Monday, September 12, 2011

Savages in Minnesota

Congratulations, Emily and Brian!
I spent this past weekend in Minneapolis, celebrating my cousin Emily's wedding.  I arrived Thursday night, and enjoyed a busy weekend of wedding gatherings and family visiting.  Technically, there were 13 Savages attending, including the notorious Four Savages.

I woke up Friday morning to my two energetic little nieces -- a great way to wake up!  Friday evening was the rehearsal dinner, which consisted of a nice dinner cruise around Lake Minnetonka with great views of the sunset.  Unfortunately, my camera died early on, but I was able to get a few good shots of the fam.  The fun continued at Maynard's, and I wish I did have a camera, because I could have captured Brian's impressive cartwheeling skills.
Sadie feigns sleep, looking very dramatic

She helped me take this shot of Brian and Macy
So, of course, Macy had to help me take one of Brian and Sadie

Family shot before we get on the boat.  (Just ignore my closed eyes and my arm amputation.  Everyone else looks great!)
A family shot with Grandma and our cousin, Mary (one of the maids of honor)
Nearly sunset on the lake
On Saturday, I enjoyed another fun morning with the girls, then lunch with the rest of the Ohio Savages.  Then, we all headed over to the home of my Aunt LeeAnne and Uncle Harry, where the wedding took place.
The girls enjoyed going through my suitcase
Clearly, they had lot's of fun :)
Macy is a Minnie-Mouse-chocolate-chip-pancake-eating machine.  (She also loves sausages.)
Sadie shows off her new Olivia doll -- a reward for her potty-training successes
Aubrey and Kevin, experiencing Don Pablo's
Aubrey is a sopapilla-eating machine
Mom and KC
Dressed up for the wedding
Emily and Brian
Spending some time in the sun after the ceremony -- Sadie helps herself to Grampy's ice

Macy tries my abandoned heels, with Grandma's help
Brian and Grandma
Harper, Doug, and my cousin Anne...Harper's older brother, Beckett, was probably busy "running away"
The Igo grandparents and grandchildren
A maid of honor sandwich -- Mary (left) and Katie (right)
Auntie Aubrey with Sadie
Uncle KC and Macy
Emily and Uncle Harry
My aunt and uncle hosted us again for a really nice brunch on Sunday, before all the out-of-town guests had to head back home.  It was a perfect opportunity for a giant family photo, including all the Savages, former Savages, significant others, and related families.

Plus a few more...
Grandma Savage, the Savage sibs, plus grandchildren, great grandchildren, and significant others
Baby Harper, Doug, and Aunt Sam
The weather was beautiful, but very hot in the sun, so the twins made sure to stay hydrated.  (I think they were mostly just excited to be able to hold the glasses and drink all on their own.)
Aubrey and KC, affectionate and agreeable siblings as always

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another cute pic

Here's a new one:

They are near some water.  Because I am Sherlock Holmes, I have determined that they are at the Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco.  Ha!

Where in the world...

Jessica sent me a bunch of new photos!  The trick: KC did not give me any info about where they are.  So, I've had to use my deduction skills...
KC is apparently drinking Monster.  Evidently, it's the "meanest energy supplement on the planet", plus it's lo-carb.  This tells me nothing about his location, but he looks cute and I like his sunglasses.

Based on some of the details hidden in this shot, I suspect they went somewhere in the area of Gilroy, California: Garlic capital of the world.

And it appears the group traveled to the Winchester Mystery House in the San Jose area.  The house was built by Sarah Winchester -- awesome name, creepy story.

Here we have Jessica and KC at Sarah's stables...

And now the whole group :)

I have to say, the Winchester House sounds really interesting.  Also, I am a big fan of garlic, so I'm pretty jealous of all of this.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mountain pic

KC and Jessica on Mount Tamalpais:
Please note KC's stoic attitude.  Evidently, he's pretty nonchalant about hiking up mountains and being surrounded by beautiful scenery.  Great picture, though!  Thanks, Jessica :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Somewhere in Northern California...

KC and Jessica:

This time, I am not really certain where they are.  Looks like probably near a pool, possibly at a hotel.  Also, it looks like KC may have zombie eyes.

According to KC, today they will be going to Mt. Tamalpais and "maybe a beach".  I'm jealous.

And more videos!

Finally, I've gotten together some of the vids from our trip to the Healesville Sanctuary. 

The first is an Australian Pelican, who was giant.  I was afraid he was going to bite one of the little Australian children.

