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During Leah & Jordan’s recent trip, we rented a 4-sleeper campervan and embarked on a vacation, Aussie-style.  Roadtrip!  After deciding in the 24th hour to completely change our course, we set off on the tantilizingly close and beautiful Great Ocean Road for a 5-day adventure.

It was… spectacular. We were so happy to have shared these moments with Leah and Jordan, as we saw more native wildlife in 5 days than we have in our 9 months traveling around this great land.  And all no more than a 3-hours drive away!  It was a trip to be remembered.  The narrated story is on the out and about page, and a full slate of pictures up on the photos page.

More to come of our continued adventures in Melbourne proper when we returned from the great ocean road(trip)…

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It’s like I’m in a movie, and there’s this background “scene” music on as I go about my business.  Found this guy playing it on piano when I went to investigate the name of the tune. 

He’s quite good, so thought I would share (and find myself the sheet music!)

Leah and Jordan have left us after an exciting three weeks of adventures.  Let’s just say, the month of May = most memorable.

Also, Leah and Jordan have just left us.  Let’s just say, sad face.

Friday Night Football….!!!!  Footy that is. 

For a real taste of Melbourne, we had pie face and headed to the G for the Collingwood/Geelong game.  Terrific seats, terrific frenzied running and kicking in the name of sport.

(trippy picture of the field)

And now, off to the road…. 5 days in a campervan up the Great Ocean Road. Hold onto your hats folks.

n. The pleasant loamy smell of rain on the ground, especially after a long dry spell.

I love this word.  I am at heart and soul an urbanite, and hold a strange fondness for the sweet, almost sickly, and supremely “city” smell of a late afternoon rain splattering against a steaming, mid-July concrete jungle.  Always loved the smell, never knew what to call it before the NYT’s review of Reading the OED illuminated its meaning and promptly earned Ammon Shea a place on my reading list.  Fast forward 3 years (which is how long its taken to work its way to the top of the stack), and here we are.

One might think a book about a guy reading a book to be a boring topic.  And it’s not just any book he’s reading; it’s the Oxford English Dictionary, all 20 bound volumes.  But Mr. Shea’s narration of the experience and recitation of his favorite words and the reasons therefor are delightful. 

His laments of the taxing physical symptoms of reading for 8-10 hours per day would be familiar to any lawyer – the cramped and hunched shoulders, waning and occasionally spotty or blurred vision, the delirium of discovering the perfect word for an obscure circumstance, or previously undiscovered error made by a worthy opponent, daily mid-afternoon migraines, and moments of absolute and unshakable boredom….  There were rare few words quoted in the book for which I knew (or could guess based on entomology) the meaning of, and discovered all manner of new words for the mundane and the extraordinary, including an old English 8-point list of words describing a drunkard, based on the seemingly animalitistic characteristics displayed when intoxicated (see, lion-drunke).

From his selected compilation, a summary list of my favorites.

all-overish (adj.) Feeling an undefined sense of unwell that extends to the whole body.  apricity (n.) The warmth of the sun in winter.  backfriend (n.) A fake friend; a secret enemy (the old school word for a frenemy).  conjubilant (adj.) Being jubilant or rejoicing with another; and its close relative, conjugalism (n.) The art of making a good marriage.  gastrophilanthropist (n.) A benevolent purveyor for the appetites of others.  jocoserious (adj.) Half serious and half in jest.  lion-drunke (adj.) “He flings the pots about the house, calls his Hostesse whore, breakes the glasse windows with his dagger, and is apt to quarrell with any man that speaks to him”.  obdormition (n.) The falling asleep of a limb; which can be eased by pandiculation (n.) The act of stretching and extending the limbs, in tiredness or waking.  philodox (n.) A person in love with his own opinion. sarcast (n.) A writer or speaker who is sarcastic.  unbepissed (adj.) Not having been urinated on; unwet with urine (which Ammon Shea appropriately points out is perhaps the weirdest adjective for a person to have occasion to use).  vicambulist (n.) One who walks about in the streets (not like a homeless person, like one who enjoys walking about in the streets of a city).

(NB: these words are so obscure that when I spell-checked this posting, every single one of them was unrecoginzed by WordPress’ dictionary.  Get with the (ye olde) times, WordPress!)

(no, this is not a cheer for whimpy kids everywhere…)

Leah & Jordan arrive in just ONE day.  That’s right, in only 24 hours (OK, 24 hours and 15 minutes, but who’s counting), I get to wrap my arms around family for the first time in 8 months. Oh boy oh boy oh boy….

A bit belated, tales of our trip to the desert outback are finally here!

With a triple-whammy of holidays (Easter Friday, Easter Monday and ANZAC Day), we took off for Alice Springs for a 5-day adventure in the Red Centre of Australia.

Our 5-day itinerary was to drive through the desert outback to Uluru – Australia’s most famous rock aka monolith, then to Kings Canyon for a famed sunrise hike, and northward to the West MacDonnell Ranges before looping back to Alice Springs and heading back to the big city. We saw lots of camels and endured swarms of flies… blistered in the midday sun and cooked delicious campfire meals and admired the clear starry skies by night … and snapped endless pictures of eerie white trees–the ghost gums.

Read all about our adventure here.  As always, our pictorially narrated story is on the out and about page; more esoteric (read:  nature) pictures under photos.

Needless to say, our long weekend entailed some beautiful landscapes and challenging hiking.  It also ended with a foolhardy rockclimbing jaunt, ambulance ride, and mild concussion and broken foot for Steve. 

 (seriously, it’s quite a tale.  Click on that link above!)