Thursday, August 26, 2010

and it continues....

You may now follow me on:

www.amandaslifeasitcomes.blogspot.com

Thanks for following!!

Amanda

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update

So, I have some sad news regarding my Australian travels. They will no longer be happening.
When I flew into Sydney Australia, both Rob and I were stopped regarding our visa's. There were issues regarding our visa, paperwork issues, stuff that should have been dealt with before we were even issued the visa's. Basically, we should have not been given the visa's without more paperwork, so when we tried to get back into the country, we were not allowed. It's a long story, and to get to the point, we could have spent up to a month in an immigration detention center while it got sorted out, or be sent home. I think you can guess what we decided.
Rob and I had to spend one night in an immigration detention center to wait for our flights home the next day and I can tell you, I think I made the right decision. We were the only white people, and it was basically like a prison.
SO, I am home now and Rob is back in England. We have the option to try and re-apply but we have spent so much money as it is, its not really worth it. And quite frankly, I will be happy to not step into an airport or on a plane in a long time!! I am so sad that I won't be able to travel with my mom and dad when they go to Brisbane, and super sad that I missed out on the East coast. But who knows, maybe in 5 or 10 years, we will make it back to finish our travels!
The next plan:
-get a new blog as the url name no longer applies for what's next in my future! I will post it when I set it up.
-get a job
-get a car
-and get on with the next phase of my life, whatever that may be........

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

photo's

More photo's from the trip! It was great as so much of the stuff I did with him, I hadn't done in years. This includes drumheller, Heritage park, going up the Calgary tower, and even taking the Gondola up to Sulphur mountain, which I don't think I have ever done!!

When I first got home my sister Laura had a BBQ, and we got to meet her new puppy, a puggle, pug/beagle, named hercules!
I took Rob downtown to show him some of the highlights, we of course had to go up the tower
We also made a day trip to Heritage park, here I am on one of the old train cars
And also our day trip to Drumheller where we stopped at the Royal Tyrrell Museum

what a whirl wind of a holiday

and I knew it would be, but it was WELL worth it!

Once Rob and I returned from Nova Scotia, we had a day just to chill out and relax as both of us were not feeling the best. Then Thursday morning, my kind sister rented Rob and I a car so we could go to Banff for the night. We headed out as early as we could to get as many sights in as possible. When we arrived in Banff the weather wasn't the greatest, but we took a chance and hiked up Tunnel Mountain. There were beautiful views the entire way up, in fact, my favorite view wasn't even half way up to the top. We saw rock climbers on the north side of the mountain, and the trail was busy with all different types of people, young, old, kids and even the odd runner bringing their dog along for the run! Of course, once we got to the summit, the weather didn't look great, so we grab a quick bite to eat and headed back down. Not even a quarter of the way down, it started to rain. Of course! We didn't get hammered with rain, and we did hide under a tree for a bit to wait out some of the rain. But we ended up sucking it up and got a little wet on our way down. It didn't rain for too long, but our jackets were somewhat wet when we got to the car! We had dinner at Tony Roma's - mmmmm, onion loaf and ribs! and chilled out at the hotel that evening as the weather was still pretty crap! We went in the pool for a bit back at the hotel where we met another young couple from Sexsmith, right close to where we had our family reunion! What were the chances!

When we woke up the next day the weather was crap, as was the way Rob and I felt. We both had bad colds and as much as I wanted to hike up to the summit of Sulphur mountain, it was just a bad idea. So we started off by going to the hot springs, spent as much time as we could handle in the pool, then spent the ridiculous $30 per person to take the 8 minute gondola to the top of Sulphur mountain. I was hoping to enjoy the scenery on the way up, but an older couple jumped in the gondola with us at the last minute, and talked the entire way up! I did get some of the views in and was able to snap a couple photos, but not what I would have liked! It was misty and rainy on the way up, and of course very windy at the summit, but the views are amazing so it was well worth the money! Rob was even more adventurous and walked to kilometer hike to the next highest summit. I didn't go as I didn't think my cold would have liked the freezing wind and rain! It was even more misty and rainy on the way down in the gondola, so we couldn't see as far in the distance, but it was still great, and this time, it was just the two of us!
We headed home after the gondola, not much else to do as it was raining pretty good when we got to the bottom. Plus, we were going out for dinner with family at the Cattlebaron so we had to be home early so we could get ready. We had a very nice dinner and of course had an awesome meal - when have I ever had a bad meal at the Cattlebaron? After dinner we headed home and Laura and Dan came over and we played cards till nearly 2 in the morning! I love playing cards and we had an absolute blast! I drank a whole bottle of wine to myself, and while I had fun drinking it, I wasn't feeling the best the next day! And course with my holidays nearing to an end, I didn't want to spend it in bed sleeping, so I was up the minute I heard mom and dad up.
That morning Rob, mom and myself went up to visit my grandma. She was in great spirits, as she always is, and we had a great visit! I think she enjoyed Rob's visit as well as when she gave him a hug goodbye, she asked for 2!
Saturday night was Laura's friend Rachel's BD BBQ at one of their co-workers houses. We all went for the fun, but it was a pretty mellow party, which I think we were all somewhat happy about as we were all pretty tired and I was planning a BBQ for all my friends on Sunday and didn't want to be hungover!
Sunday was a busy day as well, cleaning and preparing for my BBQ. We were planning about 16 people over, and everyone showed up! It was so nice to see my friends and it was a great chance to hang out with them before leaving them once again! It was also a very 'entertaining' party as the burgers my dad was barbecuing decided to spew grease all at the same time, and he had to use the fire extinguisher to put the flames out! Good thing the bbq wasn't close to the house, and that we had a fire extinguisher! We ended up ordering in pizza for everyone - so much for the bbq idea - oh well, we all went home with a story. (sorry dad, someone had to tell the story!)

Being home has made me realize how much I have missed it, my family, friends, and of course my dog! I have realized that I am missing out on so much as well, 3 of my friends are pregnant, 2 of them with their first, and with my sister just buying a house I miss being there and helping out! Even though I hate the winters, it's something I am willing to deal with to be close to family and friends. I've been away from home now for over 4 years, and to be honest, I'm sick of living out of a suitcase lately! Time to move back into my house (which I have only lived in for 6 months!) and somewhat (not totally) 'settle down'.

This holiday has been so much fun, even though I have been sick the last week and a half, and I am still looking forward to heading back to Australia to finish what I have started. I haven't seen very little north of Melbourne, and that is the part most people go to see! Plus, I have mom and dad's visit in October to look forward too and can't wait!

View of Banff going up Tunnel Mountain
Going up the gondola
Taking Rob to visit my Grandma
BBQ for a friends birthday
My friends over for a BBQ


Monday, August 9, 2010

Surprise!

