Wednesday, January 21, 2009

25 Random things about me

Last week I finally started Italian language school. It has been so long since I've actually written pages of notes with that old fashioned gadget - the pen - that my hand was in silent protest.
We've got such a great bunch in our class with students from Brazil, Iraq, India, Japan and the US. Oh and there is an amazing, wonderful, gorgeous and humble student from Australia....Joking!

I've made some new friends at the school so instead of coming home and studying (or blogging, or cleaning or ironing) I go out for lunch or coffee. This is all too familiar territory when I think back to my days of studying at university.

I also realised how different it is studying as an adult. As an 18 year old uni student my most important thought of the day was 'what parties are on tonight on campus?' whereas now I look forward to the class and am truly sad when our two hours is up.

When I got home from class today, I logged into facebook and saw that a friend had tagged me in this exercise: 25 Random things about me. So here it is:

1. I thank God every day for my life and especially my husband.
2. I love dogs and miss our golden retriever every day.
3. I was in a car accident where everyone died but me, so I believe in never taking a single day for granted.
4. I love singing (just ask the neighbours)
5. I have the cutest nephew in the world.
6. I love writing and reading.
7. I have a great family. I know it's rare but I also love my in-laws.
8. I thought this list was going to be easier to write than this.
9. I speak Polish & English (duh), am learning Italian and used to speak fluent Japanese.
10. I rarely drink but I love Baileys on ice.
11. I have only a couple of friends that I share my secrets with but I cherish their friendship so much (you know who you are!).
12. I am terrible at maths and science. Luckily I married someone that is brilliant at it.
13. I was born in Poland and came to Australia when I was five. Now I live in Italy.
14. I feel very privileged to be a godmother to two beautiful children.
15. I met my husband in a nightclub, we didn't exchange numbers and kept running into each other for the next week.
16. I have a love/hate relationship with aerobics and exercise.
17. I love watching re-runs of daggy shows like 'Will & Grace' & 'The Nanny'. In my pyjamas.
18. I don't believe in holding a grudge.
19. We never fall asleep angry at each other. Ever.
20. I believe that everyone should sponsor at least one child overseas or contribute to someone else less fortunate (if you can).
21. I had a snake under my desk at work in Karratha.
22. I miss my friends and family back at home and can't imagine life without email or dare I say it, facebook.
23. I hope to be a mother one day.
24. I eat chocolate every single day. Without fail. I would die for it. It is the reason for point number 16.
25. I love cooking and baking. My first thought of the day is usually 'what am I cooking for dinner tonight?'

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A White Christmas in Austria.

We just got back from a five night trip to Salzburg in Austria. It was by far, the best holiday we've ever had. EVER.

As soon as we drove into the Austrian alps, we gasped in awe of the beauty we could see (and I know that sounds corny but we really were speechless).

The highlight of our trip was taking a 2km cable car up to Untersberg Mountain for Jason's 29th birthday. It was -20 degrees celcius and I gave up after half an hour outside and retreated into the pub for a hot chocolate. Two hours later, he returned from hiking with a blue face and blue lips. He was as excited as a little kid on Christmas day but couldn't smile properly as his lips were so numb.
He didn't care though as this is what he saw up there:

And this. I love this photo he took and almost wished I had gone with him...but the hot chocolates were REALLY good.

We also took a side day trip to Munich and went for lunch at the original home of the Oktoberfest - the Hofrabrahaus. Before we even had a chance to say 'supersize me' the waiter ran over with our one litre beer.

But back to Salzburg. I mentioned one of the trip highlights was climbing the mountain (well some of us climbed, some people climbed, some people who remain nameless stayed inside and kept warm). But of course my personal highlight is always to do with food. We found Demel's chocolatiers on the first night. They had the most gorgeous selection of cakes I've ever seen. In 6 days, we visited there 7 times. It was so cold that you could only stay out for an hour or so and then had to retreat in for hot coffee. And we all know what goes well with coffee:

Growing up in Australia, Christmas Day meant 40 degree temperatures, wearing singlets and shorts around the pool and going to the beach. My father used to always say 'it doesn't feel like Christmas without snow and feeling cold'. I didn't know what he meant until now. When we walked out of our hotel on Christmas Day and headed out (probably to Demel's) snow flakes started falling on us. Real Christmas trees (not the plastic Australian K-mart ones) were all around us. Street side sellers were selling roasted chestnuts. An ice-skating rink was set up in the middle of the square with kids squealing in excitement as daggy 80's music played. And in the background were the Austrian alps glistening with gorgeous snow. Everything that I had seen in picture books when I was a child and then on the travel channel growing up.

We missed being back at home this year for the holiday season, but we could have not hoped for more of a perfect time than we had this week in Austria. A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!