Posts Tagged ‘personal’

Melbourne Arcade

 

The Man and I snuck away to Melbourne for the weekend to go to Derby Day (horse racing carnival) with friends. It was a quick trip but a lot of fun. I never get sick of Melbourne, especially shopping in its gorgeous arcades.

Believe it or not, I didn’t take any photos apart from the above. I don’t know whether it was the fact that we weren’t travelling alone, or that I’ve been there many times before or that I just wanted to be in the moment, but I lugged around my DSLR and two lenses for nothing! I don’t even have a decent shot of my race day outfit.

In more exciting news, we have just booked tickets for next April to Hawaii! My brother and his wife and their new baby (yes, I’m an auntie as of a few weeks ago!) live in San Francisco and since we already visited them there last Christmas we thought we’d see if they wanted to meet somewhere in the middle.

The rest of the family will be coming too so it will be a bit of a birthday celebration for the Man and I who turn 30 in May… although to be honest I’m much more excited about meeting a certain little person.

Have a great week, you guys!

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cherry blossoms by Atypical Type A

I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks.

I’m not generally a fan of bloggers apologising for absences. But I do feel in this case that at the very least an explanation is warranted.

I have mentioned here or on social media a couple of reasons why I’ve been so quiet over the last couple of months (and by quiet I mean practically falling off the blogosphere). One was our recent trip to New Zealand,
the other being that a day before I was due to begin my leave for said trip, my computer died, leaving me with no way to work or blog.

I didn’t lose anything important (if you haven’t backed up in a while, stop reading this post and go do it now!) but it was still a very stressful time trying to get all of my pre-holiday work done on a borrowed computer with missing software, fonts etc. I’ve since bought a new computer and am loving it but am still running at reduced productivity while I’m in the setup process of restoring all my backup and getting used to the new software.

Anyway, so the other thing I haven’t told you is that I now have a day job again.

The pesky little voice on one shoulder hasn’t wanted to publicise this fact (“Don’t admit to the world you’ve failed,” says the voice). But the one on the other shoulder says “Be honest, be open. You’re a real person and there’s nothing to be ashamed of”.

So here’s me trying to listen to the second voice.

I am proud of what I have achieved over the last three years with my business Akimbo and with this blog. They have both opened up a world of opportunities that I never dreamed of and have  brought me in contact with some amazing people (some of whom I’m lucky enough to now call friends).

But it has also been an incredible amount of work. Now, I’m not opposed to working hard (far from it), but I was burning out. I was pouring everything I had into my business and blog, putting in some crazy hours, not being the kind of wife/friend/daughter/person I want to be, while not being rewarded with the kind of results I anticipated. Which is fine over the short term, but three years of that and my well was dry.

It was time to step back and to put my little family-of-two and our future first while I figure the rest out.

I was hoping to have everything under control before telling you all this, but the truth is I’m still working it all out. I have my existing full-time workload plus 2-3 days at my new graphic design gig so it’s quite full-on at the moment. But I am really enjoying the work (I’ve missed working in a studio on commercial jobs) and getting out of the house.

It’s also had the unexpected benefit of giving me perspective on my business and has forced me to streamline things so I’m focusing on my most important work. I am gradually pruning my ever-growing list of commitments so I am hoping that things will settle down over the next couple of months and I can start the new year fresh and with a bit more balance in my life.

So what does this mean for Atypical Type A?

The short story is: I am not going anywhere. I just need some time to adjust to my new schedule and reassess how my blogging fits into that. Of course, it means I have even less time to work on projects for the blog (although we do now have the means to save for a new house, which means way more projects in future – woop!).

My priority is keeping the quality, even if it means publishing fewer posts a week. I am also considering hiring some help (either for the behind-the-scenes admin work or for contributing writers) to ease the burden on myself. Either way, I still love this blog and am committed to producing great content for you guys.

Thanks so much for your patience while I navigate this sometimes turbulent ocean.

Are you juggling a day job with a business or blog? I’d love to know your secrets for staying sane and getting everything done!

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Vienna

Our first activity of the day was a visit to the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace. No photos allowed inside so these will have to suffice!

Vienna

Vienna

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Vienna

No words required.

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Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

We met back at the Spanish Riding School for our walking tour (the one that left early without us the day before). It was kinda fun to see the same scene but this time with snow.