Well I managed to keep a secret with a friend of mine and surprised all of my 'northern' friends who were all visiting in Nova Scotia!!!! Rob and I left Friday at noon, and landed in Nova Scotia just after 8pm. We picked up our rental car, grabbed some booze and McDonalds and headed towards Blomidon where Donna, Roger and Mitch live. We managed to find the place ok, only having to turn around once, and when we pulled up, they were all having a bon fire outside. Gina, who knew we were coming, saw us pull up - it was very dark at this point, and she came over and gave us a big hug. We all walked over to the bon fire, were it was very quiet, and I surprised them all by saying "Hey guys, lets get this party started!!" It was dark out, and it took a few seconds for everyone to realize who I was, and then they all got up and gave me a big hug, asking me what the hell I was doing there! Kevin, Mitch, Konrad and Michelle were all at the fire, and then we headed in to where Donna and Roger were. Kevin had gone ahead and woke up Donna, and when I walked in, she walked and was so shocked that I was there! Roger was also shocked, and I think he even had a bit of a tear in his eye! We hung out by the fire that night and talked, had our usual laughs and good times! The next day was pretty slack, we walked by the beach, walked the tide role out - they have one of the fastest moving tides in the world, about 30 seconds a foot it roles out. That afternoon Rob and I went for a drive and watched Mitch play softball for a bit. I wasn't feeling the greatest, and it was very windy out, so we ditched early as I had no jacket. We decided to take the scenic root home, which took us right to the water's edge, a cute little town, with houses on the water. We took the back roads home and enjoyed some Nova Scotia country side. We feasted on lasagna, to prepare us for a long night of poker. And long it was. I didn't do well, unlike beginner Rob, who did very well! We played till 5am, and when we saw the day approaching, we figured it was time to go to bed.
Sunday was a bit of a dodgy day, you can imagine. But we got ourselves in order and headed to a place not to far away, and went on a short walk to "3 pools". Its an unmarked trail and was actually had to trespass to get to the trail down. There were quite a few people there already, so we weren't the only ones to trespass! And guess what, when we arrived there was a waterfall with 3 pools. It was so pretty and kinda reminded me of some of the places I've been to in Australia. Rob and Kevin jumped into the water off a rope. I wouldn't dare try. I'd probably not have the upper body strength to hold myself up, slid down the rope, and hit the rocks, not what I call exciting!

Today was an awesome day of hiking. We hiked the "Cape Split", a world famous hike that is about 6 km's one way. We were up early, and hit trail by 9:15. The first part of it was very muddy, and I was being super careful with my foot. Luckily Gina has joint issues, so she stayed behind with me. We were close to the end, but decided to take a detour and headed down the side of the hill. We ended up getting to some steep parts that actually had ropes to assist you when going down, and the last part was actually a stream that we followed down. At the bottom, was a small, very rocky secluded beach. This is where we stopped for lunch and enjoyed the quiet serenity of Nova Scotia! We hiked back up and took a chance taking another path, which ended up taking us right to the split. The view was spectacular, and you could see the tide and the current fighting each other which was causing waves in the middle of the ocean. So cool.
We arrived back home at 4:30, and walked a total of 16.8 km's! Gina had a few blisters on her feet from some MEC hiking sandals she bought, and I got a blood blister/blister on my right 4th toe. I could feel it forming just when we started our hike back, but there was nothing I could do. So Rob went and got salt water for Gina and I to soak our feet. Thanks Rob!
Tomorrow we head back to Calgary, and look forward to a busy week ahead!

Just in front of the Rand's house, they also have some of the highest tides in the world
This would be at low tide :)
Sunset at Scot's bay
Rob and I had 3 pools
On our hike to Cape Split
Mitch and I at the split
Lookout about 5 minutes from the Rand's

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

what a holiday!

Wow, has it been a busy and fun filled visit home! The first week was busy visiting with family and friends here in Calgary. Rob was off having fun in BC, so I took advantage of this time to see family and friends one on one. My uncle from Qatar was also visiting with his wife and 2 kids, so I spent lots of time with them. As well it was Dad's birthday the day after I arrived, so we had a nice meal with all our family at the Cattlebaron. I also had a chance to go see my grandmother in the assisted living home, as well as some good friends who I hadn't seen in ages!

Rob arrived in Calgary on the Sunday, and we took advantage of being up north by visiting Peter's Drive-In, man I love their milkshakes! We had one day together, which involved a lot of packing the van, as the next day we headed out to Grand Prairie, stopping in Leduc for the night. I have an 'arctic' friend that now lives in Leduc, so we stopped for the night and had a great visit. The next day, Wednesday, we left early in the morning and headed to La Glace, which is just north of Grand Prairie. The next 5 days were spent camping where our family reunion on my mom's side was being hosted. It was a blast, with lots of drinking, lots of family visiting, a lots of games! We went in the gold tournament, which we came in last place, played horseshoes, played in the cribbage tournament, as well as a poker tournament, which I won the 2nd tourny, winning $60! Woohoo! On the Thursday, before everyone arrived on the Friday, I had another 'arctic' friend, who was just on the other side of the BC border, come over and visit us with their 2 kids! What where the chances that we were so close at the same time! It was a great visit and so nice to see people that I hadn't seen in over 2 years :)
There were about 70 people that showed up for the reunion, which is small for the family, but we still had a great time. We had awesome campfire chats, I brought out my didgeridoo for people to try and play, as well as there where those that had their guitars, which is always a good time. The big day, Saturday, we had a pig roast. The family that hosted the reunion, had access to a home made pig roaster, and it cooked slowly all day. It was stuffed with seasoning, as well as injected with seasonings, yes, I said injected! There where also 2 turkeys cooked, well, should I say deep fried. And if you ever get the chance to eat deep fried turkey, it is SO tender and tastes amazing. As did the pork! I've never tasted pork like what we had, and it was fantastic!! All that hard work was well worth it! Thanks Duane :)

I haven't downloaded any photos yet, but I'll try and get a few of the good ones up after I have a second to breathe :) Now we're off to the English store in McKenzie town to get some English treats for Rob, then we're off to Kananaskis to visit some of my Dad's family!

Visiting my Grandma with my mom
At the family reunion, Sarah had a blast chasing squirrels
Rob and I
The pig roast
Some of the family

Monday, July 19, 2010

Almost there :)

Well its nearly 2am in Los Angeles, and I am wide awake, typical.

