Sunday, 27 April 2014

Road Trippin: Montezuma's Castle and Well

After Seattle, we returned to Phoenix for a week and some before heading back to Melbourne.  Seth and Bennet were on school vacation so Mom planned for us to do this little 2-day road trip together.  I think it was part-bonding experience, part-Mom trying to convince us that Arizona is actually a really cool place.  Joke's on her though, I already knew that!  My home state is beautiful and there really is much to see.

First on the agenda was Montezuma's Castle, an ancient Native American adobe dwelling built into the side of a cliff.  Alec and I are sort of armchair archaeology fans, so this was a real treat.

Seth and Bennet with a little Anders peeking through.

It might be easy for one to think that Alec is actually the one related to these people.  I'm trying to think of a bouncy way to say "I really love that Alec and my family love each other so much, it's the best ever."  but here we are.

I'm not sure I need to, but I'll point out how ridiculously clever building an adobe dwelling into the side of a cliff would be in a hot desert.  If you've never been inside one, they stay very cool even in an Arizona summer.  This structure has multiple floors and is several rooms deep.  They got up there with ladders (probably).  I mean, HOW FREAKING COOL is what I am trying to say.

Also, just think of the possibilities in the zombie apocalypse.  Genius.


Now here we are at Montezuma's Well, a natural well just down the way.  I think I remember that there are species living in it that live nowhere else in the world.

Mom, Anders, Bennet, and Seth

See, again with the cuteness and the looking like each other.  I estimate that Seth and Bennet think Alec is one of the top people in the whole world (and vice versa).  I agree!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Clem and Grams

I still have a ton of pictures to share from Arizona.  Like I said, while we were there I thought best to spend the time with people and then I could do this part later.  At first I thought having a blog would be like "Oh, I have a blog."  The more I get into the habit of it (and it really needs to be a habit otherwise I accidentally go two weeks without doing it until my Mom sends me a "BLOG!" text) the nicer it is just to be able to look back on posts and see what we were doing.  Especially seeing how Clementine has changed.  She will be so embarrassed when she gets older!

For instance, she is much more rolley in these pictures.  She still is a bit but she's longer now.  Not to mean that she is in any way tall, because obviously.  Anyway, these are adorable.  

Every day Mom got home from work, she'd walk in the door and scoop Clem up from wherever she was and get a nice cuddle.  My Mom has a way of holding babies, you may know.  I sure miss that Momma of mine.  

Ps. Happy Weekend!  It's ANZAC Day today which is another Public Holiday.  We only have the Queens Birthday left until the long dark winter of no long weekends.  It's nice to have Alec home, we went to breakfast this morning with his new coworkers and then potted plants I bought at IKEA yesterday.  

I also sent him to the grocery store with Clementine BY HIMSELF and I'm quite pleased to say he did just fine and remembered to buy all the things.

This was a long Ps.  Carry on.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Nature Study 01

I've decided to make my nature pictures a regular feature.  I like taking them so much and this way you will know what to expect when you see that title.

So we did go to the dog park.  We go to Darebin Parklands, an area on Merri Creek which is a little drive from our house in Fairfield.  We go for Molly obviously, who feels like a very special girl when she hears the words "Do you want to go to the...PARK!!!!"  (Molly knows what that means and jumps exuberantly when she hears her favorite things so we usually have to spell it out before we are actually leaving).  We also go because it's the closest bit of nature to us in the city and it's peaceful.

The side of a stump, or an alien landscape.

Hello little Spiderman, living in a tree.

These trail markers are set up along the way.  I thought this one was particularly apt to our current life.  We have so many things to do and it's hard to be patient.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Monday

We sure love our public holidays in Australia.  Alec has a 4 day weekend for Easter and we're spending the time doing mostly nothing.  It's been windy, raining, and cold out all weekend, so we are happy to have some sun today at least.  We need to soak up every moment of fall because by Melbourne standards, it will be winter next week.

The heaters on for the first time and Alec lit some cedar incense that we brought back from Arizona, so I'm imagining that it's almost like having an indoor fireplace.  We may go to the dogpark later.  It's a cozy day.

Clementine loves to be outside in the sun.

Our plants also need a bit more sun before they all go into winter hibernation.  
Half of these were cuttings gifted to us by the neighbor's nature strips ;)

Investigating the weeds together.  Our backyard is a bit feral right now.

Cloth diapers drying on the line.

Bell pepper bushes, creeping towards a long winter rest.

The last of the green beans.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Seward Park

One afternoon, Alec, Clem, Joani and I took a walk in Seward Park which is just down the way from their house.  Neither of us had ever been and I was kicking myself because Molly would have loved it. We started out together but the light rain and quiet ambient light made for a sort of peaceful melancholy mood, and without even deciding to, we were all walking separately, each enjoying the walk in our own way.  

I wore a hooded rain jacket and watched as drops occasionally dripped from the front.  Beyond the rain pattering on my jacket, it was very quiet.  It was so peaceful in a way that is rare these days (as anyone with a baby could understand).  

Joani made this hat for Clementine and it became an instant favorite.  
I'm waiting for my own to arrive in the mail (hint hint :).

Alec walked with an umbrella and Clem slept for most of the walk.

All kinds of moss grow on any available surface.

A view of the lake.

We stopped to watch these ducks all swim suddenly to one side or the other.  It looked like something was chasing them under the water but we never saw what it was.  Maybe a Lake Washington shark?

There is a clay studio in an old house on the edge of the park.  
Joani does ceramics here, so we stopped by to have a look.

Gooooooooooo these two.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Joani and Mike's in Seattle

Alright now I am totally backtracking in time.  While in America, we spent a week visiting family in Washington state.  We stayed with my Aunt Joani and Uncle Mike in their amazing house in Columbia City (south Seattle).  Most of the parts that were so amazing could not be captured on camera: delicious dinners with wine that lasted much later than we are used to staying up, morning coffee over views of the misty lake, relaxing with blankets on the porch late into the night while watching the lights on the water.

Being in Seattle felt restorative in a way I did not anticipate.  Alec and I lived here together when we first started dating, so it feels like our spiritual homeland in a way.

This is Ginger and she might be my favorite kitty in the whole world (don't tell Mimi). 

J & M's house is filled with little treasures in unexpected places.

The whole house has amazing natural light, even on a typical rainy Seattle day.

I'd like to have a print of this too!  I think it used to hang in their bathroom when they lived in Phoenix?