have you ever had that dream where you find yourself in a room with your 3rd grade teacher, ex-girlfriend and uncle harry who always used to give you wedgies at family gatherings? usually they're prattling on like they've known each other for ages and you're struck dumbfounded at the bizarre grouping of people from your life who just don't "fit" together. this was one of the more curious aspects of getting married for me. all sorts of people from different areas of my life (and jane's) squished together.
if that was the surreal part of getting married (beyond the heavy clouds that rolled in all around us and gave the whole thing an "alice in wonderland" experience), one of the best parts was seeing all the great people who showed up to share the day with us. this probably sounds trite, but it was beyond flattering. if one can measure success by the relationships you build in life, we're very blessed. thanks again to everyone that came and made it a great day for us.
australia was nothing short of fantastic, what a great country. laidback people, great wine country, good restaurants, cool architecture, wacky and wonderful critters roaming about, fun twists on english (i.e. sunnies = sun glasses, brekkie = breakfast, etc.) the list goes on... i'd highly recommend melbourne to anyone (over sydney), to combines the best LA and SF has to offer.
of vino, we learned a few things on this trip. first, shiraz-viogner is a great blend. it's still red (not a rose), but the viogner does just enough to smooth out the shiraz. maybe we were lucky but each one we had was really nice. we visited a number of wineries there, including coldstream hills, which had a beatiful pinot noir and a stellar reserve chardonnay. while we were staying at pepper's palm bay (2nd leg of honeymoon), we stumbled onto innocent bystander's pinot noir rose, tasty stuff and pretty widely distributed.
of music, i picked up a bunch of new stuff for absurd non-US prices fearing i might not be able to score it back here in the US. i grabbed the jon butler trio, which i'm still forming opinions about but was also steered towards an ozzie hiphop outfit called the "hilltop hoods" which i like a fair bit (very listenable and some nice collabs). i also picked up kraty kuts new album "freakshow" and the freestyler's album "adventures in freestyle", both are labelmates and boy does it show. i played them back to back and while i thought they were both pretty good, it's a little like trying to eat a whole pound bag of m&ms in one sitting. too much of a good thing is just too much and they sound entirely too much alike, blending breaks with disco-house flavor, a splash of ragga and hiphop (kraft more hiphop, freestylers more ragga). aussies like their dance music as well as roots/reggae.
btw, fat freddy's drop is red hot in new zealand and oz. if you don't have "based on a true story" yet, you are missing out big time. you can get it from itunes as well as some decent remixes too (jazzanova is the best and MKL has a couple good ones too, steer clear of nextmen remixes of "roady" as they add little to the original).