Spectacle Of Dancing Lights 2009

November 20, 2009

Oh, how convenient that Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” just started playing on my Pandora Radio Christmas list. Boooo. No, I wont be home for Christmas, and yes, this is my first time ever being away from my family and home for Christmas. I can deal with this no problems, but every time this song plays I get a little bit sad, just a teeny weeny bit because…

  • I have no Christmas tree to set up and no stocking to hang.
  • There will be no Cookie glaring up at the shiny Christmas ornaments with his little brain ticking away and wanting nothing more than to jump into the tree and attack the ornaments.
  • There will be none of Mum’s amazing roast pork and Nana’s delicious turkey.
  • There will be no big family gathering over Christmas Day lunch while Bing Crosby’s Christmas CD is playing in the background.
  • And the biggest disappointment of them all, (not that I’m materialistic or anything) is that I will have no Christmas presents waiting under the tree for me when I wake up on Christmas morning <insert sad face here>.

A typical Christmas at my home back in Australia

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights @ Hollywood Studios

So, feeling a bit down about this, a few Cirque mates (who are also spending their first Christmas away from their families) and I were feeling rather Christmasy on Monday night. We decided to head down to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and check out the ‘Spectacle of Dancing Lights’. I’d heard about this from other Disney Cast Members and the hype surrounding it, so I was extremely excited to get down there and check it out,  especially since Australia doesn’t really go all out with the Christmas lights… and besides, I’m a sucker for Christmas!

OH. MY. GOD. is all that comes to mind. I could not believe my eyes! The set up was INSANE! Sooooo pretty. I don’t think I’d ever seen anything so amazing before in my life! Not one single wall went to waste, there were lights absolutely every where. I stood there kind of dumbfounded for the first few minutes. I’m pretty sure Mike has a video of me running around with my mouth wide open and all you can hear me saying is “Woahhhh!” I was like a five year old let loose in a candy store. I felt so happy at that exact moment in time… until “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” started playing over the sound system haha.

You’re probably wondering where the ‘dancing’ part comes into all of this, right? Right. Well, every 10 to 15 minutes, a Christmas carol comes blasting over the sound system and the lights start dancing to the beat of the song. As if the non-dancing lights weren’t already good enough, the dancing lights come along and kick the non-dancing lights right in the butt! Ouch. This is just all too much for me. I must look like the biggest tool ever to grace this planet as I walk around in awe with my mouth hanging open. Again, I feel like a six year old allowed to stay up all night and watch TV instead of going to bed at 8pm. So, so pretty. Nothing tops this. I start to feel a little bit OK about missing Christmas in Australia; just a little bit.

I could post a plethora of photos and videos from this event, but not a single one will do this spectacle justice. Do yourself a favour and get your butt down to Hollywood Studios from now until July 4, 2010 to check this out. You will not be disappointed!

Hollywood Studios closed at 8pm so we had to get moving. We were all still in a very Christmasy mood so we headed over to the AMC at Downtown Disney and went to see Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol‘ in 3D. Two thumbs up. Amazinggggg. I’m so glad we picked the 3D session and not the regular viewing because this movie just looked so phenomenal in 3D. I found it rather amusing how much they made Colin Firth’s character look like him and Jim Carrey did a sensational job voicing many of the characters. Although this may seem like a children’s movie, I think it was rather creepy at parts, enough to scare little kids!

What a great start to the holiday season 🙂


Auckland, New Zealand – Leg 1

June 28, 2009

So I’m just sitting here in Auckland Airport, New Zealand. Had an extremely smooth flight over from Melbourne flying Air New Zealand which I can never speak highly enough of; wonderful airline. Scored myself the exit lane so I had a ton of leg room 🙂 Landed maybe 40 minutes ago. It’s miserable here; cold and raining. Yuck. Watched ‘I Love You, Man’ and half of ’17 Again’ on the ride over. Hopefully get to finish it on the next leg of the journey. During ‘I Love You, Man,’ I’d burst out into random fits of laughter… eh, I was enjoying the movie.

Leaving Melbourne Airport was like ‘Cry-fest 2009’. Sooooo many tears. Was so sad saying by to the girls, but even worse saying bye to mum and dad, especially mum!!! I gave her a massive hug 🙂 I also almost started crying while saying bye to Cookie this morning. I will miss his little fat face! Ah well, here’s some photos we snapped just before I departed Melbourne.

The girls and I... I felt so tall haha.

The girls and I... I felt so tall haha.

Mum and I :-)

Mum and I 🙂

Dad, Mum and I :-)

Dad, Mum and I 🙂


Canada bound!

June 27, 2009

The countdown has finally come to an end. After years of wanting to move overseas, there are only 14 hours remaining until my flight departs Melbourne. I am SO excited. Actually, excited doesn’t even begin to describe what I am feeling at the moment. I’m not sure if there is a word for it, but it’s definitely not nerves. I thought at least by now I’d be in a state of panic and the nerves would start to kick in, but nope, not a sign of them yet! I guess that’s a good thing though.

