Beaches, Babies, Beers and Brides (Part One)

It’s Monday the 31st of October… Halloween. It’s a perfect 20 degree day with the sun shining brightly over the backyard. Alistair’s cactus has bloomed, and Darcy has consequently bitten the flower since then (Darcy is Mum’s dog, not a human – that would be weird). Baker’s Delight have started stocking their fruit mince pies and we’ve snagged a couple to eat while watching Love Actually. My backpack is packed, my final catch ups completed, my stomach content and my heart is so, so full.

Our two and a half week trip home is nearing an end, and a little part of me is relieved. To say it’s been busy would be an understatement. However, it has been so worth the long journey home.

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We hit the ground running seeing family, friends and the familiar sights of our home town. I think on day two I was already back at Jacob’s ladder, simultaneously checking out the city and struggling to breath.

We visited our beloved beach and fought against the sea breeze to ride down to Yelo for a coffee and breakfast. I never realised how much I love our seaside until we were away from it for an extended period of time.

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The first week we stayed with Andrew’s parents, his sister Chelsea and their cat named Tess. I must admit it was lovely to wake up and have the house full of people running off for bike rides, or making coffee, chit-chatting the whole time.

One quiet day in the middle of the week we thought we’d play tourists in our own city and headed out to hike a little at Lesmurdie Falls.

This hike was quite the opposite of those we’ve done in Canada, but it was just as serene. Nothing makes me feel more at home or more relaxed than hearing the birds chirping, insects buzzing and kookaburras laughing in the middle of the bush. This day was such a nice reminder of why we will eventually return to this beautiful part of the world.

I was also lucky enough to spend a decent chunk of time catching up with my favourite gals. My beautiful Brianna was back in town for a weekend (she’s moved to Melbourne since I’ve been gone) and we all celebrated over wine and pizza at the Beaufort Street event Beauvine.

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The wine tasting was warmly welcomed, the food was tasty but the company was what made my night worth it. There’s something to be said about a friendship that can pick up right where it left off no matter how much time has passed. I’m fortunate enough to have eight of these, and seeing all of these faces makes me one happy gal indeed.

More to come on our time in Perth, if you can believe it our second week was busier than the first!
For now, Mum and I are celebrating Christmas instead of Halloween and making up for lost time.

Hanbel.
x

I Think I’m Fallin’ For You

Well, well, well. Here we are. Two weeks shy of our six month anniversary of our Australian hiatus and we’re packing our backpacks to head back home (only for two and a half weeks!).

Yesterday was Canadian thanksgiving, but also the last official day the bike park was open and therefore the last day of the summer season! It was quite fitting for those two things to fall on the same day (ha, Fall – geddit?). It was quite a day of reflection and to feel thankful for this incredible place. I’m feeling so full of joy looking back on our first Canadian summer.

The last few weeks in particular have been a dream, from conquering my goals in the bike park;

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to walking into work everyday with a huge smile on my face;

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to having Alistair’s girlfriend Ellen visit, having a ball with her and hitting up the train wreck hike again (it doesn’t get old!);

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to watching Fall officially hit Whistler, with trees changing into the most vibrant of colours;

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and seeing the first snowfall of the season!!!

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We’ve also spent a small fortune on winter gear, snowboards and ALL THE LAYERS. I’m getting so pumped for winter and what this new season will bring for us.
But first, to head home and celebrate the wedding of two very dear friends! Can’t wait to see some familiar faces, eat some fresh food and soak up the last of the sunshine. See you all very soon!!!

Hanbel.
x

P.s. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to wish my love a very, very happy 29th birthday!
I feel like I’ve said a variation of these words a million times since we left, but my goodness I am one lucky duck. To get to explore so many new places, a new way of life and new experiences everyday with your best friend by your side is a dream come true.

We both thought this move might be a bit of a test for us, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve never been happier – individually and together. Bring on the next year and more incredible moments like these! I love you, you crazy kid. x

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The Great Outdoors

This past weekend has probably been the best ever. So, so, so much fun. So much sunshine, so many outdoor activities, so many goals ticked off the list.

And the weather has been absolutely glorious! After the first two week of September washing us out and freezing us to the core, we were convinced we’d be in for a rough Autumn. Mother nature had other ideas though, and blessed us with non-stop sunshine and mid-twenty degree days.

