Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 reading list

I read a number of books this year including plenty of pregnancy and child related books. I read more than I was expecting and even more than last year. My book pile dwindled during the year and I had the unexpected task of procuring more books. Not that numbers count but here are some interesting stats

1 signed copy [Olive Kitteridge - thanks Betsy for the loan!]
3 Australian novels [My brilliant career, cloudstreet, Snugglepot & Cuddlepie]
3 previously read books [Three men in a boat, The alchemist, On love]

5 audio books [Confessions, Anna Karenina, Peter Pan, Paddington 1 & 2]
9 electronic books on my Kindle

My top three books for the year are Beowulf [Seamus Heaney's new translation, first published 1992], Anna Karenina, and The reason for God. Beg, borrow or steal these!

The full list

Confessions - Hippo, Augustine of

My Brilliant Career - Franklin, Miles

The Old Man and the Sea - Hemingway, Ernest

Cloudstreet : A Novel - Winton, Tim

Olive Kitteridge - Strout, Elizabeth

Peter Pan - Barrie, J M

The Alchemist - Coelho, Paulo

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work - Botton, Alain de

The Birth Of Christianity: The First Twenty Years - Barnett, Paul

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer - Karp, Harvey

Don't Waste Your Life - Piper, John

Three Men in a Boat - Jerome, Jerome K.

Light Years - Salter, James

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith - Keller, Timothy

Carry On, Jeeves - Wodehouse, P.G.

Out of Africa - Dinesen, Isak

A Fraction of the Whole - Toltz, Steve

Wandering Star - Clézio, Jean-Marie Gustave Le

The Scarlet Letter - Hawthorne, Nathaniel

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism - Keller, Timothy

A Lifetime of Wisdom: Embracing the Way God Heals You - Tada, Joni Eareckson

More About Paddington (Paddington book 2) - Bond, Michael

Little, Big - Crowley, John

Anna Karenina - Tolstoy, Leo

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie - Gibbs, May

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible - Jacobs, A.J.

A Bear Called Paddington (Paddington book 1) - Bond, Michael

The Shy Child: Helping Children Triumph over Shyness - Swallow, Ward K.

The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway, Ernest

Treasuring God in Our Traditions - Piper, Noel

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation - Heaney, Seamus

A Mercy - Morrison, Toni

My Man Jeeves - Wodehouse, P.G.

The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed - Becker, Gretchen

Amerika - Kafka, Franz

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Kundera, Milan

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Barbery, Muriel

The Waste Land and Other Writings - Eliot, T.S.

The Prince - Machiavelli, Niccolò

The Elements of Style - Jr., William Strunk

The Pocket Book of Ogden Nash - Nash, Ogden

On Love: A Novel - Botton, Alain de

Look Homeward, Angel - Wolfe, Thomas

The White Tiger - Adiga, Aravind

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

2009 watch list

Here's the list of movies we rented from Netflix this year. An interesting mix. There are some that I wasted my time watching (Mamma Mia!) and there were others that were enthralling (Slum Dog Millionaire). There are 33 movies left on my 'to watch' list - maybe we'll get through them in 2010 and we can cancel our subscription. Our favourite family movie was Mary Poppins. What a classic! At the movies we saw The invention of lying, The soloist, Bride wars, The boat that rocked (Pirate radio) and The secret life of bees.

Top four - go rent these now: John Adams, Revolutionary Road, Ben Hur, The curious case of Benjamin Button

Movies I turned off before the end: The Family Stone, The assassination of Jesse James, Beowulf (the story totally departs from the original text)

Full list:

Julie & Julia

Monsoon Wedding

National Lampoon's Vacation

Away We Go

Lawrence of Arabia

Peter Pan


Ben-Hur: Collector's Edition

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Sunshine Cleaning

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

I Love You, Man

Out of Africa

The Family Stone

The Philadelphia Story

Mary Poppins

Rachel Getting Married



Revolutionary Road

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes



Flight of the Red Balloon

New In Town

Look Both Ways


The Painted Veil

The Reader

Corrina, Corrina

Slumdog Millionaire

Indiana Jones/Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Frozen River

Beowulf: Director's Cut

The Assassination of Jesse James

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Garbage Warrior


Into the Wild

Get Smart

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The Case for Christ

American Teen

Les Miserables

Ghost Town

24: Redemption

Marie Antoinette

The Savages

John Adams

Mamma Mia!

