2013

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Well. There it was. I have 12 hours left of 2013 and it is time to reflect on what has been quite an action packed year.

It began with my family in Canada. I think I need to go back every once in a while to remind me what winter is all about.  I’ve said it before and I mean it, I’m probably more cold in Australian winters because they are completely in denial of their weather and refuse to acknowledge proper heating and insulation. But there is something about the biting cold in an Albertan winter that is truly unique.  The bracing wind like sandpaper on your skin. The same wind that makes your eyes water. Though lord knows how it would be evolutionarily adaptive to have frozen drops of water on your eyelashes.

Despite the freezing cold, I made my Dad take me to my favourite place on earth – Heritage Park in Calgary. Seriously, it is my favourite place ever. Only to be made better if they banned children. Alas because it was the dead of winter, and only open for a special Christmas event, many of the areas were not open.  The trains are by far the best part of the entire park and they were very sadly not open for viewing. But I did get this amazing view of the Glenmore Reservoir.

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These beautiful winter scenes make the snotcicles almost bearable. This trip I tried to soak up everything I had been missing. This meant a Tim Horton’s double-double every day.  Hawkins Cheesies. And chicken wings that aren’t $4 each. And what is more Canadian that dogsledding!?

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This was an amazing day.  The crisp blue skies with the white dreamy clouds set the perfect stage for the majesty of the mountains. Despite nearly freezing my butt off, it was a truly spectacular day.

The surprise of the day? My guide was Australian. Yep. Australian.

Later that month I returned to North America for job interviews in Maine and Boston.  I really, really wanted the Maine job, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. But the visit wasn’t wasted. I got to experience one of the worst snow storms on record and spent an entire day in a hotel.

While I didn’t land the job in Maine, I did get a new job in Melbourne, the best city in Australia.

I chose my apartment for it’s character. It is an old, Art Deco building with curved walls and an amazing old phone box.

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Alas, character doesn’t keep you warm, and while this place is very cool, it is also very cold. When it is 6 degrees outside, it is 6 degrees in here.  There were even some days when I’m pretty sure it was colder inside that it was outside!

Within weeks of moving in, I hopped on a plane to Barcelona for a conference and foolishly agreed to rent a car and drive to Munich.  I’m pretty sure any other mode of travel would have been easier and cheaper. Seriously.

The highlight of the trip was Zermat, Switzerland. Despite our somewhat confused arrival.  Moments before I noted that the GPS said we had 16kms to go, but that our arrival time would still be an hour away.  Even the worst, windiest, hair raising mountain passes had been faster than that! Suddenly, the GPS announced that we had reached our destination but we struggled to spy our hotel. After circling the block a few times, we decided to park go into a different hotel to ask for directions. We were informed “You can’t drive to Zermat”.  Wha?

Apparently, our “destination” was the train station across the road.  Turns out, the ascent to Zermat is so steep and treacherous that driving is not a good idea.

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The most amazing thing was that we arrived in Zermat exactly when the GPS said we would!  I loved Zermat. It was like going home. The mountains are just so breathtaking and the Matterhorn did not disappoint.

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An unexpected bonus of trekking through the Swiss Alps? You can blame the thin air for gasping and wheezing and having to stop every 20 feet.

When I returned I settled into work and my new life in Melbourne, which has no shortage of amusement.

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Melbourne being a much older city than the one I come from, it has lots of ye olde stuff. Which I like, as you can see by my selection of apartment.

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Excuse me, I need to use the convenience. ahem.

I think it’s very fitting to begin the year in a Canadian winter and to end it with an Australian summer.  A lot has happened this year and I look forward to 2014 with much curiosity.

I wish you all the best for the new year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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