Sunday, January 29, 2012

Australia, New Zealand and homeward bound

A beautiful lighthouse Peter brought me to in Sydney

That’s the thing about blogs…they’re very hard to actually upkeep with any consistency.  Well, consistency or not, I’m decided to have another crack at it and update those very few followers I may have left.

First things first, I said goodbye to Australia about two weeks ago.  It was a bittersweet parting because it meant leaving Melbourne, which had began to define stability for me for while there.  I was working at a job I liked with amazing people, I had made friends, habits and I had a place to call my own (though it was quite small, and those of you who saw my gimp room can attest to that fact).  Regardless, I loved Melbourne and all the lovely people I met there.  I hope I get a chance to go back again some day.

However, that being said, I left with big things in store.  I had a quick stop over in Sydney where I had the pleasure of staying with Alessa and Mark, going to the beach with Peter and having brunch with Naomi, along with sight seeing and all that jazz.  Not too bad for 3 days. 

Peter being a goofball for the camera, as usual

Windblown on the Sydney coastline

Seeing the sights in Sydney.

From Sydney I flew to Auckland, where I was met by the lovely Mr. Mountjoy, who toted me about for the past two weeks or so.  We had a few great days in Auckland with his brother, his fiancé and her little angels, as they ran around and tried to tick off wedding planning boxes and organize a tow bar to take the lovely Lucille down to the Coromandel with us to do some sailing.  We spent just shy of two weeks lounging, sailing, cooking sausages on the beach when fishing was less than fruitful and fresh snapper, john dory and kahawai when it was.  One day I slurped a raw, salty oyster right off the rock at low tide and another we picked a bucket full of mussels and cooked them up (after a bit of over salting confusion) and feasted on the bounty of the sea.  When we weren’t lounging on the black sand of Brie beach, we picked ripening plums off the trees of the farmhouse and wandered up to the overgrown orchard to nab a few lemons to make lemonade.  I guess you could say life’s not too bad down at the Colville farmhouse. 

Spike at the point of the meeting house

Cooking up some dinner

Sunset dinner down at the point

Vino up at the meeting house

Getting ready to trek to the farm house

And we're off...

The special of the day is left over basmati rice served on a scenic rock table

I spy a Spike up in a tree, trying to get a better view to see which way we should go.  I swear he's part monkey.

Cooking dinner on the beach, the lovely Lucille sitting on the mud in the background


Making lemonade cordial at the farmhouse

Look Ma!  I'm sailing!!!

Spike at the helm

Spike filleting some fish by the sea

The fisherman!

Playing with the computer with Spike's brother and nephews

Flowery descriptions of idyllic images aside, Colville really was an incredible place to stay.  A few days ago Spike rejoined his family for more wedding planning and stag do fiascoes, while I jumped into a car full of couchsurfers to hike the Tongariro crossing, a twelve mile trek filled with frost, a blistering southwesterly howl, jaw dropping views and sparkling blue alpine lakes.  After that stunning and butt-busting hike, I’m back in Auckland at my friend Sabrina’s place, nursing my sore muscles and planning my moves for the next two and a half weeks until I head back to the Florida.

The Tongariro Crossing

Three cheers for New Zealand!

Robert, the couchsurfer I caught a ride from Auckland with, a fine fellow.

These alpine lakes get there color from the volcanic mineral deposits.

That’s right, back to Florida!  I’ll be spending a few weeks at home, busting a move at Margo and Brian’s wedding, hanging with family and friends and then taking a little road trip up the east coast with the one and only Zachary Hayes.  If you’re anywhere between Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Philadelphia please drop me a line and we’ll make it a stop on the route up the east coast.  I’ll definitely be heading up to New York after Philly to see all you lovely folks in the big apple too.

After that, well it’s all up in the air still.  I guess I’ll just wait and see where the winds take me.  I’ll fill you blogosphere folks in as soon as I’ve sorted that one out. 