Legends of the Fall

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Happy birthday Jesus

We had a great Christmas season! It has been jam packed with fun, food and friends, and thus blogging has been lacking. Presents were not a highlight in our house so when people ask Lucy what she received for Christmas she says she can't remember. [We all crawled out of bed at 9am on Christmas morning, made pancakes and then opened the first present at 11am as Henry was going back to bed for a nap] What Lucy can remember is the time we spent playing board games, decorating the tree, watching The Nativity movie, and the food we cooked. She loved being in the Christmas play, dressing as an angel in the Living Nativity and listening to Colin's Christmas CD. She also enjoyed checking the manger every day and opening the advent calendar, which she'll have to share with Henry next year! Surprisingly she also enjoyed taking down the decorations (we had twitter bugs). As a family we enjoyed the Christmas eve church service and a get together at the Farvers. We also attended the adult Christmas cantata at church, 2 playgroup parties (one for mums and one for families), the church women's group cookie exchange and baked cookies for our CBS teachers. It's been crazy busy because the kids have been sick with colds & coughs, Andrew had root canal surgery on a tooth and it's been zero degrees outside.

This year we celebrated Jesus birthday with a triple chocolate mousse cake. It didn't look as good as the recipe photo but it certainly tasted good. Although rich, it was low in sugar, being flavoured with good quality chocolate Andrew could eat a large slab of it. We cut the pieces with a cheese wire so that pieces were very neat.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Lucy and Henry are both sick so they have missed out on a few Christmas events. It's a busy time for us so blogging is on hiatus for a while. Have a fabulous Christmas remembering Jesus birth.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Mamarama Christmas Parties

We enjoyed 2 Mamarama Christmas parties last week! The first was the mum's spa night where we got pampered with pedicures and manicures whilst eating chocolate dipped strawberries. The second was the family cookie exchange and ornament decoration craft. Both were lots of fun, thanks Alexis!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas photos

Here is a photo of our Jesse tree. We cut off one of the lower branches of our Christmas tree and put it into some florist foam within this vase (covered over by aluminium foil). Our ornaments are pictures we printed out from the computer and then laminated. We used a star punch and some leftover 'hangers' to attach them to the tree. Each day we do our bible reading and Lucy hangs up an ornament. Here are some other things we're doing:

Listening to 'Christmas Offering' by Casting Crowns

Reading: 'Have you seen Christmas?' written by Vickie Howie

Watching: The Nativity Story

Eating: The perfect chocolate chip cookie, panettone and drinking hot chocolate

The photos below are of the manger and the nativity set.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Mike's Farm

On the weekend a large group of us from church headed north to visit Mike's Farm in Beulaville. We enjoyed a Southern country buffet dinner (fried chicken, biscuits, mac & cheese, green beans, pork loin, mashed potato and gravy) and then waited in line to see the Christmas lights. We had a long wait in the cold weather, wrapped up in beanies and scarves. The worst part was that the cold came up through your shoes! Finally we hopped aboard our tractor for our hayride around the farm to see the lights. And boy were there a lot of lights! Lucy and Henry had an awesome time looking around and Lucy didn't want the hayride to end (she particularly like the fake snow falling on us from the trees whilst the song 'let it snow' was playing). We forgot the camera so there aren't any photos but check out the Mike's Farm website for the light show.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Living Nativity 2009

It's been a busy week where I been trying to play catchup. It is Friday afternoon and I've finally got a little time to blog. Last weekend we were involved with our church in presenting a living nativity. Our family had the fun task this year of being Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus and an angel in the stable. The whole setup was enormous with Herod's palace, the temple, shepherds in a field, marketplace, inn, stable, adult Jesus praying, the cross and the tomb. Henry was Jesus for 1/2 hour on the first night, 2 hours on the second night and 3 hours on the third night. It was VERY cold but Henry was awesome. At one point he was squealing for attention - not because he was unhappy but just to see how big a crowd he could draw in. He cried for one group, laughed for one group and the rest of the time he just stared at all the people coming past. Our friend Maarten took some photos of the four of us. Lucy was bribed with 3 cupcakes (white, purple and pink icing) so that she would participate and smile. Although this was the 9th year of presenting the Nativity and over 1000 people attended this year it was also the last. It has certainly been a fun time for us, even on our wedding anniversary!

