30 September 2010

Trox is on the mend

Trox (unit #2) has been sick but is finally on the mend. We have had a few "stay at home" days and a few "not do much" days. Yesterday was our first real "out" day and we took in one of the museums - well at least one room of it. We did join the museum so we are now official members of the Melbourne Museum and they have an IMAX and it is currently showing a bunch of stuff that will be fun to see including Avatar - which should be really good on an IMAX screen in 3-D.

Previously we went for a walk along the river and into the main botanical garden. It is HUGE! We got there about 30 minutes before it "closed" which actually just means the visitor center is closed and you can still wander around. Stuff is just starting to bud out with a few things in bloom. The wisteria around town is starting to bloom and is going to be really beautiful in a week or so and it smells heavenly. Today we think we are going to tackle the main market in city center.

Trox has been playing with how to add google earth stuff here to the blog and hopefully will get that running soon. It is supposed to be much warmer this weekend (in the 70s) and we are hoping to take in an RV show.
Our Tram to City Center
The Yarra River
This sculpture was along the river walk - that's
me leaning against the middle leg
From the bridge where we crossed the Yarra
to enter the botantical garden
My sherpa carrying both packs!
In the garden - looks like Forsythia but isn't
A family of swans
about 8 babies and 3 or 4 adults were present
Birds of Paradise are everywhere

25 September 2010

City Center

Today was the AFL final game played here in Melbourne. I'm told AFL (Australian Rules Football - referred to as Footy) is a combination of Rugby, American Football, and Soccer. Not to mention that fistycuffs break out on the field as well. And, the playing field (at least today) was a Cricket field. Oh, yea, I forgot to mention that these guys play this game in short shorts and not-quite muscle shirts - NO protective gear. The two teams playing today were the Saints (from St. Kilda where we are staying) and the Pies (actually the Magpies from Collingwood which is another suburb of Melbourne). There was all this hype for the past week and even a parade with something like 300,000 spectators (that was yesterday). The official count for spectators at the game today was over 100,000 and there must have been at least that on the streets in front of big screen set up for viewing in the city center. When we got up today we headed to City Center where the game was being played to people watch. There were lots of people everywhere there was a television and we just kind of wandered around. We kept waiting for this huge party to break out since it didn't really matter who won since both teams are locals. Finally we asked who won the game trying to figure out what happened to the party - just to be told it was a "draw" and there will be another game next week! YISH!

On to more important things. City center is really interesting with lots of cool architecture and parks and shopping.
Things are starting to bloom
Not sure what building is but is part of a university in City Center
Public bath house - which means it is a gym & pool
Located in City Center - really nice!
The largest market - located in City Center - was closed
when we got there - we'll have to go back!
Riding the free tram around City Center
These bikes were available to rent just by putting your money in the slot
and taking a bike - or you can buy an annual subscription for $50 which
gives you a key to help yourself whenever you want.
Tower over Performing Arts Center
Bustling intersection at night - time to go home

24 September 2010

Always think LEFT!

A week has come and gone! Not sure where it went but can't figure out how to get it back even if I find it. We've done some more exploring and spent Wednesday with JAM (Greg & Chrissy's one year old son). Then on Thursday (that was yesterday for us) we took Greg & JAM to the airport to leave for the States. That meant that Trox got to drive home! My job was to navigate (OMG!) and to remind him to "always think LEFT!". The trip back included highway - toll road - and BUSY surface streets - not to mention NARROW surface streets. BUT we made it back and didn't have any close calls.

Greg took us to the St. Kilda botanical gardens with JAM the other day so that's where we spent most of the day with him on Wednesday. There are swings and slides and jungle gyms! Also a really nice conservatory and the local chess club playing chess outside.


Greg & JAM sharing a sushi roll
He doesn't quite understand the concept of a slide yet.
The swing he gets!

It is VERY early spring here so the flowers are just beginning.

hmmmm! let's see ... if i move that i'll ... oh, damn that won't work!
Inside the conservatory there were fish ponds, boardwalks and lush green vegetation!

