Karin is the epitome of a free spirit and is so great to work with because she brings such a creative, fun vibe. This is a mandala she sketched and then set out with paints and supplies to promote wellbeing. The School of Ed. staff would stop into the common area and contribute to the painting, so we all created something beautiful for our workplace. (Not gonna lie - I spent 2 hours adding details to the center of this thing one evening after work hours while Pickle was teaching...it didn't progress my dissertation, but it really increased my sense of wellness.) Someone who brings THAT vibe to work is like a unicorn in higher ed!
It's been awhile...we've been in flat out work mode lately, and there's not been much time to update (and, to be honest, not much to update about - I actually took 2 flex days off of work last week just to stay home and work all day in my PJs instead of getting dressed and going to the office!). We're trying to squeeze some fun in this week though, so as not to let Halloween pass us by, so I thought I'd get caught up a bit with a post now...
Before all the work set in, we made it out to Sydney's first ever Food Truck Jam. It was a caravan of deliciousness in the Entertainment Quarter! They had the best food trucks from all over Sydney and the place was packed. Luckily, we went somewhat early - the lines were dramatic, and when we left, there were hordes of people waiting just to get into the event...only to then wait in long lines for food once they were granted entry. There was a great vibe though. They had a live DJ and a great variety of scrumptious snacking options for any craving.
Pickle had eaten a bit before we left in order to boost his stamina for the wait time. (He has learned from experience that when he's hungry and forced to wait in line for food, his patience runs low. Coupling that with the fact that I always want to try whatever is at the end of the longest lines - because that's obviously the best food - can yield a perfect storm for a hangry meltdown.) He was armed for success this time, but I have to admit that I found the longest lines a bit daunting myself, so we devised a plan to divide an conquer. I procured a place in line for Knafeh; he snagged a spot for Tella Ball (the two most acclaimed stands and clearly the longest lines at the park), and we met what seemed like an hour later to share our fare. The Knafeh stand was hoppin' and the "bearded bakers" were in full swing, jammin' out as they served up their Jerusalem street food. They created such a fun atmosphere that you really didn't mind the wait - in fact, you were a little sad to leave the party once you got your order! Knafeh is a mobile bakery that operates out of a shipping container adorned with street art. The siblings were serving just two items: Moroccan tea and their mamma's knafeh recipe - just the knafeh was enough to generate the longest queue in a park full of food trucks offering countless dishes! Knafeh is a Middle Eastern sweet cheese dessert, topped with crushed pistachios and soaked in sugar syrup. This particular version is lighter and creamier than most and is topped with a crunchy crust of semolina before the pistachios and sugar syrup top it off.
We just couldn't get on board with another line for savory stuff, so we headed back to our neighborhood and hit up the sushi train instead! This was our last weekend out for a little while, as a wave of work swept in, but we made it out again this past weekend for a graduation party for our friend and colleague, Karin.
Karin's grad party was so her...it was at her house, which was like some sort of "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" (to use her words) - this mystical, shabby-chic fairyland in the Blue Mountains, there was a separate art studio down by the uniquely natural looking pool, antique furniture set all around the yard, chandeliers in the trees, and a trampoline (which I was only able to sneak off and play on for a quick minute before the kids came back for it again). This grad party came complete with several different musical talents, including the Sydney New Orleans Jazz Band, belly dancers and an Egyptian feast of whole lamb and rice, hummus, pita and tabouleh.
Here's a little taste of the amazing Sydney New Orleans Jazz Band...
It was a great reason to push pause on all the work and enjoy the afternoon!
Pickle and I received our wedding photos this week! We were psyched to get them back and relive our memories of the day. John Hook (http://www.johnhookphoto.com) was our photographer and he was AWESOME! He was so easy to work with - super laid back, but totally dependable...and most importantly, he creates beautiful photos! Here are some of our faves...btw, these are 4 slideshows, not individual photos, but they take a bit to load...if you hover over them, you should see the controls :)
After the Ceremony at Waimanalo
Shave Ice & Lanai Lookout