My Life Abroad: The Adventures of Two Birds
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May '16

9th Annual Camping Trip – 2016

25Let’s just say we had a lot of people join us this year and it was fantastic.  One shredded tire, a heated shower, 3 rambling dogs and lots of BBQ later… we enjoyed a visit from the Easter Bunny again and had a massive egg hunt.

This tends to be my favourite holiday week of the year, we get to take off a few days from work and combined with days for the Easter Holiday (Good Friday and Easter Monday included – yes, I said Easter Monday), we really make the most of our “glamping” experience.

Over the years we have perfected our camp and it makes for a nice week away amongst the trees and Australian bush.  This year was no different, we had new guests and some that have revisited us from past camps – and next year we have even more planned. Everyone’s welcome to join in if you are free over Easter break, come join us for a camping experience in the Aussie bush.

Apr '12

Events: Update

It was an exciting week for me, I was able to reconnect with my best friend from my senior year of high school, that is here travelling around Australia with her 17-year old daughter, yes I said 17.  They have been in Perth for much of their trip, but popped over to Melbourne for a couple weeks. It was so good to see a familiar face and hear an American voice for a change.

We’re quickly approaching our annual Easter Campout, I’m getting excited already to get back out in the bush and enjoy the outdoors.  The dogs are raring to go, I know just how much they love to run free in the bush.  We go to the same spot every year and it has been a good one for us, way out east of Melbourne about 4 hours away in a town called Briagalong, near Sale, Victoria.   Our best friends accompany us and we have a great 4-5 days just relaxing and hanging out.  There’s a great creek that runs through the camp sites, and we’re lucky enough to be 5-8 kilometers away from the next camp ground.  Check back for our pictures from this weekend!

Just following our Camp I am going to be joining Birdie in Darwin for a weekend, he is currently commuting to and from Darwin on the weekends, but I am going to go up to save him one trip home.  I haven’t been to Darwin in quite a few years but I’m looking forward to checking out the town and seeing where Birdie is working. 

The last weekend in April my Mother and her friend Edie are coming out for a two week visit.  They’ll be stopping in Sydney on their way into Melbourne to see the sights, and then they will be hanging out here in Melbourne with us.  This is Edie’s first trip, and Mom’s 3rd.  I am hoping to take them around to see some things that Mom hasn’t seen before.  I’ll be posting as I take them around the city so check back for updates during their visit the first two weeks in May.

Apr '09

4th Annual Easter Campout

Well, the camp trip didn’t disappoint this year, we had everything from weird campers nearby to a flood, and quite a bit of yummy food!  We had our new neighbours Georgia and Damian (we work with Damo) on this trip and our loyal favourites Norelle, Lawrence and little Alex.  I learned that Alex likes to have to go pee when it’s raining hardest, that Birdie can’t hide well in the woods as he previously thought, and that kookaburras laugh loudest at dusk.  We had a flood from a heavy rain but learned our lesson and re-manoeuvered the camp, no flood pics because by morning it was gone.  Great friends, Lamb roast on the fire, and lots of cards!  We mjissed you Dawn, Woz, Tara, Glenn, and Ethan.  Start making plans now for next year!


alex1.jpg alex2.jpg burger-and-potatos.jpg camp-oven.jpg eagles-abode.jpg fires-off-in-the-hills.jpg hartins-camp.jpg kitchen-area.jpg loo-out-in-the-bush.jpg post-flood.jpg pre-flood.jpg the-birds.jpg the-road-out.jpg leaving-sale.jpg getting-home.jpg


Mental Status: Exciting, our 3-year anniversary is coming up!!
Favourite thing this week: My shower after camping 5 days.
Book this week: The Black Market by James Patterson.
Happy Moment: The end of Cricket season is upon us.
Looking forward to next week: Thinking about going to see Jason Mraz for the 5th time, and sharing it with Dawn and Norelle.

Mar '08

3rd Annual Easter Campout

What in the SKIP are you looking at?


 Pictured left to right: Billy, Lainey, Birdie, Ethan, Tara, Glenn, Alex, Lawrence & Norelle

This was a fun Easter camp, 2008 Briagalong Forest at Lee’s Creek.  Although we missed our friends the Hartogs & little LilyDog, Sheridan-McCartney, and Blair + children… we still had a great time this year.  Our newest campers included the likes of the Eagles family (with cutesy-curls Alex), and the Glenn-Tara-Ethancombo.  We were joined by a special guest this year, friend of the gang: Billy.  Our first night at camp was just us and the Eagles and we mixed it up with a bit of burgers and a very late night of drinking – as I rose after my hour-spinning-sleep, I staggered for the loo and realized that there was no loo… and puked on a tree.  Consequently the tree right next to where the Eagles would set up their tent the next morning… SOrrrrrEYYY!

