Hi there everyone!
Happy Thanksgiving! We can’t believe how fast the end of the year is approaching and that we’ve now been in LA for 11 months! We’ve just returned to LA after a wonderful 2 weeks back in Australia visiting family and friends, and popping over to Queenstown for our friends Nick and Fi’s wedding. It was our first trip back to Sydney since we moved to LA, and Camilla’s first! We had such a blast although it flew by so quickly. Sydney really put on the Spring weather for us, so we had almost daily walks down to Balmoral with Oma (gosh we miss being able to stroll down to the beautiful blue water!) for coffee and to use the playground (which the girls loved!), as well as trips to Manly for surfs and strolls (and to use the playground there 🙂 ), and swims in the pool at home (with its ‘exquisitely’ warm water 😉 ). We loved spending time with my parents, seeing them with the girls (Leo was obsessed with her doctor’s kit and gave everyone constant checkups – especially Grand dad). Our very first night, we had an early dinner at Bather’s which was always one of our favourite spots. The next day was beautiful and sunny and we invited all of our friends to come for a lovely day of cocktails and beers in the sun at the Greens in North Sydney which was great fun and a wonderful way to reconnect with all of our close friends, and also to meet some of the new babies! Leonora was having heaps of fun playing with Molly (Sarah and Jason’s daughter) and Sammy (Kylie and Matt’s daughter) – and saw them lots during the trip including many days in the pool and at balmoral.
After a few more days hanging out with everyone, it was off to New Zealand for Fi and Nick’s wedding.
We’re so glad we were able to make the trip! Queenstown is a beautiful city that Jacs’ hadn’t been to and I hadn’t been to since a family trip when I was little. Right from the moment the plane broke through the clouds and we saw the incredible ‘Remarkables’ mountain range, with its snow capped jagged peaks we were in awe. The wedding was 15 minutes drive outside Queenstown at a beautiful golf resort called Milbrook just outside a historical little town called Arrowtown. It was such a beautiful place (although a little chilly!) and we had our first 2 nights staying at Milbrook for the welcome dinner at an Arrowtown pub (where Leo had a blast playing in a little tree house cooking ‘rock soup’), and then the Wedding day. Rory and Nat and their son Lachie, and Nat’s sister and her boyfriend were at the wedding too, so we were hanging out with them which we really enjoyed. Our cottage looked out over the golf course, and Leo could play outside with all of the ducks which was fun to watch. For the wedding reception, we had baby sitters too, so had a really fun night hitting the dance floor!! Congratulations to Fi and Nick! It really was wonderful to be there and celebrate.
The day after the wedding, we did a morning drive along Lake Wakatipu up to Glenorchy (‘Gateway to Paradise’) which is one of the really beautiful drives to do, before heading back to Milbrook for a final farewell lunch at Nick’s parents place, before heading in to Queenstown to our AirBnB with Nat and Rory that was about 15 minutes walk outside town with a beautiful view over the lake. After all the festivities, we had a quiet evening at the house to catch out breath! The next day though, we spent exploring Queenstown including a cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw Steam boat across the lake, followed by lunch at the famous (and delicious) Ferg Burger. Unfortunately the rain then came in, but we were quick on our feet to a little wine bar where you walk around sampling all of the wines (and whisky) which was a good way to spend a little time on a rainy afternoon. The following day, we decided to do a beautiful drive through the mountains up to another beautiful lake in the town of Wanaka, with a stop at the Cardrona Distillery along the way, followed by a drive back down through wine country to Queenstown after lunch – I think our favourite was Brennan! That night, Fi and Nick joined us for a delicious Malay dinner at Madam Woo for a farewell before we headed back to Sydney the next day.
Our final few days in Sydney were jam packed with catching up with everyone one last time, hanging out with my family, and spending some time with TK (who had been in Cuba for the first part of our trip) and getting to know his girlfriend Di. We also had a lovely evening out with our friends Tom and Lisa celebrating their engagement at a delicious restaurant called Cho Cho San, and then a night out with TK, Em, Leigh, Jacek and La at Spice Temple, one of our favourite restaurants, followed by a lot of fun dancing at Frankie’s pizza – thanks mum and dad for all of the baby sitting! It was such a fun trip, and sad to leave! We do miss it a lot.
Other than that trip, since we last wrote, October was a fun month in LA. I won’t go in to the details but some of the highlights were:
- We had our housewarming party with about 40 friends – it is so nice feeling settled, and the party was a blast! We even organized a taco truck to do the food so we could relax 🙂
- The following weekend, the parties at our house continued with a 90th celebration for Jacs’ grand dad. He and Gita came down from Berkeley, and we had a big group of family and friends come over for a lovely afternoon party.
- Our really close friends the Browns from Berkeley were in town, so we had a great time out with them in Santa Monica – thanks Nonna and Bobbo for baby sitting!
- I did a charity stair climb up US Bank tower – 75 floors and the tallest stairwell west of the Mississippi – in 14 minutes 52 seconds which was exhausting, but the view from the top is spectacular.
- We celebrated Halloween with a small party at our house. We were dressed as crocodiles on Leo’s insistence! It was Leo’s first Halloween actually knowing what was going on, and Camilla’s first! Caitlin came with Felix, Nick and Nicole brought Adelina, and Bubba and Christy brought Lizzie Jane, and all the babies happened to come as animals so we had quite the zoo as we trick or treated around our neighbourhood! On the weekend we did also have a more adult Halloween celebration since our neighbours a few houses down hosted a party and really got in to it, and some of our friends had a party too! What fun!
That’s all from us for now. Hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Vik and Mike are in town, and we’re doing a family Thanksgiving celebration at the Fishers house.
Ben and Jacs