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Vienna

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Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

The tour guide told us a funny story about this fountain so I swear there is a reason why we went in for the money shot.

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

The mix-up with the walking tour somewhat screwed up our plans for the short time we had in Vienna. As such, we only had a very short amount of time to visit the Belvedere (so short, in fact, that the lady selling the tickets was like, uh, are you sure you want to buy a ticket?).

We visited Klimt and friends (one of the best displayed exhibitions, The Man and I concluded) but sadly not much else.

Vienna

After closing time we did have some fun outside with the long exposure + tripod.

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna

Til we meet again, fair Wien!

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Dresden

We headed out of the big smoke of Berlin to the small city of Dresden.

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Dresden

Dresden

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Dresden

Dresden

Another day, another Christmas market…

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Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

The town square with the beautiful Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), sadly destroyed in WWII but since faithfully reconstructed in the 90s with donations from the townspeople. The interior has been authentically reproduced in the Baroque style with pastel frescos and gold cherubs aplenty, while the crypt is a stunning contemporary design – truly inspired if you ask me.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

It wasn’t just the church that was destroyed during the war; virtually the entire old centre was reduced to rubble, as well as tens of thousands of casualties.

Therefore what we saw were new buildings recreated in the original style. It’s impossible to resist the charm of cobblestones and row upon row of ornate buildings, however it did have a feeling of being a bit too perfect and neat, almost Disney-fied.

Dresden

Dresden

Alas, we didn’t have time for a tour of the art gallery (it looked excellent) so we instead had a look at the medieval Festung (fortress).

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

We finished the day with a meal at a lovely Italian restaurant near the Semper Oper (Opera House).

Dresden

Dresden

I would be remiss if I didn’t share photos of our hotel in Dresden. Since we were visiting in winter, we were able to score some surprisingly affordable room rates at some really interesting hotels. This is one of the Art’Otel chains, each of which has a different resident artist whose work is featured exclusively throughout the hotel.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

The Man testing out the opaque-ify switch (yes, I totally just make up that term) on the bathroom window.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

After exhausting the novelties of the hotel, we took a short stroll to the Zwinger (fortified palace), now the home of an impressive collection of art and porcelain.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

And then many…

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Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

many…

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

many…

Dresden

Dresden

… more beautiful buildings.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

One of which was the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault), a collection of all kinds of precious artefects arranged by material, such as silver, gold, coral, ivory, mother-of-pearl and gemstones. The detail and craftsmanship (not to mention obscene wealth!) were mindblowing.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

And with that, we said goodbye to Germany – for the time being at least.

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Berlin

It’s a public holiday here today (for a horse race, would you believe) so I wouldn’t normally post but I have so many trip posts to get through that I need to throw in some bonus posts or we’ll be here til Christmas!

Berlin

Anyway, another packed day of sightseeing around Berlin, starting with the very impressive Berlinerdom.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

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Berlin

Berlin

One of the more tasteful Baroque interiors I’d have to say (they can sometimes be a bit much!).

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Berlin

Berlin

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Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

The art on the remaining section of the Berlin Wall (known as the East Side Gallery) and the stories behind them were fascinating. It really hit home how recent these awful events were, so recent that in fact when I was here as a child (1991) the city had been reunified less than two years earlier.

The Man and I were getting really irritated at all the people who thought that it was okay to deface the murals their own scribbles – nothing political I might add, more of the ‘Scott was here’ variety. *shakes fist*

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

While the history of Checkpoint Charlie is very interesting of course, I have to admit that actually seeing it in person didn’t really add a lot to the experience. Maybe we were just tired after a long day of sightseeing but it was a little underwhelming compared to some other places we saw.

Berlin

Berlin

We finished our time in Berlin with a visit to the Bauhaus Archiv. The work of the Bauhaus featured heavily in my studies at uni, so I was a bit disappointed that there was only a single example of graphic design in the exhibition (it was mostly architecture, fine art and product design – which I love, but a couple more posters would have been awesome).

On the flipside, I did discover how much my degree course was actually based on the theories of the Bauhaus, with many of the basic colour and shape studies being exactly the same as what I did as a first-year graphic design student.

Adelaide friends, I hope you’re having a great long weekend. Everyone else, happy Monday!