These next videos were taken during a presentation about different native birds.  Sorry if the shot is sort of all over the place or makes you nauseous.  I was laughing a lot at the birds (with the birds), and there were also lots of little kids jostling me.  

Bernice the Black-breasted Buzzard was adorable.  WAY nicer than our North American buzzards, which are kind of gross.  This one also shows off some really impressive tool-using skills.

Kevin!  Kevin was possibly my favorite bird (though I REALLY liked Bernice).  Still, Kevin is hilarious.  Mostly because his name is Kevin.

And last but not least, another cute koala.  This one was almost close enough to touch :)

What else?  I still need to post some pics of Jack and videos of Aussie Rules Football.  Maybe I can even get Cameron to make a "Best Of" montage from his Roosters game...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Speaking of videos...

Look at this cute one I found of baby Peaches!  KC took it years ago when he first got her.

Videos :)

So, no recent pics from KC.  He's obviously too busy.  However, in the meantime, I've had a chance to upload some videos.  The first was taken at our favorite Thai place, Abalone Thai, in Christchurch.

This next one is a long shot taken during our drive from Christchurch to Queenstown.  (Cameron helped shoot another amazing video during this drive, but I haven't been able to find it yet.)  This video is a little bouncy and you can see some window glare, but it does show how nice our views were on the drive.  I was in one car with Cam and Trevor, and Kim, Heather, Mark, and Katie were squeezed into the car in front of us.

One of our stops along the drive was in a town called Twizel, where we had lunch and Heather, at least, took some time to stretch her legs.  Twizel was also the location of Gondor, so Heather's glee is understandable.

I know I already posted some pics from our trip to the ice rink in Queenstown, but I think this video really captures the energy out on the ice...

And just before we left the holiday house in Queenstown, the guys gave a violent goodbye by destroying the snowman I spent all morning building.  (Somewhere, I think my aunt and uncle have some footage of the actual creation process for all the snowmen.  Maybe I can get that so you can have a true before and after experience.)

More videos coming soon!  (And, I hope, more KC pics also)

PS: Somebody let me know if any of the videos don't work.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

KC and Jessica

Looking nice!  I am assuming this is at Jessica's cousin's wedding.  KC is even wearing a shirt!  (It hides the sunburn well.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Broiled KC

Evidently, KC and his hosts spent a good amount of time at a beach.  Possibly Pismo Beach.  Details are unclear.  What is clear is that he got a beautiful sunburn.

Thanks to Jessica for passing along this "after" photo.  It's pretty scandalous, too!  Meanwhile, here in Boston (and pretty much everywhere else), we are all boiling in our own juices.  Enjoy California, KC!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Check it out:

Another traveling Savage!  KC is with Jessica and her family, checking out California and going to a wedding.  So far, he's passed along this great pic, capturing their ride in the rental car...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My last day in Australia

So, it's about midnight on Saturday and I am in Brisbane.  It'd be nice to explore a little, but I am only here for the night and then I'll catch my plane back to the US in the morning.  I was so sad to say goodbye to everyone here, but it was REALLY great to see all the Stevensons and friends and I had a lot of fun.  Still, sad.



I spent this morning (technically, afternoon) with my aunt visiting the Queen Victoria Market and some other shops around Melbourne.  I didn't get any pictures because my hands were full, but it was a fun market.  A huge fruit and veggie section and then a whole separate souvenir-type section.  I got some good stuff :)  After a delicious lunch (artichokes with lemon butter!), I sadly packed up and headed out.  Overall, not a very exciting blog day.  I should have gotten fresh pics of everyone....

Other big news:  Today is Jack's birthday!  Happy Birthday, Jack!  Unfortunately, Jack has been in England and France for most of my trip here.  In honor of his birthday, I should put up the pics we took right before he left for his big cricket tour.  *Nevermind.  This hotel internet won't let me. I'll just have to do a separate post later.  Jack deserves his own post, anyway.

