Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas Californian Style!

I Hope Everyone Had a Merry Christmas!!! 

Happy New Year's Eve for Today!!!

American's and their Christmas lights! 
I visited this house (Norton's Winter Wonderland: and marveled at this masterpiece as a child when visiting my great grandmother's house! 12 years...later they are still decorating! In fact, the Nortons have been decorating since 1970 and now do so with their a children and grandchildren! A family tradition!

There were many more beautifully decorated houses all over LA! I only wish I could have seen them all! 

First comes Christmas Eve dinner...

Then comes stocking retreval on Christmas morning....
(my Mother made that stocking!)

Then comes the family tradition I haven't experienced since leaving the USA, before Christmas, in 1995! Opening presents with my cousins on Christmas Day! We all had out petite pile of presents under the tree. 

While this fabulous recreation of a living tree lacked it's pine scent and the gifts no longer went as far as my eye could see, nor were they as tall as I was, the cameras still flashed, my Auntie still screamed with joy and Christmas was indeed still merry and bright. It should have been bright!! There were 6 or 7 strands of old fashioned (I love those) Christmas lights on that tree! My grandpa insisted my grandmother liked her tree with lots of lights... and he aims to please!

The gals with gifts! Let there be manicures and pedicures all round! 'Tis the season to be preened and pampered!

Celebrating Christmas the electronic way via the internet! Cara says hi to Australia via webcam (this photo is practically an ad for mac...but it's not...because I still have not made up my mind which piece of diabolic malfunctioning technology I prefer...but 'don't bite the hand that feeds you', right)!

Everyone is in on the action! Our first video Christmas, clustered around the computer! 

PS. Wintery Christmas Eve in LA was 25C (77F) and it stayed fine and pretty pleasant for the duration of the holiday season. Mainly blue skies and cloudless days, sometimes chilly, but really lovely compared to...actual winter! Hooray for having relatives living in the desert! If you don't currently have any...ebay?

Looks to the stars....Grifith Observatory.

Today I visited the Griffith Observatory with my grandparents. It was packed after being recently remodeled and reopened. It was a wonderful experience and view overlooking all of LA was great! Prime real estate.

Welcome to LA! Yes, this is my family...



Note the bags under Cara's eyes due to lack of sleep after being in transit for...hurm...oh something like 26 hours! I flew from Vienna to Frankfurt, changed planes, flew from Frankfurt to NY, curled up in a corner and cuddled my bags for 8 hours and then flew from NY to Burbank, CA!

PS. That fabulous orange and white striped jumper that I am sporting is a birthday present from my Mother. Thank you Mummy dearest! 

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Welcome to Austria: I don't know why this draft never got posted...

My time in Austria has come to an end.

A summary of my time in Austria!

Dinner in Graz with the students.

Cara the snow bunny! Oh my!

Oh so beautiful Green Lake!

The joys of the Christmas Market and Couch Surfing!

Goodbye Austria

My time in Austria has come to an end.

A summary of my time in Austria!

Dinner in Graz with the students.

Cara the snow bunny! Oh my!

Oh so beautiful Green Lake!

The joys of the Christmas Market and Couch Surfing!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The France Experience!

So first it was Paris!

And the it was Lyon and birthday celebrations!

Birthday dinner at Claire's....

followed by Birthday cake at Claire's! Here is Cara blowing out her 23 candles! Funnily enough, my 21st birthday in Lyon was celebrated in a similar fashion with tea light candles! A tradition I suppose!

And then it was off to see Lyon in all it's glory for LA FETE DES LUMIERES!

The many changing faces of St Nizier. It was my favourite spectacle/illumination again this year!

It was so beautiful! I could have watched it for hours.

Lyon as seen from Croix Rousse.

Roman Ampitheatre, Croix Rousse

Place de Terreaux


Oh cheeeese, wonderful French cheese, how I love thee!

Cara, Claire and Ben in Claire's apartment on the last night of their reunion.
Claire was my much prized French friend who took me to visit her parents in Provence and showed me the countryside. Ben, a fellow Aussie, was my house mate when I lived in Lyon in 2005 and was coincidentally visiting Lyon this year...for my birthday of!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Happy Birthday in Lyon!!!

Hello family and friends!

Just a quick note as I am in a internet cafe in lyon (FRANCE) but I had a great birthday here and celebrated La Fete des Lumieres by trampeling around the streets with the masses, the festival was on a weekend this year so there were way oh so too many people! Ivan, Claire, Ben, Alice and I all hit the town both Friday and Saturday nights to see all the spectacles...I lack a better word in English but the spectacles were spectacular!!! As in 2005; my favourite spectacle was the Church of St Neizier with beautiful images being projected upon it to the sounds of music.

I will write a proper post upon return to Austria with lots of PHOTOS when I am in the company of a more normal keyboard...this one is sooo french and all the letters are in the wrong spots I tell you!!!

I am sorry for the technical difficulities for family who tried to seems technology and globalisation isnt what it is cracked up to be!