Lets go back to Sunday, Australia time. I flew with Qantas to Sydney, then VAustralia, AKA, Virgin Blue from Sydney to LA. When I got to the Qantas check in counter in Melbourne, he tried to check my bags all the way through to LA, however after some phone calls, he was informed that they where not affiliated, so I would have to collect my bags in Sydney. Great. My flight was a short hour and a half, and before I new it, I was collecting my bags in Sydney. I asked where I was able to catch a bus to the international terminal, but was informed that I would have to take the train, and pay $5. I was not impressed by this. Just because airlines can not connect bags, I would have to pay extra to get to the damn terminal. Oh, and these are the Sydney trains, so no luck bringing a trolley, I had to walk and carry all my stuff. Once I got to the international terminal, of course I was early, and couldn't check in. Had to wait just under an hour, so I found a place to sit and wait and read my book. Then a young guy approach me and ask if I would participate in a short 3 minute survey, I was like, yeah sure, got nothing better to do, and I would get $5 for helping out. Cool, makes up for the train ticket! And in fact, in the survey, it asked about transportation, ect, and I nicely voiced my concerns about having to take the train!
I checked in at 6pm, and my flight was at 8:30pm. We started boarding, and I had a seat right in front of the bathrooms, meaning I had no one behind me, and of course I had a window seat. Unfortunately, I had someone sitting next to me, but all was good. It was a long 13 hr 30 min flight. I had 2 meals, neither of which were the best - when is airplane food good? I watched 3 movies, Date Night, It's complicated- which I missed the end as I feel asleep, and The Runaways. I slept for about 5 or 6 hours in total, but it wasn't the best sleep. I can never get comfortable, my tailbone hurts after a few hours of sitting so I am constantly repositioning, I've hurt my hand somehow, just from the strange sleeping positions I come up with. This includes sleeping on my meal tray with a couple of pillows :) I was disappointed with VAustralia as we only got one alcoholic drink with our meal. I was kind of looking forward to a few glasses of wine with dinner to help me sleep, but no, it was $7 thereafter for a glass, no thanks. They were also very slow. After our first meal, I had my empty tray in front of me for about an hour. And the poor girl next to me who ordered a special meal, had hers for closer to 2 hours before they were picked up. We did have a good selection of movies and TV shows, all of which we got to watch during take off and landing, which is new to me.
Of course we had to wait on the tarmac in LA for ages as our gate was occupied, but once we arrived, it was great to be on North American soil, and one step closer to home. There was no place on my declaration form to check my didgeridoo, and I double checked with the immigration officer and he said it was no problem, even the guy taking our cards said "I see you've got your didgeridoo", so it was all good. I was a little concerned however as my didg took forever to arrive. It didn't arrive on the first batch of over sized goods, and after all the luggage came off the carousal, and no didg, I was not impressed. However there were a few people that were missing things, and the lovely VAustralia agent found our things still in the elevator.
Finally I made it out of the airport and took the 'free' airport shuttle to the Raddisson. I was feeling exhausted, and after skyping Rob, then mom and dad, I was finally able to get something to eat. Subway it was as I was not paying $25 for a big meal at 9 o'clock at night! I was so tired and thought I'd sleep right through till my 5am wake up call, but no, at 1am I woke up wide awake. I tried to get back to sleep, but no luck. Lets hope a wave of exhaustion will come over me so I can get some more sleep. Gotta love jet-leg!

Friday, July 16, 2010

In 24 hours...

...i'll be in the Sydney airport waiting for my flight to LA, and it is taking forever to get there!!

Yesterday Rob got the afternoon off work which was great as we got to spend some more time together before he left. We treated ourselves to Mexican and just chilled out that evening watching TV and polished off a bottle of wine. We had the house to ourselves, and how quiet was it, it was awesome!! His flight left at 0700, which meant a 0445 wake up call, and of course both of us were awake by 0430, typical! I went with him to check him in and was able to go through security, so I waited at his gate with him as well. I actually had my typical butterfly's in my stomach when I fly, which was weird, because I wasn't flying!! I was only in the airport for just over an hour, and had to pay $20 in the short term parking lot - ridiculous! Rob got off safely, and is currently en route to Vancouver, somewhere over the pacific, and he's about half way there as of now! I drove home, and managed to not get lost, and was in the house by 0730! It felt like half the day had gone by! I decided to use my last pass for the gym, might as well and kill the time. The rest of my morning involved packing, tidying up the caravan, and of course painting my toe nails!!
I actually have a bit of a funny story, but not funny at the time. I have the keys to the caravan, the car and the house all on one key chain as it was getting difficult keeping track of them all, and I was locking the front door when I was in the caravan. WELL, I was in the house and decided it was time to paint my toe nails. I left the house, checked my pockets to make sure I had the keys, and closed the door. As I approached the caravan, I went to grab the keys, and they weren't there!! It was some magnets I had grabbed from the car that were bulky and I thought they were my keys. I was freaking out, but luckily I had left the caravan open - all by mistake, and in there I had Sue's phone number, which some how made me feel a little bit better, but my phone was in house! AHHH!! I checked the back door, but I had locked that. I was checking ALL the windows, even the high one in the bathroom, and they were all locked. Then I thought of Hailey's window, which was right next to the caravan, which had the power supply for the caravan leading into her bedroom. There was about 10 inches between the window and the caravan. I grabbed a chair, stepped on the ledge and shimmied myself about 4 feet to get to the window which I opened and got into her bedroom. What a relief!! I went and grabbed the keys, which were right where I left them. I went outside, via the front door to go get what I originally went for, and to my surprise, and udder embarrassment, the front door had been open the whole time!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't even lock it when I left. UNBELIEVABLE!!! I had put myself into a major panic, and managed to break into the house, ALL for no reason what so ever. Lesson learned: always check the front door!!!!! LOL And as Rob would say, 'I pulled an Amanda'!

The rest of my afternoon has been pretty relaxed, was able to put my phone on hold so I don't have to pay anything, and picked up a pizza to have with my bottle of wine, which I get all to myself tonight!!
I'm sure I'll be asleep pretty early tonight as I was up so early today, and then the adventure begins tomorrow at noon, when I make my way to the airport! YA-HOO!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Less then a week :)

Well, the days are counting down, and it's getting more and more difficult to sleep because I am getting SO excited!!! I can't WAIT to see my dog, and my family of course, but its been 18 months since I cuddled my puppy! I can't wait to have some home cooked meals, first on the menu will be porcupine balls with a Dairy Queen Blizzard for dessert!

