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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh, the places you'll go!

Examiner.com: DC's budget-friendly happy hour hot spots

Isn't this year's tree an improvement over last year's?

Christmas 2008 in Seoul

2008: white construction paper colored in with colored pencils, cut into the shape of a tree and ornament and taped to my bureau.

2009: actual live Fraser fir, 8-feet-tall and smelling heavenly.

Yep, I know which one I prefer!

Actually, it was fun having a completely nontraditional Christmas last year. I was one of the lucky teachers who was off work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so it certainly felt more like a holiday than it may have otherwise, but it was nothing like being at home.

But while home is great ... the next adventure has officially been booked! I'm going Down Under from February to April, with a return ticket to Melbourne bought and paid for. Ouch! That's the sound of my poor bank account shelling out the money for a plane ticket across the world ... again.)

Yep, my dear friend Sandy (a fellow ex-teacher) and I head to Melbourne February 15 before trekking up Australia's East coast, flying across the barren middle to explore the West Coast, then hopping down to New Zealand for a few weeks.

All together, two months of exploring with nary an itinerary or agenda in sight. It shall be glorious.

Luckily, Sandy and I have friends there to help us with the journey but certainly any advice, tips, recommendations, etc. are greatly appreciated! I've been to Sydney but only once and only for a week, so there's a lot to explore still. Australia is almost the same size as the continental United States!

Know of cheap hostels? Must-see sights? Must-do activities? Live in Australia or New Zealand and want to play tour guide? Tell me!

So I promise -- come mid-February, things will get exciting around here again.

Where is your dream vacation? Australia was always near the top of my list along with Egypt, Peru and Greece. Still need to get to those three!