Night two was chicken fajitas night, and we delved into a bit of the “Phase 10” card game which is a cross between Uno and Rummy – and it was played with a single deck meant for 3-4 players.  With 7 players the game was like a skippin’ Cricket match, a two-day-er, we estimated it went almost 10 hours split between Friday and Saturday nights.  With the kiddies around we resorted to making up our own cuss words and the most famous this weekend – which went right along with our Uno like card game, was “Skip”.  It was all we could do to keep the game going. You know it’s all funny till you poke your skippin’ eye out! 10 hours of drunk skipping chatter really makes for a long weekend.  Just so you get the idea I’ve outlined the ‘headliners’ in the skip-fest at the bottom of this post.

Here are some of the highlight shots from our weekend, from the card games and kiddies, to the lamb roast before the torrential downpour on Easter Sunday, and the burning of shoes, chairs and a very holey pair of jeans.

alex-the-settler.jpg cards2.jpg tent-city.jpg ethan2.jpg

girls1.jpg burningchair1.jpg glenn.jpg cans.jpg lamb-roast.jpg

If you want to get the full idea, you can see all the pictures in the Photo Album entitled Lees Creek Camping 08 from my Albums page.  I’m already looking forward to next year!  And looking forward to adding Tara’s pics to the album – stay tuned!

skipit.jpg Our list of skipping hilarious lines

“What in the Skip?”
“Skip off and die”
“Get skipped”
“Go skip yourself”
“You skipwit”
“I don’t like your skipping tone”
“Shut the skip up”
“I don’t give a skip”
“You mother skipper”
“You skipping rope”
“Skip you”
“You’ve been skipped”
“For skips sake!”
“You skipping idiot”
“Skip you, and the horse you rode in on”

If you have some to add to the list be sure to add your comments!


Mental Status: Upbeat knowing I have a four day work week then a week off with my family!  Oh, friends over for a big BBQ on the weekend and my birthday is just around the corner (yikes)
Favourite thing this week: Getting to know the new people on the camp.
Book this week: Maximum Ride: Schools out Forever by James Patterson
Upcoming events: Mom & Adam arrive in only 4 sleeps.

Apr '07

2nd Annual Easter Campout

Well, it was a crazy long drive to get to Briagolong but Birdie and I left after work and pulled into the campsite at aproximately 9.30 pm.  Just on daylight savings we were in the black from 6pm easy… not only that but our “regular” site was taken.  On down the road only 3 more kilometers we pulled into Johnston’s Flat where we set up our camp, had a few beers and hit the sack.  It get’s so cold at night out there, but the days are lovely… sun shining and birds chirping. The birds actually don’t chirp here, they cackle, laugh, scream, and caw.  Go now to see all our Camping Trip photos by clicking on the Photo Albums link listed under “Pages” in the sidebar to the left.

Day 2: Thursday

On day two the Gowans showed up and we set up their tent, cooked some great marinated chicken over the fire, wrapped garlic bread in foil and threw that in the fire and relaxed for a few drinks.  Blair & Heather showed up in the late afternoon with the kids and we just got settled for the long weekend. Bl-ether and the fam only stopped through for a couple nights but we had a great time playing cards.  Blair broke out his guitar and we sang along, and the kids swam in the creek with their dog Charlie. If I remember correctly Dawn kicked our ass in cards and we finally called it a night.

Day 3: Friday

Birds & MaccasEaster holiday Friday, everyone was off work so the other two couples showed up. First, Mel and Brent showed up and not long after Dawn, Woz and dog Lily arrived. Since it was Good Friday we arranged for a vegetarian meal.  It seems to be a tradition for most of my generation’s parents to eat fish on Good Friday. It’s not a religious tradition these days although I believe it must have begun that way. Now it seems that the ones that still live by this, do so because it has just become a ‘traditional’ meal for Good Friday.  We were lucky enough to catch a quick glimpse of a monitor lizard (Goanna) crossing through the woods.  It was easy in the thinned out woods among burnt trees from last year’s very big fire in the area.

Us girls made up a vegetarian spaghetti and salad and we enjoyed each other’s company – with lots of champagne and cards while the boys had a mini-mosh pit around the fire. After dinner we introduced our Australian friends proper Smores. Hersheys chocolate bars, Graham Crackers and toasted marshmellow sandwiches… yum! Thanks to Heather visiting the USA Food Store during the week we were able to have some good sweet Smores. Things eventually wound down after some good conversations, posing for our group picture, and a lot of good drinks, a few disappeared into their tents.

The Group

(Left to right: Dawn & Woz; Lainey, Birdie & dog Lily; Heather, Blair & Sky; and Mel & Rapper MC Brent)

Kababs by MelDay 4: Saturday

We started out our morning with Mel’s brekky of fresh fruit and homemade muffins. We had a bit of sluffing around and a few naps around noon. In the early afternoon Bl-eather and the girls had to take off to meet up with their family for Easter.

With the little ones gone, we all sat back and played more cards and games (travel scrabble) and worked on our beef snags for lunch on bread over the fire and after some beer-drinking and enjoying the day.