I went to the currency conversion place this morning to convert some cash into U.S. and Canadian dollars. The Travelex lady serving me asked if I was flying home to visit my family. Apparently my accent led her to believe I was Canadian. FML. I had to explain to her that I was a Melburnian born and raised. I don’t think she believed me. This is the fourth time this week. On Wednesday the Doctor also asked if I was flying home to visit family. On Thursday at the hairdresser some random client sitting to my left asked if I was from Canada and then on Friday at the Chemist, the girl behind the counter told me I had a beautiful accent and that she really liked it. Poor girl was a tad confused when I told her I was Aussie.

I finally finished packing my two suitcases. I had to make a late-night dash to Coles when I realised I didn’t have everything I required. I hate packing with a passion so I am hoping all the imperative stuff is there.

I guess this will be my last blog from home for the next 14 months. Doubt I will be getting much sleep tonight. Hopefully the 27 hour duration flight Melbourne > Auckland > Vancouver > Montreal is a smooth one. I checked out the in-flight entertainment guide for my flight and the movie selection is awesome. Hopefully I can fit a good five or six in.

Going to be such a mess at the airport tomorrow saying bye to mum, dad and my friends! I’ll miss them so much, especially my gorgeous cat, Cookie, I’m going to miss his cute little face soooo much!

Later all!

 


ELEVEN DAYS!

June 17, 2009

11 days remaining. That’s right. E-L-E-V-E-N! I know what you are thinking, and yes, I know, I can barely believe it either. My, how time flies.

I have two days left at my full time job at Allianz, one shift left at my casual job at Safeway and eleven days left in this country! Gahhh. I hate Safeway with a passion, but after eight and a half years there, it is going to be extremely sad to leave; so sad, I may even have to cry. Forced tears, of course. No, I lied. Not forced tears, real tears haha. Oh, the shame *covers eyes*.

The worst part about this whole situation, though; I haven’t even started packing yet! I have no clue where to begin. How do I fit 14 months of my life into two suitcases? 46 measly kilograms is my check-in allowance and I am sure I can squish another seven to ten kilograms into my carry-on. I managed eleven kilograms last year and that was pushing it. The gentleman behind the departure gate only allowed that one extra kilogram because I was crying (No, I wasn’t crying because my carry-on was over weight by one kilogram, I was crying because I had just said good bye to mum and dad).

I purchased my travel insurance last week! I was in a pickle as most travel insurance policies do not cover you for working abroad, so I had to confirm with the Disney team that, if I were to be injured while on the job, some sort of workers compensation would be offered. One of the lovely Disney staff confirmed that yes, it would be, which meant I could just take out a regular travel insurance policy with Allianz. Although I am gone for 14 months, travel insurance policies are only issued for a period of 12 months. Allianz were charging $947.00 for the 12 months policy along with $25 extra to remove the $100 excess. This was by far, the cheapest full comprehensive policy on offer. Most of the travel agents and the insurance policy that Disney recommended were all in excess of $1800.00! That is crazy, especially considering most of the travel agents insurance policies are underwritten by Allianz anway. Back on track, with my staff discount, I was able to purchase the 12 month policy for $660.00 AU! What a bargain. I was quite happy with my huge saving and just have to be sure to extend the policy next year as the expiry date nears. Lucky I did it when I did because Allianz put up their premiums the other day. The same 12 months I was issued now costs around $1,200.00. Thank God I was on the ball, hey? I’m such an organised travel nerd (minus the packing factor).

As I mentioned above, I finish up with Allianz on Friday. I have friends I made on Contiki through Europe last year flying in from Perth to come and visit so I am meeting with them for dinner after work on Friday. Saturday night I will more than likely do dinner with them again then it is off to my farewell drinks shindig. I am planning on Saturday to be one very messy, yet enjoyable night. I cannot wait; copious amounts of alcohol will be consumed, I’m sure! Sunday I plan to awake (hang over free) and work my last shift ever at Safeway <insert tears and sniffles here> and then finally, come Monday, I plan to start packing. Keyword, plan. My room is such a mess that I have to start cleaning it to actually find the clothes that I plan on taking with me. Oh, there’s that keyword again. I plan on doing a lot of things next week.

The entire week is dedicated to packing and finalising everything. I need to also fit in a doctors appointment; I want to make it to the movies to see Hang Over; I need to fit in a few shopping trips to purchase bits and pieces; I have a hair appointment booked for Thursday morning; the girls have planned to catch up with me one last time on the Thursday night for dinner; I am doing one final dinner with the Safeway work crew on the Friday night; Saturday is reserved for the family get-together; then finally, on the Sunday I fly out! Phew. Just looking at that schedule makes me exhausted; I cannot actually imagine working through it. Guess I have no choice though.

Anywho, just wanted to blog my thoughts. I guess the next time I blog the countdown will be in single digits! Exciting much?

I CANNOT WAIT FOR DISNEY!!!