This weekend we had planned for our mate Reuben to come up for a visit. He and Jill (this beautiful married couple) have been living in their van, travelling around BC, climbing rocks like crazy folk. Jill is down in Vancouver at the moment, learning how to become a yoga instructor, so Reuben thought he’d pop by to give mountain biking a red hot go.

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One lap of Easy Does It (the basic green run on the mountain) and he was bored, which made Andrew and I SO HAPPY. Reubs rode bmx as a kid and picked up mountain biking so quickly. We managed to tick off a tonne of blue runs, snuck in a black and made it to the garbo zone for a full hour long run. Safe to say he was one happy chappy, and I ticked off so many personal goals that day too. It was by far the best day I’ve had on the bike and I have Andrew to thank for being the perfect balance between coach and riding buddy.

I’d also been out with a work mate a couple of days ago (who snapped the below picture you may have seen on my instagram), and the combination of those two days out means that I’ve now ridden every blue and green run on the mountain – happy days!

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The next morning, my legs had seen better days but with a day off together we pushed ourselves to head back up the mountain – without a bike this time. Andrew and I hopped in the gondie as soon as it opened, rode it as far as it would take us and set out on an alpine hike.

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We took the Harmony Meadows to High Note to Half Note Trail, which would have been around 10km and took us 2 hours, 40 minutes. We had to cut it short due to Andrew’s riding plans, but I was secretly ecstatic about that.

The hike was stunning, alpine hiking is insane and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The thinner air and constant uphills made it challenging, but we made it through and still smiled by the end!

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We actually started in the opposite direction to what is recommended (the chairlift to take us to the the proper trail head didn’t run until 11am), so we begun in rough, open conditions, full of loose rocks and mediocre scenery.

I’m glad we got that out of the way though, because as we turned the corner an hour in, we were dumbfounded by the sights.

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Photos absolutely do not do it justice, because the views of Cheakamus Lake and surrounding mountains were breathtaking.

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A couple of tips for long hikes:

  • Clif bars are the greatest thing in the world
  • As is water
  • Don’t buy that last wine at the bar the night before
  • Wear sunscreen. FML
  • Have a good hiking buddy and make fun conversation about all the amazing adventures you’ve already been on
  • When you start climbing steep hills, stop that conversation immediately
  • Apologise to your knees for the downhill slopes
  • High-five at the end because you didn’t die!

With all the riding we’d been smashing out, I’d forgotten how great hikes can be. This weekend definitely showed me how incredible Whister is in the summer, and how many activities there are to fill your spare time.

We finished up the weekend with healthy nachos, plenty of guacamole and beginning season four of Scandal. It was grand!

Very tired, but super content.
Hanbel
x

Music, Sweet Music

Good Morning Lovelies!

Though it be raining today and the forecast shows much of the same for another week, I am a happy little vegemite. My morning workout is complete, I’ve got a jar of overnight oats and peanut butter in my hand and coffee brewing.

This is quickly becoming my morning routine on days where I have a late start at the bakery. Once my breakfast is ready and I’ve started the coffee, I sit down and catch up on the blogs I follow (Brooke and Sean’s is a highlight at the moment!). The first I started with today though, is Cup of Jo, and this article took my fancy.

Isn’t music incredible? The power it has to soothe, enhance, excite, evoke emotions and transport you in time will never cease to amaze me. Reading over Jo’s list this morning, got me thinking of my own. These are the few that first come to mind…

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Bob Dylan
As my Dad’s absolute favourite artist, Bob Dylan echoed through our halls throughout my childhood. My parent’s favourite story to tell is me, as a toddler, blasting out the lyrics “Everybody must get stoned”.

Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
When I was 7 or 8, my Mum took me to see The Parent Trap at the movies. I fell in love with the film and it’s soundtrack. Since then, I have watched this movie too many times to count and can still quote it back and forth with Mum. This heavenly Beatles song reminds me of so many things, but mainly of my dear Mumma.

Teenage Crime – Adrian Lux
For three years in a row, the girls and I would pack up a couple of cars full of snacks and camping gear. We’d drive for seven hours to Bremer Bay and spend the week frolicking in the sun, swimming in the salty ocean and giggling non-stop around the campsite. When this song played one year and my dearest Courtney mistakenly sung out “all my friends, sin da loo!” she burnt a memory into my brain so deep that I can’t stop laughing while I type this.