Some of us got working on our drinking and later in the evening Mel and Brent cooked up some Kebab skewers with Chicken, Artichoke, some Pork with Peppers – and salad for everyone – Yummy! We wound up all playing our new favourite card game “Phase 10” (thanks Kimmy & Chad) together into the night and having a great time catching up with everyone. It was lovely to hear about Dawn & Woz honeymoon and reception in the States. Here are our drunken “couples” photos from our crazy Saturday campout.

Hartogs       Birds       Maccas

Day 5: Sunday

As we got started on a very relaxing day with Dawn’s breakfast bagel scramble – and some hot cross buns. I’d never tried hot cross buns before but they are sweet rolls and toasted almost taste like rasin bread (or sultana bread in Oz). Yummy with butter.  Mmmmmmmm.  Brent and Rod made a final run to town for ice and us girls continued our game playing starting with Phase 10, then Gin, some Gin & Tonics, then Gin Rummy that went really too late into the night. Too much booze led to an early night and good hangovers the next day… huh Dawn?


Day 6: Monday

I started off our last morning with scrambled eggs, toast, Birdie made bacon over the fire, and finished off with short stacks of blueberry pancakes. Our pack up didn’t take too long but several days of sleeping on a blow-up bed croocked out my back.  After the long Easter holiday (Friday and Monday off) it was bumper-to-bumper all the four hour drive home.

Overall it was a good trip.  Maybe one day too long for me but we hope to be able to do it again soon.  We’re looking forward to making plans to go solo camping in the Cascade ranges near where we live in the next couple months. 


Mental Status: In recovery from the five days camping, as relaxing as it seems – it still is a lot of work.
SongBaby, Its Cold Outside – (1940) Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell (from the original 1940s version Baby, Its Cold Outside by Dinah Shore & Buddy Clark)
Favourite Thing Today: I finally get to do some blogging!
Favourite Thing this Week: Looking forward to finishing my last two weeks of school. What will I do with all my new free time?

Jun '06

Camping with Friends

Cold Night, Big Fire!

Nothing like sharing a starry winter night with friends. We took a long break and all took Friday off to spend a couple nights up at the Briagalong State Forest outside of Sale, Victoria, Australia.  It was quite fun being away with another camping couple.  Dawn and Warwick brought the dog Lilly, Rod and I brought extra booze. Our first night was more about getting settled and setting up the site – tents, table & chairs, and getting a roaring fire started.  Warwick and Rod went out with the chainsaw and we stocked up on the firewood.


le fire yummy warm                                     The Birds

Lilly sitting in for a hand while I take pictures

It was quite a trip, we had a couple little poker tourny’s and Dawn became a poker champion for the first time.  That World Poker Tour on ESPN has paid off! And as you can see Lilly took a hand of poker here and there.  This is one our favourite spots and despite the cold we had some good meals, some good conversation, and some big fires…

Ka boom!

The Cricketmaster, myself, Dawn and Wazza welcome you to view our pictures posted for you to see in the photo album 2006 Camping @ Briagalong. Here’s a shot of Southern Comfort to you, cheers!

What’s Next on the Agenda

We are quite looking forward to our agenda for the year. We have many things planned and are very excited about our Christmas trip back to the States.  Here’s what you can look forward to on the blog through 2006.

  • 16 June: Poker Night! 
  • 29 June: Review of Topol’s Fiddler on the Roof @ Her Majesty’s Theatre, Mebourne
  • 7 July: Lingerie Party @ Kingslake 
  • 5 August: Lainey’s first show with band SPLASH
  • 2 Sept: Di & Erik Erdmanis Wedding
  • 27 Oct: Halloween Party (Costumes!)
  • 24 Nov: Thanksgiving Dinner 
  • 22 Dec – 15 Jan 2007: Trip to the U.S. (Sacramento & San Diego, California and Las Vegas, Nevada)
Jan '06

Camping in the Bush

Eastern Victoria: Briagolong

Our campsite for our 4 day expedition was great, we found a secluded spot past Sale in Briagolong about 10 steps away from a shallow and warm creek.  We spent our days in the sun, playing Gin and Cribbage. The more secluded sites are single camp sites and have a firepit and picnic table.  Firewood is scarce and as you can see we burned an entire fallen tree from end to end to keep warm at night.

Our camp visitor was a Monitor Lizard (most commonly known in Australia as a Goanna). He first visited our campsite with two friends who hung in the trees camouflaged for an hour or so keeping an eye on us. The one that stuck around for the four days of our trip ate our leftover pancakes and climbed over our things in search of food.  Very tame and calm I’m sure he is used to frequent campers.

Here’s my happy camping photo – with the new Cricket hat that Rod bought me.  Definitely keeps the sun off ya.  We did get quite a bit of sun at our creekside camping site – we’re looking forward to introducing ourselves to more campsites in Victoria in the months to come.


Mental Status: Refreshed from a short holiday of camping.

Favourite Thing Today: Looking at my camping pictures.