In which I Gain a Year Overnight

Lucky that sort of rapid gain rarely happens with weight….

This week I’ve added a new state, got older, and negotiated a 24hour adventure challenge race.  Never a dull moment.

Monday was indeed not too bad.  I travelled most of the rest of the week so Monday was under some huge pressure to be productive.  It succeeded thankfully.

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I got a big surprise from the cheeky (lovely) Kat and Che.  I was talking to Mark, not my boss Mark, there are four withing spitting distance of me.  Mark was all distracted while we were talking, he was looking over my shoulder.  I wasn’t sure why but when I turned around I saw that a balloon and cake fairy had appeared, and Mark did a great job not being toooooo obvious.  I got these lovely cupcakes, so yummy.  Spoilt!

Cheeky birthday cakes, super yummy! Thanks Kat and Che.

The afternoon was interesting.  Last year I was told about how the hail and spring storms can be really bad in Denver, but o didn’t experience it.  Monday I experienced it.  I got a message from Earl saying it was hailing a bunch at his work, I immediately moved Red into the garage as Mark’s spot was available.  Turns out my worry wasn’t necessary as the hail was going from South to North and there wasn’t any at my place, but for others….check this out!  Earl was lucky that he parked under a tree which protected his windscreen, his neighbor wasn’t so lucky.

Evidently hail can be bad here…

Tuesday was quite annoying.  We had a three hour teleconference with the Fargo client about finances.  I’m of course minute taker extraordinare so I had to be on the call.  The call ended at 1000, I had a flight at 1115.  No way I could so the call at home/work then go to the airport.  So I tried to find a quiet spot to type for three hours.  That was fun.  On the plus side, I had brunch which was awesome!

I may be a burger addict. This one only had a slice of bread in the bottom, burger, egg, red chilli, and avocado… Totally healthy brunch?!?

Passing over the Rockies; I’m surprised the photo isn’t more blurry, it was bumpy.

I got into San José about 1430 and drove down to Monterey Bay.  The purpose of this trip: throw Rhiannon into the deep end with a BD assignment.  Californias biggest water related conference was on this week, Mark was in Sacramento surviving some other fun, Monica was at some AECOM thing in New Orleans, so someone nominated me to go and do some selling.  Marks justification was I’d do great plus he’s sending me someplace nice for once.  Okay, that bit is true.  Oh, and I ticked another state off the list!  I drove the five minutes longer way from San José to Monterey, via the beach (ish), my overwhelming feeling was that the roads seem more narrow and close, going over the little hills there were lots of trees and greenery and it felt all closed in!  I’m getting used to the wide open Coloradan spaces.

So I just sat down to breakfast to outline my beach morning (so exciting) but I’ll cover yesterday afternoon first.  I headed to the conference centre to register, happy days, then the exhibit hallo start chatting. It was busy but mostly people were busy greeting those they knew not newbies. I talked to a few people, then some guy started chatting as if he knew me, I politely told him he was mistaken but gave him an out so he didn’t feel stupid. We talked shit for two minutes and exchanged cards then wandered off…after a ‘hug’ where I thought he was going to pash me. Then this:

Fairly benign but…

He then called, I ignored it and sent this 20 minutes later.

Evidently I left the door too far ajar. I  hope Hector has no interest in FERC licensing.

Got this in the morning. Ignoring him entirely now…why do I attract the people who like to hang on?

Note the hotel he’s in is right next to mine. Yay. Oh well. Up at the crack of dawn…well, before dawn, I waited for some light before wandering a new town.  Straight to the beach I went.

This seal was having fun chilling on his back for ages!

The top one is the ‘iconic’ Fisherman’s Wharf. No fishermen there, they’re all on the wharf I found…with the seals and seagulls. It smelt so amazingly like fresh fish, yummy!

A whole lot bigger than any pub I saw at London Bridge…I’d wager the weather is better here too.

THEY HAVE GUM TREES! Some were a good 4′ diameter, it’s been a little while.  I smelt them before I saw them and couldn’t believe my eyes when I did see them, they were huge!  Like the one next to the swings at home, HUGE!!!

Fresh little ducklings, momma was a tad protective, I steered well wide.

Then I had to actually get started with my day. I did some work, had breakfast, and schmooze with some old boys before the first presentation for the day.  The presentation was okay, interesting in some ways, then off to lunch. I didn’t have such a successful time with lunch as I was multi-tasking, listened to a teleconference re liabilities and the presentation on Oroville. The photos from the latter were quite amazing. Then onto another presentation before I headed back to the hotel for an hour of work.  Then my day actually got interesting… I headed out to see Monterey proper.  First stop was the aquarium, Google told fibs and it closes at 1700 so I only had an hour to get around the place.  On the plus side the lovely lady at the ticket desk gave me about $20 off the price, winning. The tickets are $55 at full price…madness!