I'm getting everything done here, getting my taxes done for the Australian year, canceling my phone as I'm on a month to month plan, and canceling Rob's flight with VAustralia. I did some research and found that at a fee of $550, I can cancel the flight, and get $558 back. A huge rip off if you ask me, but at least I can get some of it back. Oh, and I will be doing this Friday, at the very last moment :) I've also just got my tattoo touched up so its all nice and pretty. He actually just re-did the whole thing as when he touched up the lines, it looked liked 2 different colors as the previous one had faded so much. So I went through the horrible pain ALL over again :)

I haven't even begun to pack, I have so few things, and most of them I use daily, so most of it will be packed Sunday morning. Rob leaves early Saturday morning, so I'll take him to the airport, and when I get back, I'll have the house to myself as the rest of the family are going away for the weekend. SA-WEET! The only thing, is I'll miss the dog!

I am a little bit worried that I might have problems as I am bringing my Didgeridoo home with me, but fingers crossed it doesn't get quarantined. When I was looking into it, the Australia export quarantine didn't help me, the Canadian consulate was even worse (I spoke with an Asian that couldn't speak English and all she gave me was a website for me to check). I ended up googling it, and called and spoke with a didg place in the Northern Territory. He said they send them overseas all the time, as well as take didgeridoo's overseas themselves, include the US, and have never had any problems. My only concern is that it is a wooden instrument, and I have no documents to state that it has been treated. But, just as the guy on the phone said, its just like a guitar or a violin, and as long as I declare it, I should be fine. I don't care if immigration fumigates it, just as long as they don't put holes in it to look for worms!!

4 more sleeps till I start my long haul home :))))

Friday, July 9, 2010

8 more sleeps...

....and it can't come quick enough! Next Sunday is so close, yet so far away, and the closer it gets, the more excited I get. Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking with my Uncle who has gone to Calgary with his family for a visit, and it made me even more sad that I wasn't there to spend time with them. They were all over at my sister's new house for breakfast, and when I saw him on Skype, I couldn't hold it in, and I started crying! It's been nearly 5 years since I've seen him and his family, and boy does it feel like it! I will be able to see them for a couple of days when I arrive in Calgary before they leave to go back home, just sad that I can't spend more time with them. I'm sure they will be going to the Stampede, and despite how much I think it is over-rated, its been ages since I've been and would love to go. BUT, if I can just get through this week, before I know it, I'll be home, with all my family who I love so much. And then, just like that, I'll be back in cold Victoria!!

Last evening a friend of Carol and Ian's, who are friends with us as well, invited us over for a linen/alcohol/housewarming party. We skipped out on the linen party, and showed up for the end of the 'grog' party. Rob and I had a few samples but they were SO sugary, I only had about 4 and decided to pass on the rest. Plus, they were pouring them one after the other to try and catch us up, so it was a lot of alcohol in a short time. I decided to stick with my wine and spiced rum, and of course all the munchies! There were about 20 or so people at the party and it was a great time, maybe too great. When we got home, of course I came on the computer right away, and that was when I got to talk to mom, and then my uncle (so I blame the crying on the alcohol). It was the latest I had stayed up in ages, and I was feeling no pain when I went to bed. However this morning was a different story. There was a massive wind storm that came through early in the morning that shook the caravan to the point were I thought we were going to end up in the street! Rob ended up pulling down the roof as the noise on the fabric was keeping us awake. Both Rob and I had massive hangovers, in fact, Rob still isn't feeling the best. He didn't even eat all his Burger King/Hungry Jacks. BUT, it was fun, and it had been a long time since we had a good drinking session. Plus, what else would we be doing on this cold, rainy, and very windy day in Victoria other then in bed, sleeping and me playing on the computer :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Canada Day :)

Happy Canada Day!! I know, its a bit late. Oh well :)

Yesterday Rob and I decided to do something adventurous, something I couldn't do while I had a broken foot. Things are getting better and better and I hardly have any pain with it, apart from a few movements. We headed west and landed in Ballarat, the largest gold mining town of the world (or something close to, but it sounds good). The place is Sovereign hill, and it is kept as it would have been in the 1850's when the first miners arrived. We spent the whole day there, and probably could have spent longer, but it closed down! They have everything from the way they would have lived, either in tents or small houses, old shops, a working Post Office, a sweets shop, a theater with shows through-out the day, and horse drawn carriages that take you around the small town. All the workers are dressed as they would have been in the 1850's and they keep in character as they roam the streets - all very entertaining. We even have the chance to pan for gold through the water that is pumped up from the mines. We searched, and only found a couple specks, nothing that was even worth while trying to fish out, and I did try :) However, we did find out that they do sprinkle $800 worth of gold in the creek on a weekly basis.
We saw approximately $145,000 worth of gold melted down and poured into a bar, saw how the rocks get crushed down to dust in the process of getting the gold out of the quartz. We went on 2 tours of the mines. The first one, we got the luxury of taking a 60 foot tram down, in complete darkness - just as the miners would have, only they traveled in a bucket and going a hell of a lot faster, and saw what happened to miners that got trapped from water that rushed into the mine as they hit an abandoned mine. We saw a presentation, in the mine, told as a story from miners that were trapped as well as their family's that were waiting for their loved ones to return. We watched the show on a flat body of water that was reflected by light from the town glued to the roof. There were faces on the wall across from us that light up as the people spoke. Kinda hard to explain, but a very interesting and 'cool' way to tell a story. That day, of the 47 miners that went into the mines, only 25 survived. Two brothers tied themselves together so they would ever be separated. Very sad.
The other tour we went on was general information about the mines, how they worked, and what the workers went through. The deepest of the mine is over 1000 feet below the surface, and the miners were put in a bucket, and dropped down. If anything failed, you were a dead man. And if the lifts were broken, they used the ladders to ascend and descend. For a fit miner, this was about 2 hours, and not included in the pay. There are some areas that still have gold in the quartz, however it was left as it was important in preventing the ground from caving in.
Victoria itself is full of gold, there are mines scattered all over the state. The largest nugget found was something like 78Kg, found somewhere in Victoria. It was found by some dude, that ran over it with his vehicle. It took 4 men to lift it!
I was very impressed with the tourist attraction, and despite ALL the kids (it is school holidays here), I managed to keep my cool (even after some brat stepped on my foot) and could have spent more time there. We didn't get to the portrait studio in time and couldn't get our photo done 'old school;. Next time I guess!

