To Adelaide!

Hello friends!

Robyn here. This is the first blog post for what we are hoping to be a series of many as we embark on our Canadian adventure.

“Canadian adventure?” I hear you ask. “I thought you were heading down south to Adelaide!” (Or Radelaide, as the cool kids like to call it) Not so! Let me explain.

As you may know, our honeymoon was somewhat unconventional. Being one of the very numerous international medical students in Queensland, Brady (along with many other Canucks) sadly didn’t match in our home state. Thankfully, though, he was accepted into the program at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. This was a very exciting prospect, apart from the fact that it is several thousand kilometres away from me (the new wife!) where we decided I should work at my lovely school in Brisbane. Not the greatest start to a marriage! So our honeymoon turned into a roadtrip of necessity, driving most of the way across the country down to the Festival State in the “Bee”, Brady’s faithful yellow Hyundai Getz. We stopped by many places including:

The Big Banana! A true cultural highlight.

The Big Banana! A true cultural highlight.

Kempsey – the home of Slim Dusty!

Kempsey – the home of Slim Dusty!

Sydney Harbour!

Sydney Harbour!

We stayed with wonderful friends of the Shenfield’s, John and Anne, at their home in Turramurra. We spent New Years Eve 2012 at Circular Quay by the Opera House and Bridge along with several thousand other tourists! We also spent a fabulous morning out on their boat. Incredible. We’ll be back for sure!

The Rocks Markets

The Rocks Markets

Waiting for the Sydney Fireworks

Waiting for the Sydney Fireworks

We then headed to Canberra, the city of perpetual Year 7 camps. We spent several hours at the sombre Australian War Memorial, and popped in for a quick 20 minutes before closing time to the Australian Parliament House. Didn’t see Ms Gillard - I think she was having the day off. It was New Years Day after all!

Australian War Memorial Diorama

Australian War Memorial Diorama

Excellent food in the War Memorial Cafe

Excellent food in the War Memorial Cafe

Parliament

Parliament

Jindabyne was our next stop, the gateway to the Snowy Mountains (which, believe it or not, were snow capped in January!) Amazing, but obviously so, so dry. I could see quite clearly that we were now entering bush fire country.

Lake Jindabyne

Lake Jindabyne

Thredbo Ski Hill

Thredbo Ski Hill

We stopped in to the Snowy Mountains Scheme Visitor Centre, which was fascinating to engineering geek Brady, and less than fascinating for myself.

Snowy Mountains Scheme Visitor Centre

Snowy Mountains Scheme Visitor Centre

Hydro Generators

Hydro Generators

Soon enough we arrived in Melbourne! Brady and I first travelled to this gorgeous city in 2010, and I had been itching to get back ever since. We stayed at an Airbnb apartment in Fitzroy, hosted by the lovely Toby.

Melbourne

Melbourne

National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria

We hit up the shops, cafes and St Kilda beach, but a definite highlight for me was seeing War Horse on our second night in town. As a complete theatre nerd I have been dying to see this piece since its inception, and have dreamed of seeing it on stage in London and New York where it has been playing for the last few years. The incredible puppet mechanics created by South Africa’s Hand Sprung Puppet Company were something to spectacular to behold, and in true Robyn fashion I was a teary mess by the end of it! Pure theatrical magic at its finest.

After a few days in Melbourne, and running out of time to get to Adelaide, we embarked on our most ambitious leg of the trip – onward to Mt Gambier via the Great Ocean Road. In a way, I’m disappointed that this was our longest leg, because it was probably the most scenic. I would love to retrace our steps (wheels?) one day with at least two weeks' worth of time to spare. And preferably a helicopter and the use of several beach houses (a girl can dream, can’t she?). We left early and stopped at some gorgeous places such as Split Point Lighthouse (where they filmed Round the Twist, one of my favourite ABC Kids show – pure nostalgia material!), Apollo Bay (awesome pies by the equally awesome beach) and, of course, the Twelve Apostles. There are no words sufficient to describe this part of the world where the Southern Ocean meets the weather beaten land. Simply stunning.

A beach along the Great Ocean Road

A beach along the Great Ocean Road

A beach along the Great Ocean Road

A beach along the Great Ocean Road

The Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles

We arrived in Mt Gambier late into the evening and wandered into town for some excellent pub food. In the morning, we drove to Mt Gambier’s famous Blue Lake before hitting the road again for our final stop: Adelaide.