Yesterday was much more exciting.  Since it was my last full day in Melbourne, we snuck in one last fun outing and went to the Healesville Sanctuary, which is basically a zoo for native animals with an on-site animal hospital.  I was able to check off a bunch of other Australian animals and we saw a really cool presentation on the "Spirits of the Sky".  We got to see and hear about various Australian birds of prey and parrots.  I got some pics and video, but its not all great resolution.  Plus, the birds kept moving.  I think the best birds were probably....the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the Black-breasted Buzzard, and the Long-billed Corella, named Kevin.  The eagle was just HUGE and awesome.  The buzzard was like a dog in a bird's body.  He would run after the keeper and look up, begging for treats (or raw meat?  whatever he was eating...).  Plus, we got to see how he used a rock as a tool to break emu eggs.  And Kevin the talking cockatoo was just hilarious.  I'll stick some pics and vids up here ASAP.
This one speaks for itself.  But seriously: Use recycled toilet paper and save trees!
Turns out, pelicans are huge and scary
There was a whole squadron of pelicans.
This guy looked bored, but he was pretty cute.  By the way, did you know that all baby marsupials are known "joeys"?  Not just kangaroo babies, but koalas, possums, wombats, bilbies, etc.
A hungry koala!
And a wise koala
We spent the evening back at my aunt and uncle's, having a really nice dinner and watching more movies.  I can now add Strictly Ballroom to my list of Australian movie classics.  I also experienced Death At A Funeral, which I probably should have seen years ago.

Anyway, I should probably get to bed, since I have to get to the airport early tomorrow.  Not looking forward to the long flight, but it will be nice to see everyone back home.  PLUS -- I will have a new kitchen!  Maybe I will post some pics of that.  Either way, I'll have to keep blogging, because I still have lots of pictures and videos and stuff to share from this trip.

Good night!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter!

I saw the movie before everyone in America -- haHA!  But I won't tell you what happens.  That would be cruel. 

Instead, maybe I should update on all the stuff that's been going on since the glacier and the day of no horse-riding.

Friday: We went skiing at Coronet Peak.  Skiing had sort of been the main plan all along, but the snow conditions weren't too great until Friday, so we headed up.  It was pretty snowy and the road was rough enough that we were required to use chains on the tires.  The views heading up the mountain were great.  The skiing was pretty good, but very crowded (only 2 out of 3 lifts were open).  Unfortunately, visibility got a little rocky and the snow conditions were sort of all over the place.  I actually ended up taking a pretty crazy dive -- more like a flying leap -- and wrenched my shoulder pretty badly.
Looking down from the side of the mountain.  See the Shire below?
Ready to ski!
Cousins :)
Waiting in line for the lift
Still waiting...
Me standing at the spot where I [crash] landed.  The red line is there to show the top edge of the drop off.  (I totally did not mean to fly off of this edge at high speed.)
(The aftermath)
But it was still fun!
Saturday:  Half the group spent the morning and afternoon skiing and a few of us went down to town for some shopping.  Queenstown is a pretty impressive little ski village with lots of shops and restaurants.  I discovered Peter Alexander (Australian brand).  Also big in New Zealand: Paua shell, jade, Maori pendants, wines, and Merino wool (which is also big in Australia).  We met the skiers back at the house for dinner and pannekuchenhaus for dessert!
Pannekuchenhaus uses lots of eggs and butter (but don't worry -- we were making a double recipe and we didn't use ALL of that butter).
Heather made an eggshell sculpture.  Somehow we thought this went well with a tempting hand gesture.

It's healthy because of the fresh fruit.
Sunday (our last full day in Queenstown):  Pannekuchenhaus for breakfast!  We got lots of snow overnight, and it was great packing snow so the morning was spent making snowmen and really painful snowballs.  Some of us were hoping to spend the day visiting Milford Sound in Fjordland, but some of the windy mountain roads were closed due to the weather.  So, we headed back into town in the afternoon, planning to head on to visit a local cidery.  But just getting down to the town required chains on the tires, and then we found out that our route back to Christchurch was also likely to be closed due to weather.  The plan: take a longer route out of Queenstown.  This meant we had to leave immediately, so we did some frantic packing and escaped before it was too late.  After a long drive, we spent a nice evening in Dunedin.
Kim made a snowman version of the Fonz.
My snowman stood proud, but didn't turn out as evil looking as I had hoped.  (He was later destroyed in a fit of violence by Cam and Mark.  Might add a video soon...)
He's a big fan of Cam's footy team, the Roosters.
We had dinner at the Speight's brewery in Dunedin.
Speight's -- Pride of the South!
Delicious dinner
Mark likes his bangers and mash!
Monday: After a long drive to Christchurch, we revisited our favorite Thai place and got to bed early in preparation for our early morning flight to Australia.

So, now I am back in Melbourne.  Last night we made fattoush and watched Australian movies (Muriel's Wedding and The Castle).  Today, I spent the afternoon at the National Gallery of Victoria with Kim and Heather, checking out a really nice exhibit called Vienna: Art and Design.  Lots of Schiele and Klimt :)  Then Harry Potter.  (Who wants to know how it ends?)