15 more sleeps till I leave :)

Sovereign Hill
On the streets, it was a bit cold that day
Police Officer getting ready to fire the Musket
Lookin' for that gold!
The gold pour :))

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Everything happens for a reason

I am a true believer in this and try to tell myself this whenever something bad happens, even when I wonder Why? Why? Why?
My foot is one example, and I have yet to understand why that did happen, who knows, maybe I never will?!
As for why I kept on messing up on booking our flights to Sydney, well, I know why that was happening. And I blame the US consulate here in Melbourne. The bastards refused Rob a transit Visa for Rob to spend ONE night in Los Angeles (a total of 14 hours between flights) en route to Calgary. One of their excuses, because he is a traveler here in Australia, and he has no set address or family ties here. If he was in the UK, he probably would have got it. When he came out of the US Consulate office and he told me, I felt sick and in complete shock. I never once had any doubt that he would have been denied. I couldn't believe that they refused him entry and we are both are very angry at the United States. It upsets me because so many other people, even bad people, manage to get into the US without difficulties. I'm thinking I should have just put him on a boat and sent him north-east bound, he would have landed somewhere along North America, right?
The worst, he had to pay for the Visa via Australia Post before even going to the interview, a whole whopping $168, which is of course, non refundable. Not including the $14 fee for booking the interview on line, the $12 for the Express post envelope we had to buy (which would have been used to mail us the visa if he got it in the first place, but no worries, the envelope WILL be used at some point), the $21 in train tickets to get to the consulate, as well as Rob had to take the day off work. Honestly, between taxes, rising prices in everything, and governments taking money for meaningless things (like visa's that don't get issued), I wonder how countries are still in debt????

I feel very guilty because I didn't look into this first before booking his flights, especially considering it was his parents money that paid for the flight, but I honestly had no inclination that he wouldn't get into the US. And of course, we where flying VAustralia who only flies to LA, even all their affiliates fly via Los Angeles, no direct flights to Canada. Damn bastards. So, I basically just took $1118 AUS and watched it being flushed down the toilet. I am going to look into getting a voucher from VAustralia (AKA, Virgin airlines), but am not feeling great about it, it was a V Promo seat, with little flexibility. But I will try, and if not, I won't be canceling it and giving the airline the benefit of pocketing the money and selling the seat to someone else. Plus, I can then have more leg room as we were booked seating next to each other :)

We were told by a VAustralia representative (when we called asking about flights) that if we where in LA for less then 12 hours, he wouldn't require a US Visa, but he encouraged us to check with immigration first. That brought our spririts up for a bit, until they came crashing down, again. I tried looking on the US and Australia US consulate websites for info on whether he would require a visa, but seriously, that was a complete waste of time as they tell you nothing. Oh, but there is a number you can call and speak to someone about Visa enquires, at a fee of course. We decided this was the best option, even though we didn't want to give them MORE moeny, but we wanted to make sure we did the right thing. At a cost of $12, for about a 2 minute talk with a representative, we where told that yes, he would require a visa no matter what. Not what we wanted to hear. I called my travel agent in Darwin regarding flights to Canada and I asked her about the US Visa thing, and she did say it would be a good idea to have one in case flights got cancelled or delayed and we would have to spend the night in LA. We decided it was not worth the risk of dealing with immigration officers in LA (now that they not only know he was denied a visa, but they also have his fingerprints, which everyone gets done before his interview at the consulate), or even the chance that VAustralia would deny boarding in Sydney because he didn't have a Visa. So we searched for a direct flight to Vancouver.

As for the domestic flights I was trying to book from Melbourne to Sydney, the money was put back in my account and the bookings where cancelled. Next, I found flights for just myself to Sydney and back, flying Qantas with one, and Jetstar with the other and we pretty much return to Melbourne at the same time.
I was able to find a decently priced flight flying from Melbourne, to Sydney, then Sydney to Vancouver with Air Canada for Rob. I will have to change his flight from LA to Calgar,y to Van to Calgary. He will now be able to stay in Vancouver for a week to see family there and then he will fly to Calgary in time for the family reunion.
A huge bummer for the both of us, and now we have to fly alone which sucks even more, but not much we can do about that.
So why this has happened??????? Not sure, and may never find out????

Stupid, F#$%ing, American, Wankers........ ok, not everyone, but seriously.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What's up

Well, not much! Since my birthday Rob and I have had a pretty un-eventful week. Not only are we trying to save money, but the weather had been pretty crap which makes it difficult to do anything.
I've been going to the gym two-three times a week. I'm feeling great and am slowly getting better and better at walking without a limp :) It's a nice little walk to the gym as well so I can take my time, and it gets me off the damn computer.....that I oh so love :)
I have been trying to get everything organized for our trip home. It is less then three weeks till we leave and Rob needs to get a US transit visa for our overnight stay in LA, as well as I am still trying to organize flights to Sydney.
When I first tried to book the flight to Sydney, I thought I booked it on my credit card on line, but after about a week of not getting any e-mails, and a quick check in my bank account, it didn't go through. So I tried again, this time and tried the direct debit to save me the $14 credit card fee they were charging. It all went through, or so I thought. I didn't get a confirmation number, and to be honest, I didn't even realize I didn't get one. I realized a few days later that I didn't confirm it with a text from the bank. Stupid, I know. So I tried again, this time making sure I confirmed with a text. The next day when I checked my ticket on the Jetstar website, it still said I owed them money. I rechecked my bank, and realized that I forgot to add my confirmation number when booking. So my $354 is in banking cyberspace!!! I called Jetstar and they said I'd have to wait a few days for it to either make its way to Jetstar, or to be put back in my account. My account says it's been confirmed though, so I may have to make a phone call tomorrow to Jetstar to get it sorted out. How annoying, and it's all my fault!!!

And as for Rob's visa, that is another annoying thing! The US is being very difficult in issuing a transit visa. Because Rob is from the UK, he needs to get a visa before he can get into the country. It's only a transit visa, you wouldn't think it'd be a problem. Well, it is. On Tuesday he has to to go to the US consulate here in Melbourne for an interview.....for a damn transit visa!! Oh, yeah, and pay $168! Such crap. Anyways.

On a brighter note, Rob and I went and saw Shrek Forever After in 3D over the weekend, and what a great movie! I think 3D is a bit over-rated, but Shrek in 3D, was pretty good, despite the 2 birthday parties at the theater, and the movie being delayed for 30 minutes waiting for everyone to be settled. One birthday had about 20 kids - a good dose of birth control for a year I think!!!!

And so, the countdown is on now till we leave, 20 days, and counting :)))))))))))))))))))))

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

Well what a great day my birthday was!

It was the first birthday that I have had where I actually kinda dreaded it, only because I feel like I am getting old now. Not that I am old, but approaching 30 is, well, a bit scary. However, I had a fantastic day, and am just going to have to deal with this whole 'aging' process! (I guess the fact that I have no grey hair is a good sign, right?!)

I woke up and called home right away to talk with my folks on skype. It was a great wake up call and I was told mom had already transfered $100 to my account in which I could spend in any which way I wanted! Rob also then proceeded to tell me that he had booked a 4 1/2 star hotel in the city for us that night!! I was so overwhelmed with emotion, of course I had to shed a few tears!

