Friday, August 19, 2011

Learning How to Cook and Travel Frenzy!

So first order of business is that I created a cooking group with the other internationals on my floor and Lachie (an Australia). It has been a successful and adventurous first week of meals.  I am the only girl so entering into it was a little risky, but the boys proved they actually make decent food!  I cooked on Monday and made chicken teriyaki with green peppers and rice, which was simple but yummy!  Tuesday was Jonathon (one of the awesome Swedish guys) and he made seasoned chicken with pasta and red sauce, which was also really great. 

Wednesday is when the week took an adventurous turn with Marco cooking his English meal of fish and mushy peas.  Now if you know me well you will know that two main things I don't like are 1) seafood 2) peas, so hearing about this dinner earlier in the week made me REALLY nervous.  But, I tried them both, surprising I know... The fish was actually not too bad; it was breaded and then baked so I just put heaps of BBQ sauce on it and it was fine!  The mushy peas on the other hand were...interesting.  The reason I don't like peas is the mushy texture, so this dish just exemplified that feature. It is meant to dip your chips (french fries) in, but once again I just ended up using BBQ sauce.  Thursday night Daniel (the other awesome Swedish guy) made tacos.  At first I asked him if it was meat, cheese, and lettuce and he looked at me like I was crazy and said, " Americans put cheese on everything!!" HAHA.  He likes to make fun of Americans a lot, but its funny because a lot of it is true.  So, his tacos ended up having meat, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and salsa and were REALLY good.  Next week is when Lachie officially joins the group, so he will start cooking on Sundays.

This week I also booked a trip to Perth, which is a beautiful city on the west coast and the most isolated city in the world.  Liz, the girl across the hall, is going back home in a few weeks and asked if I would like to join, so we are going for an extended weekend in the middle of September, I'm SO EXCITED!  We are going to be going camping and enjoying the warm nice beaches!  Then, at the end of September Rachel and I will be heading to Sydney for the week!  It is our "Spring Holiday" here, which is weird because it is Fall back home. 

So far I have Skyped family and friends and of course my amazing husband and doing so has made the adjustment easier than I thought it would be.  I obviously miss home, but having that connection has made it better.  Gotta love technology!  It has been one month and a bit since I've been here and its been amazing!  I can't believe I turn 22 here in less than 2 weeks!  CRAZY!  Anyway, I will continue to update you with my Aussie life!  LOVE YOU ALL! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's Fun to Dress Up!

The end of their winter here is just like it is back home with one day being beautiful and sunny and the next day being cold and rainy, which is horrible.  Not to mention, a lot of the cold and rainy days fall on the weekend when we all want to go and explore downtown, which is a bummer.  Last weekend Rachel, Val, and I all really wanted to go downtown but settled with shopping at Northland, which ended up being a great day filled with shopping!  I am usually a frustrated shopper finding nothing that fits me the way I like or is way too expensive, but today all three of us found things that we loved and came home with many bags in hand. 

One of the things I bought was a dress for my birthday, which is LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!!  I am so excited to celebrate being 22, even though it sounds so old!  I can't imagine celebrating with some of my best friends, but I'm sure these crazy kids will help me celebrate in amazing Australian fashion!  There are a lot of things to do down in the city, which is also BEAUTIFUL at night time. The only issue is that, just like everything else in Australia, it usually is a little pricey if you want to buy a drink out, but sometimes the cover is free which is nice!

We are going to another AFL game on Saturday afternoon with Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, which will be fun but Port Adelaide is garbage so it may not be too close.  The last game we got to enjoy was the Collingwood and Essendon game, which was a blast because both teams are huge here in Melbourne, so the game was packed.  The stadium, when full, sits 90,000 people which is crazy.  Marco and I decided to go for Collingwood, which at first seemed like a bad choice when they were losing at half time, but the second half was a blowout!  So, GO COLLINGWOOD!! They have only lost one game this season, which is amazing!  They lost to Geelong who they are actually playing again in a few weeks...and I will be in attendance!! Should be intense...
So, onto the big event...the Menzies Ball!  We all got dressed up and did our hair and many of the girls got spray tans...basically its a big deal!  We had a champagne toast with delicious bubbly and was yummy!  The toast was done by our senior, Liam, and it was fun to get everyone together for a huge dance and party.  Since the legal drinking age here is 18, the beautiful venue had an open bar, which was wonderful!  There was a 3 course meal, which an entree (appetizer); main dish (entree); and dessert!  I had cannelloni; chicken with mashed potatoes; and sticky date pudding and everything was delicious!!  The DJ and band were amazing, along with the surprise dances put on by the seniors and other student was funny and definitely well rehearsed.

The after party was further into the city, which was fun but I just wanted to go back to the ball!  It was nice because transportation to the venue and to the after party were included, so we just had to pay our way back, which wasn't back even with taking a pit stop at Macas!  Overall, the night was beautiful and a great time!  Other than the amazing ball and shopping I am attending (most) of my classes, with HORRIBLE nutrition as an exception.  The lecturer for that course is the worst I have had in all of schooling, not hard just horrible public speaking and boring!

Hope all gets on track with the lovely American economy, the only positive for me is that our US dollar here is somehow almost equal to the Aussie dollar, but other than that its sad to read and hear about our economy all the time.  Enjoy this recent nice weather back home and pray that it comes my way soon!! :)  Love you all and miss home like crazy...