Thursday, December 23, 2010


Blinds that came with the house
Ok, so we moved into our house August 2009. We now finally have blinds in our rooms!

What we have been using as blinds/curtains for the last year.

About 3months ago I got a couple of companies in to give us measures and quotes. One company wouldn’t give us type of blinds that we wanted, so that took them out of the running, that left one company, who we were happy with on cost and why they provided and they came recommended.

So, in the middle of October, when I was off work for a few days cause Maggie had been desexed & I had an exam to study for, they came and installed the blinds.

The Lounge, Kitchen & Meals area blinds were put in first and they looked great! It was as good as I was hoping they would look. We chose to have Cellular blinds put in these rooms as they are good insulators (keep heat out in summer, cold out in winter) and when pulled up they sit very slim and are pretty much un-noticeable.

When I went to see the study and bedrooms blinds, they looks nice and how I was thinking they would look, the only problem was that the front (they are double rollers) sunscreen one was totally the wrong colour! It was a black colour and I had chosen an off white that was pretty much the same colour as the full block out.

So….. 6 weeks later and it is all sorted!! Yah!

Main bedroom
 Spare Bedroom
 Spare Bedroom

We had some issues with the main bedroom blinds as they had to be spilt into 3 because of the window size, and while one of the rollers was, the other was not, so we had our outside blind down for 6 weeks so that people couldn’t see in.

But its all good now.

Just in time for Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Maggie Update

This weekend Maggie turns 7 months old. She has grown so much since the last photos posted of her.

She is almost finished her basic obedience training, and has been doing very well. We practice with her most days after work, either when we take her for a walk, or after dinner.

She was de-sexed in October. With everything going very well. It was hard to try and keep her from running around, and she was very slow on the back steps for the first day (Spanky often carried her down).



She has her good days and her ‘devil’ days. Every day when the first person gets home, they go out side and see which type of day its been. Some days there is no damage to the yard, its trees/bushes, and any objects in it. Other days there is holes all around the place, Camellia plants with no leaves left on it and a cardboard box torn to shreds.

Maggie also has now got half a clam shell (from Bonnie) to use during summer on the hot days. She had yet to sit in the water, but loves walking through it and getting her paws wet and drinking the water. She also puts her toys in there too to get them wet then plays with them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A week in the life of Maggie

On Saturday morning, Bubbles called me outside and told me to bring the camera. So out i go, and what do i find? A puppy stuck behind a fence that is there to keep her out. The lattice plasic fence is about 1.5m tall and is around 3 ivy covered poles (as ivy isnt ment to be good for dogs). This would have worked except that we have a smart little puppy who happens to love leaves!
So she had managed to push up the lattice enough to crawl her way under, but the plastic wont bend back for her to get out. She was quite happy to be in there though, because there were leaves for her to play with.
We got her out, but had to get her to crawl really low as we couldnt bend the plastic much even with 2 of us doing it (we couldnt reach in and pick her out either cause the fence is too tall).

After all this fun (and a visit from Uncle Lucielle), she later had her first bath.
Which went pretty well, although she almost managed to get away from us twice. She didnt seem to mind the water too much (likes going to the pool and seeing all the kiddies from the Club who make her all nice and wet).
Maggie even had a hairdryer blow dry after her towel drying to get all dry. Then she got a nice pigs ear to eat infront of the heater for being so good.

When we came home from work yesterday and went outside to take her for her walk, we found a not so clean dog.
It was raining on and off all day, and the yard was pretty wet, so it looks like she had spent the day digging small holes and laying in them. Her whole belly & legs was just black with dirt and so was her white mo-hawk She had also gone around and put some of her toys in her holes, but not burried them at all. We just talk her for her walk to dry her off, then when we all got home we cleaned her up a bit, but she is still a bit dirty as we figure she could do it all again today!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Introducing Maggie!

This is our energetic 13 week old black & white Border Collie. She has now been part of our family for 4 weeks.

We got her from a breeder in Broadford, about an hour drive away from home.

She is settling in well, knows where to pee and where not to pee, knows her ‘sits’, ‘stays’, ‘drops’, ‘comes’ and ‘OFF!’.

She is a fair devil close to dinner time and will chew on anything she can think of!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Well, we’ve been home about a week and a half now.
We are definitely back in the swing of normal life.

The day after we got home, Bubbles was coming in from out in the backyard and he yells out to Spanky, “Where are you? This is the furthest away I’ve been from you in about 5 weeks!”. It was strange to realise that for 5 weeks we had been with each other pretty much 24/7.