I can’t wait to see everyone back home in a few weeks!  Missing you dearly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Gathering in the Garden of Sound

There was no better way to kick off the summer in Melbourne than The Gathering music festival in Werribee Park on Saturday.  It was a perfectly sunny, breezy day spent lounging in the grass, listening to great music and cracking open a few cold ones with a good friend.  What more could a girl ask for?  

The line up was epic for a day festival, but the bands that I was most excited for were Bright Eyes, The National and The Flaming Lips.  So, sadly because of the standard music festival complex I had accept that I'd miss a few great bands on one stage to catch my priorities on another.  I missed out on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Portishead, Mogwai and Holy Fuck...but such is life.  I also managed to stumble into a few good shows that left me with the itch of musical exploration.  So I guess one could say that all is well in my musical universe. Ultimately, I left happy and (due to diligent sunscreen application) without skin scorched by the hole in the Aussie ozone layer.  

Other than the festival, it's life as usual here.  Working, playing and trying to plan my next move.  I'm thinking it'll be New Zealand come the new year and maybe even a brief trip home around mid February.  Whether it'll be back to New Zealand or Australia for work after my stint in Florida or on to another grand adventure, I'm not sure.  All I can say for myself is that as of now, I'm a happy camper living the day to day and enjoying the little things as I stumble upon them.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Flash mobs, not-so-flash mobs and fire balls

Sooo, apparently I only blog once a month now.  Talk about falling off the wagon.  I was so diligent before.  I think it's a sign that I'm settling into a normal sort of life and pattern here in Melbourne.  I work, I hang out with my friends, I do laundry and dishes and take bike rides and chill out in cafes.  It's not a hard life, but not an overwhelmingly exciting one either.  Well, I should say not exciting in the way that travelling is where I feel the need to share all the amazing details and incredible new experiences that are constantly happening.

Anyway, so this is it now.  I've been working in a new restaurant in South Wharf called the Boatbuilders Yard.  It's really a beautiful location just off the Yarra River and South West of the city so you get a beautiful view of the skyline all set up on the backdrop of an 19th century boat/maritime museum called Polly Woodside.  My work mates are all really fun and laid back, the bosses and owners included.  We often enjoy a couple knock offs in the sunshine at the end of our shift.  If any of you have ever travelled to Melbourne, you have undoubtedly been walking along the Yarra one night and been caught off guard by a series of explosions of fire on the south side of the river.  When I first saw these in the reflection of a building window, I don't know exactly what to call it, a sculpture or an installation or something, well anyway, when I first saw these flaming balls of glory, I though there was some sort of terrorist attack or bomb strike of some sort.  Below is a low quality video I took one night after working a night shift while having a knock off by myself.  It's epic because it goes off hourly so I get to count my time at work with these strikingly beautiful fireballs.  If you ever come to Melbourne, you should come sit at the Boatbuilders Yard with a pint and wait for the show to begin.  It is truly beautiful.

A beautiful afternoon knock off

One of my work mates, Juan Pablo or 'Pampa' as we like to call him

Another cool thing that I did since my last post was join a flash mob!!! One day while I was still working at Síyía I was on my break munching a delicious salad bowl and browsing through the Melbourne Fringe Festival magazine which outlined all the cool things that were happening with the festival.  While perusing the pages I stumbled across a thing called Crowd Play, which was basically this flash mob open to the public to join and planning a few performances during the duration of the fringe festival.  Well, anyway, Marcelle and I went to a rehearsal along with practicing with instructional videos at home.  In the end there were 3 performances.  I made it to the final two, Marcelle the final one.  It was perfect timing, because the boys had just arrived from Canada so we had some unsuspecting victims to spring the flash mob on.  Well, it would have been a perfect surprise, but Marcelle is not so good at surprises and kept saying that we have to 'practice' one night when I had everyone over for dinner and she had a couple of glasses of wine in her.  The plan was to all meet in Federation Square and walk to my work for lunch, conveniently passing the flash mob location at 1:30 on the nose.  Sadly, Marcelle and Charlie were running late and Marcelle, un-sneaky as ever, made Charlie run from the tram stop to meet us.  Charlie became curious why we were running to lunch and eventually called the flash mob thing while we were dilly dallying in Queensbridge Square at about 1:33 cause the flash mob started a few minutes late.  Whatever!  At least Cam was caught of guard.  Here's the videos of the final flash mob.  You can catch me a few time in in, and Marcelle once.  I'm wearing a lacy black top and sunglasses, Marcelle has jeans and a green shirt on.  About 54 seconds in you see me singing and my friend Eddie videoing the fiasco.