Friday, 4 December 2009

11th Wedding Anniversary

Tomorrow is our 11th wedding anniversary! It's the year for steel, jewelry or travelling to NYC. We'll be celebrating by being part of our church's Living Nativity. Come back Monday for an update. Ava good weekend.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas plans

I've been following the '12 weeks to a peaceful Christmas' plan this year so everything has been thought out in advance and there is no last minute rush for Christmas (8 weeks done, 4 to go) I've already participated in one cookie exchange and there is alot of baking to go. Our December calendar is booked, the menu is planned (triple chocolate mousse cake for Jesus' birthday cake) and the presents are almost all wrapped. Looking forward to celebrating, playing games and eating. By the way our theme this year is 'camping'. Expect presents and activities to run this way.

I'll let you into two new traditions we're starting.

1. Manger. Under our Christmas tree is a rustic wooden manger that Andrew built. Each day during December some straw appears in the manger until it is full. On Christmas day a baby Jesus is lying in the manger amidst the presents and is a reminder of what Christmas really means.

2. Ornaments. Every year each child is given an ornament for the Christmas tree. The child decorates the family tree with their ornaments. When they leave home they are given a large box with their annual ornaments to take with them and start their own tree.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Christmas Wreathes

This year, inspired by Martha Stewart, I made these two wreathes. They are made completely of unshelled nuts hot-glued onto flat wooden wreathes. They were fun to make, quick and look really good. I just hope that the one on the front door doesn't attract deer!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

It's Christmas time!!

It is the most wonderful time of year!

On the weekend we bought a 10 foot Fraser fir tree from a local NC farmer. We hung our ornaments on the tree, decorated the house and drank Williams Sonoma Peppermint Hot Chocolate (look closely at Lucy's mouth!) The Christmas cards are ready to mail and the music playing in the house has a Christmas theme.

Each morning we will be opening the advent calendar and putting a piece on the Nativity scene. Each dinner we will be reading a devotion and putting an ornament on our Jesse tree. Stay tuned for more Christmas happenings.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Thanksgiving long weekend

Are you tired of hearing about our vacation? Fear not, it is well passed and we are into the holiday season. Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving. I love this holiday because 1. It is about giving thanks (and we all have something to be thankful about) 2. It is about getting together with family and friends and eating (no presents, no decorating, no fuss) and 3. We get invited out for a delicious relaxing lunch. This year, our 4th Thanksgiving, was no exception to the rule and we had a fabulous time at Marlene's house along with 12 others. Lucy sat at the kids table and behaved well while Henry cooed and smiled at the adults table. We ate turkey, mashed potato and cranberry jelly. We've been here long enough now that pumpkin pie is not a novelty and don't feel compelled to try some. We talked with new friends and old(ish) friends and passed around the Disney photos.

It still amazes us that many Americans think that Thanksgiving is a world-wide custom. Why would Australians celebrate the pilgrims and the Mayflower? The ignorance scares me. All Americans should be forced to watch Charlie Brown's holiday specials to learn a little history.

During the rest of the weekend we played board games (all won by Fiona!), cooked a lot (2 dishwasher loads per day) and watched Peter Pan on DVD (badly modified from the original book). We also started getting ready for Christmas but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out about that.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Disneyworld - The rest

To finish off here are some random thoughts of our time at Disney.

