|Is it just me, or does Zack look a little nervous here? Maybe he's just tired after such a long flight!|
On April 29, 2011, we landed in Melbourne, Australia with eight boxes, four suitcases, a couple of instruments, a bike, and golf clubs (which Zack still hasn't used!). We had no idea where we were going or what we were doing, but we made it work. Now we have jobs, friends, furniture, a few more bikes, a couple of new hobbies, and lots of awesome memories. We've had family and friends come visit, and we've seen so much of this beautiful country. Oh, and we have almost 30,000 hits on this blog!
When trying to think of how best to summarize our first year here, I decided to get the negatives out of the way first. There are eight main things that have bothered me while living in Australia. The links will take you back to related blog posts.
1. Missing our dog Molly.
2. Little annoyances and inconveniences.
3. Difficulties with airlines.
4. Zack's ridiculous workload.
5. Rainy, gray weather.
6. Being so far away from family.
7. The lack of holiday celebrations.
8. The loud and/or annoying birds, especially the pooping pigeons.
I was flipping through my online picture albums and realized that there are hundreds of happy memories I could share, but I've really kind of already done that on this blog over the past year! So instead, I narrowed it down to ten memorable moments that made me think, "Wow, being in Australia is an amazing experience." I've included the links in case you want to reread the old blog posts related to each memory. These are in no particular order:
1. Wading through knee-deep water with my sister Morgan while seeing hundreds of waterfalls stream down Uluru.
2. The feeling of awe upon seeing the Sydney Opera House for the first time.
3. Mountain biking among the huge, hopping kangaroos at Lysterfield.
4. Hanging out on beautiful Johanna Beach on Christmas night with glow sticks.
5. Seeing hundreds of incredible sunsets and several fireworks shows from our apartment balcony.
6. Belting out 80s songs on our walk home from the tram after the Rock of Ages show for Zack's birthday.
7. My brother Justin showing me "Nemo" while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef.
8. Surfing alone in the clear, blue water at Bondi Beach and treating myself to an ice cream cone afterward.
9. Biking to go see Queen Elizabeth II ride down St Kilda Road in a royal tram on a random weekday.
10.Watching wombats crawl around our tent at Wilsons Promontory.
Okay, contest time. This one is meant to satisfy my own curiosity, reward our readers, and help me plan for future blog entries. To enter, please leave a comment on this post with answers to each of the following questions:
1. Who are you, and where do you live?
2. What has been your favorite blog post, and why?
3. What is your favorite picture on this blog, and why?
4. How long have you been a reader of this blog?
5. How often do you check or read this blog?
6. What are some topics you'd like to see covered in upcoming blog posts?
7. What is one thing that you think Zack and/or I should be sure to do before our second year Australia-versary?
8. Anything else you'd like to share? Compliments, bribes, etc. are all accepted. :)
The winner will be chosen at random. Your comment with answers to the questions above is worth one entry. But you can earn extra entries! With each person you get to "follow" our blog either as a member or by e-mail, you get an additional entry. If you share a link to our blog on your Facebook page, Twitter, or on your blog, you earn three extra entries! Just let me know if you have earned additional entries somehow. The deadline is May 5 (yes, I'll wait until the end of May 5 in the United States!).
Now I suppose you want to know what you will win? Well, if you live outside of Australia, I will send you an Australian prize pack. I'm not quite sure what that means yet, but I promise it will be worthwhile. Trust me. If you live within Australia, I'll send you a United States prize pack. And if you're American but live in Australia, well, then I'm not sure what I'll do, but I'll work something out. Good luck, and thanks for playing along.
Happy one year Australia-versary to us!
|Our last "family" photo on the shores of Lake Michigan before leaving. Molly does not look amused that we are going to Australia without her. And our lovely mix of cold weather gear borrowed from my parents is especially attractive!|