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It may be difficult to see but that is an otter butt above the fleet orange fish. Then you can see they’re cleaning their toe jam while floating about.

I could have watched thus jelly fish, and it’s two mates, for hours, they were awesome!

All round puffin. He seemed to want to get out, tapping on the window…

This is a decorator crab. They get pretty things and stick them to their backs to help them camouflage. Their backs are kinda like velcro, but not as hard. This was in the petting pools, he felt cool!

The I drove down Cannery Row and around the point, it was surprisingly windy and too cold for me so I didn’t wander far. Then I paused at a restaurant for some dinner. It was fun sitting at the bar there and watching the bartender deal with her recalcitrant siblings, she did a great job of keeping people happy at the same time.

From here Cannery Row doesn’t look too busy. Get a few shops up and oh golly the people *shudder* I fled the scene.

The dinner I had. I was greedy so I could sample more seafood. Thai style prawns and a scallop pot pie. Both amazingly yummy.

Gnarly trees, love it!

The beach looked a little rough but nothing like Warrnambool let alone Iceland.
Thursday I started the day with a host of work, then breakfast at a local bakery. Highlight of the day was having a chat with a bunch of eight local old blokes. They come in every morning for coffees and chats, they’re the last full sicilian blokes.  Sweet old guys, Mark is right, old blokes live chatting with me…its odd that I had such mixed success at this conference full of old blokes.  Anyways, after breakfast I had a call for Fargo then a presentation in a cool old theatre, then another Fargo call, then the final presentation and off to the airport!


This is the Golden State Theatre where I learned about the state of water storage (ie there is little) in California.

I thought I’d allowed plenty of time to get onto my plane, as it turns out I got there and they started boarding five minutes later. I guess I wasn’t really too late…they took a very long time boarding and getting away from the gate.  I used that five minutes wisely…I downloaded the questival challenges and spent the flight pouring through them, working out what I needed to get as many challenges completed as possible.  I had decided on the camping set of challenges on Wednesday, so Earl set to getting camping gear and I focused on the random stuff, like ingredients for s’mores, eggs for egg roulette, pancake batter for breakfast, a kit, etc.  Don’t worry….it will make more sense in the post that I dedicate to Questival (if nothing else we’ll get some points for it!).  Note to readers, the first posting will be brief to get the points.  If you haven’t checked back to it, do, the rest of the 24 hours will be added.

*****Go glance through the Questival post, make sure you read the (slightly more) detailed version*****

Wow, that Questival was fun!  Yes, that initial post was brief.  I’d pre-typed  it all and the photos I chose on a whim.  Why?  Because putting up a questival post on your blog was one of the challenges 🙂  So head on back and see my favourite photos and videos and there is a link to all the things we uploaded – totally look out for Earl eating a slater and me eating a worm – they’re there!!!  Totally worth it, we were 203 of 717.

Saturday night was a whole lot of recovery.  For me the 24 hours started at the wrong end of the day, I’d prefer to start in the morning, but I guess I’m a rare breed.  I have to say that I’m disappointed that this year’s didn’t have a howl at the moon challenge…with the moon so close to full it would have been cool!

And onto my birthday.  My awesome family got me an Amazon voucher. It arrived a little early for my current time zone (the 13th in Australia), but no one is going to complain about celebrating that much!  I also gt a great haul of Aussie chocolate from mum, some super cool wool spun and knitted socks (may need to wait a few months to use them), and this cool map book from Earl.  The other gift from Earl is (hilariously) what Ben was planning to get me…right down to the buttons (in lieu of touch screen).  So funny that both Benno and Earl think similarly in that…of course now I need to decide what to get for my voucher because the family idea is used.  So excited to get out in the world and try this GPS out!!!  And the three pages I have looked at in the map book…I want to visit them all…

It was great to talk to Mum, Ma, Pa, and Benno on Saturday evening – even though I was shattered and brain dead.  Hell, I think I’m still brain dead today (Monday).

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There was a whole video thing it did as well…

I suspect that I’m an easy person to read, two people chose the same GPS unit, the chocolate is spot on, and maps…seriously MAPS! 🙂

Sunday was a host of relaxing.  We walked up to Americano Espresso for a coffee with Che and Kat.  Poor Kat is going through a grapemort episode (think a grapefruit sized fibroid hiding behind her uterus), so surgery on the 22nd.  So we’re all super keen on giving her heaps of support and distractions.  The walking was my idea, I guess we walked about 6 miles.  Got outside a bit, then had a nanna nap, then went and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 – which is hilarious!!! – then home to cook dinner and go to bed.

Just because I was tired doesn’t mean I won’t find something oddball to do!

So that was my mad week this week!

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