Friday, August 29, 2008

Perisher Snow Trip

The annual Google Ski Trip is a wondrous event. This year the engineers were bussed down to the resort on Lake Crakenback on Monday for some days of skiing and, umm, making coffee? The rest of us departed later in the week. While the official ski trip departed Wednesday afternoon and arrived Wednesday evening, giving us only one day of snow, my team of crazy hyper athletes decided to drive down on Tuesday night so we could get some extra snow time.

We spend Tuesday night in Cooma, at the pub / hotel. It cost us $25 a night per person for a room with four beds - and yes, we really did get what we paid for!

I was so happy to drive on the next morning into Lake Crackenback and grab my boots and board from the resort. Alec left a spare Perisher pass for me at the resort so I let my uber crazy team head on off to Thredbo to throw themselves down black runs, while I joined Alec and some of his team for some easy green runs at Perisher.

I'm not an awesome boarder by any means. I have boarded exactly four times now over 10 years. Each time I go to the snow it takes me the entire time I'm there for my body to remember how to board - just in time for me to leave again!

I had two good days of snow on this trip so I spent day one literally falling down the slopes and day two began to regain any skills that I had once had on previous trips.

There was a lot of snow up on the mountains for the end of the season, and we were blessed with sunny, warm days. Unfortunately, this also meant the snow wasn't nice and fluffy - instead if was pretty icy and hard in a lot of places - I seemed to find quite a lot of these icy patches with my butt.

Ready for take-off!


Cheesy!










"I'm the king of the world!"


Just before my board slipped out from under me.





Tired!





Sunset at the resort.



This kangaroo and I eyed each other off ... note the joey in the pouch!






The actual trip was fabulous .. only bad side came at the end of the second day when I was struck down with a nasty virus. I was the sickest I have ever been, and was eternally grateful that I had Alec there to take care of me. I was told that the virus was going around the area - it was pretty concerning how many of us got sick! At least I didn't waste any precious snow time being sick however - now that would have really been terrible!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Puppies Galore

I miss my babies and wish I could see them more often. The naughty pair came over for visit this weekend and did cause some havoc, but isn't that what puppies are for?

Buffy likes to burrow into the cushions - as captured below. The girls liked to cuddle up to their dad as well. Alec calls them "stalker dogs" because they don't like us to be out of their sight. If I get off the couch to go to the kitchen, I turn around and there is one or both of them, at my heels looking up expectantly. Somewhat disturbing, somewhat cute. It's hard to decide.







I met up with my parents to hand over my babies again. I really like walking the dogs here on a nice day like today.

Mum with baby Buffy. She is such a little micro dog.


Kahlua - my soul mate in doggy form.






Monday, August 18, 2008

RSPCA Cupcake Day

Anyone who knows me knows that my passion in life is animals. I am the hugest fan of the RSPCA and would do anything for them to help them fundraise.

2008 marked the first year for the Cupcake Day for the RSPCA and I decided to bake up a storm and raise some cash at work.


Since my oven doesn't work, I went over to see my parents and baked with their state-of-the-art wonderful oven. The recipe I used was the same one I have been using since I was about five - it's a very simple, never-fail, vanilla cupcake recipe that always turns out perfect - fluffy and crumbly in the middle with a great texture and taste. I did however tempt fate by making a second batch and throwing in a good heap of Cadbury drinking chocolate to see what happened. What happened was I stuffed up the recipe and half of the chocolate cupcakes sunk in the middle so were un-sellable. They were still tasty and devoured by family however, so it turned out OK!

Batch number two goes into the oven.


Batch number one comes out - perfect!


Iced! Glorious sprinkled cakes with lemon yellow icing.


Chocolate with white butter cream icing and chocolate sprinkles.



Dispite some hiccups at my work, the day went off very well. Several other Googlers brought in treats they had baked as well, and together we raised $170 for the RSPCA. Google also gift matches any money we donate to charity, so it ended up being $340 we made in total. I hope to raise even more next year!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Girls' Day Out

Beverly has been telling us about this fabulous French cafe for a while, so I was more than happy to begin our shopping bonanza with hot chocolate and pastries. I've been to France a few times and am planning another trip, so it really got me into the "I'm going to France" groove. Which also reminds me that my lapse in practicing French has left my language skills as abysmal. Must refresh my memory before venturing the land of chocolate!

Back to the cafe, it's called La Gerbe D'or and is in Paddington. Beverly knows the owner, a lovely French fellow, who recognised her and came over for a chat. The cafe was extremely busy, both with fellow diners inhaling gigantic amounts of hot chocolate, as well as locals popping in for exquisite pastries and baguettes.




Beverly points to the many items she is about to order.



This is not a distorted image. The bowl is as large as my head. We worked out it was about four cups worth, and only cost around $5. Bargain - and sickness-inducing.


Onion tart.


Mushroom quiche.


My late breakfast - so tasty and fluffy. It cost around $8, which I thought was a reasonable price.


Yes, another demonstration of how piggy we are.


Three girls, ready to pig out and buy lots of pretty things.

Lisa's dessert.

Drinking my way into queasiness. It was so divine I just couldn't stop. It was very sweet and light, but next time I will split it with someone.


In Alannah Hill I fell in love with this princess dress. I wasn't exactly in the market for another dress, but what can you do when fate throws you the perfect frock?


After a day of trying on dresses, we adjourned back to the apartment for pizza gluttony from LCC. After boasting about the glory of LCC pizza, the girls insisted we all try it and decide once and for all if it is indeed the fairest pizza on the North Shore. The evening did not start auspiciously - the pizza took an hour to arrive. That is the standard delivery time for LCC and we're used to it, but our guests were impatient for foooood.

Posing. Of course.


"Limpeted!"


Don't know what was going on here. Beverly has "I'm cranky, feed me" face. And Chris has ... I don't know what to call that.


Finally! Food! LCC were good to us and threw in a large garlic and herb pizza and garlic bread.


Alec tries to save me from myself.


Chillin'. Ahhh pizza satisfaction!


Spellbound by the Wii.


Cuties with their toy ferrets.


Couldn't resist throwing this one in. Too cute for words.

La Gerbe D'or
255 Glenmore Road
Paddington, NSW 2021