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Berlin

We arrived in Berlin at about lunchtime and what was the first thing we checked out: The history? Art? Architecture?

No, we did what any twenty-something would do and went to LegoLand.

Berlin

Berlin

The photos make it look like what we were expecting, that is, an exhibition of lots of cool themed Lego sculptures like they used to have in the big department stores when we were kids. But in actual fact these were just tucked into corners and 95% of it was like the biggest playroom you have ever seen, teeming with hundreds dozens of children at Lego-filled tables as far as the eye could see.

Yes, there we were, a couple of childless adults in a children’s play centre. With a camera. NOT CREEPY AT ALL.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

In case that wasn’t strange enough, we saw a 3D movie aimed at 5-year-olds.

Berlin

Back outside in the ultra-modern Potsdamer Platz, there was a row of Berlin Wall remnants with a bit of historical information.

It was a funny accident that the hand in the iPad Mini billboard in the background looks like it’s reaching out to grab the wall.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Cheers to our first night in Germany!

Berlin

Berlin

We started our first full day at the Reichstag (parliament).

Tip for young players (thankfully told to us by friends): it’s free entry but you have to book a time slot and bring your passport.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

It was a rainy, misty day, making the view out onto the bare winter trees look very eerie.

Berlin

Berlin

I’m a big fan of architecture that mixes old and new, especially where there is some kind of necessary reconstruction as with the dome here.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Memorial to those who were killed trying to cross the border between East & West Berlin (above) and a haunting memorial to gypsy Holocaust victims (below).

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

After visiting some more outdoor sights, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Gemäldegalerie (Art Gallery). I have to admit that it was a Plan B after finding that the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Applied Arts) was closed for renovations. Nevertheless, it was a very impressive collection of classic art.

Berlin

The Philharmoniker building (above) and the many, many consulate buildings (below) were stunning at dusk.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

By this stage we’d been overseas for two and a half weeks, all of which had been spent staying with friends and family, so we treated ourselves to a nice cosy dinner out at a traditional Prussian restaurant. Thankfully The Man can speak German so he could decipher the menu for me.

The owner was this typical European grandma type, she kept coming over to make sure we were eating all our food!

Next up: more Berlin.

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London

We didn’t fly halfway across the world to sleep, so we were up bright and early on New Year’s Day to make the most of our last day in London.

London

The friends we were staying with live near Hyde Park, so we took a morning stroll amongst all the joggers with their new years resolutions.

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London

The main attraction for the day was the Victoria & Albert Museum, which I’d been really looking forward to. Its focus is mainly on design/applied art (such as furniture, architecture, textiles, ceramics and fashion) so it’s right up my alley.

London

The one thing I was most eager to see was the collection of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

It was closed.

London

Devastated, we consoled ourselves with lunch in one of the tea rooms designed by William Morris.

London

London

London

London

For a change of pace, we headed to Lord’s Cricket Ground. I haven’t the slightest interest in cricket (not very Aussie am I?) nor in any sport to be honest.

But The Man does put up with an awful lot of my gallery-hopping so what’s a good wife to do but take photos while our tour guide is regaling us with two centuries of cricket trivia.

London

London

London

London

London

London

London

We then made our way to the Camden Markets. Sorry, my arms were too full of shopping bags to take any photos.

London

London has so many amazing shops I would have loved to explore, but we did more of the touristy stuff so there wasn’t a lot of time left for window shopping.

One must-see that we had to squeeze in though was a visit to Liberty of London. They had these simple-yet-effective festive garlands and fairy lights in the multi-storey central atrium. Pretty huh?

London

Goodnight London!

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There’s no Day 13 wrapup as we were in transit from San Francisco and arrived with only enough time to catch the tube to our friends’ apartment, have some pizza and fall into bed. So it’s straight into Day 14 and guess who we saw?

London

I kid, I kid. We spent the morning at Madame Tussauds.

London

I was a bit underdressed for the black-tie occasion but Leo didn’t seem to mind.

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London

The Man having it out with The Greatest.

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London

London

I’m not really that into celebrities but it was very well done and I ended up having loads of fun!

London

Chamber of Horrors.

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London

London

London

More ticking off of cliche touristy sights, this time with a spin on the London Eye.

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London

Despite the drizzle we managed to get some decent views. It’s actually a great way to start your visit as it gives you a great overview of the city layout to orientate yourself.