We packed out bags, grabbed a taxi to the train station and made our way to the city. Our hotel was pretty close so I didn't have to walk far, and it was a pretty nice one at that! A studio style type room, equipped with a stove, oven, fridge and even microwave! None of which were used, apart from the kettle the next day!

I decided to spend my mom and dad's money (heehee) on a nice dinner for Rob and I. Since watching the Australian Masterchef and loving food, and even trying new food, I've wanted to go to a nice restaurant for ages. The hotel was only 2 blocks from the Yarra river, where there are many nice restaurants to choose from. We walked around, checked out some menu's, including Gordon Ramsey's Maze, but settled on something in the middle. Of course we stopped along the way for a drink here and there, eventually ending up at a restaurant called "The Meat and Wine Co". Couldn't go wrong with that, Rob loves his steak and I love my wine. It was a 45 minute wait for a table, where we waited in the bar, starting off with a bottle of wine. I should mention that prior to this we had opened a bottle of wine at the room, as well as I had had 3 glasses of wine along the way. By the time we were seated, we had finished the bottle and only had what was left in the glass. The menu looked very appetizing and we started off with calamari. To my own surprise I ordered steak for a main, as well as did Rob, ordered medium rare, and it was cooked to perfection!

After finishing another bottle of wine, we decided it was maybe time to leave! We just happened to walk past the casino, and decided why not, it was my birthday, right?! We found a roulette table and I put my $100 on the table. I wasn't doing so bad, then my number 8 hit twice! Fantastic! I pocketed the second winning, as it was in cash, and played the rest of my chips. I did ok, then started loosing, and gambled the rest away. Rob, on the other hand, did very well. His number was 17, and after it hit once, he put another chip on it, and it hit again! He ended up walking away $125 richer! Can't complain as he paid for most of the night, apart from dinner of course.

The next day we woke up to cloud, fog, and drizzle. Not exactly what I wanted for spending the day in the city, but what can you do. We jumped on the free city tram, and after three stops we were ordered off as it had faulty brakes. Awesome, what a start to the day!! We got off, and decided it was a good place to get some food. I found the fry shop had ordered a poutine :)))) Haven't had one in ages!! We got back on the tram and headed towards the Melbourne museum to check out the Titanic exhibition. We also got off this tram as it had to detour due to a rally! We decided maybe it was best if we just walked the rest of the way. Once we arrived at the exhibition, we discovered that they only let so many people in during the hour, and we would have had to wait nearly 3 hours to get in. So that was out of the question. The Imax was right next door, but the next showing of Shrek 3 wasn't for 2 hours. We walked back into the city, and headed towards Bourke Street mall. On the way we passed a place called Chill On, an Ice lounge. It was a bit pricey to enter, but we decided when else would we be able to drink in a large freezer :))) We had to bundle up in gloves, jackets and boots for me, it was -10 inside, and I forgot what -10 feels like! We had our drinks served in ice glasses, and surprisingly, it didn't stick to our lips!! We polished off our drinks, and after only 20 minutes (out of a max of 30 minutes allotted) we decided that was enough, it was time to leave! (I have no photos as we couldn't take pictures inside, but the link to website is: www.chillon.com.au)

We made our way to the mall and walked around a bit, but it was just like any other mall. In fact, we actually got lost in Myer's for about 30 minutes, seriously, there was no exit!!

We were back in Melton just before 4, and I was so relived as my foot was aching! That was the most walking I had done, and I was feeling it!

It was a fantastic birthday weekend, I seriously couldn't have asked for more! Bring on the year!


The room, can u see the wine already opened :)
Looking down into the city
Having fun!
One of the swanky bars we went to
My steak dinner, and wine of course!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back to the gym!

Yesterday I decided I would check out how much it would cost for casual drop in rates at the gym. I am going stir crazy at the house, and just want to do something active. I can walk, slowly, and the bike and rower at the gym would be perfect. I found a gym about a 20 minute walk from the house, at I could get a 10 day pass for $99. I bit pricey, but the only other memberships they offered was a 3 month. The other local gym, also a close walk, was $15 per visit. No thanks.
So today I got up, relatively early as well, had a nice healthy breakfast, and made my way to the gym. The gym let me go check out the gym and go for a 'free' work out. I started on the bike, not much resistance as my whole body is kinda limp right now! 20 minutes later and I could feel the burn in my quads already. I spent lots of time stretching as well as upper and a few lower leg weights. I went on the rower for 5 minutes in between as well, just to keep my heart rate up.
The only other thing that they didn't have, and I was disappointed, was they didn't have a balancing board. I wanted to use one to slowly start putting weight on the outside of my right foot, and it would have been perfect. Oh well, I improvised and just used the edge of one of the machines.
I left the gym feeling great, and the walk home was a great way to cool down and keep my foot and calf stretched. As long as I don't push it, I'm hoping it will help speed up the recovery of my foot, so I can get back on my feet! I have a feeling it might be a bit rough getting out of bed tomorrow and Sunday, well, I might need to be pulled out of bed, but I know it will be a good sort-a pain!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

camping photos

Rob playing Frisbee
Camp
The "port-o-loo"
Carol and Ian's caravan, with out tent in the background
Do I even need a caption??

Monday, June 14, 2010

I survived!

Yes, we went camping, and it was cold, but I came back alive and with all my fingers and toes!
Once Rob came back from work on Friday, we packed up the car and headed out. The campsite is less then an hour from Melton, and we arrived just before dark. Our tent was set up for us, and it was massive!! It actually had a divider so there could be 2 rooms. We also borrowed a mattress that was raised off the ground so we weren't absorbing the cold off the ground. We also had two blankets over our sleeping bags to keep us nice and cozy. We set this up, and in no time we each had a drink in hand sitting around the campfire. Actually, I was cold and didn't get my travel mug, so was being stubborn and didn't have a drink right away. But I eventually caved in.

