Let the holidays begin…

Wednesday was my last day at work until 2014. I can hardly believe it! This trip has been coming for so long.. it feels surreal that it’s finally almost here. The house is packed up, the out of office message is on and in four days I’ll be in Anchorage with Adrian! Wow. What a different a day makes – or a year, for that matter…!

So.. I’m on holidays and am already having a lovely time. I’ve taken my Grandmother for morning tea, lunched and dinnered with friends, been for a run around Blackwattle Bay and have had an excellent Balmain coffee… and it’s only been just over 24 hours!!!

Nanna drinking tea

Morning tea with nan at her local cafe

One of my big things is gratitude – and right now I’m feeling pretty grateful for a number of things. For the fact that I have been given leave from a job I really like to do this trip – and for my smart, engaged, positive colleagues and boss, who help make my job so rewarding. For my family, who are so important to me – and for the fact we’ve got a few days to just hang out before I take off. For my friends, who are absolute rockstars. And of course for having a boyfriend with a similar spirit of adventure and desire to be an active participant in life.

So yup – feeling pretty grateful right now!

While I’ve been finishing up at work, Adrian has been in the US riding from Anchorage up to Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s north coast. The weather has apparently been lovely – and the mosquitoes ginormous. I’ve heard they hunt in packs… which presumably I’ll see for myself when I get to Anchorage on Monday night!

Packing up the house

The more you pack, the more you realise how much you still have to pack. It’s the paradox of moving houses – and we are moving! Well… sort of. Our belongings, a house full of stuff, is moving into storage so we can rent out our house while we’re away. The actual move isn’t until next weekend – so in some ways, we’re already ahead of schedule. I can see quite a few ‘things still to be packed’ around me though…

Garage with moving boxes

Packing up the garage

Practise pack of the bike

It was a stunning winter day in Canberra – the sort of days that Canberra just does so well. Bright sunshine. Crisp air. Clear blue sky. Lake Burley Griffin almost looked blue! Almost.

With only four weeks until Adrian takes off, it was time for a practise pack. Could we actually fit 5+ months’ worth of camping, clothing and bike repair gear into two panniers and a top box?

The answer is yes! As long as my shoes are packed inside Adrian’s shoes, and assuming that we will generally buy food on a day-to-day basis (other than perhaps a 1kg bag of almonds which I’m pretty keen to have to hand at all times!), we can fit our basic needs into three metal boxes.

Maslow would be impressed.

BMW r1200GSA motorbike loaded up ready to go

Practise pack – everything we need / are taking on the trip is on this motorbike… including toothbrushes!

Warm body, cold knees

So – we headed up to Sydney from Canberra this weekend (just under 300kms) for a family birthday celebration. It was fantastic! Lovely weekend catching up with everyone… and with less than two months now until we depart on *the big trip*, these family get togethers are even more special.

It was also an opportunity to test out the newly customised bike seats – and our heated gear! A jacket for Adrian, and jacket and gloves for me.

Gear-wise, I’d rate the trip as mostly successful… although it looks like Adrian will need some more customisation on his custom seat. It was ok for the first hour or so, but then apparently it kept tipping him forwards. Mine was good… I didn’t actually notice it, which I’m thinking is a good thing! Especially seeing that I did notice that the old seat was rather uncomfortable.

Heated jackets are amazing! They make a huge difference… and also provided a nice flashback to being very young, when mum used to heat the bath towels for us before we got out of the bath. She’d then wrap each of us up in a lovely warm towel and give us a big hug. Heated jackets are just like that – bliss! One thing they don’t help with though, are cold knees. Hmm… will definitely be going the thermals and water/windproof pants over my bike jeans next time it gets down to 2 degrees or thereabouts. Hopefully my icebreaker leggings arrive soon!

Gearing up

Adie gets a bike - a BMW 1200 GSA! This is the day it all started. In Gosford. At a BMW dealership. After a loooooongg wait!!

The bike had been on order for months – apparently it was delayed at the port on its way in. Which made me realise – you know that old saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’? I used to think it only applied to things you had, and then lost. Little did I know that it also applies to things before you’ve got them and so haven’t actually lost them.

Who knew?!

Adrian loves this bike. Loves it. As in, I think he’d consider sleeping in the garage just to be close to it.