Both of us have kind of been "under the weather" so today will probably be a do nothing day - that is after I get dressed and go get coffee - which is WONDERFUL here!

18 September 2010

Exploring Melbourne

So in our two days of wandering Melbourne we have managed to find a nearby grocery store; open a bank account; get a library card; purchase a transportation ticket; explore one of the local food markets; get lost once or twice (thank god for a good GPS); ride the public train - there is a train system as well as bus and trolley.
Melbourne airport looks like all others!
Looking for Greg!
On the way from the airport to Greg & Chrissy's we had this view of the Melbourne skyline.
We went to the library with Jacques (JAM) and his nanny (Janet) for story hour.
Riding the train to the market
This is just one stall of many (100s?) at the market. Produce is wonderful! And eggs and coffee and anything one could want! What a wonderful noisy fragrant place.

16 September 2010

We arrived Melbourne Thursday 16/9/2010!

Yea, yea, yea --- the date looks weird but that's how it's done here ... day/month/year ... so I will try to start using that format.

Anyway we arrived about 0530 this morning and Greg picked us up about 0630. We had only one problem getting into the country - my visa was listed as "Glenda P" and my passport reads only "Glenda". Immigration was really cool about it and changed my visa so they both now read "Glenda". Customs was a piece of cake ... they questioned the fact that Trox had marked that in the last 6 days he had been in streams and rivers but once they found out we didn't have the shoes he had worn and the clothes had been laundered they let us through. We didn't even have to have our bags looked at or x-rayed so that was great! We were out front and waiting for Greg by about 0615 and he found us about 0630 so we didn't have to wait long.

We are now ensconced in Greg & Chrissy's house and it is going to be a great place to spend our first month. We've met young Jacques (JAM) and have unpacked. Next task is to find a bank and gym and take care of some business.

More to come - including pictures!

15 September 2010

We are in LAX!

Carry on
On Southwest waiting to take off
On board SWA - NOW I'm getting excited!
Arrived in LAX right on time - about 1:30 - then had to wait for V-Australia to open - about 2 hours. So, we walked about LAX to find a connection and a nice place to sit. We got checked in to V-Australia with no trouble - I was concerned because we don't have a return ticket but no one said anything. First time I've ever had a person at baggage check ask what we were carrying on - both of us passed muster and actually could have brought 40 pounds more stuff! We then walked some more and then sat down to have some dinner ('tis where we are as I write).

At food court looking for "onward" flights in case we need 'em
In nice restaurant waiting for food!





14 September 2010

12 Hours! Just twelve more!

In almost exactly 12 hours we will all climb into Donna & Tom's truck and head for Albuquerque where we will catch our plane to Los Angeles and then on to Melbourne!

Today we finalized the storing of the rig by parking it out of Donna & Tom's way, placing leveling blocks under the wheels to keep it off the wet ground, moving the final things we aren't taking with us inside, putting its cover on and saying a temporary good bye to our only home.
Stuff still to move inside
Zipping the door closed
Climbing underneath to stretch bungy cords
And he's ready to sleep for a year.


The Final Ride

Yesterday Trox and Tom M did a final ride while Dee and Mindy and I went for lunch at Gabriel's.

They rode mostly on the Windsor trail with a detour to go by the place where Tom M scattered his father's ashes. What a beautiful place to spend eternity. Also on the ride they unexpectedly ran into Jason & Johnny - other riding buddies.
video
Tom riding along the single track
video
Jason whizzing by

13 September 2010

48 hours!

Down to thinking in terms of hours rather than days and it is actually less than 48 hours from now that we have to leave The Jemez to get to Albuquerque airport to leave. There is WAY too much to do in the next few hours but I knew it would end up this way - but we'll manage.

Last night we stayed in Chupadero and this morning Trox is riding with Tom M. for one last ride and I'm going to brunch with Dee and Mindy. Then this evening Trox and I are meeting Bobby and his son to have dinner then back up to the Jemez to Donna & Tom's. Tomorrow we will pack Trox (of course I'm already packed) and get the Rig covered and unfortunately will probably need to make a run into town.

