Today is a special one for a few reasons. First of all, it's Leap Day and those don't come around too often - and we could use an extra day this year because 2012 has started off as a hectic one for us! Second, we're celebrating our 200th post - it's hard to believe we've documented so many travel moments on this blog, though thinking back we have so many we haven't even gotten around to even writing about yet.
But never mind that. Let's get straight to the third and most important reason for this post. Today we're having a virtual get-together with some other lovely travel friends as part of a delightful invention by Two Oregonians known as the #RTWdinnerparty. We love this concept! Everyone has brought something delicious to eat, drink and share for the occasion so let's get started, shall we?
Meet and Mingle: We're Andrea and John, two restless wanderers who just happened one day to wander right down to a teeny tiny town at the very bottom of the island of Crete. At the same time, of course. That was over seven years ago and here we are today in another fine period of transition...more on that later! Last year we took a year off from our lives in Australia, chucked the things we couldn't bear to part with into a storage unit and took off on a yearlong sabbatical around the world. We never planned to go back to Melbourne and are now about to set off on our second expat stint overseas. Andrea is from the US originally and we're looking forward to being a little bit more in the middle of our two home countries going forward. You can read more about us here if you like.
Dinner Specialty: Thanks to John, we're both pretty much obsessed with beer these days and have selected three favourites from our collection to the party. Since not everyone likes the same styles of beer and different beer tastes better with different dishes, we thought we'd bring a few choices along.
The first is the hoppy, malty and crisp (it says so right on the bottle) Emerson's Pilsner from the South Island of New Zealand. Dunedin is a hip university town with free views from its many hills. We had an awesome time there at the start of 2011, even staying in a haunted hostel for some real local character. At 4.9% alcohol this is a nice drop to start the evening with (and Andrea will likely stick with this one all night).
If you want to charge ahead to something stronger, we also have the delicious Gran Torobayo from Kunstmann, a well-known brewery in Valdivia, Chile. This is a strong English-style ale at 7.5% with a nice dark amber colour, thick head and a malty caramel sweetness.
Finally, we have John's standard favourite to finish, though this is not a standard beer at all. Trappistes Rochefort 10 hails from Rochefort, Belgium and is a meal all on its own. It's the perfect after-dinner drink to be cherished with each delicate sip. Sweet and malty with the 11.3% alcohol content to make that after dinner conversation extra interesting.
Table Talk: We're not sure if everyone at the table is aware of our latest news, but John has accepted a job in Stavanger, Norway and we're moving there very soon. We've been spending some time in Perth with family since the end of last year, which has been wonderful, but it's time to head off again and start the next chapter of our lives. What do we know about living in Norway? Not a whole lot, actually, seeing as neither of us has ever even visited before. But we're stoked to check out a new place and intend to stay for a few years. Europe has been at the top of our "places to live" list since we met and the last time we had the opportunity was a brief sojourn in Paris in 2005.
Of course, we couldn't resist working in some travel around our move so we will be spending a few days in Singapore on the way to Europe and then plan to hit a couple of other cities on the way to Stavanger. We've been non-stop since John accepted the offer organizing everything and planning the move. We had to buy some new winter gear and supplies as well and will spend the next few days packing, catching up with local friends and finalizing the last few details ahead of our big move.
Well, time to mingle. If you want to crash the party, just head over to the Two Oregonians website here, check out everyone else's posts and join the conversation.