Blue Lake

Blue Lake

Whilst trucking (Getzing?) along on our final day on the road, we happened upon a sign seemingly in the middle of nowhere for the Naracoorte Caves – a World Heritage Site. Brady’s life-long goal is to visit as many of these sites as possible, so this was a huge surprise coup. The caves themselves were fascinating – discovered just over 100 years ago, they contain huge deposits of extinct giant marsupial bones (such as those belonging to the friendly critter I’m hugging below) and some incredible stalagmite and stalactite formations.

Naracoorte Wallaby

Naracoorte Wallaby

Naracoorte Caves

Naracoorte Caves

Back on the road, and soon enough we reached our final destination: Adelaide! Quite a lovely little city, and one that certainly moves to the beat of its own drum. There is something totally charming about this place. Lovely old heritage buildings, huge wide streets that go for miles, small wine bars, cafes, boutiques and a lovely seaside esplanade and marina in Glenelg. Yet, the CBD is tiny with no high rises to speak of – certainly a little unexpected for a capital city! We stayed for a few nights in a motel across from the marina and a short walk from the beach and Jetty Road, the cosmopolitan seaside dining and shopping strip. Sadly, my memory of all of this is tainted, as I spent a lot of time thinking of when it was time for me to leave and fly back to Brisbane, and then onto Canada and the USA to collect my Permanent Residency visa (though that’s a whole other story, or blog post…)

Adelaide!

Adelaide!

Adelaide - Victoria Square

Adelaide - Victoria Square

As I write this in retrospect, we’ve spent nine weeks apart, and while Brady has spent a small fortune flying up on occasion to see me, Brady finally got the news he’d been hoping for: a residency spot in his Canadian Prairie homeland. In North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

But that’s Brady’s part of the story to tell… coming soon!

Our Wedding

On December 16, 2012, we both married our best friend.

Robyn & Brady Bouchard

Robyn & Brady Bouchard

Robyn & Brady Bouchard

Robyn & Brady Bouchard

We spent a lot of time planning for our special day, and in the end everyone and everything came together perfectly to make it a magical evening. With an 18 month engagement, we were in the enviable position of planning early enough that most wedding venues were free for our date. We wanted an all-in-one venue for the ceremony and reception, as most of our guests were from out of town (and overseas!), and driving around Brisbane would leave them in unfamiliar territory. We ended up choosing Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens (they have better photos up on their Facebook page). They were amongst the cheaper options available to us, Robyn’s mother had attended a wedding there before and raved about it, and going out for a site visit confirmed it for us when we saw the green and secluded beauty of the place.

A beautiful location for a ceremony!

A beautiful location for a ceremony!

Once we had a venue and a date, it was on to invitations. Robyn and I designed them in Illustrator using a “gumtree and maple” mark that we came up with, and then I printed them on the cheap while I was working back in Canada. We printed DL-size invites on a thick (200gsm) cardstock, and then backed them with a thicker and textured cardstock for a border in alternately red and green.

Invitations

Invitations

While we were putting together the invites, Robyn had the brilliant idea to do a recipe book as a wedding favour for our guests. We solicited recipes and a brief blurb with each invitation, and then I put them together in InDesign. We sent them to Blurb to get printed a few weeks before the date, and then we handed out one to each guest during the reception. Other than a few typos on my behalf, the books turned out really well, and when printed black on cream paper worked out to about $6/book.

Recipe Books from Blurb.com

Recipe Books from Blurb.com


Recipe Books from Blurb.com

Recipe Books from Blurb.com

For the reception venue, we decided to name the tables after significant cities in our lives so far, and we seated everyone by airport code. We started with a beautiful world map from Mapworld, and printed luggage tags on 185gsm Canson watercolour paper, which gave it a really antique look.

Seating Map

Seating Map


Reception Venue

Reception Venue

Each table had a framed photo, naming it with the city and airport code. The frames are $5 each from Target.

City Table Frames

City Table Frames

Robyn found our cake vendor through our photographer, and we couldn’t be more happy with how the cake turned out! Sam took lots of photos and posted them on Facebook throughout the cakemaking process, and it was clearly a labour of love for her. She was also unbelievably cheap to hire — we let her know after the wedding that she needs to charge more for the amount of time she puts into it!

Cake

Cake


Cake

Cake

Our Wonderful Suppliers

Ceremony & Reception — Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens (facebook)
Photography — Ben Hurt Photography (facebook) and Stephanie Lindsay (engagement) (facebook)
Wedding Cake — Samantha Orth’s Cake Creations
Recipe Book (printing) — Blurb
Flowers — Bliss Floral Design
Wedding Dress — Hilde Heim
Suits (Groom & Groomsmen) — Sean at Ron Bennett Indooroopilly
Hair — Renee Tanks at Smart Style Hair Studio
Makeup — Ainslie, the makeup artist