THEN on Tuesday morning we will be up early and head for Albuquerque and many hours later we will be in Melbourne.

12 September 2010

THREE!

Three! Three! Three! Three! Three! Three!

11 September 2010

FOUR!

Four more days! And we made tons of progress today. We got the rig winterized and ready to hibernate for a year or so. Even tried the new cover for it on and it fit as advertised! Also did a dry run pack job (one bag is packed, weighed, zipped, and ready). Sorted out what goes on board with us as well as figured out what was going to go in what bag. I think we will just make the weight limits so that we won't have to pay a penalty.


Had a WONDERFUL meal this evening. Donna made oven roasted veges and Trox and I split a sirloin tip steak. The steak was VERY good but the veges were YUMMMMMMMMMM!
Tomorrow we are going to go to Tom & Dee's and spend the night. Trox and Tom and maybe some others will make a ride on Sunday morning and then we have dinner plans with a friend of Trox' - Bob & his son. Then back up here to Donna & Tom's.

Monday will be a last pack day and cover the rig for the duration. We will also probably have to make a trip to town on Monday to go to the bank. And then Tuesday is the DAY that we've been waiting for!

10 September 2010

5 more!

Five more days!!!! The Unit #2 (Trox) has come back to the Jemez and we have started winterizing the rig. We dumped the holding tanks and gave it a bath this afternoon. Tomorrow we will continue cleaning and winterizing. The cover arrived today also which means we will be able to put it on before we leave on Tuesday!

09 September 2010

the countdown continues at 6 more days!

Less than a week to go! I think everything is pretty much in place and we have what we need - although I'm sure there will be something we will have not thought of. I continue to stay with Donna & Tom and Trox is still at Tom & Dee's. He is supposed to rejoin me tomorrow so we can winterize the rig and think about packing. The cover for the rig should be here tomorrow.

08 September 2010

7 more days!

This time next week we will be winging our way to Melbourne! I had dinner with my good friend Jan this evening and tomorrow I have lunch with Terry. It has been great to see old friends and catch up on all the news. Trox had lunch with his Mother today after a ride.
Trox and Tom rode the Windsor trail the other day. Had so much fun that when they got back they rode the Rio en Medio trail also. Haven't seen Trox for a few days but he sent me the GPS info on the ride along with this video. Enjoy!

video

07 September 2010

8 more days

Making progress! Eight days to go. Spoke with Greg in Melbourne this afternoon and they are ready for us. Greg is going to pick us up at the airport! YIPPEE! I managed to get more done on THE RIG and Trox is still with Tom & Dee and probably riding.

I also managed to add a clock to the right side so you can see what time it is in Melbourne compared to current Mountain Time in the US.

06 September 2010

9 more days left!

Well day nine has come and gone (almost). Started process of cleaning and packing THE RIG for storage. Rethinking clothes and also wondering if we are going to need another bag --- probably.

weather

Just added Melbourne's weather to the blog ... uh-oh ... maybe it is going to be a little cooler than we thought when we get there. Guess I'll rethink the clothes list.

05 September 2010

10 days but who's counting

The final countdown has begun. We have 10 days and are beginning the final counting down. Do we have everything done? passports - check ... visas - check ... driver's license - check ... canceled all utilities - check ... paid all outstanding bills - one more to go ... seen everyone we need to - almost ... clothes - check ... winterized rig - started ... what have we forgotten - dunno ...

Trox continues to ride but is having major problems with bike. First was broken spokes then a bunch of blown tubes and during the last ride (a few days ago) he bent the bloody hell out of the derailer.

I managed to lose my external drive the other day - the one that contains ALL my data. Luckily the drive wasn't really damaged but only the power port. With patience and much frustration I was able to get all the data off the old drive onto the new one. At least it happened while I was still able to get a new drive and not while I was on the plane to Australia.