  • Andrew spent an hour at Hollywood Studios one night riding the rollercoasters and the Tower of Terror. There were no queues so he was able to ride a few times on each before the park closed.
  • Ridemax. One way we maximised our time at Disney was to use a program called Ridemax to set our itinerary. It was a very helpful program and I recommend it to first time Disney travellers. However we did find that it had overestimated wait times - I think there are fewer people travelling to Disney this year due to the economic downturn.
  • Passporters Guide to Disney. I borrowed this book from Alexis and it was excellent. I spent many hours reading and noting down rides and shows we wanted to see. It also helped me select good restaurants to eat at. We used a travel agent to make our bookings so we had all our reservations organised for us.
  • Autograph book. Our travel agent gave Lucy an autograph book to gain character signatures. This was very fun for Lucy and gave her an entry point to meet the characters.
  • Photo Pass. Disney has professional photographers throughout the parks. We tried several times to get a family photo of the four of us but Lucy did not co-operate. So whilst it was a great idea to get a photo CD there were only a couple of good photos of Andrew and I, so we didn't buy it. We did have a voucher for one free photo so we picked the best one and had it printed.
  • Dining Plan. Disney has a dining plan (that we received for free as part of our package saving us $600) which covers all of their restaurants. It allowed us each day to get lunch, dinner and a snack. Both lunch and dinner covered a main meal, a drink and a dessert. In most cases a sugar-free dessert was on offer which helped Andrew out. He was surprised at how well we could eat if we tried and he kept his blood sugar under very good control.
  • Outlets. Since we had a car we visited one of the Disney outlets. We picked up some souvenirs at 50% off the regular price. Whilst there was not the selection available in the regular stores at Disney it was well worth a visit here to pick up what we could. I also stopped in at the crocs store and got some really good deals.
  • Magic. Disney has their own philosophy to life. It is that if you believe hard enough in the magic in your heart your dreams will come true. This is the message that was overtly presented in their shows. We made sure that we explained to Lucy that this was not a biblical view of life and is not the reality that she would see around her.
  • Baddies. Most Disney stories have a scary element to them (a component of good storytelling) so it is important to consider what to expose a 3 year old to. Lucy was not scared by any of the rides themselves, she loves speed, but she can be scared by characters and scenery. After going on an adult roller coaster she commented that she didn't like the bats.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Disneyworld - Downtown

Downtown is geared for those that like to go shopping. We aren't really into shopping (except for the online kind) so we didn't go into many of the shops. Despite the $ focus we did do three really fun things downtown and we had a great lunch at the Earl of Sandwich.

1. Visited the Lego store

2. Ate chocolate sundaes at Ghiradelli

3. Watched La Nouba, a Cirque du Soliel show

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Disneyworld - The Contemporary

We stayed at the brand new Bay Lake Tower next to The Contemporary. A covered walkway joins the two buildings so it was pretty easy for us to catch the monorail. However the tower is really close to Magic Kingdom and it was easier and quicker to walk than catch the monorail. As suspected we ended up spending 3 days at MK so it was awesome to be so close. [big thanks to Auntie Lynda for picking up the kiddie board from Wilmington!]

We stayed in a one bedroom apartment which includes a full kitchen, a separate laundry room and a 2nd bathroom. It was really great to be able to make breakfast every day, wash our clothes and have the kids asleep in a separate room by 7:30pm. [btw Lucy and Henry were so cute sharing a room. Lucy would talk to him in his cot and he would coo and laugh back at her] We don't think anyone had stayed in our apartment before so we were the first ones!

The tower is part of Disney's Vacation Club so many of the apartments are time-shares, with some being owned by Disney (which is the part that we stayed in). Of course there were plenty of staff willing to take us through the time-share spiel but we politely said no and they left us alone. Seriously, a $100 voucher is not worth 3 hours of time when I could be riding Dumbo with Lucy instead!

Two afternoons we went swimming the Tower's mickey shaped pool. Lucy and Andrew went on the waterslide and then we all explored the water fountain area for kids. Henry loved his dip in the pool and looked super cute in his bathing suit.

We had three excellent meals at restaurants in the Contemporary - a character meal at Chef Mickey's, breakfast at The Wave and one night Andrew and I had dinner at California Grill located high in the Contemporary building (with a view of the 9pm Halloween fireworks at Magic Kingdom).