Before we left the US, Bubbles swore that he wouldn’t eat a French fries/Chip for at least two weeks after we got home. So far this has been pretty easy to do, helped by the fact that when we went food shopping we didn’t buy any.

Although it has been easy not eating fries, Bubbles has had Onion Ring withdrawals. Often at dinner, we would share a plate of onion rings and were becoming quite the Onion Ring Connoisseurs.

We really did have a wonderful trip, although it is hard to sum it all up in a quick answer when people as “how was your trip”.

We both loved our time at the beach. It was very relaxing, restful and a beautiful area. Probably most like our normal holidays are.

Our favourite city was New York City. Although it is busy and has lots of people, we never felt unsafe and had a wonderful time there doing everything we did and we weren’t rushing around too much.

Spanky got very used to driving on the other side of the road and since coming home has struggled a few times when driving. Window wipers on rather than indicator, wanting to do a long left rather than a short left etc.

We made another trip out to the airport on the weekend, to pick up The President and First Lady, who arrived home from their 3wk trip to South America and the Galapagos islands. We had Sunday lunch with them, Spankys grandparents and brothers to catch up and because Spanky’s brother, Patrice, headed off to the US yesterday and he will be gone for about a year.

In other news, Bubbles’ sister, The Keeper, is in the new tourism Australia ad. Funnily enough, she is the zoo keeper holding the Platypus. Good singing!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 36 - Sunday 23 May - Travel/Sydney/Melbourne

Now there is no mistake in the date, we left on a Friday night and got home on a Sunday morning due to a little thing called the International Date Line.

The flight was fine but Bubbles didn’t sleep much and ended up with a stiff neck, so he was grumpy and tired by the time the flight was over. Spanky on the other hand was pretty chipper. She fell asleep shortly after takeoff, woke to eat dinner, then went back to sleep and only woke when we were about 2.5hrs away from landing.

We arrived in Sydney and had our first case of having to wait a long time for our luggage. When we finally got it we quickly got though customs and headed for the transfers desk with about 45 mins before our domestic flight to Melbourne was meant to leave. There would have been more time, but V Australia/Virgin Blue in their wisdom changed our flights a week before hand and moved us to a domestic flight 45min before the one we had booked on.

After waiting for about an hour at the transfers desk, we were given seats on a different flight (funny that as our other one had already left) and headed over to the domestic terminal. We boarded our flight for our final flight of the trip.

We arrived in Melbourne at 1115am and we met by The Golfer and The Teacher who chauffeured us home. Thus ending our five week journey.

Day 35 - Friday 21 May - San Francisco

Today started off as normal and we got up and grabbed some breakfast. We finished up our packing, somehow finding the best way to pack the large amount of shoes, jeans, t-shirts, jackerts etc that we had brought. We were lucky enough to have a midday checkout, so at about 1145 we left out room and headed down. We double checked that out taxi was booked to pick us up and went out for our last little bit of shopping.

We grabbed what we needed (another jacket for Bubbles, shoes for Spanky) and headed to get some lunch. There was a soup place that Bubbles had been wanting to go to since we arrived in San Francisco but could never get there. So after our long awaited soup lunch we headed over to Walgreens.

By the time we left Walgreens we had almost left them with no Sugar Free candy, which is for Bubbles. We headed back to our hotel and grabbed the taxi to the Airport. It was the first taxi that we had taken that cost what we expected it to. It was nice not to have a nasty surprise on being dropped off.

We checked in our luggage, 2 for Bubbles and 1 for Spanky (plus she had the small suitcase carry on), and went to our gate. The flight to Los Angeles was quick and there was nice view from the window as we flew in. This was just the first of three flights that it would take to get us home.

We grabbed out luggage and walked around LAX to check in at terminal 3. We passed the luggage weight test (we sent 4 bags down the shoot and hit right on our weight limit of 64kg total) and went and grabbed some dinner in the main international terminal. We were going to get dinner on the flight but we would have to wait until about midnight local time to get it.

After some dinner, we headed to our gate and waited. It was strange to be waiting for an international flight in the same terminal as domestic flights, but the added security in the US airports makes it ok as only passengers with boarding passes are allowed past security to the actual terminal.

Day 34 - Thursday 20 May - San Francisco

This morning we got up earlyish, had breakfast and got ready for the day. We headed out to the local Walgreens (7-11) and brought a one day muni ticket so that we could go on the Cable cars, buses and trams.

We got on the Cable car at the end of Powell just before 830am. This cable car took us up Powell Street, and along Mason Street all the way to Fisherman’s wharf.

We hopped off at the end of the line, and walked over to pier 33 where we boarded a boat going out to Alcatraz Island. We had booked the 930am boat and it left right on time. We sat up the top of the boat and soaked in the views as well as some much needed sun.

