Thursday, February 2, 2017

Christmas 2016

Due to the insane expense, we seem to only travel outside of Oz every other Christmas.  To celebrate my first Christmas as an Aussie we stayed put this year.  We went 1 kilometer offshore to Coochiemudlo Island to stay with friends.

Casa de Hampton
We'd been to "The Cooch" several times before, and even took Martin's parents there three Christmases ago.  Laura, who I last saw in NYC in August, was back in Bris for the holidays and this house belongs to her boyfriend's parents, who very graciously rolled out the red carpet for us.

In true Christmas style we spent most of our time eating.

 It wouldn't be a party unless Laura busted out her American turkey deep fryer and fried us up a bird!

And the ham was actually cooked on the grill, which I'd never seen done before.

It was all done up so nicely!  And festive!

There was no lack of Christmas spirit, for sure.

It rained pretty badly most of our time there, but this kept the temperature to a reasonable level so I was more than happy to stay undercover on the sweet balcony.

Enjoying a few LOLs.

And adult beverages.

And party games.

Shockingly it did clear up for half the day on Boxing Day (remember, Queensland screws you on holiday weather without fail) long enough to get in some beach time.

Most importantly to enjoy my fabulous new pouch couch, direct from the USA!

This thing is a magnificent concept.  It's made of tent material, is super light weight, and all you have to do to inflate it is fill it with air.

Then enjoy.

After 3 nights on The Cooch it was time to return back to the mainland, but we were not destined to go home and be hermits.  We immediately headed north and battled awful holiday traffic up to the stunning Sunshine Coast for more pseudo-family time.

We went up to stay with Trish, my friend Pia's mom.  Pia lives back in the USA now (the all freaking do) so she doesn't have a daughter here and I don't have a mom here.  Match made in heaven!

We are Scrabble fanatics.  We'll fit as many games into a day as we can.  As many as we physically can!

The world needs to see this, because I won!  Well, I won once.  I have a few decades less experience under my belt so this might be the only time it ever happens.  I get my arse whooped no less than 99.9% of the time.

Beyond Scrabble (Martin is not a fan) we didn't do a whole lot besides hang out, read and go to the beach.

 That's the beauty of the Sunshine Coast, the slooooooow pace of life!

I would like to showcase my mad parallel parking skills, or as they call it here "reverse parking".

I had to do it with a row of people waiting (and watching!) behind me and I rocked it on the first try, in my school bus-sized car.  I am ridiculously proud of this achievement.

Back in Brisbane we had a few days to hang out and relax with Laura and BJ before we had to go back to work and they had to go back to weather that doesn't broil your skin.  What's the best way to "enjoy" stifling hot weather, you ask?  The pool, of course!

We've lived in this apartment complex two months shy of 2 years and had never been in the pool before!  Can you believe that?!  The fast is over, we've broken in our pool.

Nothing beats Christmas at home with family but in the absence of that, hanging out with friends and pseudo-family is a damn good Plan B!

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