I would highly recommend staying in these apartments! [Maybe even buy a week of time-share off someone who can't use it]

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Disneyworld - Animal Kingdom

We spent a very long day at Animal Kingdom starting at 10am and finishing at 8pm with no nap in between! Everyone did surprisingly well given the heat and all the walking (we purchased a water spraying fan to keep us cool) One of the highlights of the day, and the event with the most photos, was Mickey's Jammin' Jungle parade. We had a prime viewing location, free from the large crowd and got lots of waves from the characters. Henry even had a close up encounter with a bear!

We went on a number of rides including Kilimanjaro Safaris, Triceratop Spin, Kali River Rapids, and Expedition Everest (Andrew only). However one of the best parts of Animal Kingdom is the shows. We managed to squeeze two in - the Flights of Wonder [bird show], and Finding Nemo the musical [puppet show] Both were awesome. We also walked along the Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Trail to see various animals. Unfortunately we missed Rafiki's Planet Watch and Petting Zoo because even though there were magic hours in the park until 8pm some of the animals leave their viewing areas at 5pm.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Disneyworld - Epcot

"With Epcot Center, the Disney corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-b
elieve that's worse than regular life." P. J. O'Rourke

Epcot is really two parks in one. The first is about the future and is full of rides and exhibits. The second is a world showcase, like a permanent expo of various countries, to which the above quote refers. I was hoping for the best however, ala Las Vegas, the pavilions for the various countries are caricatures. The international food and wine show was going on while we were there which made the afternoon more interesting. Using one of my snack points I purchased an inauthentic lamington from the Melbourne stand (the bottom had no icing!) On the whole I was very disappointed with the whole Epcot shebang. The only authentic part of the world showcase we encountered was the surly service we received from the French wait staff. To stop worrying about authenticity I spent a bit of time at the American pavilion learning some American history with Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin (both wonderfully rendered robotically). The fireworks at 9pm were pretty spectacular but the technically-demanding LED globe didn't do much for me.
If I went back, as harsh as this is, my world showcase itinerary would look simply like this:
  • 7pm table for two at the French gourmet restaurant
  • 9pm watch the fireworks
Back to the French restaurant, this is where we had dinner with Auntie Lynda and Jen. This was also the only restaurant during the week to give Lucy vegetables for dinner, and she had a wider choice than just nuggets, burgers and hot dogs. Lucy took a while to warm up but in the end she couldn't go on enough rides with Auntie Lynda.

On the future side of the park we had a wonderful time with Lucy. She loved the hang gliding ride Soarin' (Andrew and Lucy got the best seats on the ride at B1 and B2) and all four of us squeezed into a clamshell for the Seas with Nemo and friends ride. We participated in Turtle Talk with Crush which was very fun and hilarious. Lucy sat down the front with all the kids and they were allowed to ask Crush questions about his life as a turtle.

Epcot has some good adult rides including Spaceship Earth, Mission:Space and Test Track. Although we did not experience long lines throughout the week, we would have liked to ride Soarin' again but we ran out of time and the Fast Passes were all given out.

We discovered that during the late magic hours it was MUCH quicker to drive (15 mins) than catch the monorail (over 1 hour).

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Disneyworld - Magic Kingdom

By far and away this kingdom was the best one of them all and we visited here 3 whole days!
Lucy was captivated by it all. She loved the parades, the characters and the rides. We truly had a fabulous time here and it went by oh so fast. One day we stayed for the 8pm Spectromagic parade and the 9pm fireworks at the castle. We ate Mickey Mouse ice creams, had breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace, and drank frozen lemonades. Lucy and Henry picked out Mickey Mouse ears and we had their names sewn on the back. It was difficult to get Lucy to take off her ears!

If you ask Lucy she'll say her favourite ride was Dumbo the flying elephant. However I beg to differ. Based on her face and the number of times she rode I think her favourite was Goofy's Barnstormer. It is a little kid sized rollercoaster in Toon Town and I estimate Lucy rode on it 7 or 8 times over the three days. As it turns out, Lucy is tall enough to go on all the rides at Disney except 1 (Expedition Everest). I didn't let her go on all of them even though she technically could as I thought they would be too scary for her.