We spent about 2 hours on Alcatraz, wondering around looking at all the buildings. We took the free audio tour of the main cell block and heard about what it was like for the guards and the inmates. Bubbles even spent some time in a cell, but Spanky declined the offer.

When we got back into the city it was just after noon, so we walked down to pier 1 and the Ferry building for some lunch. They had transformed the old building into a farmer market type location that fresh food and local produce to pick from. Originally this building was a Ferry terminal for everyone coming into the city for work from other areas of the bay, but when the bridges (Bay & Golden Gate) were build it was not needed very much. A freeway was build over it, but in the last major earthquake (late ‘80’s) the freeway collapsed. Instead of rebuilding the freeway over it again, they moved the freeway and redid the building up to its past grandeur.

We stopped by a chocolate store on the way back to pick up some more presents, but strangely Spanky declined some free samples.

We took a walk up Market Street and then hopped on a tram and then a bus to get us to a sports store we had found online. We finally found a place that had shoes that would fit Spanky and Bubbles got some things too. So we were much much happier than we were yesterday arvo.

We took the bus back to Union Square and headed for the hotel for a rest and to start packing.

At 530pm we headed out the front of our hotel and were picked up by Martha & Terry (it was perfect timing by all of us!). They drove us a few blocks away and we went and had dinner at this great little Italian restaurant. The food was wonderful and we all left the restaurant feeling very full. Terry took us on a bit of a drive of the city, and we headed out to the Golden Gate Park. We went to the beach as well, and saw the Pacific Ocean. On the way back to the hotel, Martha pointed out places to us, like the area her grandparents lived in, the hospital where she was born and other places she used to go to as a child.

We were all pretty tired by the time we got dropped off to the hotel (we’re sure the food helped with that), but it was great to be able to see Martha & Terry one last time before we left.

Day 33 - Wednesday 19 May - San Francisco

Today we had a bit of a sleep in and then headed for our 11am bus tour out to the Golden Gate Bridge. The tour gave good views and we stopped for about 15min on the other side of the bridge for photos. It was drizzling the whole time, but we still sat on the top level of the bus and got wet.

On the way back, we got off the bus at Lombard Street to go check out the crooked part of the street. We walked up and up and then down and down Lombard street. It is easy to see why it is called the “crookedist” street in the world.

After our picture taking, we walked a few blocks south to go find a sports store we had heard about. We looked around the store for about 30min and brought only one thing. We stopped for lunch at a Deli and then made our way to the Cable Car Museum.

After the museum, we were pretty tired from all the hill walking, so headed to the hotel for a rest.

After our rest, we went out to try to find some sneakers to buy. After lots of frustration going to all the shops in the area that sold them, we gave up and had some dinner. For some reason they only stock standard width shoes and in limited sizes, which we found strange being in the land of the giants.

We went to the 8pm show of Wicked. The show was good, we had seen it in Melbourne 2yrs ago. The theater is in a very seedy part of town, so we walked very quickly back to our hotel after it was over with some other people going the same way.

Day 32 - Tuesday 18 May - San Francisco

Today we did three hop-on hop-off bus tours.

The first one we did took us out to Golden Gate Park (this park is not near the Golden Gate Bridge). This tour took us past some of the seedier parts of the city but also gave us a good look at the different types of houses that make up the city. The most interesting of those houses had such intricate detail with the painting that they looked amazing. We went past the famous 'Painted Ladies', which are shown in many movies and TV shows.

We next did the downtown tour. This tour took us through the city and we hopped off at Fisherman’s Wharf. We went for a look around the Wharf area. We checked out Pier 39 and the seals and then walked over to Fort Mason. We got on the bus again and headed back to Union Square.

When we got back to the Square, we stopped off at the discount Ticket booth and picked up tickets for Wicked for tomorrow night at a good discount price.

After a short rest, we did the night bus tour (that was at 5pm, and it was nowhere near being dark outside, thank goodness it took us on a different route from the day tour).

We grabbed some dinner at Wolfgang Pucks Express and then headed back for the night. As a note it was still light out when we got back to the hotel after dinner. Not a very good night tour on the bus.

Day 31 - Monday 17 May - San Francisco

Today we packed up our stuff and Terry took us to our hotel in San Francisco just before lunchtime. We said goodbye and thank you to Terry, but would be seeing him and Martha later in the week before we left.

We were able check-in to our room when we got there. The room was very nice and we both thought that the upgrade in the room was well worth it for the extra space that it gave us.

Our hotel is at Union Square. Union Square is a tourist area which has lots of shops and restaurants.

