Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trips n' Things

Good news! In just three weeks Nick will be on his way home for a visit and I am soooo excited! It's somewhat unexpected to find myself not only with a boyfriend in Australia but a (temporarily) long distance one at that, but I am loving every minute of it. Nick and I have so much fun together, just look at us here- having a gay time eating our Gaytimes! (Australian ice- cream on a stick, covered in smashed cookie). Nick bought us these at a gas station when we were on our way back to Sydney from his house down the coast- so sweet!

It's great to have something to look forward to as I am currently in the midst of trying to finish two assignments which are due in the very near future whilst keeping all of my work commitments and not losing touch with all of my new friends. As they say "keep your eye on the prize," I suppose the prize being finishing my first year of law school. I still don't feel like it's possible for me to be ready for the four exams I have in November but I know I'll get through it. The trips I have planned for the end of the year to San Fransisco, London and then home will be enough motivation for me to survive. Here's hoping!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Dust Storm Sydney - George Street by Highranger on
So this morning: An unbelievable strange red light filtered through my window at 7am. I blinked twice to see if I was still dreaming, and then panicked, having decided that there was something seriously wrong with my my eyes. When I looked away and my room seemed it's usual colour, my next thought was Y2K is here, just a few years late! HOLY CRAP WE'VE BEEN NUKED! Luckily for my eyes, and the existence of the continent but unluckily for my lungs, it was what is being called a "red dust storm." What they heck is that? I remember signing up for heat, and I'm learning to deal with the rain and recently the extreme temperature swings, but a dust storm? Last I checked Sydney was not a desert! Anywho it's unfortunate timing since last night I wandered into the kitchen for a late night glass of water only to find the floor swarming with little black baby cockroaches. I swiftly grabbed what I thought was the Mortine (roach kill spray) but actually was oven cleaner!!! I didn't notice until this morning when the fumes from the previous evening's massacre were still hanging heavy in the air. Gag ME!!! Of course this happens to be the first day in history where opening the windows is ill-advised. Choosing between a layer of red dust over everything or noxious air fumes, I figured dust+ fewer toxic fumed might be a bit better than no dust + copious toxic fumes so I opened the french doors but jeez! I feel like going back to bed and waking up with this all having been a strange dream.

2 storms over Sydney by Highranger.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beautiful Beautiful Sydney

Although this not the first time I've moved to Australia (it's the second), leaving my many and dear friends in Canada was still very difficult. My only consolation was the expectation that, like my last trip to Australia, (studying at the University of Wollongong for one semester in 2005,) I would meet some nice people but not make any real, lasting friendships. This, I mused, would make it all the more likely that I'd enjoy the Aussie experience before being on my merry way home again. Well. Lo and behold I couldn't have been more wrong! No offense to Wollongong, but the friendships I have made while at Sydney Uni have far exceeded anything I ever imagined or could have hoped for.

I feel as though I am not just a visitor anymore but that I belong in this big beautiful city. It's like even thought I'm foreign, I still fit in with the glamorous sydneysiders to whom spectacular sunsets and whale and dolphin sightings are an every-day, no big deal occurrence. Of course I still incessantly take pictures like a tourist but my friends just grin and pretend to object (but deep down I know they like the pics!) For me, getting to know this city as a local has been a much more satisfying and deep experience than the weekends where I'd take the train in from the Gong (usually alone) to explore. This past weekend was no exception. Two of my besties from work and I went to Darling Harbour at dusk for a night out on the town. It's quite a glamorous area and I can see why! Everything was just that little bit more posh and polished than what I'm used to in grunge-chic Newtown. Highlights included enjoying a pre-dinner glass of vino at sundown, our table overlooking the spectacular view of the harbour.

Eating the MOST amazing half rack of pork ribs I've ever had. Hurricanes Restaurant is famous for their ribs and even fix you up with a full torso bib! The meat simply fell off the bone it was so tender and the sauce was finger- and plate- licking delicious!!!

Luckily the bib protected my (new- on sale!) dress and I was good to go out for a dance at Bungalow 8 to work off all those ribs.

One of the girls introduced me to my new favourite drink- Vanilla vodka and orange juice. Yum! It's like dessert in a glass!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pinch Me!

In light of my latest hospital visit (last night, 7 hours, don't ask) I feel the need to report on something fun. I may be allergic to law school at this point (seriously, if RPA Hospital gave out frequent-flyer miles I'd be able to get a free boob job or something by now) but I am certainly not complaining about my amazing boyfriend! He was home from Darwin for the weekend and we filled every bright sunny moment of it with bright sunny memories :)

First, I picked him up from the airport. (Please excuse my appearance- Nick took the red-eye so it was 7:30 in the morning.)