Skinny Love – Bon Iver
Within the first few seconds of this song, my body freezes. I wait for my mind to catch up and decide if we’re going to start crying or if we’re going to smile with fond memories. This was played at my step-sister’s funeral and will always be her song, no matter how much time passes.

Hey Ho – The Lumineers
Last year, Andrew was asked to MC our good friend’s wedding and the biggest announcement he was to make was introducing the bridal party as they made their first entrance to the reception. He felt a huge responsibility that day and wanted to make sure he got it perfect for them. As I listen to this song I can hear his voice calling out “and finally… Mr and Mrs Lyons!”. Such heavy emotions on that perfect day, and I love reliving it through this song.

(Lover) You Don’t Treat Me No Good – Chet Faker
We have listened to this cover around a million times, and can probably quote the intro conversations. We are obsessed with this song and anytime it’s played will break out into song and dance. It takes me back to our little home in Perth, sharing a drink or two and absolutely loving each other’s company.

I hope you think of your own little list, take a trip down memory lane and smile for me, remembering some killer moments in life. Ain’t it great?

Hanbel.
x

10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy About Summer

Canadian edition, as my seasons this year have been all over the place. But, nevertheless..

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  1. Learning how beautiful lakes are, particularly glacier fed ones.
  2. Riding bikes, all day erry day. Anywhere and everywhere!
  3. Every weekend brings a new event to Whistler, from Crankworx to Wanderlust to the free outdoor concert series
  4. Smoothies and overnight oats for breakfast
  5. Grabbing the most delicious and healthy pad thai from the Farmers Markets
  6. The sun staying up until late, giving us long days to fill with activities
  7. Temperatures never reaching above 32 degrees
  8. Cider and beer on our front porch
  9. Menchies frozen yoghurt (I found a Tutti Frutti replacement, hallelujah!)
  10. Denim shorts and a singlet is considered appropriate attire almost everywhere in town

Thanks for an awesome summer Whistler, looking forward to next year already.
Hanbel
x

Let’s Catch Up

Everyday this place is feeling more like home. We live simpler, cheaper and easier, and I have to admit that I’m loving it!

The last couple of weeks have been busy, any time we’re not at work we’re trying to find something else fun to do. There’s a certain guilt that surrounds free time around here; there’s always a hike to be done, more riding to squeeze in, a new lake to hang out at… and therefore not much time for relaxing.

I think we’re managing a good balance between activities and binge watching Scandal though 😉

Here’s a little peek into our summer…

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Lake hangs with Blake and Tash, just after the birthday girl celebrated 24!

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Breathing in the summer evening air, watching Jose Gonzalez at a free concert; a bunch of mates and a flask full of whiskey included.

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“You take chairlift selfies with your clients all the time, it’s my turn!”

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Taking the kids to see the Train Wreck hike, and checking out the new suspension bridge for myself. We have big plans to hike Joffre Lake with these two, as soon as they return from their New York adventure!

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Helping Chloe ring in her 19th birthday with incredible sushi and continuous sake shots.

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And finally spending a day on Alta Lake with Crina and the generous Keith, who drove and brought kayaks for us all to use. Frolicking around the lake, jumping in for a swim, sun-baking on a pontoon, eating sliced watermelon and giggling with these two created the perfect summer afternoon! We finished up the day meeting Andrew for Crankworx action and even more sushi. If any of you come to Whistler and head to Sushi Village, you have to order the Nicole Roll. It’s not listed on the menu, but it will be the best thing you’ve eaten for a long time.

Life is sweet you guys.
Hanbel.
x

 

This Week…

I am doing … a lot of work, and a lot of exercise.

I am feeling … tired, but content.

I am craving … a weekend!

I am looking forward to … finally getting to see some of the crankworx action.

I am eating … way too many Purebread leftovers.

I am listening to … Folk & Friends on spotify.

I am watching … Scandal – I’m sooo late to the party, but I cannot get enough Olivia Pope in my life!

I am missing … the girls, always.

I am hating … not being able to get to the bike park.

I am loving … the sunshine in Whistler. This week is heaven on earth, I just need to stop working so much and enjoy it!

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I hope you’re all having a lovely week 🙂
Hanbel
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