The first night Rob got very drunk, he pulled out the Jack Daniels and that was it. We all huddled around the camp fire, had barbecue for supper, and chatted away. In total there were 9 of us; Carol, Ian and Kristy, their friends Sue and Geoff, and their other friends Tracy with her son Kane. That night was pretty cold, and I got a hot water bottle from Sue, so I had a nice warm sleeping bag when I got in. But of course my face and nose froze that night, but luckily I think I had enough to drink that I was able to sleep alright!
Saturday was a day of not much. We went for a walk up to the summit of Mount Franklin, I did pretty good with my foot, just walking back down was a bit sore. On our way down it also started to rain a little bit, but it only lasted for about 5-10 minutes. And when we arrived back in camp, there where 2 tarps up and Rob and I set up our canopy so there where many places to hid if it poured. Luckily, this never happened, and the sun even decided to come out for short random visits. We found our frisbee in the back seat of the car and started throwing that around when it stopped raining. It was fun and I actually became quite good at throwing it, even straight! I bailed after about 2 hours of playing, but the boys kept playing for about another hour. That night for super was stew on the camp oven. So, so good!
Sunday we went into the Dayelsford markets, about 10 minutes away. A very hippie town, with lots of hippie things to buy. I just stuck with buying food and warm drinks. We went for a drive, stopped at Hepburn Springs and went for a walk. I only hurt my foot twice, but not bad, just stepped the wrong way, which sent pains in my foot. But nothing that didn't last too long. No pain, no gain, right?? We drove up to Castlemaine, 30km's away, just to do something. On the way back I decided to drive, and Rob let me :)) It was the first time I had driven since breaking my foot, and it felt great!! A little scary, but I loved it! I could drive everywhere. We stopped at a winery on the way back, a small boutique winery, and very nice wine. He showed us around his cellar, which was made into the rocks on the hill, very effective at keeping a constant temperature. We left with two bottles, and had the nice shiraz with roast beef that night. Which was also cooked in the camp oven, and was one of the tenderest roasts I have had in ages! Of course there was also potatoes, pumpkin and peas and corn, with fresh bread from the market that morning. I hadn't eaten so much food in such a long time. I actually didn't even drink that much that night because I was SO full!! It was an early night for Rob and I, and almost felt ill from all the food when I went to bed. But of course felt better the next day.
We had breakfast Monday morning after procrastinating around the fire, it was that dreaded time to start packing up. It was interesting trying to take down a tent that we didn't set up, but we did it. And before we knew it, everything was taken down and packed away. It was sad to see it down as I do enjoy camping and didn't want to go back to the city, and the TV that I knew would be on 24/7.

All in all, not a bad weekend. I ate tons, which is bad I know, but what is camping for?? I had fun - despite the cold nights, and of course it was nice to get away from the city. Bring on camping this summer when I go home - and lets hope for nicer weather.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Camping anyone?

So this weekend is the Queen's birthday, which warrants a long weekend :) Thank-you Queen!
Since we have been here in Melton, the Nisbet's have planned to go camping for the weekend. I find it a bit strange to camp at this time of the year, it is officially winter, and it is Victoria's first snow weekend where the 'hills' open for the start of the ski season. Just last night on the news, about 200 km's from here there was a massive snow storm, and yes, there was quite a bit of snow! Anyways, back to camping. Where we are going, there shouldn't be any snow falling, but it is winter in full force, and I have seen the sun for a whole 10 minutes today. No rain, yet, but it is supposed to rain on and off all weekend, with highs of 13. Not my ideal weather for camping, especially coming from Darwin where I am still having a hard time adjusting to the cold weather. The evening gets very cold and there is no insulation in these houses so you might as well be outside. The heater here at the house isn't that strong and it takes forever to warm up the house!
Today Ian, Carol and Kristy left to go camping, Rob has to work tomorrow so we will head out once he gets done work. The front door was left open as they where getting the caravan ready today, and I was freezing my ass off in bed, (we are in the house now as they had to get the caravan ready) and I was under a down filled duvet!
Earlier in the week Rob and I headed out to get some warmer clothes, as we know the weather is NOT going to get any warmer! I wasn't too keen on spending too much money, but I did want to get some gloves and warm ugg boots (not real ones, the fakies) . We stopped at a few places, I got ugg boots for $15, and gloves, then we stopped at the good ole' K'Mart. I didn't plan on getting a 'jacket', but K had nice warm winter jackets for $30! How could I resist?!! Even if it only lasted the few months that I was here, it would be worth it. And they had them in pink, so I picked one up. Of course poor Rob had very little to choose from, and his was twice as much.
I am also walking crutch free :) I still have a swollen foot, and can't fully put all my weight on my foot, but I am able to hobble around. In fact, just the other day Rob and I took Winnie out for a walk. What a great feeling! I am walking just fine on even surfaces, but my foot still isn't that strong to handle un-even surfaces. Which will make camping also interesting. I will be bringing my crutches with me, as well as a head lamp to use at night so I can see where I am stepping. Hopefully this will be enough, and I'm sure with all the alcohol, I won't feel much pain :)))) Just kidding mom!
So hopefully I have enough warm clothes to keep me cosy, if not enough alcohol to get me by and if not, it might be a very grumpy filled weekend :) Just ask my mom!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

When it rains it pours!!

How true is this for me now.

Just when my foot is starting to get better, something else comes up. As for my foot I am down to one crutch all the time, and I am getting faster and faster at walking. It is still very swollen and stiff, but I am doing exercises all the time, and with time, I'll be back to normal.

But last night, I got a set back. I've come down with a bladder infection. I can not believe it, I've never had one and have no idea how I've got this one. I was in so much pain last night, that I almost went to the clinic, but things settled and I decided to see how I felt in the morning. Definitely not any better, so off to the doctors I went. I don't think I have ever been to the doctors this many times in such a short time; not that I can remember anyways. And of course it happens to be Sunday, so the visit cost me $65 instead of $55. I had to wait nearly 2 hours for this visit, but managed to 'get 2 birds with one stone' as I needed to see the doctor to hand in a written request for my medical records for my insurance company. Unbelievable!!!! I also managed to save a bit of money as the doctor had some extra cephelaxin from a patient that reacted to them, so I didn't have to pay for a prescription. There was only one missing and I still have enough for a 5 day course, which should be plenty. Anyways, enough about that, lets just hope it gets better before spreading to my kidneys.


On a brighter note, yesterday Rob and I went to Australia's Good Food and Wine Show. We ordered tickets on line and got into one of the celebrity theaters to see Tobie Puttock and Matt Skinner cook. I wanted to see George Calombaris and Gary Megihan who are off the popular MasterChef here in Australia, but of course it was sold out. We where able to take the train in and only had to walk a short distance to the exhibition center. There were tons of displays, lots of food tastings and even more wine tastings!! We actually had to go back and forth between the food and wine samples as we easily could have got very drunk from all the wine samples, actually, we where feeling no pain by noon!!

