian's roommate's housebound 1 year old cat. i felt a little bad for timber. he was a lot like an attention craving dog. when anyone came home (there's about 20 wooden steps you have to walk up to get to the door and the cat could hear someone on them from anywhere in the house) he would fly across the wooden floors and jump on the couch to see out the window next to the door and this is what he would do:

he was pretty cute though (except his crying during the nite which he only did 1 of the nites we were there, the other nites he just curled up on the couch with me for the nite)

our next pet was my uncle's cute little scruff-ball dog simba:

since being around mostly big dogs the last few years i don't think too much of little dogs. they generally don't seem as smart and just seem to follow one person around constantly. simba was great (most of the time). he obeyed a few commands and he was pretty cuddly.

the other pet we got to play with lots was harvey-- the most photographed cat in the world (according to his people). we went to visit his people on our last evening in vancouver. stephanie told us when we came in that he pretty much keeps to himself and isn't that cuddly (especially when he's on is superman blanket). he let me pat him there for ages! then he fell asleep on the floor with his paw under his head:

we also patted every friendly dog that we saw around portland, vancouver and victoria. i'm glad to be back with our cuddly dog again.

poor sick dog

yesterday morning wombat climbed into bed with us after i went to the washroom at 7am. 30 min later she vomited right in the middle of the bed. i got up and took the fitted sheet off and rinsed it and left it in the laundry room to put in the wash a bit later. wombat went outside and was roaming around the yard so i left the back door open and went back to bed. we layed the flat sheet over the mattress protector and layed down. a few minutes later wombat came back in and jumped on the bed and walked all over my chest. i started to smell a bad smell. then zac noticed a smear of poo where she'd walked on the sheet. i also had a big smear on my shirt where she'd stepped on me! don't know how she stepped in her poo cuz she's usually completely disgusted by the stuff and won't go anywhere near it. so we got the sheet off the bed and my t shirt off me and started to do laundry (i just washed those sheets the day before we left!!). wombat seemed good the rest of the day (she did manage to step in another dog's diarrhoea on her morning walk which she was horrified by and zac gave her a good foot bath to make sure we got rid of it all). when we came home in the afternoon she came inside with her kong and went to her bed in the bedroom to chew on it. i went to check on her later when she didn't come out (she'll usually only stay in there a few min but then wants to see whats going on in the rest of the house). she was sleeping on her bed! she didn't even come out when we ate dinner. i called her out for dinner when we finished eating and she came but wouldn't touch her food (very unlike her). we thought maybe she'd decided to be picky and didn't like the smell of the gnocchi sauce (vegan creamy sun dried tomato and mint) but she wouldn't even take dry dog food from our hands. she had a drink and i gave her some chicken that we had from the neighbour and then just curled up and slept the rest of the evening. when i went to bed i put a couple of her towels down by her bed so if she woke up sick we could just throw a towel down for her. i'm glad i did. 5 min after zac came in she tried to crawl into bed with us. we told her to go back to bed and she did. a minute later we heard her heaving. i grabbed a towel and she vomited there. i took her outside while zac rinsed the towel and hung it up. wombat stood in the yard for several minutes eating grass. we went back to bed and the same thing happened again. after that she went to sleep though and seems ok so far this morning (she's been in our bed for an hour and nothing seems to be coming up). she seems fine other than the occasional vomit and sleeping even more than usual and hopefully she'll have a little breakfast this morning (if she doesn't she's going to the vet i think).