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Our friends continued to show us around some of the main streets…

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London

We were lucky enough to score tickets to The Twelfth Night, featuring (amongst other excellent actors) Stephen Fry, who The Man and I are huge fans of. Okay, maybe I lied about the not being into celebrities thing.

Anyway, despite our nosebleed seats (no joke, we were like row ZZ) and serious jetlag, the show did not disappoint. In the spirit of authenticity, it was done in the traditional style (i.e. an all-male cast for both the male and female roles) and with only the types of costumes that would have been available in Shakespeare’s day.

London

London

London

We finished the day in true British style: with a pie and cider (me) and sausages and warm beer (The Man).

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San Francisco

Our penultimate day in San Francisco was packed from morning to night, so be warned: there are lots of photos in this post!

We began at Lombard Street, which was absolutely teeming with tourists, but ya know, it’s one of those must-sees regardless.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

Plus there were great views from the top!

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San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

We moved the car to a parking station and were rewarded with some unexpected stunning views of the city and bay.

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San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

We stopped in for coffee at the really cute European style Cafe Zoetrope, another of Francis Ford Coppola’s businesses (we had already been to his winery in Napa).

I recall watching the movie Mon Oncle with my dad when I was young so I had to take a snap of this – how great is the poster art?

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

For lunch we went to the famous Tony’s Pizza in Little Italy. Uh-mazing.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

We took a post-prandial stroll (yes, I totally just used that in a sentence – that’s one to tick off the life list) and admired the adorable colourful terrace houses.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

(Is this like Platform 9¾?)

San Francisco

San Francisco

It was a gorgeous sunny day (finally) so it was perfect to enjoy Pier 39.

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San Francisco

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San Francisco

It was now time to catch our cruise to Alcatraz Island.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

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San Francisco

San Francisco

The tour was quite interesting and thankfully not terrifying like it was the last time I was there (age 6).

San Francisco

San Francisco

It was wonderful to watch the sun set over the city skyline.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

We returned to shore and enjoyed all the twinkling lights.

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San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

We finished our day with an indulgent dessert and coffee at the Ghirardelli chocolate shop – our Christmas gift to the family. I certainly didn’t remember everything from our trip here when I was little, but unsurprisingly this was one place that had stuck in my memory all these years!

San Francisco

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San Francisco Japanese Gardens

After our couple of days relaxing indoors we were ready to head back outside and enjoy nature (even if it was raining – AGAIN).

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

First stop was the beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. I’m a terrible gardener myself, but I adore Japanese gardens. So sculptural and serene, don’t  you think?

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

We had a tour by an excellent volunteer guide. Thankfully the rain eased up for a while so we could see the gardens at their best.

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco Japanese Gardens

San Francisco

San Francisco

Amazingly, we had been in San Francisco for a week and a half and hadn’t had a proper look at the Golden Gate Bridge (you may remember we drove over it in the evening on our way to Napa but it was dark and we didn’t get out of the car). So we had a brief stop where we battled through the crowds to take in the famous view.

It was not foggy as it so often is, but the morning glare did wash out the iconic colours. It was also a tad windy – can you tell?

San Francisco Muir Woods

From there we took a scenic drive to the beautiful Muir Woods National Park. Words cannot describe how awe-inspiring the ancient redwoods were.

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

I had stupidly forgotten to put the spare camera battery in my bag, so the camera died while we were at the Japanese Gardens. My brother, who had been to Muir Woods before, kindly lent us his camera for the rest of the day.

He is a very good photographer (much better than me) and he also has a way better camera than I do. The Man (who started to really get into photography on our trip) and I had so much fun with his camera and lenses. It made for a slow walk, that’s for sure, but we ended up with some shots that we were really happy with.

Of course now I’ve come home wanting to upgrade my own kit.

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

A tree had fallen overnight and taken down a fence and other trees in its path. We were impressed that even though it was Boxing Day, a team had evidently been in to cut a piece out of the trunk to clear the path.

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

San Francisco Muir Woods

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

After our long walk, we stopped off at Sausalito, an utterly charming seaside town.

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

We have very few timber buildings here in Adelaide (blame the termites) so when I see them elsewhere they always seem so exotic and pretty to me.

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

Sausalito, California

We ended our day with some long exposure experiments and a delicious Italian meal.

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