Lots of the tastings didn't have sample glasses, but instead we had to buy a wine glass, and of course we got the ones with the holders, see picture below. I didn't mind having to buy the glass, saves the environment! We tried some nice wines from many regions in Australia, some we hadn't been to, others we had. As well as some New Zealand wines. As for food, there was amazing flavored honey, tasty sausages, veggie chips, organic juices and so much more. I did end up getting a very small reaction to something. I'm guessing it might have been a slight contamination with something, not sure though. But after some water and a rest, I was feeling better. I wasn't feeling the greatest in the afternoon though, had an upset stomach. It didn't help that I was slightly hungover from the night before and was drinking wine all morning :) But things where better once I got a chance to see Gary and George in the book signing. I considered buying a recipe book, but it was $44, and knowing I wouldn't be using it right away, it would have been more a hassle carrying around, plus we where too late to get in for the book signing. Tobie and Matt where very funny in their cooking class, even Rob seemed to enjoy it! They cooked a very simple spaghetti/olive oil/herbs/garlic dish, as well as a pork belly smothered in olive oil/herbs, rolled up as a roast and baked - looked very yummy! and for dessert, chiros. Can't go wrong with chiros!!!

By the time this class was over, both Rob and I were exhausted, and my foot was starting to hurt, so we headed back into Melton. Of course it was raining out so we got soaked, gotta love winter in Melbourne.


Now I just have to get rid of this infection and make sure my foot keeps getting better, and I'll be set for camping this upcoming long weekend :)


Good Food and Wine Show
Gary and George!!
Our wine glass holders, which came in very handy!
Mmmm, it was Good Food!!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Photos

I have added a couple photos of what my foot looks like as of now. Still really swollen, which is understandable, but the bruise on the bottom of my foot is strange!

Things are still getting better, I can sort of walk without a crutch, but I don't really 'walk'. I more or less just walk on my heal. I am putting my foot in warm-to-hot water a few times a day to increase circulation, as well, stretching my toes as much as I can, all day long!

I was going to go to the gym - not to worry, no running or walking on the treadmill for me, but I was going to attempt the rower or the bike, just to get some cardio back in my life, as well as do some weights, but it just didn't happen today. Rob was looking for jobs and Hayley got a surprise call for a job, so she was off for an interview. Maybe tomorrow I will get Rob to drop me off, I was very excited about it today, and very disappointed when we didn't end up going.

My goal is to have given away the crutches by the time we go camping during the Victorian long weekend, in 2 weeks. I need to have a goal, and I think its a reasonable one! Bring on the hikes and marathons...... k, well maybe not a marathon, but a good run would be great!!

Still just a bit swollen!
The swelling at the top of my foot makes it a bit painful to bend while walking
And the bruise, interesteing

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Best shower in ages!

Well my physio is coming along very well. I saw the physio-therapist on Friday and apart form a couple more suggestions, I am on the right tract. Regular passive range on motion with my foot and as much walking as I can tolerate and I am on the road to recovery. I am already down to using one crutch, although I might still use 2 in the mornings as my foot is more stiff and still a bit sore. The stiff part of my foot is the base of my foot, so the pushing off while walking is the hardest. But I am slowly working on it, and notice progress every day!
I still think I'm a long away away from going on a hike, but I get more and more excited about it as the days go on.
Today I had my first shower - standing up, in about 9 weeks. It was FANTASTIC!!!!

Today, Rob and I went for another drive - not much else to do, and the weather has been crap, so why not just drive and get lost! This time we headed southwest, and once again, we passed a winery. Bacchus Hills Winery, up in the hills with an amazing view! The wines we tried where all fantastic, and the prices were reasonable, ranging from about $15-30, with a couple that where on sale for $10, and another for $6 - that was actually hand crushed during the end-of-vintage festival they have every year.
It's amazing when you have a good time, you enjoy the wine more! The guy helping us with the tastings is a part of a family run business and was very friendly. We ended up walking away with 7 bottles of wine - a record I think for us. 3 of them were on sale, and we picked up 2 bottles of the $6 wine - why not! We were only down to one bottle at the house, so why not!
It true more and more, that,the more I find out about wines, the more I appreciate wine, and the more I want to cellar it! I can't wait to 'settle down' and start my own cellar and allow these amazing wines to age to bring out more and more of their tasteful flavors!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Swimming anyone?!!

Well, things are already starting to get better.


I am still really hesitant to put too much weight on my foot - probably just scared I will hurt it or do more damage. But I am defintaly getting quicker on the crutches and trying to push myself.

I have a physio appointment tomorrow but decided to do a little myself today. Rob and I went to the local swimming pool and I did a little walking! We grabbed one of the 'slow' swimming lanes, and as Rob lapped me many times, I held on to the side of the pool and walked/stretched my foot and calf in the water. It felt great and was able to do a pretty good job of walking, sort of! I did about 10 laps of 15meters and felt great. Rob helped with a little range of motion exercises in my foot and it felt so good to have my foot and calf muscles stretched and moving again. Its a start and hopefully the physiotherapist can give me more exercises to do as well as a time line of how long I should be before fully walking again. It will be great to be able to carry my own drink hassle free into the living room!!

I still have some swelling in my foot - I was told it was a 3 month healing process, so I'm not surprised, as well as a bruise on the bottom of my foot which is a little strange. But all in all, I am so relieved to have my cast off as it is a start to a full recovery, and I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bring on the wine!

I had my appointment with Dr. Bedi today, ALL the way on the other side of Melbourne. We left with plenty of time just in case we hit a traffic jam or road works. It took us nearly an hour to get there, with an hour to spare :)
Before I even saw the doctor, he asked for the cast to be removed. Off to a good start I think! The nurse took to the cast off, was impressed with the waterproof meshing, and what a weird feeling it was having my leg touched. Not having any sensation on my leg at all for so long, it was a strange, strange feeling. After explaining everything to him, and he had a good look at my X-rays, he said he was happy with everything. He said sometimes evidence of bone ossification doesn't show up on Xrays, even though it actually is occurring. He also told me that he would have taken the cast off 4 weeks ago and allowed me to start weight bearing, but this hasn't affected the healing process - just made it more difficult for me :) He stated I could get a 'cane boot', that helps stabilize my foot and weight bear, but he said he doesn't believe it helps to heal it any better or quicker, and a straight running shoe with good support would do just as well. This also saves me $200. He said he was happy to let me go as is, and not need a follow up with him, just see a physio therapist.
Excellent, some of the best news I have had yet. The only thing, is I am going to have to fight with my insurance company to get it covered. The phsyio I will get will not be covered, but I will be fighting to get my doctor appointments covered. I have been in touch with the insurance company and he said after I was told I could leave Adelaide, the insurance will not cover anything. I think it is going to be a long hard battle, but I will fight till the bitter end. Dr. Bedi asked about insurance and I explained what was happening; he said he would write a convincing doctors letter which will hopefully help me. I just finish one battle with Mexicana Air, now it looks like I have to fight another with the insurance company.

So, I will be cracking open the Wolf Blass tonight and toasting to a long 59 days, and keeping my fingers crossed for a quick recovery!