Friday, October 19, 2007

37 hours in transit

i'm gonna start with the end of the trip. its 6:45am, i'm wide awake (i did have a good 10 hr sleep though) and i feel like starting with the end-- the 37 hours of transit.

it starts off with getting on the hotel shuttle bus to the airport where we stand in a VERY long line to check in. we still managed to get emergency exit row seat though 8)
we got on the plane just before lunch for our 12 hr flight to taipei. i don't even know what time it was when we arrived in taipei (i'd assume mid afternoon sometime a day ahead of vancouver). our plan was to do the same as last time (find the couches by the prayer rooms in the airport and try to nap there for most of the 8 hr layover-- this time at least we had some nt dollars and they'd added a subway into one of the food courts so we could eat-- all the other places seemed to only have meat dishes). while we were trying to find our way to the food court and prayer room area we ran into a canadian guy doing the same flight and he wanted to see if there was a hotel in the airport that had hourly rates (zac and i knew there was a transit hotel at the airport--we even knew where it was and i had said to zac that we should check on hourly rates but he said it wouldn't be "that kind" of hotel). while we sat in the food court the canadian guy went over to the hotel. he came back a few minutes later with a piece of paper-- $39us for 3 hrs twin share room plus extra for more hours. he was gonna head over there after he ate and we decided to do the same. that was the most expensive (but really good) nap and shower i've ever had (much better than curling up on the couches in the highly air conditioned prayer room foyer). here's our view from our cute little airport hotel room

i think that rest made the next 9 hr leg of the journey much more bearable (especially since we got stuck in the center of the plane-- at least i had a spare seat between me and the next person so i could kind of lay across part of that and get a bit of good sleep). the australia-taiwan flights have in seat tvs with lots of movies, shows and games to choose from too so in between a couple naps i managed to watch 3 movies and play some video games 8)
we had a 2 hr layover in sydney but most of that time was spent collecting our bags and moving thru customs (which i had NO issues with despite not having my passport validated with my current visa) and quarantine (we also managed to have an australian coffee-- mmmmmm..... back to the land of good coffee-- before getting on the plane to melbourne).
my legs had been feeling really funny (i'd swiched to flip flops before re-checking my baggage in sydney) and i took once we got on the plane to melbourne. i discovered my ankles had swollen to at least twice they're normal size!!! i'd never had that happen from flying (by my mom had the same thing when she flew down at christmas)
i had rolls on the top of my ankle when i flexed it and i couldn't see my ankle bone at all! the flight to melbourne was nothing (only 1h 5 min) but then after collecting our baggage zac's dad met us and drove us all the way to the other side of town to pick up wombat from the kennel before heading home. so by the time we got home we had spent just of 37 hrs in transit from vancouver to here. i was pretty tired but i think poor wombat was even worse off than us (i think she must have spent most of the last couple weeks completely on edge day and nite)

first she just passed out on top of me while i was trying to elevate my ankles:

then she just crashed on her chair (after zac gave her a bath cuz she smelled and looked horrible-- the kennel was supposed to bath her before we picked her up as part of their service but i'm pretty sure they didn't):

she didn't move from there-- even when zac brought home chips and veggie burgers!! she slept thru the nite on her bed and then i woke her up at 6am to come cuddle on our bed. she's still passed out on there with zac.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

a few minor set backs

we made it vancouver on tues morning (early wednesday australia time) after flying melbourne to sydney, sydney to taipei, spending the nite at the golf resort in taipei then flying taipei to vancouver. as we were checking into our flight in sydney i realized that not only did i forget to get my passport endorsed with my current visa status but i also forgot the paper i meant to bring that had my permanent resident visa number on it. the woman at the check in said it was in the computer but i may have a lot of issues trying to get back into the country. hopefully when we go back to vancouver next week i'll be able to get a label in my passport from the australian consulate (i still gotta make a couple calls to find out about that).
when we got to the car hire place at the vancouver airport i discovered that i also forgot my driver's license. fortunately zac didn't take his out of his wallet (he was going to cuz he didn't want to drive at all) so we just hired the car in his name and he drove 500 km each way to portland and back (plus he drove into the city a few hours after we arrived in vancouver). he did really well. his biggest issue was flicking the wipers on every time he wanted to turn (but he does that in australia all the time too cuz half the cars he drives at work are one way and half are the other way).
i did remember to bring my safeway club card so we were able to get veggie dogs 2 for $5 today 8)