T-Minus 5 weeks & counting…

May 24, 2009

Tomorrow will mark exactly five weeks until departure; 35 days until I leave the secure nest that is my home, family, friends and job(s) and move to the U.S. for 14 months. The thing that bothers me about all of this though, is that I am not the least bit nervous. Am I meant to be nervous? Should I start to feel edgy and panicky or is it still a bit too early for those emotions to kick in?

I just finished watching ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ and although this movie has nothing to do with goodbyes, while watching it, it hit me. No, not the feeling of nervousness, but more so the realisation of how much I’m going to miss people while I’m gone. My mum, my dad, Cookie my cat, my girl friends etc… all of whom up until now, have been my security blanket and my support when ever I’ve been in need, only in five more weeks, they wont be there anymore. Well, sure, they’ll still be there, but that there will be on the other side of the world. This thought made me sad. I may or may not have cried. Shhhh. Pretend you didn’t read that part.

All emotions aside, I’m pretty much almost set to go. I told my Team Leader on Monday that I was leaving my job. I had been dreading this day for some time now.  I had replayed this scenario over and over in my head all weekend. It was the cause of many hours of lost sleep. I tell the Team Leader I’m leaving. Team Leader yells at me. Tells me what a let down I am to the team and that I couldn’t have picked a worse time to leave. Yada yada. It went nothing like that, in fact, it was so completely the opposite of what I had imagined, I couldn’t help but cry happy tears when she was so excited and supportive of my decision. It was amazing. Finally, the weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could start openly expressing my happiness to everyone about my move! Phew.

I have finally booked all my flights! I already had the main flight from Melbourne to Vancouver taken care of, but was still in need of a few more. Ended up booking a flight with Air Canada from Vancouver to Montreal, then with Air Canada again from Montreal to Dallas. From Dallas to Orlando one of the girls on the program and myself decided we’d fly out of Dallas together with American Airlines. At least I will be arriving at Disney with someone and wont be a loner. Yay. We get into Orlando at around 11am and the Aussie’s on the group flight don’t get in until 11pm so we get to head to our apartments early and go and do some shopping!

There is only one more major thing I require before heading off, and that is travel insurance! I’ll probably end up going with Allianz because one, I work there, and two, they are by far the cheapest for 14 months of full comprehensive cover with unlimited medical cover.

The next few weeks are going to be so hectic, but I look forward to them. I do not, however, look forward to bawling my eyes out at the airport upon departure. Ugh. I’m such a sucker for goodbyes. As soon as one person cries, then I start crying. Apparently crying is contagious. Boooooo.


Windsor Castle and London

July 24, 2008

Yesterday uncle took the day off work and we went to Windsor Castle. He put the top down on his Porsche and we drove there. That car is fucking awesome and man, can it go fast! We took the GPS so we wouldn’t get lost, but, we did haha. I told uncle that he shouldn’t have listened to the GPS lady and gone with his gut feeling, but he said he always listens to women… so I told him to change the GPS to a male voice lol.

Windsor Castle was amazing. The castle itself is gigantic and the grounds are also quite large. The interior though, is what amazed me most. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside which was a shame. The Queen was in but fortunately, we didn’t spot her lol.

I really enjoyed our time there. We each had an audio device which gave us a ton of information for each site that we approached; the welcome message by Prince Charles cracked me up lol. After the castle we walked around Windsor a bit and grabbed a bite to eat at Nandos mmmm.

We hopped back into the Porsche and uncle took me around the city of London. We went by Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, drove over the London Bridge, went by Harrods and a few other sites that I can’t recall the name of. We stopped by the University of Greenwich where uncle works to show me around a bit, then went to the pub across the road to have a drink as it was rather warm out; 30 degrees. I’m surprised it got so warm, my nose got a little sunburnt lol.

Later that evening we met up with aunty at a lovely Italian restaraunt for dinner. I had a wonderfully tasty steak and potatoes. We had a great laugh over dinner, I really enjoyed it.

Right now it is 9.30am on Thursday and I’m soon about to catch the train into the city to meet up with Mel and her cousin and look around a little, then we are headed to our hotel for the night…

Tomorrow is CONTIKI!!!! Wooo hoooo

xoxo


TODAY IS THE DAY!

July 21, 2008

JULY 21 IS FINALLY HERE!!!

Woohooo! My flight leaves at 12pm, it is now 1:14am and although I’m extremely tired, I’m too excited to go to sleep!

It took FOREVER and I mean forever, just to get my suitcase to a decent weight. I think it’s sitting on 21.5kg at the moment although it is meant to be 20kg. I’ll probably get asked to remove some stuff at the airport. I already removed as much as possible, I’m seriously left with barely anything, and it looks so empty too. I wanted to cry at one point. I think my carry on bag is also over by 0.5kg. Ugh, I hope they don’t charge me!

Anywho, not sure how often I will have access to the Internet but I hope to keep this thing updated as much as possible!

I will miss you all so much… especially mum, dad and Cookie!

Love you xoxo