My favourite thing at MK was the 4D show called Mickey's Philharmagic. I didn't know anything about it beforehand but I loved the 4D effects - smelling the apple pie Donald had and feeling water spraying around when he landed in a puddle. Lucy thought the 4D was so real that she kept putting her hands in the air to touch Donald when he seemed to pop out of the screen.

Henry liked all his rides. Surprisingly he could go on most things, just sitting in our arms. He enjoyed riding the boat in It's a small world and looking at all the children singing. He was a very curious boy and spent a lot of time just looking around and not sleeping.

These are the rides we went on: Dumbo, Peter Pan's Flight, It's a small world, Cinderella's Golden Carousel, Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, Jungle Cruise. Andrew and Lucy went on the Big Thunder Mountain Railway and Andrew went on Splash mountain. Space mountain was closed for renovation.

Auntie Lynda and Jen joined us for a day and Lucy had a super fun time!

We also saw the Country Bear Jamboree, Tom Sawyer's Island and rode the train around the park. Andrew rode the Pirates of the Caribbean while the rest of us ate DoleWhip!

The only ride we didn't enjoy was the jungle cruise. It was night time during our cruise so this scared Lucy a little and she thought the animals were real. Andrew and I didn't like it as it was just SO fake. Thankfully we hadn't been to Animal Kingdom yet or we would have been more disappointed.

We have some awesome memories of the days spent here. It was very very fun.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Disneyworld - Overview

The problem with writing this entry is knowing where to start. Disneyworld was so much fun, it was so big and there was so much to do it is difficult to condense such a vast experience into a short blog entry.
So I have split the Disney blog into several entries covering the various parks and features. Phew! It seems more manageable now. Enjoy as we take you through our magical experience over the next few days!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Roadside Attractions

Driving long distances with two small children is not always fun but 80% of the time we enjoyed ourselves. On the journey to Florida we listened to Peter Pan (audiobook) On the way to Atlanta we tried to listen to The Jungle Book but our CD's were scratched. So we let Lucy watch DVD's and Andrew and I listened to our respective ipods and played with the GPS (how different modern driving is!) We had some 4 excellent pit stops which I will take you through (we had another awesome one planned- a butterfly conservatory but both kids were asleep when we pulled into town so we kept driving). Of course there were a couple of bad pit stops (shouting, crying, stomping etc) but we won't dwell on those. Lucy only asked if we were at Disney 3 times. We drove for about 25 hours all up and we still like each other!

Bee City and Petting Zoo [Cottageville SC]

This place was in the middle of nowhere at the end of a dirt road and it was AMAZING!!!!! We compared a lot of things back to this place, including the Atlanta Zoo and Sea World, and Bee City won out each time. Inexpensive entry fees allowed us to see so many exotic animals, feed livestock, and buy yummy honey. One scary and later hilarious moment was when Andrew was bitten by a donkey. He didn't read the instructions that the food was for the goats, llamas, alpacas and goats. Thankfully it was him and not Lucy. I had told her to stay away from the donkey remembering something about Katrina's dress being eaten by a donkey at the zoo? In any case Andrew's finger healed over the next week or so.

South of the Border [Dillon SC]

This place is a suburb of its own. Two gas stations, 2 fireworks shops, multiple cafes, a leather shop, a western shop, an ice cream shop, a miniature golf course, a motel, a 6 storey sombrero with an elevator inside, basically you name it and its here at South of the Border. We ate in the Cafe of the Pink Flamingo and were disappointed to find out that the sombrero elevator had closed 1/2 hour earlier. Andrew keenly looked around the fireworks shops but most of them are illegal in NC (hence the name South of the Border)

Australian Bakery & Cafe [Atlanta GA]

We stopped here on our way home to pick up a whole lot of meat pies, sausage rolls and lamingtons. We enjoyed some for a picnic lunch in Augusta by the riverfront. The lady serving us was American and we had to point out to her that she shouldn't be saying "y'all" in an Aussie cafe!

Hurricane Grill [Jacksonville FL]

We enjoyed a relaxing lunch here with the Danielsons on our way to Disney. A native restaurant to Jacksonville it served up fresh salads and burgers that kept Andrew's blood sugar under control. Lucy's meal was served on a frisbee that she could keep after her meal.