Ohhhhh Marcelle, gonna spill the beans.

Eddie captured the post flash mob high

The Melbourne skyline from the south side of the Yarra

Let's see, there's definitely more to catch up on.  

Ah yes!  Occupy Wall Street, meet Occupy Melbourne.  A slightly less enthusiastic, but more excessively policed sister protest here in Melbourne.  Marcelle and I attended, really excited since we feel like we're missing out on all the Occupy action happening in the states right now.  There were a few different protests all rolled into one.  Here is a little video I took which shows the excess of police.  The video doesn't make it to the end of the march, which was walled with police and tailed up by a line of police and two passenger vans filled with even more cops.


Hmmm, and one more video for pure entertainment value!  This is a performer at Little Creatures one night when Daniela, Winnie and I were having some dinner at Little Creatures.

Until next time, with scary werewolf pictures.  

Much love from Melbourne!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blog-osaurus Rex

So I think it's safe to say that it's been too long since I've posted a new blog.  A month...that's a long time to catch up on.  So much has happend.  Where to start?

I guess the last time I filled in the blogosphere of my happenings was when I got back from Geelong with Katy, Andrew and Zeke.  It seems like ages ago.  My life has changed a little since then.

Here's the short version:

First and most importantly!!!  Marcelle coolio has joined the Australian fiesta, and sad to say, our little Española, Maria, has left it.  Also, Matteo, the other roommate at my place has returned from his summer break at home in in Italy.  That's the next news, my place is no longer my place.  I've made the move from my shared double suite with lady Kiernan in Fitzroy to my new pent house suite in Brunswick.  Marcy moved into my side of the bed though, so I still spend plenty of time on that side of town, even though I don't live there anymore.  Oh yeah!  And a got an awesome little bike to transport my sleepy self to work at 7:00am.  I can say, the crisp morning air and freezing hands (because I have yet to get myself riding gloves, lazy as I am) really wakes you up in the morning.  Another major change, I just put in my two weeks notice at my cafe because I managed to land a place where I can get lots of hours, unlike Síyía where I was only getting about 35 hours a week.  I'm definitely going to miss my work mates there, but I think I'm really going to enjoy this new restaurant that I'll be working at (I'll save the in depth story on that place until the next post seeing as I have so much to catch up with this blog).  Actually, I'll save a lot of details until the next blog, including the grand tour of my new place, but all I can say is get ready to be wowed by my new digs and my new housemates.

Oooooh!!!! and more big news!!!! The Canadians are finally joining us.  I'm suuuupppah excited for Cam and CK to get here so soon.  It's 10 days away (or so I've been told).  I'm stoked :-D  More, more and more to come.

Phew, that quick catch up is actually longer than the normal short and sweet posts I'm used to.  This is what you get for procrastinating Andrea.  Ok, here are some photos and their anecdotal captions.

One of Maria's 100 million going away dinners...I think.  There were a lot, so it was sort of hard to differentiate after a while.

Summer is rearing it's lovely little head sporadically in Melbourne.  Maria, about a week before she left us :'-(

A lovely view on one of my last days living at a walking distance from my work.

Beer, laundry and musica in the back yard

I loved that jasmine bush.

Katy at work, serving up her fish and chips.

and Marcelle is here too!!!!

Haha, Maria got drunk at her final going away drinks and accosted the street musician, her favorite drunk pass time. 

A sneak peak at my new digs...aaaand my awesome new bike!!!!

Just something interesting (and a little gross) that made 7:30am a lot more entertaining at Síyía.

Walking to the city with M-cools.

To meet K-dawg for a post work pint on the river.

Just cause Marcy is pretty.