Rach and I just got back from a couple of days up North in Michigan. We stayed in Holland but spent a lot of our time in Saugatuck. This was the last time I won’t be working on Monday so we thought we’d make the most of that.

We spent plenty of time at the beach (Lake Michigan) as the weather was kind to us. I also had the best coffee I’ve had since moving to the States – pity they aren’t a bit closer.


Trip to Mackinaw

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

This is the Mackinaw Bridge which links mainland Michigan to the Upper Peninsula (or the UP for those in the know). The total length of the bridge is just over 8km and I am told it is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world.

Here we are waiting for the ferry to arrive to take us across to Mackinac Island. The trip takes around 10 minutes and you travelling over the intersection of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. This is the only place Rach has been on a ferry apart from in Sydney.

This was taken on the island with the bridge in the background. We were taking a break from our bike ride around the island.

Cars aren't allowed on the island so the two forms of transportation are bike and horse. We went for the healthier option and hired bikes for an hour. We made it around the island in this time and I towed Anne and Jason (my niece and nephew) for around half of the trip.

Ty and Alyssa walking down one of the paths in the middle of the island. Behind them you can see Bryce ahead of Malorie and Anne. Further back and not in picture are Jason (Rachel's brother) and his wife Christy and their two youngest kids Jason and Isaac.

My nephew Jason who was pretty sick of walking around by this part of the day. Here we are in front of Skull Rock

The next day we crossed the bridge and went for a hike in the Upper Peninsula. This is the view back across the bridge. I asked if were in Canada but apparently it's still Michigan.

Substitute Teaching

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

I haven’t had any teaching this week because the schools are all off for Spring break. Substitute teaching has been a good find in terms of having work whilst I’m applying for other positions and waiting to hear back about them.

The system for substitutes over here in interesting. You sign up with a school district. I’m registered with Penn-Harris-Madison School District. They have a high school (9-12), 3 middle schools (6-8) and 11 elementary schools (K-5). I log into a computer system to see if there are any vacancies and if there are, I can accept the job.

There don’t seem to be many vacancies coming up, either that or there are lots of sub teachers taking the jobs as soon as they come up. However, each of the 5 days I have tried to work, I have got work. 3 days as a teachers aide in elementary schools, 1 as a 3rd grade teacher and 1 in a middle school split into PE/Health in the morning followed by choir in the afternoon.

If you don’t have work lined up before a day you are available to work you can expect a phone call that morning for a job that  day. These calls come early because most elementary schools start at 7:30am. Last Friday I got the call at 6:15am – not fun for Rach who didn’t start work till 11am!

It’s been pretty hectic jumping into a new working environment nearly every day. The most daunting part of the day for me has been lunch. The teachers lounge  is an intimidating place to be for a substitute. For you teachers back in Australia can I encourage you to take time to say hi to casuals when they come in – it can really make a day so much easier for them.

That’s the work life I’m living at the moment – and I’m really thankful that I can be doing this. I’ll share some more fun details about school in the USA soon. Especially trying to teach there with an Australian accent.

At the movies

Posted: March 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Rach and I went to see the movie “The Lincoln Lawyer” today at the local cinema. Total cost for the 2 movie tickets + 2 drinks + a bucket of popcorn = $7.75. Can’t get that kind of value back in Sydney!

Out Shopping

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Rach and I were out shopping the other day at one of the local supermarkets called Meijer. It’s like a Walmart – it is a combo of Woolworths and Big W(or whatever other brands you support) but I guess not as famous. We were picking up a few things we needed for the week as well as investigating the beer aisle (they sell alcohol in supermarkets over here). I had picked out a 6 pack of pale ales that I was keen to sample for the crazy price of $6.99. We made our way to the check out, bypassing the self-serve 12 items or less and the self-serve unlimited items because we were buying alcohol. When we starting putting items up on the conveyer belt the ‘check-out chick’ said to us – “Oh, you have alcohol? It’s Sunday.”

Apparently there is a law in Indiana that you can’t purchase alcohol on Sundays. You can go get a drink at a bar or restaurant, but you can’t buy any to take it home. Crazy! Not sure what the logic is behind that one. Too many bad sermons being preached?

Inside the apartment

Posted: March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Mean Husband

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Rach and I were hanging out with some of her friends on Sunday night when one of the guys brought up that Rach had told them I wouldn’t let her get a deep fryer for our place. It turned out that they had all heard about this and started giving me a hard time about it (all in fun). We were eating food cooked from a deep fryer at the time – corn dogs and fries.

I mentioned this to her family the next day and they had also heard about my refusal to let Rach get a deep fryer for our place.

Seems like I’m fighting a losing battle on this one over here – anyone back in Sydney own a deep fryer?