We spent the arvo walking around the area looking in the shops and getting wet from the rain. We both bought some things to go with the ever expanding pile that we have accumulated.

For dinner we went to the Cheesecake Factory at the top of Macy’s. It was great! The meals were huge and we each ordered a cheesecake to take away (very very good cheesecakes. Bubbles had a low carbs one, while Spanky had a triple choc one). It was our first restaurant that we had to wait for a table to be available, which is pretty good this far into the trip. We left dinner wishing we had been to the Cheesecake Factory a few times in our trip.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 30 - Sunday 16th May - Sunnyvale/San Francisco, CL

Today we had a bit of a sleep in and then got ready to go a for a baseball game.

After saying goodbye to Alicia (who was going back to Uni today and having her 21st Birthday during the week), we headed off to the AT&T ballpark in San Francisco city.

We got to the stadium to find that the line into the stadium went around the street, over the bridge and half way down the wharf. (They were giving out bobble heads to the first 20,000 people through the gates) The game was San Francisco Vs. Houston, they had played the day before with a win to San Francisco.

The game was great with a win to San Francisco. We saw 4 home runs with one being a splasher (it landed in the water out of the stadium).

We headed back and Martha and Terry made us our first home cooked meal in 4 weeks. It was very good.

Day 29 - Saturday 15th May - Sunnyvale, CL

Today, the 3 girls headed off for a pedicure in the morning. While Bubbles and Terry stayed home and started to fix Bubbles’ suitcase handle (it got broken in NYC and wouldn’t go up anymore, making it a pain to carry around).

When the girls got home, we all headed out to an outlet mall about 30min away. We got to the outlets at about 1215pm, and didn’t leave until 7pm. That’s a lot of shopping time! On the way home, the boot of the car was filled with shopping bags (not all ours, some for Martha & Alicia as well!).

We went out for dinner at a make your own Mexican place, kinda like Subway only with tacos, barritos etc.

Day 28 - Friday 14th May - LV/San Jose

Today we woke up in our wonderful hotel suite.

We headed down for some breakfast at one of the many restaurants on offer. After breakfast, we went and packed up all our stuff and then checked out and put our stuff in the car.

We wandered around the hotel and went and had a look at the inside of the Lexor hotel/casino.

At about 1230pm we got into our car and took a drive down and back up the Strip. We then headed to the rental car drop off centre.

Our flight to San Jose was about an hour, and only left 10mins late.

When we got to San Jose airport we were met by Martha and Alicia. They took us back to their house, we dropped our stuff off, got changed quickly and then we all, along with Terry, headed off for dinner.

We went to a Japanese tepinyaki restaurant where we meet up with some family friends of Martha & Terry’s and also celebrated Alicia’s 21st Birthday (in 5 days).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 27 - Thursday 13th May - AZ/Las Vegas

Today took us for the long trip from the Grand Canyon south rim all the way to Las Vegas. We set off at about 745am, drove out of the park and stopped at the Maccas just outside the gates. After some breakfast, we set off again (bout 815am).

The drive was long. It was fairly easy and smooth though. Mainly trucks on the highway, but everyone was following good overtaking rules.

We got to the Arizona-Nevada state boarder at about midday. We parked the car and then had a look around. The reason this was a pit stop is because the state boarder here is the Hoover Dam. Bubbles was loving it. The dam wall is huge, although we did think it looked a little smaller in length in person than it does on TV and films.

After our pit stop, we got in the car for our last driving leg of they day.

We got into Las Vegas and arrived out our hotel, Mandalay Bay at about 1pm. After we found the self car park, we went in search of the check-in desk.

Room cards in hand, we headed up to the 28th floor. Down a super long corridor, and we found our room. It was one room away from the room at the end of the corridor. We had booked a suite, and absolutely LOVED the room!! It was huge! (We had already paid for the room, but when we checked in, they did us a better deal, and halved the room price!!!)

We got changed and went down to the pool area. There is a Wave pool, 3 other pools and a lazy river. After a swim, and a rest, we went back to the room (for anther rest).

At 5pm, we went to the shops and had a look around the casino and hotel. We had dinner at a Russian restaurant where we had Beef Strog and Chicken Kiev. Both were very good (at the price we paid they should have been).

After dinner, we headed out to the Strip for a look around. We walked all the way to Treasure Island casino/hotel, then turned around and headed back. This trip took us past/to all the main hotels/casinos. We enjoyed seeing the inside of the Venetian. It was very busy out on the sidewalk, both with tourists and people trying to get you to see shows.

After spending the night walking up and down “The Strip” Bubbles can clearly see why it most commonly called “Sin City”.