Did you know that in the domestic terminal a non-passenger can still go right up to the gate?! Of course I got "randomly selected" at security for a bomb search n' swab, but I passed with flying colours! (no pun intended.) After Nick greeted me by sweeping me off my feet Hollywood style, he gave me a present from Darwin-a gorgeous piece of aboriginal art. It's a crocodile and some lilies and I love it!

Next we left Sydney for the trip down the coast to Nick's house. Ahhh fresh air at last! We rounded up the doggies and took them for a run on the beach before heading out for a scrumptious lunch.

Since the restaurant was out of the item I'd ordered, the chef concocted a special dish- raspberry and custard french toast with marscarpone cheese- just for me! It was utterly delicious.

I was impressed with the coffees we'd ordered too. Nick's Cappuccino was a decent size (as opposed to the thimble sized coffees that usually get served at breakfast places here) and my latte was positively tall! Nice latte art too.

Being the great guy that he is, Nick didn't complain once while I browsed around a couple of cute boutiques. I love going to the shops in new places. Even though I rarely buy anything it's fun to see what's for sale and dream!

The next day we lunched with a couple of Nick's mates at this amazing restaurant overlooking the ocean. The main seating area is outside in this lush green garden and the tables look out right to the cascading cliffs and crashing ocean waves. What a stunning sight!

That evening we drove back to Sydney for a party with students from my law faculty. We ate dinner at Prague- a Czech restaurant in Kings Cross. The food was tasty but very... dense, as I suppose is to be expected. I quite enjoyed my dish- a combination of meat, a sweat creamy sauce, sour dough bread, cranberry sauce and whipped creme, but having tried it once, I probably wouldn't need to order it again. We met up with my classmates at Hugo's Bar in the cross and danced the night away!!!

The next day we went back down the coast to watch Nick's mom and sister play in their Grand Final Netball Match. I'd seen snippets of netball on TV but never watched a whole game before. All the matches on TV are in an indoor arena so you can imagine my surprise when we pulled up to a mass of outdoor courts! The sun was beating down on us, it was about 30 degrees and I'd not come prepared to sit in the sun! Thankfully I managed to locate some sunscreen (well Nick fetched some for me) so after that I was fine. The game was super exciting! Our team lost but it was a pretty close game until the very end.

On Nick's last morning we (Nick, his mom and sister, and I) hiked up the mountain next to the beach near the house. Again it was a hot sunny day (winter? What winter?) perfect for a hike in the woods.

We brought 3 of the doggies who were bursting with excitement in the car ride to the entrance of the trail.

At the top we enjoyed the magnificent view- including a pod of dolphins gracefully gliding in and out of the water in the distance.

On our way down Nick spotted this huge Goanna Lizard in a tree!

After having worked up a sweat and an appetite, a dip in the pool and a classic Aussie barbie for lunch hit the spot!

Ahhh... perfect company, weather, activities, food... What more could a girl ask for?? It was sad to say goodbye at the airport and although I miss him right now, it's only 6 short weeks until Nick is back again. I am already looking forward it :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Best Jogging Bail Ever

I had a one month streak of staying out of hospital going but alas, all good things come to an end. This time I managed to inflict more injury upon myself whilst jogging! Jogging!!! I guess I didn't actually have to go to the hospital but still. Another incident.

There I was, jogging along, in the zone, and not even listening to music OR wearing sunnies (sunglasses) yet I still didn't see the speed bump in the path. Maybe this was because it was a BLACK speed bump on a BLACK running path. Not one sign or yellow stripe to speak of! When I fell it was like someone had tackled me around the ankles- all at once I dove into the pavement and skidded to a stop in the spread eagle position- face included. How embarrassing! A woman jogging with her dog ran over to me and asked if I was ok which was nice. I said yes but I was definitely choking back tears. I was in so much pain! Peeling myself off the ground (slowly) I assured her that my ego was probably more hurt than my knees (and hands, and face), which was true, but I still hurt all over. Upon inspection I noticed both hands were a mess, bruised, scraped and stabbed (since I was carrying keys). I somehow scraped the top of my right shoulder and the bottom of my chin. Both knees are really cut and bruised but the left one is worse. I could barely drag myself home. Feeling better today but still can't put any pressure on the left knee. Hopefully there is no permanent damage!

I think I'll be sticking to the treadmill from now on...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Me New Spectacles!

Ok so not the greatest picture ever but you get the idea... I took this before having the glasses re-fitted so they were slipping down my nose a bit too but in any case here we are, the new and (hopefully) improved geek-look! My previous pair, a much-loved Oliver Peoples design circa 2002 had long seen their day come and go and it was high time for a new pair. The store didn't have a lot of choice (kind of a running theme in this country I've noticed) but I managed to find this pair of Ralph Lauren glasses that I'm very happy with. In fact I've been wearing them out of the house quite often! Unlike the old pair, these glasses have the right prescription which, lo and behold- makes a colossal difference. Talk about seeing through a whole new pair of glasses!