Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another Day, Another Grilled Cheese Sandwich

As I enter the home stretch, aka: The 9th month of pregnancy, I'm finding myself reverting back to the 1st trimester; with the feelings of dying of hunger. It's actually really annoying because besides being really excited to meet this little guy, I am looking forward to working out and having a waist again. So why can't I stop eating grilled cheese sandwiches??? I have several friends that are pregnant right now as well so it's been really humorous texting pictures of our "meal of the moment" to each other then complaining about what we just ate. Oh well, I'll take advantage of this food freedom I have for the next 4-weeks.

Uggghhh, I get hungry just looking at this.

I am 36-weeks, this week and almost getting to that point where I am SO ready to be done with this. We are in the middle of summer here in Sydney and we've had days that it's been absolutely scorching hot. As much as I love summer, there are days that I'd never thought I'd hear myself say I wished it was cooler. Last Friday it had reached 115 degrees! I literally sat in front of our fan since we are sans A/C and ate popsicles all day long. I couldn't wait to get in our air conditioned car and drive to the air conditioned hospital for my doctors appointment that day.

In other pregnancy news: 
-We have settled on a name for "Little King" and it's a good one! 
-My stomach is huge
-I still feel good but wake up with sore hands and feet (totally normal in pregnancy, I guess)
-I haven't started to waddle. Yet. 
-Sleeping is a challenge. I officially hog the bed and all the pillows too.
-My hospital bag and the baby's bag are packed and ready to go.
-My mom bought her ticket to make her first trip to Australia in March to meet this little guy! So excited!

Le bump at 36-weeks

We haven't been out and about exploring this beautiful country as much as we'd like to since I have to stay somewhat close to home. So we went to visit the Sydney Fish Market last week; got some nice pics of the fresh seafood but the smell was obnoxious so I begged to have our lunch at another venue.

KMK is gone on a business trip this week so fingers crossed "Baby King" stays nice and comfy inside. I hope everyone is having a great week. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Uber Review

I hate taking taxi's. I think I've made this clear already. I vowed to never take another taxi again (at least not in the city of Sydney) as long as I could help it. Some of you know that since living here, our credit card numbers have been stolen twice now. As if once wasn't bad enough. Our bank has linked this back to taxi drivers. Sickening.

A friend of mine told me about Uber; a car service that is based in the US that has recently come to Sydney 3-months ago. She raved about it so I had to give it a try. It's late here but I'm so excited about this that I had to write about it before I went to bed! So Kevin and I met with some friends downtown for dinner. Everyone decided to go out afterwards and I opted to call it a night. Let's get real-I'm looking a little too pregnant these days to be skirting around the bar scene.

Anyway... perfect opportunity for me to log into my Uber app from my phone and try this company out. I entered my current location and then where I needed to go and hit submit. I immediately got a text from my driver letting me know he would be arriving in 10 minutes. Not 30-seconds later, the driver called me and told me he would be there in 8-minutes. Within the app, you can use the map provided to track your driver to see exactly where he is.

 I then got another text letting me know my car was arriving...and there was Raymond. My driver. And my nice, shiny, black, Town Car. He opened the door for me, the car was immaculate and cold bottled water was available to me. Raymond immediately asked me if the temperature and music selection was alright. I was already impressed. During my journey, the driver was polite, educated and knew when it was appropriate to continue carrying on a conversation with me or not.

From my experiences, this is such a difference from taking a smelly, dirty, taxi car where the drivers are typically talking on their phones, don't care if their music is on or not, or if their car is dirty or stinking. They take you whatever route costs the most money and I have to have my map app pulled up on my phone making sure they aren't taking me "the long way".

So back to Uber. When I stepped out of the Town Car and I received an emailed invoice stating all the details of my trip. Since my credit card was pre-entered, no money was exchanged with the driver. The invoice clearly stated how long the trip took, the distance and the cost. Which isn't that much more than a standard taxi service. I will gladly pay the extra dollars to get good, trustworthy and reliable service like I had just experienced.

I am very impressed and will be using this company whenever we need to be driven somewhere. Sounds fancy, doesn't it?

I'm not sure what cities Uber has popped up in, but in case you would like to sign up, sign up under my invite code below and you will get $10 off your first trip :)

You can also download and sign up from the Uber iPhone or Android app, and just enter this invite code on the sign up screen: 19xt0

If you decide to use this service, I hope you are as impressed as I was. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmastime around Oz {and Happy 2013!}

We woke up Christmas Day to rain which made us feel like we were having more of a North American Christmas, well sort of. It was still humid and I was of course hot (thank you, Baby King). We were invited to Christmas brunch at our friends house so I decide to make and bring along homemade cinnamon rolls so I could follow Mom's Christmas morning tradition. Big mistake, Amy. A typical Australian brunch consists of seafood and not eggs benedict, bacon and of course, cinnamon rolls. So now I know. But don't you worry, folks, we did get our turkey and mashed potatoes in at dinner time. Having been invited to  another friends house (who are American's), we got to have a more traditional Christmas meal. Yessss!

Some images of Christmastime around Sydney:

From top, left going clockwise: A 'Happy Christmas' banner in downtown Sydney. Christmas Tree made of Swarovski Crystals in the Queen Victoria Building; I am at the base but it spans 3-levels. Christmas Day Pavlova. A Christmas Tree dress made with branches and Peacock feathers.

Beach day at Bronte Beach, a few days after Christmas

I'm hoping everyone did something fun to ring in the New Year.  This year was a little bit different for me; no crazy parties to attend to (gotta love being 8-months pregnant). However, we did have a fun night with friends watching the fireworks from their high-rise apartment in North Sydney. We seriously couldn't have asked for a better view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour. Not to mention all the other fireworks shows we could see from the distant suburbs. My iphone pictures are terrible and I'm hoping to get copies of the good ones my friend took. Hands down, Sydney has the best fireworks show that I've ever seen.

The last sunset of 2012

The sun setting behind Darling Harbour

The Sydney Harbour Bridge before fireworks, during fireworks and the aftermath. Looks like a bomb went off!

Wishing all our friends a happy and healthy 2013!!!